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16 July 2006 @ 02:43 pm
Mystery Kakuro  

(Anonymous) on July 16th, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
What the heck is this? I think I'd rather do a spokes puzzle than this ...

- Puzzled
(Anonymous) on July 16th, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, it looks like one of those MIT Mystery Hunt style puzzles, maybe referenced by the "Mystery Kakuro" at the top. They never give directions, just sometimes some cute flavortext that hints at what's going on.

Anyway, I think you're supposed to guess what you're supposed to do here, and then follow through with that intuition. There's probably a hidden message in the solution that you're supposed to find; the message will surely be odd, but you'll know it when you see it.

-- Math's so nerdy
thedan on July 16th, 2006 09:18 pm (UTC)
Not sure if I got to the very end yet, but nice.
tombodamatombodama on July 17th, 2006 12:29 am (UTC)
Fun, thanks! Reminds me of a similar puzzle I saw in a Turkish puzzle magazine I get, Akil Oyunlari. I also liked the non-consecutive Kakuro, and still have about halfway to go on the state Sudoku.
Georgi Benevbenevg on July 17th, 2006 06:42 am (UTC)
let me make sure i have the rules correct: every letter stands for a digit. find out which letter is which digit and fill in the kakuro. is that it, or is it that i have to fill in the letters in the top grid?

i guess i'll find out when i solve it at latest ;)
motrismotris on July 17th, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
that's one reasonable suggestion to try. Two grids are given so you can solve in "letter space" and "number space" more easily.
i_am_magooi_am_magoo on July 17th, 2006 03:34 pm (UTC)
Great idea and nice puzzle, many thanks. Good to see some literal entries making numerical sense!
I thought it was a standard rule of Kakuro that the same entry did not appear twice? Or is that not a fair assumption like the one that no entry contains the same two digits?
motrismotris on July 17th, 2006 05:13 pm (UTC)
Not sure I understand the distinction you are making in the first part of your comment. I don't think I've ever seen a kakuro where the "same entry did not appear twice" as a rule, although this may be true de facto in smaller-sized puzzles. I interpret what you mean to be the order and identity of say 4 digits in a sum of 20 like "1982" from left to right occur twice. With the larger Nikoli puzzles I solve, there are so many occurrences of two digit clues like 16's or three digit 23's or similar clues that it is impossible to not say have 689 entered fewer than 2 or 3 times.

The other half of your comment is true though. Standard kakuro rules would say that within a single entry, no digit is repeated. 7 in 3 digits must be 1,2,4 and not 1,1,5 or 2,2,3 or 3,3,1. However, there are variations where this rule is not necessarily true, but I've only seen examples where the authors specifically told you that digits repeated with each entry having exactly one digit repeated twice. IIRC, four such examples are in one of the Tuller/Rios Mensa Puzzle Books, probably the orange one.
(Anonymous) on July 18th, 2006 07:44 am (UTC)
In the UK, 'Tough Puzzles' magazines always features several Kakuros (called 'Cross Sums') with the additional rule (stated) that "the exact same answer is never used more than once in the grid", i.e. order and identity of digits doesn't appear twice. I don't know if this carries over to the same publisher's spin-off mag (now renamed 'Kakuro'). Sorry for my lack of experience; and it didn't hamper solving this excellent puzzle.
(Anonymous) on July 18th, 2006 03:14 pm (UTC)
Don't apologize. It's in part my lack of experience with Tough Puzzles, having never done an issue as it seems somewhat expensive, considering importation fees as well as the normal cover price.

Its a unique kind of constraint, and if well constructed could make for an interesting additional part of a cross-sums puzzle. I could actually imagine a similar kind of "sudoku" constraint that you could build into a puzzle; in its simplest form it would be, the same 3 digits to complete a row/column in a nonet cannot be used in the same order to complete another row/column in another nonet. An even harder form would be, the same 3 digits in any order that complete a row/column in a nonet cannot be used to complete another row/column in that nonet. It would get around my "least favorite" sudoku grid fills where the three digits in R123C1 are also in R456C2 and R789C3 in some order (or variants thereof).
gary3000 on July 17th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
Unusual Puzzle
Slightly unusual but lots of fun. A very good primer for Hunt solvers like Dan's puzzles from last year. Well done.

I feel very deprived by not being able to watch the World Series of Pop Culture (not currently available in Canada). It seems like the competition I have been training my entire life for. All this accumulated trivial knowledge and no forum in which to display it (at least not since they cancelled Beat the Geeks). I was able to get to 9 on Meryl Streep movies so that should have been competitive (who could possibly remember One True Thing (cancer patient) and Music of the Heart (violin teacher)).

I'm going to have to figure out a way to watch this and soon. If you're planning a team, give me a call, I do have US citizenship so maybe I could qualify.
motrismotris on July 17th, 2006 06:13 pm (UTC)
Re: Unusual Puzzle
What stands out about your comment is that the contestant who won the Meryl Streep tiebreaker round against the other guy who knew none, is his first and only answer was "Music of the Heart" IIRC. He was really reaching down deep to make it easier I guess.

I guess after years of living in Buffalo and getting the benefit of seeing both American and Canadian television (wasn't 4 episodes of the Simpsons a day great?), I forget that those who actually live north of the border don't get all of the channels we get here. Is the situation any better now in Toronto or is there really just one national cable/satellite provider?
gary3000 on July 17th, 2006 06:51 pm (UTC)
Satellite Provider
Funny you should ask, I actually work in Network Programming for the larger of Canada's 2 National Satellite Providers (Bell ExpressVu). We offer a wide range of services but the channels have to be approved by our FCC (the CRTC) for legal distribution in Canada. All the large Cable and Satellite companies offer pretty much the same services from the same approved list.
It used to be that a US service could only be allowed into Canada if there was no competing Canadian service. This allowed A&E, TLC and a few other stations to come in back when there were fewer Canadian specialty channels. However we never got MTV or VH1 because we had Muchmusic and its sister channel Much More Music.

Most shows are sold to Canadian carriers so we usually get to see everything eventually. Sometimes there are long delays. the first few seasons of the Shield didn't air in Canada until 9 months after they aired in the states. I had to rely on tapes of the episodes in order to stay current. VH1 however has a lot of obscure programming that never gets offered here. I think they used to have a show where celebrities talked about their favorite videos from the 80s. That show never made it to Canada as far as I know. Hopefully the Pop Culture show will end up on Much More Music or on Game Show Network and I'll get to see it then (or maybe I'll just look for it on the Internet).

I was going to ask you whether you thought the puzzle should have instructions with it but I see now that it works better the way it is.