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02 March 2009 @ 05:34 pm
New Blog Title/Design  
I missed the ACPT tournament again this year. Crosswords are still really not my specialty - and the Microsoft Puzzle Hunt was not something I'd want to miss anyway - but I realized something today while reading collected posts on the tournament and running into something from the 44th Greatest Crossword Puzzle Solver in the Universe!, namely that the world needs the daily advice of the 1st Greatest Sudoku Puzzle Solver in the World (only 2nd Greatest in the US, which just goes to show you how small the world truly is).

Without further ado, I'd like to pull the curtains off a new project which will be the focus of my blogging for awhile: Thomas Snyder Does The NYT KenKen!

Why KenKen? Well, not everyone likes words as much as the next guy, and the modern crossword has now mainly become a marketing gimmick for increased DVD sales of the 1934 classic The Thin Man, so you really should be reading about the latest and greatest puzzle. A lot of people get their news from the internet anyway, so the age of the crossword puzzle really shows when the electronic edition of the Times only has the same boring old crossword as the one in the print edition. With KenKen, you get 3x the enjoyment when you go online. So KenKen is clearly the future, and the future is now!

In this new blog, I intend to cover anything and everything KenKen, but specifically the NYT KenKen, the best of all of them. I'm a bit new to this puzzle too, so after I get over this initial hurdle of solving the KenKen, and can handle a full 6 puzzles a day, I'll post the solutions all here to discuss. But for today I'll start a little slower and give you the one puzzle I could finish and blog about. It is the Easier 4x4 for 3/2 if you are searching for the exact puzzle, and had a brilliant theme that I greatly enjoyed.

Relative Difficulty: Challenging (certainly for a Monday 4x4 Easier)

Theme: The Number 3

Number of the Day: 3

Theme elements:
All the 3's in lone cells
That 3- just near one of the lone cells, the third three you see as a number in the grid.
The toughest groups are the ones that use THREE cells!

I had a hard time starting this one, especially when I started by using a pen. After I printed a second copy, sipped some juice, and switched to my more natural crayon, I then noticed that there were some lone boxes which were the easier cells to fill with numbers. It turned out all the lone boxes contained the same number - the first hint to the theme here (very sneaky, kenken.com, I never saw it coming!). After filling those boxes with that digit, I spotted another potentially intentional theme entry. In KenKen, one of the common clues is a 4+ which is always a one and a three. Well, because I got a three in a lone cell next to it, I could place a three in the 4+ next, and with those three threes blocking three of the spots in the top row, the last three went in the only three (whoops, I mean free) spot. Funny autobiographical note - I said the number three like the word free until I was at least three years old. The hardest spot of the puzzle to solve at the start are those groups of three cells (ooh! there's three again). What a cool theme. I can tell this will be a fun project and I'll promise to do at least three of the KenKen puzzles tomorrow.
thedan on March 3rd, 2009 01:40 am (UTC)
That killed me. Bravo.
Mike Selinkerselinker on March 3rd, 2009 01:52 am (UTC)
I am totally making you write a PuzzleCraft about KenKen now.
crossword_fiend on March 3rd, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
Crap, you're horning in on my blogular empire. I was just about to launch a Diary of a KenKen Fiend site.
zundevilzundevil on March 3rd, 2009 02:52 am (UTC)
I will check in daily when I get stumped. Speaking of which, how did you get the 3 in the lower right? Did the theme give it away or could you figure it out from the column or row?
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thedan on March 3rd, 2009 03:48 am (UTC)
Yes, but March is the THIRD month!
motrismotris on March 3rd, 2009 04:45 am (UTC)
There's nothing funny about how big KenKen is going to get. Also, only fools expect to know the date of their fooling.
thedan on March 3rd, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
I've started brainstorming Mutant Kenken ideas. I want in on this one.
lemur about townlemurtanis on March 3rd, 2009 07:34 am (UTC)
I think I might try this...but I'll make sure to have a graphing calculator on hand. And some anti-anxiety meds.
seekingferretseekingferret on March 3rd, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
KenKen is blatantly unfair to anyone who learned how to forget arithmetic in engineering school.
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