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A Scale for Classifying Puzzles

 
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keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3173
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:52 pm    Post subject: A Scale for Classifying Puzzles Reply with quote

I don't want to go down the slippery slope of puzzle "difficulty", but I think it would be useful to have some kind of scale.

A: Basic methods. Singles, pairs, triples, etc.

B: Add X-wings, XY-wings, and XYZ-wings.

The "Very Hard" puzzles of this site, dailysudoku.com, are B. All others are A.

C. Add Simple Coloring, Swordfish, Skyscrapers, Kites, remote pairs, and W-wings.

D. Add M-wings, transport on the previous wings, multi-coloring, and ER's.

E. Add extended wings, generalized wings, Medusa coloring, and XY-chains not previously included.

F. Anything more.

For each of these levels, add:

#. Basic uniqueness techniques: UR 1-6, BUG+1.

##. Advanced Uniqueness techniques: Hidden UR's, BUG+n.

The basic idea is that we could classify entries in the "Other Puzzles" and the "daj" threads, without giving away the precise techniques needed.

I have the sense that some people are frustrated by puzzles that are too easy, or too difficult, or that require a technique they do not know.

What do you think?

Keith
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Marty R.



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 5160
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have the sense that some people are frustrated by puzzles that are too easy, or too difficult, or that require a technique they do not know.

I definitely get frustrated all three ways, but I was under the impression that puzzle constructors can't always know all the techniques that are required.
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keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3173
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marty R. wrote:
Quote:
I have the sense that some people are frustrated by puzzles that are too easy, or too difficult, or that require a technique they do not know.

I definitely get frustrated all three ways, but I was under the impression that puzzle constructors can't always know all the techniques that are required.


Marty,

That is true. But, I might add:
http://www.dailysudoku.com/sudoku/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2957

I solved this as a C. It turns out, it is a B.

Edit: Correction, it is a B plus a couple of classic remote pair eliminations.

Keith
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daj95376



Joined: 23 Aug 2008
Posts: 3855

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:33 pm    Post subject: Re: A Scale for Classifying Puzzles Reply with quote

[Withdrawn]

Last edited by daj95376 on Fri Dec 05, 2008 8:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Marty R.



Joined: 12 Feb 2006
Posts: 5160
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't want to go down the slippery slope of puzzle "difficulty", but I think it would be useful to have some kind of scale.

A: Basic methods. Singles, pairs, triples, etc.

B: Add X-wings, XY-wings, and XYZ-wings.

The "Very Hard" puzzles of this site, dailysudoku.com, are B. All others are A.

C. Add Simple Coloring, Swordfish, Skyscrapers, Kites, remote pairs, and W-wings.

D. Add M-wings, transport on the previous wings, multi-coloring, and ER's.

For what it's worth, I think ERs are ranked way too high. They're simple and mechanical and ever since I learned about them I can easily think of them as Basic, along with subsets and locked candidates.
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tlanglet



Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 2461
Location: Northern California Foothills

PostPosted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My levels of difficulty are more influenced by the number of digits involved in the technique.

A: Basics

B: After basics, I consider single digit patterns to be the next level of difficulty; i.e., x-wings, ERs, simple coloring, skyscrapers,kites, etc. I do not know where swordfish should go, but Level B is probably the best.

C: The next level would be the bivalues such as xy-wing, w-wings, simple m-wings, remote pairs. I would probably include xyz-wings in this level also along with URs.

At this stage, scaling becomes more fuzzy, but I think simple pincer transport and multi-coloring should be part of Level "C".

D: extended wings, generalized wings, Medusa coloring, general xy-chains and all remaining techniques.

Ted
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wapati



Joined: 10 Jun 2008
Posts: 472
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tlanglet wrote:
My levels of difficulty are more influenced by the number of digits involved in the technique.

A: Basics

B: After basics, I consider single digit patterns to be the next level of difficulty; i.e., x-wings, ERs, simple coloring, skyscrapers,kites, etc. I do not know where swordfish should go, but Level B is probably the best.

C: The next level would be the bivalues such as xy-wing, w-wings, simple m-wings, remote pairs. I would probably include xyz-wings in this level also along with URs.

At this stage, scaling becomes more fuzzy, but I think simple pincer transport and multi-coloring should be part of Level "C".

D: extended wings, generalized wings, Medusa coloring, general xy-chains and all remaining techniques.

Ted


I like this as darn good.

Yep, I am not posting much, I still read and am interested.
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keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3173
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I like this as darn good.

Wapati,

I can only agree!

Ted,

I have been contemplating your message. I think it is a great insight.

More, later.

Keith
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keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3173
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
My levels of difficulty are more influenced by the number of digits involved in the technique.

Perhaps we can develop a scale that has
a) the number of digits, and
b) the number of houses.
Keith
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tlanglet



Joined: 17 Oct 2007
Posts: 2461
Location: Northern California Foothills

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keith wrote:

Perhaps we can develop a scale that has
a) the number of digits, and
b) the number of houses.
Keith


Keith, I have been thinking about a scale that considers the number of houses and am having difficulty formulating a viable possibility.

First, I thought about common single digit techniques and the number of house involved.
x-wings: 1,2 or 4 houses
ERs: 2 or 3 houses
Coloring: 3(?), 4, 5, ,,,N
Kites: 4
Skyscraper: 4

For common bivalue techniques:
xy-wing: 2 or 3 houses
w-wing: 4
m-wing: 4
Remote Pairs: 4


Given this type of information, I don't see how the number of houses impacts the level of difficulty for one digit techniques, and the bivalue techniques have limited variations.

I suspect that I am totally missing the concept you had in mind. Could you provide some insight into how you see "Number of houses" impacts the level of difficulty?

Ted
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storm_norm



Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Posts: 1741

PostPosted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with Keith for his A and B type puzzles especially when it comes to this particular forum.
The puzzles that can be solved with x,xy,xyz-wings have to be considered in the VH range...
BUT
once the puzzle stops and there isn't a x,xy,xyz-wing to advance the puzzle, then the interesting "other" techniques come into play.

I don't think there needs to be more than 4 classifications of puzzles when it comes to this forum and the regulars who read it.
following Keiths lead...

A. basics alone
B. A plus x,xy,xyz-wing solves it.
C. A and B plus Type 1,2,3,4 UR, w-wing, remote pair, m-wing, multicoloring (kite, skyscraper, 2-string kite, turbot fish)
D. A and B and C don't solve it...

the reason I stop there is because all of those techniques have been discussed at length in this forum and therefore constitute a base set of techniques with which to solve a puzzle. once these techniques fail to solve the puzzle then the puzzle has but one other category to go into. Smile
One can make the argument that transports can be included, but that still means that the "extra" step was taken. IMO, this still falls in the last category.
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