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keith
Joined: 19 Sep 2005 Posts: 3342 Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

Posted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:52 pm Post subject: A Scale for Classifying Puzzles 


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 Xwings, XYwings, and XYZwings.
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 Wwings.
D. Add Mwings, transport on the previous wings, multicoloring, and ER's.
E. Add extended wings, generalized wings, Medusa coloring, and XYchains not previously included.
F. Anything more.
For each of these levels, add:
#. Basic uniqueness techniques: UR 16, 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: 5770 Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:58 am Post subject: 


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: 3342 Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:55 am Post subject: 


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

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:33 pm Post subject: Re: A Scale for Classifying Puzzles 


[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: 5770 Location: Rochester, NY, USA

Posted: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:00 pm Post subject: 


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 Xwings, XYwings, and XYZwings.
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 Wwings.
D. Add Mwings, transport on the previous wings, multicoloring, 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: 2468 Location: Northern California Foothills

Posted: Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:27 pm Post subject: 


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., xwings, 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 xywing, wwings, simple mwings, remote pairs. I would probably include xyzwings in this level also along with URs.
At this stage, scaling becomes more fuzzy, but I think simple pincer transport and multicoloring should be part of Level "C".
D: extended wings, generalized wings, Medusa coloring, general xychains and all remaining techniques.
Ted 

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

Posted: Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:02 am Post subject: 


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., xwings, 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 xywing, wwings, simple mwings, remote pairs. I would probably include xyzwings in this level also along with URs.
At this stage, scaling becomes more fuzzy, but I think simple pincer transport and multicoloring should be part of Level "C".
D: extended wings, generalized wings, Medusa coloring, general xychains 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: 3342 Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:10 am Post subject: 


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: 3342 Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:07 am Post subject: 


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: 2468 Location: Northern California Foothills

Posted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 4:09 am Post subject: 


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.
xwings: 1,2 or 4 houses
ERs: 2 or 3 houses
Coloring: 3(?), 4, 5, ,,,N
Kites: 4
Skyscraper: 4
For common bivalue techniques:
xywing: 2 or 3 houses
wwing: 4
mwing: 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

Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 2:33 am Post subject: 


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,xyzwings have to be considered in the VH range...
BUT
once the puzzle stops and there isn't a x,xy,xyzwing 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,xyzwing solves it.
C. A and B plus Type 1,2,3,4 UR, wwing, remote pair, mwing, multicoloring (kite, skyscraper, 2string 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.
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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