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Clueless Explosion #42
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TKollen
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 9:42 pm    Post subject: Clueless Explosion #42 Reply with quote

Hi Shoebear, Lynn893 and all

You are absolutely right. I started to solve sudoko puzzles some months ago and I can still be considered a rookie. I started to submit solutions to the Clueless and Samurai games some weeks ago. I am a fast solver and I normally use the traditional means of solving the puzzles – pen and paper. I have not even used Clueless Helper yet.

I had always a very hard time believing that any submission to the Clueless games could be made under 20 minutes without any computerized aid. As someone earlier pointed out, no matter how fast your mind is it is mechanically impossible to solve the games in a few minutes. I have therefore been wondering how some people can post 5-15 minute solution time week after week. When two weeks ago someone who normally posts 5-10 minute solution time requested a countdown for game #42 in order to assure himself again the first spot – that got me going.

I don’t buy Nouggies explanation. Nor do I agree with him that you can solve the puzzle by concentrating on the center grid. Well, it works if you are lucky but sometimes you have to solve a large part of the puzzle to be assured of a correct center solution. To me it was obvious that he uses a computer program. I commend PeteTy to be open about using his own program although I don’t agree principally.

Therefore I decided to make a point. I designed a program that quickly gives me all hidden pairs-, triplets, x-wings etc. in addition to a branch search routine. This was a very educational exercise and in fact even more fun that solving a sudoku puzzle. With this I can find a solution very quickly. I can probably go on posting 1 minute solutions week after week or at least until someone comes up with something better. It is unfair, it is boring, so what’s the point.

I am not a list addict. I just wanted to show other computer-aided players that if they can use computerized aid it then I can do it faster. A 1 minute solution is ridiculous and I am glad that it gets attention to the issue. The exercise has fulfilled its purpose, in fact I have already destroyed the computer program. I have no intention of posting any one minute solutions again but instead I ask my fellow “less than 20 minutes” competitors to join me in solving sudoku games the way they should be solved – with pen, paper (or clueless helper) and your 81 grey cells.

I will continue to submit solutions in the future but you will see much more modest times from me.

A recommendation to Ruud:

In order to avoid any future computer solutions would it possible to shift the blue cell in the Clueless Explotion game randomly within the 3x3 box. (Same principle would apply to Clueless Special where the blue box is shifted within the 9x9 grid) so that the blue cells (boxes) are always lined up horizontally and vertically. You can thereby get 729 different configurations although the same principles for the game apply. I think this would be very hard for any computer player.



Rgds,

Tomas
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Ruud
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PostPosted: Thu May 10, 2007 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomas,

Thanks for your explanation. When I randomize the position of the blue cells/boxes, this info needs to be passed on to the Clueless Helper, so other programmers will also be able to read this info. But I will take it into consideration, as it may add some spice to the puzzles. Cool

To all players:

It is unavoidable that some people are using software to solve the competition puzzles.

Although it must be rewarding to see your name in the list, I sincerely hope that most of you human players are Clueless & Samurai addicts and not list addicts. There is no bonus for submitting a solution within minutes, so nobody will experience any negative effects. When you solve a puzzle on paper or with the Helper only, at least you are having a good time. As Tomas demonstrated, there is no fun in having a program do the solving.

cheers,
Ruud
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Glyn
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomas

Well done for the thorough explanation of the times. Shame you have destroyed the program, perhaps you could have exchanged a few ideas with Ruud on this. regarding puzzle grading. Don't see much of this at the programmers' site.

The place for computer solving is either as a learning aid or when trying to construct puzzles and check their solvability using a battery of logical techniques. Not much point with purely DLX as I'm sure it could get below a second, and only proves uniqueness. Of course to program the methods you have to learn them thoroughly as well so you've benefited from this exercise anyway.

All the best,

Glyn
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TKollen
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 1:10 am    Post subject: Clueless Explosion #42 Reply with quote

Glyn,

Thanks for your understanding. Although the computer program does not exist as a computer file I have it 100% memorized and the program could easily be recreated quickly.

The program, or algoritm, typically gives me a solution within a few seconds. What probably makes it different is that besides "finding pairs, triplets etc." is a branch search algoritm that works on a "shortest path basis" and kicks in when the computer does not find any naked or hidden singles, nor any new results from pair-triplet-quad-X-wing search.

I still think that a human solution would require lesser steps than the program since the human can process graphics and overview of the game better than a computer can.


Best Regards,

Tomas
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Shoebear
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tomas,

Congratulations on a very effective strategy!

If your aim was raise people's shackles, you certainly succeeded and thus succeeded in very pointedly drawing attention to a problem that we both see!!

Nice to know that you're "human" and that you'll be submitting "human" solutions in future! Very Happy

Ruud,

Your quote below amused me:

Ruud wrote:

Although it must be rewarding to see your name in the list, I sincerely hope that most of you human players are Clueless & Samurai addicts and not list addicts.
Laughing

Knowing people like PeteTy and myself from the www.sudoku.org.uk site, you must realize that some of us are list addicts as well as being Clueless, Samurai, Jigsaw, Killer, etc. addicts.
What is important for me is to SEE (on screen) that I'm progressing - that I'm delivering a solution worked out by ME that is right week-for-week. But I don't envy others for their position on the list - on the contrary, the more the merrier!!

Further down you wrote the following:

Ruud wrote:

There is no bonus for submitting a solution within minutes, so nobody will experience any negative effects.


You're right in as far we're not missing out on a bonus. BUT those times are an indicator for me and others that we've got "doped" solvers on the list (i.e. solvers who many of us feel are using unfair means to get where they are). Sad I don't mind them using a program to solve your challenges. I just feel that they then shouldn't be entering their solutions, but rather just quietly enjoy their "triumphs" in the closet.

The English have the attitude that the question of "having a level playing field" is important. I agree with them.
I know you can't stop people submitting puzzles that their software solved for them.
So, in a last sentence, I am just going to appeal to them:
C'mon guys, take up the challenge. Pencil, paper, rubber and, at the most, Ruud's Clueless solver!!!

Happy solving everyone,

Yuri Very Happy
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Marlie
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PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tomas
Thanx for your explanation. I know understand why you did what you did.
I am glad that we will see you with a more normal solving time in the list after this moment.
Welcome back Very Happy
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Pete
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PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2007 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think people are casting aspersions again...
Ive heard my name mentioned.

I am a List addict for sure.

Most of the solvers have that brute force bifuracating thingy when the puzzle loads... i took it out of mine. much more fun to code the xwings and stuff... when the program gets stuck i use all this stuff im learning to go beyond what ive coded.

I do enjoy the programming part more than the puzzles. the helpers eliminate these stupid mistakes I make ... I hate going back and restarting... when i did these on the newspaper and went back and erased sometimes i got the clues too That can turn an easy to an unsolvable.

Im also pretty sure If i take the time i program add it to the time the puzzle times ... it would probably take longer than the pencil and paper...
at least on the first 50 puzzles.

I did do my first few cluelless puzzles with pencil and paper(2-3hrs).
probably about 10 killers too, those go a lot faster with innies and outies.


This is why I wrote my program. I didnt discover Sumocue until much later.


On the other hand

Ruud: "When I randomize the position of the blue cells/boxes, this info needs to be passed on to the Clueless Helper, so other programmers will also be able to read this info. But I will take it into consideration, as it may add some spice to the puzzles."

Before we go shifting the cluelss boxes around...

how about something more pleasing and artistic.

clueless big bang

1-9 given grids are asterisk

Code:
.........
....*....
..*...*..
.*..*..*.
..*...*..
....*....
.........


asterisk* could be alternated with the center dot+

*+*
+*+
*+*

or perhaps

+*+
*+*
+*+

You could add regular clueless in there too, N5 to puzzle 10.

+*N
*+*
N*+

the N5 transfer should be the hardest puzzle (Straight clueless)
Since it doesnt give the extra help like the asterisk or the centerdot.
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Nouggie
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well done, Yuri.

I have taken up your challenge...."Pencil, paper, rubber and, at the most, Ruud's Clueless solver!!!" Limiting computer assistance to the Clueless Helper levels the playing field, makes for a better contest, and is certainly a more satisfying way to solve the puzzles. But everyone needs to cooperate. Hopefully all will be back in the fold for tomorrow's Clueless Special.

If not, Ruud should establish a guideline for the contest puzzles that computer software other than the Clueless Helper is discouraged.

A good weekend to everyone.
A pleasant Memorial Day holiday weekend to the Americans.
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rcbroughton
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2007 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
By far, however, the most spectacular time posted belongs to Richard Broughton on Clueless Special #59.
My best to you both

Fame at last!

Sorry I missed this lively debate.

I stopped looking at the competition lists some time ago as it was obvious that a lot of the top times were augmented. The only way I could get in on 7 mins on that one was to get the puzzle seconds after it was posted and use a helper to do the drudge work of singles for me.
I just looked at the latest ones and it still looks like some very quick times. I could just turn loose a computer solver on it and post back in 30 seconds, but what's the point?
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Nouggie
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:59 pm    Post subject: Explosion #57 Reply with quote

Ruud,

Excellent puzzle today, deserving of its rating. Thanks.
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