Assassin 50+ Rating Update: to uA100

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Assassin 50+ Rating Update: to uA100

Post by sudokuEd »

Changes to uA99 v1.5 & 99.5 by Frank
Assassin 50-59 & 60-79 moved to the end of this thread
mhparker wrote:0.5: Typical newspaper "Deadly". Intended to be done using only limited pencilmarks.

0.75: Easy Assassin, like some of the very early ones, such as A1. Rarely seen now: all recent Assassins would have at least a 1.0 rating on this scale.

1.0: "Average" V1 Assassin (looking back over a longer period of time). Something like A57, perhaps.

1.25: Harder Assassin. Actually, most recent Assassins seem to have become more difficult than they traditionally used to be. So a ratingof"1.25" would be considered the norm now. Typical example: A59.

1.5: Hard Assassin, having a significantly longer and/or narrower solution path, and/or requiring more advanced techniques. The A60 was definitely one of these.

1.75: Very hard Assassin, but still not hard enough to require a team effort to solve. Does not require any hypotheticals. The A60RP-Lite could maybe deserve such a rating.

2.0: Traditional "V2" standard, typically requiring a team effort and maybe (but not necessarily) involving limited use of hypotheticals. Example: A55V2.

2.5: Requires a team effort and several short to medium length hypotheticals. The TJK18 and A48-Hevvie would probably fall into this category.

3.0: "Ruudiculous", requiring a team effort and massive hypotheticals to solve, if it can be solved at all. The A50V2 and (possibly) A60RP could be considered examples of this.

4.0: Puzzles with unique solutions, but which can only realistically be solved by computer programs using backtracking (brute force).

Assassin 80+ & Forum Killers' (& Killer X) Ratings

List in (mostly) chronological order.

Assassin 80 (Rating 1.50)

Assassin 2X (Rating 1.50)
Assassin 2X Lite (Rating 1.0)

Assassin 81 (Rating 1.0)

Assassin 82 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 82 V2X (Rating 1.50)

Assassin 83 (Rating 1.50)

Assassin 84 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 84 V2.38 (Rating 1.50)

Radial (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 85 (Original) (Rating 2.50)
Assassin 85 (Suitabled version) (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 86 (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 73 V1.5 (Rating Hard 1.50)

Assassin 87 (Rating Hard 1.0)

Assassin 88 (Rating Hard 1.25)

Assassin 89 (Rating 1.25)
Bored89-Easy (Rating 1.25)
Bored89-Hard (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 90 (Rating Hard 1.75)

Assassin 91 (Rating 1.25)

Maverick 3 (Rating 1.25)
Maverick 4 (Rating Hard 1.50)

Unofficial Assassin 93 (uA93) (Rating 1.0)

Unofficial Assassin 94 (uA94) (Rating 1.25)
Yet Another killer (YaK) #94 (Rating Hard 1.25)

(unofficial) Assassin 95 (uA95) (Rating 1.25)
nd's #9 (aka Night of the Living Sudoku) (Rating easy 1.75)

(Unofficial) Assassin 96 YAK 96v1 (Rating 0.75)
(Unofficial) Assassin 96 V1.5 (Rating Easy 1.25)
YAK 96V2 (Rating 1.75)

(Unofficial) Assassin 97 (UA 97) (Rating 1.0)
(Unofficial) Assassin 97 V1.5 (Rating Hard 1.25)
(Unofficial) Assassin 97 V2 (UA97 V2) (Rating Easy 1.5)[changed from Hard 1.25]

Special: Windoku-Killer 1 (Rating 1.0)(NOTE: multiple solutions)

(unofficial) Assassin 98 (uA98) (Rating 1.25)
(unofficial) Assassin 98 v2 (uA98v2) (Rating easy 1.5)

Unofficial Assassin 99 (UA 99) (Rating 1.0)
Unofficial Assassin 99 V1.5 (UAv1.5) (Rating Hard 1.25)(note: changed from 1.50)
Unofficial Assassin 99.5 (UA99v.5) (Rating Hard 1.25)

(Unofficial) Assassin 100 (Rating 1.50)
Rating 4.0

Rating 3.0

Rating 2.5

Assassin 85 (Original version)
Cathy w wrote: I have 3 placements and am totally stuck. Tried it again using JS which cannot solve it!
Ruud wrote:The phrase "******* Puzzle Not completed. *******" just scrolled out of sight in the solver log. The Assassin has been replaced with a more suitable puzzle
herschko wrote: I was wondering I had to resort to massive guessing to get this done
Nasenbaer wrote: It's definitely real hard work to crack this thing. 4 hours now and just a few steps. Oh well.... I think we have to either use chains or give Ruud the satisfaction of defeating us
Andrew wrote:it will be interesting to see if anyone, or any software solver, can come up with a solution without using chains
Andrew wrote:I think we have just finished a puzzle rated at 2.5. It definitely required a team effort and we used a fair number of contradiction moves as well as Mike's AIC in step 40. I don't think we quite reached massive hypotheticals
Afmob wrote:I'll agree with the rating of 2.5 because of the size of some of the chains we used
tag solution by Andrew, mhparker, Afmob & Nasenbaer, from
Rating 2.0

Rating 1.75

Assassin 90
frank wrote:My procedure for attacking Assassins...4. If the grid turns every colour of the rainbow and the log
file says "No enabled solver can progress !" head off to the pub...6. I am off to the pub! Smile
mhparker wrote:Ruud certainly seems to have turned up the heat with his recent Assassins! In bygone times, we used to create V2's based on the same cage pattern. Now, if anything, the only practical option left is to create a "Lite"version!
Nasenbaer wrote: This assassin drives me crazy. I've already used several chains (and two sheets of paper) in 45 steps but still only 3 placements. Evil or Very Mad. I think I'm missing something significant...
goooders wrote:When was the last time, errors excepted, that an assassin hasnt been completed on day 1?
HATMAN wrote:this one is a complete swine. Frank... I agree with you, Guinness being my preference
Afmob (on Bored89 thread) wrote:right now, I would love to have some easier assassins which aren't of rating 1.25-1.5 since they are the most fun to solve
Afmob wrote:Seems my plea didn't get heard Laughing....this monster.Rating: Hard 1.75
Nasenbaer wrote:This assassin was a real beast...almost gave up. SudokuSolver rates it as 1.61 which is much too low in my opinion. The rating of hard 1.75 from Afmob seems ok with me
goooders wrote:This was horrible.Took me nearly 10 hours.And near on 2 bottles of sauvignon blanc/chardonnay.If anything I would go north of 1.75
Andrew wrote:Like everyone else I found A90 a really tough Assassin (but) my solution used fairly heavy combination and permutation analysis (not chains)..(though) I agree with Afmob's rating of Hard 1.75
Walk-through by Afmob with some forcing chains and one (or two) contradiction chain(s)
2.5 hour solution using a contradiction "move" outline by gary w
Walk-through by Andrew using techniques similiar to those used in his solving Brick Wall
YAK 96 V2 by Jean-Christophe
Jean-Christophe wrote: rating "not sure it's hard enough for regular members"..SudokuSolver v3.0 scores: V2: 1.79 JSudoku cannot solve V2..I designed ...(tricky) moves..
Afmob wrote:UA 96 V2 was quite challenging and interesting ..It had a regular X-Wing which you don't find that often in Killers...Compared to ND #9 my moves wheren't much more complicated but it took me some time to find them ... That's why I rate UA 96 V2 higher..Rating: 1.75. I used combo analysis and a forcing chain
Walk-through by Afmob
Explaining "tricky" moves used to design by Jean-Christophe
Bored89-Hard(x-killer) by Nasenbaer
Afmob wrote:What a tough Killer. There was only little progress you could make with no breakthrough moves at all but by picking off every candidate one by one ... Rating: 1.75. I used some heavy combination analysis ...
Nasenbaer wrote:I didn't think it had the quality to be named Assassin
Grandmaster Andrew wrote:Easy was definitely of Assassin quality and I'm sure that Hard will be even more so..I'm hoping to have a go at Hard
Andrew wrote:A really challenging puzzle....Changing the cages in N5 took away the useful 5(2) cage in C6 making it a lot harder than the Easy version....Some of the key solving involves 4 outies....Since my combination analysis was only moderately heavy, I'll rate this puzzle as Hard 1.5
Walkthrough by Afmob with what could be considered as very short chain-like contradiction
Walk-through by Andrew including summaries of combination and permutation analysis
nd's #9 (aka Night of the Living Sudoku) SS(v3)score 2.45
sudokuEd wrote:I spent Easter '06 trying to solve this beauty and have been hopelessly hooked on (difficult) killers ever since
Afmob wrote:you could totally ignore some nonets to crack it ....At first I wanted to rate it 1.75 but I discovered that the complex combo analysis I had used wasn't necessary to solve it so I deleted it from my wt. Rating: 1.5. I used one forcing chain and a Hidden Killer quad
mhparker wrote:Afmob's 1.5 rating! Shocked (<-- very surprised, because I would have expected a 1.75 - or even a 2.0 Exclamation - here, due to need for a chain to break the deadlock)
sudokuEd wrote:Afmob, some really great moves in steps 1-3! But your first instinct works much better for me - no way could I seriously put this classic onto the rating sticky as a 1.5 (more like a 2.0 with that type of chain)!
Afmob wrote:I rated ND 9 only "1.5" because when I solved it, it flowed quite well meaning I didn't really came to halt despite those difficult moves. Also my wt is quite short and doesn't have this many ! moves where as my other 1.75 walkthroughs are usually quite large and have many ! moves and they also wouldn't be cracked with one chain only... So maybe it's more a hard 1.5. Compared to UA97 V2 which I'm tackling at the moment (made 4 placements so far) ND9 is way easier
Rating 1.5

Maverick 4 by Nasenbaer
Nasenbaer wrote:We're all still waiting to hear from Ruud. prevent deprivation I give you a new one. Hopefully there is no shortcut this time. Twisted Evil. (RS-rating: 1.9 - but I think that's too high, maybe a hard 1.5
Afmob wrote:That was a demanding Killer. The moves might be of rating 1.5 but it took me really long to find them so I rate it higher than Nasenbaer suggested. Rating: 1.75
mhparker wrote:The first 11 moves in my WT (out of the 13 I've managed to find up to now) are all "45" tests(!). As to the difficulty level, Mavericks don't need to always be so hard. Indeed, if no original Assassins appear for a while, we're going to need some in the 1.0 - 1.25 rating range
Andrew wrote:I'm still working at it, making some progress each session. So far 20(!) different "45" tests in 31 steps..(eventually) looked at another 5 of them
Andrew wrote:I didn't find this one quite as difficult as Maverick 1, which most people rated as a Hard 1.5, so I'll also rate Maverick 4 as a Hard 1.5. I didn't feel that my combination analysis justified a higher rating; it was fairly routine after the heavy analysis used for some recent puzzles
on uA93 thread Caida wrote:I have been struggling with Maverick #4 (and may soon have to just take a peek at the posted walkthroughs)
mhparker wrote:some of my moves were maybe a bit "OTT" (i.e., "over the top")! Very Happy Afmob and Andrew will probably have a good laugh at this one, when they see what techniques I was resorting to! As to the rating, it definitely deserves a 1.75 from the point-of-view of the techniques I was using
Afmob wrote:..different solving approaches. ..Though we all used different moves it seems that the key areas to crack this puzzle are .... by either combo analyzing their Innies or using chains in that region
Andrew wrote:Having gone through all three walkthroughs again today, I wondered whether I was right with my rating (hard 1.5?) but then remembered the reason I gave with my walkthrough; I found Maverick 1 harder to solve than this one, particularly in how long they took
Walk-through by Afmob
Walk-through by Andrew which finds the diagonals very helpful, not just for uniqueness
OTT Walk-through by mhparker including Grouped AIC & Grouped Turbot Fish
Detailed comparison of the 3 posted walk-throughs by Andrew
Assassin 84 version 2.38
Caida wrote: I didn't find this any harder than the original version - so I would put it as a 1.25 also
mhparker wrote: I think it's slightly harder than the V1, so I would rate it as 1.5..The use of the chain .. (although fairly quick to spot) was the reason for my rating of 1.5
mhparker about Jsudoku log wrote:Step 4 is an advanced (i/o) move that would be enough to justify a 1.5 rating
Afmob wrote:I used the same breakthrough move.. as Mike.. by using a forcing chain. Rating: Easy 1.5. Without using the forcing chain this assassin would have required lots of combo crunching
Andrew wrote: I tried to solve it without using a chain but gave up ..I'll rate A84V2 as 1.5 using the contradiction chain. I wonder what the rating would be without using it?
mhparker wrote: I would personally rate JSudoku's "no chain" solution path as "only" 1.75
Walk-through by Caida
Partial walk-through of key steps by mhparker
JSudoku log without chain move compiled by mhparker
Walk-through by Afmob
Walk-through by Andrew
Analysis of non-T&E chain (where none of the links depend on the side-effects (i.e., candidate/combo eliminations) of any preceding links) by mhparker
Assassin 2X (A2X) by mhparker
mhparker wrote: Est. rating: 1.75..Yeah, looks pretty straightforward, I know... Wink..this is more like a traditional V2, which (whilst having easier
sections) generally involves more of a fight to dig away at the candidates
Caida wrote: After several false starts I have finally managed to finish A2X. I don't know that I would rate this as a 1.75 (I managed to finish it through perseverance) but I could see rating it as 1.5
Afmob wrote: Rating: 1.5, had some difficult moves but not too many of them
Andrew wrote: There seems to be a very narrow solving path (to begin). It certainly took a lot more work after that. I'll agree with both of them and rate A2X as 1.5
Walk-through by Caida with key moves close to the beginning
Walk-through by Afmob with Killer XY-Wing
Walk-through by Andrew
(Unofficial) Assassin 100 (UA100) by mhparker
mhparker wrote:this Assassin is a bit tougher than usual. Your creativity is called for..(Est. rating: 1.5) SudokuSolver v3.0 scores this at 1.41
Afmob wrote:What a tough Killer! It reminded me of Maverick 1 because of the use of (standard) Sudoku techniques ... to crack it though UA 100 was a bit tougher..Rating: 1.5. I used colouring

Assassin 82 V2X (aka Killer X-mas Tree)
Ruud wrote:It is solvable by logic, but you need a lot of it
Afmob wrote: it was tough to find the solution since it took me a long time to find the key moves. Rating: 1.5, it had only few advanced moves but those were difficult to find
Surprisingly short Walk-through by Afmob
Assassin 80
mhparker wrote: It was a tough puzzle. Rating = 1.5? .. this puzzle is very similar in difficulty to the A78
gary w wrote: puzzle... so well solution depended critically on exactly the same part of the grid that Mike concentrated on..Yes,let's go for 1.5
Caida wrote: I found this one difficult but definitely doable (I managed without peeking at anyone else's walkthrough)..this was more difficult than "the norm" but it wasn't as crazy difficult as others have been. Thus my rating of 1.5
Afmob wrote: This was quite a tough assassin. Rating: 1.5 .. I found those moves in A80 were harder to spot and the solving path was quite narrow
goooders wrote:i agree with afmob ,his rating and his reasoning its a 1.5 for me
Andrew wrote:I found it distinctly harder (than A78)....
After coming to a dead halt several days ago I came back to A80 yesterday and looked for things I'd missed before....but not enough
mhparker wrote: I now agree with a rating of 1.5 for this one
Walk-through by mhparker with not so easy to spot step 17
Walk-through by Caida with creative colouring move
Walk-through by Afmob without lots of little eliminations
Walk-through by Andrew with one contradiction move
Assassin 83
Ruud wrote:A tough Assassin with a few large cages. Also a test to see if a high rating by a solver program really represents a tough killer
gooders wrote: i would guess it's about 1.25 on the basis it took me 1 to 2 hours
Afmob wrote: Rating: Hard 1.25. It needed some detailed Innies+Outies analysis
gary w wrote:I'ld agree with a 1.25 rating.Once you see the key areas of the puzzle to work on comes out quite readily
mhparker wrote: it took me a long time to even find a way into the puzzle without using some sort of contradiction move. Therefore, I have no hesitation in giving this one a rating of 1.5
Andrew wrote: I found it difficult to make progress in the early stages. Because of the difficulty of getting into this puzzle, I rate it a moderate 1.5
Walk-through principles by goooders
Walk-through by Afmob without little eliminations that led to nothing
Walk-through by mhparker
Walk-through by Andrew which makes the beginning look easy and some interesting pre-breakthrough moves
(Unofficial) Assassin 98 V2 (UA98V2) by mhparker
mhparker wrote:(Est. rating: 1.75)..SudokuSolver v3.0 scores this at 2.28, but of course...
Afmob wrote:despite its difficulty was really fun to solve. Thanks Mike! I thought that I had to use chains to crack it because of SS's rating and JSudoku needs XY-Chains to solve it, but ...
sudokuEd wrote:Been trying for nearly 18 months (since UTA) to be able to use this trick to solve a puzzle. I'm tempted to call this way a hard 1.25 rating, but lets settle for easy 1.50 Cool
Andrew wrote:I felt that V2 was easier (than the original) but that was probably because of what I'd learned from solving V1. Also I think there were more key moves in my V2 solution. For those reasons I'll rate V2 as an Easy 1.5 rather than a Hard 1.25
Afmob wrote:Note that the structure of the puzzle also allows one of JC's favorite moves - overlap
Andrew wrote:Ed made more use of it (overlap) in his solution

(Unofficial) Assassin 97 V2 (UA97 V2) by Jean-christophe
Jean-Christophe wrote:here is one rated 1.88 by SS
Afmob wrote:This Killer was truly devilish. It took me really long to find the important moves.. I think my step 6a (the most difficult one) is more a contradiction chain than combo analysis, so I tend to rate this Assassin 2.0
Afmob wrote:Edit: As shown by JC, this Killer can be solved in an easier way, so my rating is way off (though it fits my wt
gary w wrote:Yes,the last version of 97 was horrible!!
Jean-christophe wrote:UA97 V2 is not that hard if you spot the right In/outies
Afmob wrote:Judging from JC's continued wt, UA97 V2 would be of rating (hard) 1.25
Andrew wrote:That was really neat to create a puzzle with 3 IOUs in R7..IMHO the overlap of R7C3467 and R7C456 is easier to spot than J-C's way. Having solved it myself with help on that one step, I felt that it had a long solution and a fairly narrow solving path with many of my key steps the same as those used by J-C, so I'll rate uA97 V2 at 1.5
Rating 1.25

Unofficial Assassin 99 V1.5 (UA 99 V1.5) by Afmob
Afmob wrote:Estimated rating: 1.25 SS Score: 1.28 This variant should give you a bit more trouble since it doesn't crumble after the first placements
mhparker wrote:Indeed! Took me over twice as long to get to all singles compared to the V1! A monster of a "1.25" rating if ever there was one! Felt like at least a 1.5 to me!
Andrew wrote:I'll rate uA99 V1.5, as reworked (walk-through), as a Hard 1.25
Walk-through by mhparker that's huge even in tt
an alternative (technically easier) route by mhparker (suggested by Afmob)
Re-worked Walk-through by Andrew
(Unofficial) Assassin 97 V1.5 by Jean-Christophe
Jean-Christophe wrote:I joined two cages and here is one rated 1.41 by SS
Afmob wrote:Rating: (Hard?) 1.25. I used Killer pairs and some Innies+Outies analysis
gary w wrote:so I'ld rate it about 1.25
Andrew wrote:It looks as if a very short forcing chain, Afmob's step 7a, my step 30, is one of the key moves in this puzzle..I'll go slightly higher than Afmob and rate uA97 V1.5 as an Easier 1.5. Most of my steps 29 to 34 were fairly difficult to find. Maybe it's a Hard 1.25 for those using software solvers and an Easier 1.5 for those of us who don't

(Unofficial) Assassin 99.5 by frank
frank wrote:Don't be fooled by the equatorial nonets. They are designed to lull you into a sense of false security. The Assassin shows its true colours when you venture forth to the poles. SS rating 1.29
gary w wrote:Took me just under the really difficult moves so I'ld rate it about 1.0
Andrew wrote:Easy progress in the middle three rows with several cells fixed and the remaining cages and hidden cages down to 1 or 2 combinations. Then .. it was a very long time before this puzzle finally crumbled. In some ways it felt a bit like a mini version of the Brick Wall
Andrew wrote:Although most of my moves weren't difficult ones, some of them were hard to find and it's a very long solving path so I'll rate uA99.5 at 1.5
Afmob wrote:(fun and challenging) Killer. The most important move (combo analysis of Outies) which I don't look for too often but ... which is also the reason why I don't rate it 1.5. Rating: Hard 1.25
Long solving path Walk-through by Andrew
Reluctant Walk-through by Afmob

Assassin 88
In the lead-in Ruud wrote:This Assassin will give you a busy week ... or at least the weekend
Afmob wrote: it's quite stubborn in the end game (my first version was about 30% longer)..Rating: 1.25. I used some Killer triples
gary w wrote: I found this one rather harder than most recent least it took me longer to do,about 3 hours or so. Having said that I didn't use any advanced moves..couldn't really find a "neat" move for this one!!
Andrew wrote:It took me until the end of the weekend, working on and off, to solve A88. Like Gary I had to do a lot of combo work. .. Gary must be a quicker solver than I am; it took me much longer than 3 hours. I guess I'll still rate A88 as 1.25 but definitely one of the hardest of that rating for me.
Andrew wrote:In Afmob's walkthrough..I think steps 5g and 5h were also key ones that removed the need for a lot of combo work
gary w wrote: It's not that I'm a particularly fast solver but that I don't normally keep a wt as I go along ..Yes,I think I would rate no.88 as close to 1.5 ..quite a bit tougher than some other recent assassins
Andrew wrote: in the past few months I've been putting steps in the correct place if they were ones I felt that I ought to have spotted earlier; ... If that happens several times, as it does for some puzzles, it adds a lot to my solving time
Assassin 89
sublue wrote:put this one down as disturbingly easy
Hatman wrote:I agree - managed it in one session over my (early) lunch..I remember starting with heavy work on...
Afmob wrote:I can't say that this assassin was "disturbingly" easy or moderate...since I used a chain to crack it. Rating: Easy 1.5. I had to use a small chain
gary w wrote:Yes, much easier than last week's
mhparker wrote:Managed to find 90 minutes or so to have a crack at this one, and promptly failed to make any real impression onit. I now look forward to reading the other WTs.. and discovering which easy moves missed!
Andrew wrote:Hope you can find some of them below. Wink .....I'll rate A89 as a moderate to hard 1.25. I don't think steps 25 and 26 require a higher rating
on Bored89 thread Afmob wrote:A89 is of rating 1.25 (I rated it 1.5 but Andrew showed an easier way to solve it)
(unofficial) Assassin 98 (uA98) by sudokuEd
sudokuEd wrote: SS(v3)score is 1.25. Feels spot on
Afmob wrote:I found a nice and very helpful Hidden Killer quint which cracks this puzzle which you don't see to often (though it might be a bit of a overkill compared to the suggested rating)
Afmob wrote:I also think that the SudokuSolver rating is spot on, but I rate my wt (Hard) 1.25 because of the "overkill" move Wink
mhparker wrote:I'll rate it as a middle-of-the-road 1.25, because I didn't use any "overkill" moves
Afmob wrote:Mike's and my breakthrough move for V1 are quite similar but it can be solved in a different way which isn't more difficult
Andrew wrote:I clearly found...uA98 much harder than Afmob and Mike did..didn't use any very difficult steps but since it took me a long time to spot the breakthrough move I'll rate uA98 as an Extremely Hard 1.25
Afmob wrote:V1 could be solved in a normal (aka not hard) 1.25 way. I discovered this way of solving it with the help of Mike's step 2
sudokuEd wrote:I used outies n69 rather than Afmob's more productive i/o n69 (his "easier uA98 WT"). I also liked how there were so many i/o possibilities all over the place

Yet Another killer (YaK) #94 by Jean-Christophe
Afmob wrote:I thought this one was a monster since SS rated it 2.02 and JSudoku used XY-Chains and Turbot Fishes to crack it. But I managed to crack it in (with) two moves... there is nothing complicated about this and even those moves are easy to see I think. Rating: 1.25
mhparker wrote:I agree, although probably a high 1.25
Andrew wrote:Although I used the same key moves as the others, I missed one early move....Missing that early step didn't seem to make the solution path any harder so I'll also rate this puzzle 1.25
sudokuEd wrote:Even knowing there was an easy way to solve this one, it took me many hours to find the key. Felt more like the SSscore to me - but then starting again to get straight to the unlocker: how easy Very Happy
Walkthrough by Afmob
Optimised Walk-through by mhparker
Walk-through by Andrew including a couple of fun steps later
Reasons for SudokuSolverv3 & JSudoku finding this puzzle hard going by sudokuEd & mhparker starting at
Examples of Para using Almost Locked Sets Blockers by mhparker
Another example of 2-cell Almost Locked Set (ALS) (+1) by sudokuEd
Assassin 91
Afmob wrote:This was a fun assassin since I got to use Killer triples and Killer quads. It took me more time than it should have. Rating: Hard 1.25
gary w wrote:I think Afmob's rating is about right.I didn't use any really hard moves solving this killer
Andrew wrote:took me a long time to solve. ... It took me several sessions to spot.. my first key move. Therefore although my steps weren't hard ones, I'll rate A91 as a lower range 1.5
mhparker on Maverick 3 thread wrote: definitely a notch (below 1.5) . I managed (it) in under two hours
Unofficial Assassin 94 (UA94) by mhparker
mhparker wrote:Est. rating: 1.5
Caida wrote: I can't remember off-hand how the ratings go - but this didn't "feel" too difficult. I think it's about a 1 (maybe 1.25)
Afmob wrote:It'll be interesting to see if other users can solve it without resorting to the one difficult move..Rating: 1.25. This is a one-trick pony and I think this one move Caida and I used is too difficult/advanced for a 1.0 Killer
Andrew wrote:Wow, this was a tough one! It stretched my brain power to the limit...If I had to rate this puzzle, then it's a 1.25 just on the moves but if difficuly in finding the key breakthrough is taken into account then IMHO it's a 1.5
Walk-through by Caida
Walk-through by Afmob
Walk-through by Andrew with some interesting combined cages

Bored89-Easy(x-killer) by Nasenbaer
Afmob wrote:I haven't solved it but tried and it seems to be at least as tough as A89
mhparker wrote:have been chipping away at it. Despite the name, it's actually proving to be quite a tough puzzle
sublue wrote:Bored89 Easy was too hard. So I looked at Bored89 Hard. Couldn't do that one either. ... It suddenly occurred to me that these 2 puzzles would have to have the same solution, since only N5 differed. So by comparing the two N5s I got a digit placed very easily. Suddenly I had a grip on the thing and was able to solve it (them) with only moderate annoyance
Andrew wrote:It is "Easy" but only after one finds the key move....I must admit that I was also struggling until I spotted step 3a..(which) isn't a difficult move but it's hard to spot. Obviously I can't take into account the time "wasted" before that step so I'll rate Bored89-Easy as a 1.25
mhparker wrote:this .. puzzle.. looked impossible at the beginning, due to the huge number of candidates still left after the (relatively few) preliminaries. There were also some good X-moves in there. The difficulty level was just right for me. As for the rating, I'll go along with Andrew's 1.25
sudokuEd wrote:Don't agree with 'easy' even with (Andrew's) step 3a. I managed to see that one early but still found it a really good tussle...All five of us agree on the rating of 1.25
Walk-through by Andrew including elims on diagonals because they are easy to overlook and including a puzzle design idea "trap"
Walk-through by mhparker including a blockbuster hidden killer pair
Assassin 86
Afmob wrote: This killer was strange since it took me a long time to find the key moves although they were quite easy to see..Rating: 1.25. This assassin could be solved quite quickly if you find the right moves
mhparker wrote:This was a difficult puzzle, because there are 2 critical moves that are difficult to spot. If you don't get both of them, you'll have an exceedingly hard time solving this Assassin! I'm glad Afmob rated this puzzle as 1.25... However, because of the narrow solving path, some people may find it subjectively harder than that, or have difficulty completing the puzzle at all
gary w wrote:I'ld rate it about 1.25 again really based on time to complete..not very scientific I'll admit.!!Took me about 1.5 hours
Andrew wrote:It took me a very long time to spot.... the key move for this puzzle...any variant would almost certainly need to provide a similar step or it would risk becoming an Unsolvable
Walk-through by Afmob
Walk-through by mhparker
Outline steps by gary w
Walk-through by Andrew, not one of his best, including CPE Killer pair (feedback from mhparker)
mhparker's discussion of key CPE move, gary w's chains reworded as AICs, analysis of overlapping cages used by Andrew (and lesser extent by Afmob)
(unofficial) Assassin 95 (uA95) by sudokuEd
sudokuEd wrote:This puzzle has a ridiculously low SS(v3)score of 1.05. But it took about 6 sessions to finally find the 2 key moves...they are not hard moves, just very-hard-for-me to find. So, I give it a rating of 1.25
Afmob wrote:I agree with Ed that this Killer should be rated above 1.0. It took me some time to find step 5a (though the step itself is not difficult) Rating: (Easy) 1.25
gary w wrote:I'ld rate this as 1.25 at least..or maybe I'm out of practice!?
Andrew wrote:Afmob's steps 2d and 3b are the sort of steps that are so easy not to spot..Using an innie pair and an outie pair.. isn't a particularly common step. Steps 4a and 5c were also interesting. With those steps, together with Afmob saying that step 5a was difficult
to spot, I felt that it should have been rated 1.25 rather than (Easy) 1.25
mhparker wrote:I took a very similar route to Andrew..Despite avoiding a contradiction move, I would still go along with Andrew's rating of a typical 1.25, rather than an "easy 1.25"
Walk-through by AA (Addict Afmob)
Walk-through by Andrew including 1 contradiction move
Alt steps 18+ using 2-cell ALS blocker by mhparker
2 more Alt steps 18+ by sudokuEd including Y-Wing
Maverick 3 by Nasenbaer
Nasenbaer wrote:It consists only of 3-cell cages. I had a major problem with this design: the difficulty...But this one is a little higher: 1.5 on the RS(v2.2.3)-Scale (Richard's-SudokuSolver(v2.2.3)-Scale).I wanted to name it Spiral of Death (because of the way it winds around) or Exercise in innies/outies (because of the the most used technique)
Afmob wrote:Nice cage pattern! Rating:1.25 since there is only one key move (combo analysis) and M3 can be solved in a short way
Hatman wrote:I did not find it too difficult, but I like outies minus innies and I immediately noticed ..
mhparker wrote:after two medium-sized sessions, I seem to have ground to a halt Brick wall , and am in danger of having to give up due to a "time out" (a self-imposed limit of 30 minutes without any eliminations). It certainly feels like a 1.5 so far..finally did it, after having missed the key moves completely..Total time around 4 hours!! Shocked
Andrew wrote:The spiral was very obvious when I was colouring the cages in my worksheet...I found this puzzle definitely easier than A91 and didn't get stuck like I did for that one. I'll therefore rate M3 as a Hard 1.25
Polished WT without lots of small steps by Afmob
Walk-through without DJape lingo by Hatman
Marks diagram by mhparker
Long walk-through by Andrew
Assassin 85 (Suitable version)
Afmob wrote:This killer had some nice Killer quads you could use to speed things up. Rating: 1.25
Andrew wrote: Afmob's step 2d is a neat one! It's unusual to spot a step like that so early. A85 (the modified one) .. which I rate at 1.25
gary w wrote: Yes,the 2nd version was just a bit easier than the 1st !! I'ld go along with a 1.25 rating
Walk-through by Afmob with a bit of combo analysis
Walk-through by Andrew with a killer single (step 3)
Outline of complex triple x-wing key move by gary w
Discussion of Killer single terminology for a digit locked in two cages with a possible distribution of 1:0 or 0:1 by mhparker
Assassin 82
Andrew wrote:This one felt a bit harder than last week so I'll rate it at 1.25
Afmob wrote:Rating: 1.25. It felt nearly as difficult as A81 but the moves I used here were more advanced
gary w wrote: Maybe I was lucky but this one turned out to be one of the easier ones for me..took about 45 mins to complete.I'ld rate it as 1.0 max
Walk-through by Andrew including cage over-lap and very different to Afmob's WT
Walk-through by Afmob including Killer triple
Outline by gary w
Assassin 84
Caida wrote: I would rate this a 1.25 - I don't think it was a particularly narrow solving path nor did I use any advanced techniques
Afmob wrote:Wow, this assassin had a lot of Killer pairs you could use and it was pretty stubborn before only singles were needed to solve it. Rating: 1.25
gary w wrote: Found this to be one of the easier assassins..took about 35-40 mins only
sudokuEd wrote:I seem to have found this Assassin a bit easier than Caida and Afmob... I'll give it a high 1.0. I never seemed to get stuck anywhere which I often do for 1.25 puzzles
Andrew wrote:I must admit that I did get stuck. After making good progress but ... I couldn't see what to do next. .For the reason given, I rate A84 at 1.25
mhparker wrote:Gary is correct. If you find the trick, you can start placing digits for this Assassin very can all be done without any detailed combination work whatsoever
goooders wrote: unlike gary i stared at this puzzle for an hour then realised the "trick" and finished it very quickly so overall if it took an hour and a half i would say 1.25 on the "back of an envelope"
Afmob wrote:there are other factors which change the rating (difficulty of seeing a move, how narrow is the solving path, is it a "one-trick-pony" or does it need lots of difficult moves) but in my opinion they aren't as important as the difficulty of the moves...Gary used an impressive move which quite shortens the walkthrough but Killers of rating 0.75 don't need those moves
mhparker wrote:My personal gut feeling is that it's probably an easy 1.25, .. easier than most 1.25-rated Assassins, (because) the solving path is quite wide
Andrew wrote: As for rating A84 using Mike's explanation of Gary's trick, it's probably still an easy 1.25. Looking at Mike's 3 steps I don't see how it can be rated any lower
gary w wrote:I think a 1.25 rating is reasonable..I think I was just lucky to spot the short cut
(Unofficial) Assassin 96 V1.5 (UA96 V1.5) Killer-X by mhparker
mhparker wrote:Est. rating: 1.5..SudokuSolver v3.0 scores this beauty at 1.83, but that's probably making a bit too much of a meal of it!
Afmob wrote:It seems Mike found another Killer where the SS rating is quite off..Rating: (Easy) 1.25. I used a Killer triple to crack it
Andrew wrote:I rate the way I solved this puzzle as Hard 1.25. However if the key move is used, then it becomes Easy 1.25 as rated by Afmob
Optimized walk-through by Jean-Christophe
Pre-optimized walk-through by Jean-Christophe
Walk-through by Afmob
Walk-through by Andrew without including URelims
Rating 1.0

(Unofficial) Assassin 97 (UA 97) by Afmob
Afmob wrote:Here is the first Killer I've created and published so far..(Estimated) Rating: SudokuSolver rates this one 0.96 but it can be solved in an easier way
Nasenbaer wrote:It took me a lot longer than I had thought. Somehow I always got sidetracked..with all the the things I might not have needed
sudokuEd wrote:I'd call this one a hard 1.0 rating since it took a long time to find my break-through. Not the type of move I look for very early. But admittedly, not that difficult
Jean-Christophe wrote:I personally did not found it really hard. I would even say it's easy if you're familiar with Kakuro
gary w wrote:I found this one fairly easy.Took me 35 minutes to complete which was OK,long enough for a Saturday evening!!If we rate the Times "deadly" killers as about 0.5 I'ld say this one is about 0.75
Andrew wrote:I also found uA97 hard going (I guess my "killer brain" had partly switched off!) until I realised that hidden cages .. can be used for clashes ... rather than just for clean-up eliminations. Then I restarted and found it a straightforward puzzle. Based on my re-worked solution I'll rate.. uA97 at 1.0
Walk-through the way he solved it by Nasenbaer
Walk-through that gets straight to the break-through by sudokuEd
Walk-through by Jean-christophe
Walk-through by Andrew including comments on in-line IOUs
Assassin 87
mhparker wrote:progression possible in big leaps and bounds. Rating: 1.0 ? Edit: Just seen that SS rates this at 1.88! Shocked
Afmob wrote:Like Mike I'm surprised that SS rated this one so high...Rating: Hard 1.0. I thought about rating it 1.25 but we had enough of them already Wink
Andrew wrote:there seems to be a general direction that has to be followed although it's definitely not a narrow solving path and not hard to find..Afmob also had interesting steps 1a, 1b and 5a. I'm not sure between hard 1.0 and easier 1.25 but I think I'll rate A87 an easier 1.25 for the way I solved it. However I'm expecting Ed to rate it 1.0 because of the key step that I missed.
Andrew wrote:ratings shouldn't be influenced by which ones are more common..typical Assassins, apart from the early ones, will normally be rated 1.25 so there will be more of that rating than anything else
Caida wrote:I didn't find it too difficult (once I drew the cages correctly)..I'd give it a rating of 1.25 - not bad - but not incredibly easy
gary w wrote:Well I know everything seems to be rated 1.25 these days but I'ld have to rate this one about.....1.25.It was roughly as difficult as many recent ones,I certainly found it no easier...Took about 2 hours...long enough !!!
Walk-through by mhparker
Walk-through by Afmob - similiar key moves to mhparker
Walk-through by Andrew
Walk-through by Caida with a 7 in the bottom right corner
Assassin 2X Lite (A2X-Lite)
mhparker wrote: Est. rating: 1.25
Caida wrote:much easier (than A2X) - nicer for my first attempt at a "Killer-X". I would consider rating A2XLite a 1.0
Nasenbaer wrote:Yes, A2X-Lite is much easier
Andrew wrote: I'd originally been thinking of rating it as an easier 1.25 but ..I'll make it a high 1.0
Reworked Walk-through by Caida
Walk-through by Nasenbaer with lots of jumping around
Reworked Walk-through by Andrew
Assassin 81
Nasenbaer wrote:an easy start which made me overconfident so I didn't take full notes... I would name it a 1.25...(but) I missed a major move in
Afmob wrote:This was an easy but nonetheless fun assassin. I was quite suprised that I could make some placements right from the start. Rating: 1.0. Only (simple) Innies+Outies and Killer pairs were needed to solve this one
Caida wrote:I found this one not too difficult - but it required (at least for me) some significant combo crunching. I'd rate it a 1.25
gary w wrote:not too many innies and outies which have been necessary lately. Not too difficult..??? about 1.25??
Andrew wrote: I had another look at innies/outies and managed to find the key one ... It definitely makes the solution quicker and easier. I therefore rate A81 as 1.0
mhparker wrote: did this one on paper using only rough pencilmarks, working out any necessary combinations by hand. So it can't be rated any higher than 1.0. And despite it being "easy", I still got stuck in a couple of places trying to find that "obvious" way forward...

Special: Windoku-Killer 1 by Nasenbaer
Nasenbaer wrote:Rating: I really don't know. ... Oh, one more thing one or the other might frown upon: you will need uniqueness to place the last numbers
Afmob wrote:I'm not a fan of uniqueness moves and this puzzle confirmed my opinion. I would accept them if otherwise there would be no solution but in this case without the UR there would be multiple solutions which are valid so I think they are also part of the final solution
Afmob wrote: Rating: (Hard) 1.0. The moves itself weren't difficult (apart from the UR) but I haven't solved a Windoku before so I made some false eliminations a couple of times
Jean-Christophe wrote:Uniqueness can be used only for grids with a unique solution which is not the case for this grid since it has 3 solutions. Confused i.e. this grid is invalid
sublue wrote:I really liked this puzzle until I got to the last 6 cells. There are 3 solutions as Afmob noted. I don't think that Uniqueness can be used to eliminate 2 of the solutions. I'd like to see another one of this type of puzzle
Nasenbaer wrote:(because of the additional constraints) .. The next one will be posted there (ie posted in the Puzzle section (Forum))
Walk-through by Afmob including the 3 possible solutions
Explanation about making a windoku killer by Nasenbaer
Unofficial Assassin 99 (UA 99) by Afmob
Afmob wrote:This assassin should warm you up on basic killer techniques.Estimated rating: 0.75 - 1.0; SS Score: 0.93
Andrew wrote: this puzzle didn't require such (any difficult) moves. I'll rate uA99 at 1.0; there was enough work the way I did it
gary w wrote:Took me 45-50 mins and I'ld rate it about 0.75.I think it's just the sort of level of difficulty that the forum needs now and then to bring in new people who may not be quite ready for the 1.25-1.5 mind-benders
mhparker wrote:I'll go along with Andrew's rating of 1.0
Rating 0.75

Yet Another Killer #96 (Unofficial Assassin 96) by Jean-christophe
Jean-Christophe wrote:rating "much too easy for regular members"..SudokuSolver v3.0 scores: V1: 0.90
Afmob wrote:I think V1 is neither "reasonably hard" nor tricky. It can be solved using a (very) basic Killer technique..Rating: 0.75-1.0. I used a Killer pair to crack it. I am not sure about the rating since I've never rated such an easy puzzle
Jean-Christophe wrote:I personally would not qualify "(very) basic" such techniques as killer naked pair or combination conflicts like you used. Also consider the number of In/outies with three cells in this puzzle, most useless at first
Andrew wrote:Using elimination solving, YAK96 was an easy puzzle. I expect it could still be solved fairly easily without using elimination solving. This puzzle only requires one killer pair ..(which can be spotted even without using elimination solving)..and a few simple 45s so I'll rate it at 0.75
gary w wrote:I certainly wouldn't say v1 was "much too easy" for regular assassinators....Took me over an hour so I'ld rate it as harder than virtually all the "deadly" killers that appear in The Times..0.75??
PB (from UA93) shortest walk-through by Afmob
One of his shortest walk-throughs by Andrew
Last edited by sudokuEd on Thu May 08, 2008 10:23 am, edited 73 times in total.
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Post by Ruud »

Compliments for this excellent post. You are putting more work into this than I will ever be able to do.

Posts: 143
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:45 pm
Location: London

Post by rcbroughton »

Great piece of work Ed

Looks like I need to find some additional techniques for my solver - some of those scores look a little disappointing :cry: :wink:

If anyone is interested in the program Ed used for step scores, I've just announced it in the software section here:

Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:06 am
Location: Sydney Australia

Assassin 50+ & Forum Killers Rating Update: BRICK Wall

Post by sudokuEd »

Assassin 60-79 & Forum Killers' (& Killer X) Ratings

In (mostly) chronological order.
Assassin 60 (84) (Rating 1.5)
Assassin 60 RP (Rating 2.50)
Assassin 60 RP-Lite (Rating 1.75)

Special X Killer 4 V2 (Rating 4.0)

Assassin 61 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 61X (Rating 1.50)
Assassin 61X V3 (Rating 4.0)

Assassin 62 (Rating 0.75)
Assassin 62V2 (Rating 2.0)

Assassin 63 (Rating 0.75)
Assassin 63 V1.5 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 63 V2 (Rating 1.5)

Assassin 64 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 64V2 (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 65 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 65 V2 (Rating 1.75)
Assassin 65 V3 (Rating 1,75)

Assassin 66 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 66 V1.5 (Rating 1.5)

Assassin 67 (Rating 0.75)

Vortex X (Rating 1.75)
Vortex X Lite (Rating 1.25)

Transformer Killer X (Rating 1.75)
Transformer Killer X Lite (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 68 (Rating 1.00)
Assassin 68 V2 (Rating 1.75)
Assassin 68 V3 (Rating 3.00)
Assassin 68 V1.5 (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 69 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 69 V1.5 (Rating 1.50)

Assassin 70 (Rating 0.75)
Assassin 70 V2 (Rating 1.75)
Assassin 70 V3 (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 71 (Rating 1.75)
Assassin 71 (V2) - Full Border (Rating 1.50)
Assassin 71 V1.5 (Rating 1.25)

Concentric Squares (CS) Killer by mhparker (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 72 (Rating 1.0)
Old School Assassin 72V2 (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 73 (Rating 1.0)

Maverick 1 (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 74 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 74 V2 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 74 Brick Wall (Rating 2.0)

Assassin 75 (Rating 1.25)

Diagonal surprise (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 76 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 76X (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 77 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 77 V2 (Rating 1.25)

Maverick 2 (M2) (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 78 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 78 V2 (Rating 1.50)

Assassin 79 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 79 RP (Rating 1.50)
Rating 4.0

Special Killer X4 V2
Para wrote:But i don't think there is any proper way of solving this puzzle.
Assassin 61X V3
mhparker wrote:A60RP looks like child's play in comparison to this one
Para wrote:Another horrible creation while trying to make a suitable V2 for an assassin

Rating 3.0

Assassin 68 V3

Ruud wrote: estimated rating 3-4
mhparker wrote:it looks it's going to be a strong candidate for the Unsolvables list!
no walk-through
Rating 2.5

Assassin 60 RP
mhparker wrote:3.0: "Ruudiculous", requiring a team effort and massive hypotheticals to solve, if it can be solved at all. The A50V2 and (possibly) A60RP could be considered examples of this.
rcbroughton wrote:This is a real tough nut.
mhparker wrote:My only real suggestions are that we document the misery, be thankful for every candidate we've managed to pick off, pack our bags and go home**!
Ruud wrote:A60RP may be unsolvable at this moment, but a lot of progress has been made in the Killer community, so I expect this puzzle to fall at the hands of a skilled player at some time in the future.
Afmob wrote:This one was definitely harder than A74 Brick Wall since even finding those hypotheticals was difficult especially those moves between step 9 and 14 took me a long time to find...Rating: Hard 2.5. I had to use some hypotheticals and massive combo analysis but those hypotheticals were of medium length
Walk-through by Afmob with obvious moves left out
Rating 2.0

Assassin 62V2
mhparker wrote:not so much of an Assassin, this one. More like a Terminator!
mhparker wrote:I could eventually solve without hypotheticals, but only by using several grouped AICs..I rated the A62V2 at 2.0
Long, optimized Walk-through by Grandmaster mhparker and uses several AICs, and some other creative moves
Assassin 74 Brick Wall
Ruud wrote: a little off the Assassing scale:..A solving tip: Brick wall
mhparker wrote: I'm still suffering from a kind of paranoia when it comes to so many "L" shaped cages after our experience with TJK18! pale.. the second half of the puzzle would have been paradise for me
gary w wrote: I've made a little bit of progress but am now stuck in a morass of either/ors which just don't want to seem to yield..I really ran into a featureless wall of rock
Afmob wrote: What a monster! That was the most difficult Killer Sudoku I've solved so far. But I got no idea about the rating since the hardest I've solved was about 1.75...
Para wrote:...some cracks and a few holes but it is still not falling down..[Edit]Now got 12 digits placed.
[Edit].. Now 13 digits placed...[Edit]...Now 81 digits placed Wink
gary w wrote: A privilege to go thro' Afmob's and Para's wts...Great to see two masters at work
gooders wrote: c'est magnifique! well done para i got a long way last weekend but could not bust the top three nonets
Para wrote: It is probably a high 2.0. ...It took me 3 days to solve (officially 4 days as i had tried it once when Ruud posted but gave up pretty quickly)
mhparker wrote: the Brick Wall can be solved quite elegantly, as Para has just proved so well
over 4 months later Afmob wrote:I finally decided to solve it again in an appropiate way without resorting to long contradiction chains...Rating: 2.0. I used lots of forcing chains and combo analysis (but not as heavy as in A60 RP) to solve this monster
Walk-through by Afmob including a "last big contradiction move on R2C1"
Walk-through by Para
Solving outline using "hypos" by gary w
Analysis of Para's step 46 (Killer XY-Chain) by mhparker
Alternative to Para's step 46 (Hidden Killer Pair Type 2:0) by mhparker
new shorter Walk-through by Afmob (mar 08)
Rating 1.75

Assassin 60 RP-Lite
mhparker wrote:1.75: Very hard Killer, but still not hard enough to require a team effort to solve. Does not require any hypotheticals. The A60RP-Lite could maybe deserve such a rating.
CathyW wrote:Brick wall It's no good. I'm not getting any further
sudokuEd wrote:Finally found a nice solution to RP Lite - after nearly 3 weeks.
4 months later Para wrote:I solved the A60RP-Lite with "only" those (normal Killer) techniques. That doesn't mean it isn't hard. Using those techniques can make a puzzle awfully difficult as well. You just need the right insight to use those techniques appropriately
4 months later in November 07 Andrew wrote: It's easy to forget that each of these ratings represent a range. Obviously, from what people say about A60RP-Lite, it must be at the very top of the 1.75 rating range
Old School Assassin 72V2
Para wrote: it opens up some interesting moves from the the original pattern that weren't needed to solve the puzzle before. It rates about a V1.75 the way i solved it
mhparker wrote: In particular, there's one high-level (but simple and very powerful) move that effectively killed the puzzle off without having to resort to a lot of low-level combination crunching ..correspond to a rating of around 1.5
sudokuEd wrote:Have given up...Wow. What a brute......Took me forever .... - but not for Mike! I really enjoyed the JSudoku log.... Really easy to follow and many, many clever things
Andrew wrote: I don't think I'm going to be able to finish...
Walk-through by mhparker
"android" Walk-through (i.e., automated solver ..Jsudoku.. dressed up in human WT form) by mhparker
Assassin 65 V3
Ruud wrote:hot hot hot, probably needs some creative moves (guesses)
Para wrote:That V3 is really deceiving, you think you're doing pretty well, placing digits, making eliminations and then all of the sudden you hit a dead end and there's seems to be no way out.
Caida wrote: I've been pounding away at it for quite sometime and I think I'm going in circles. I've resorted to trial and error
Afmob wrote: Rating: 1.75 it wasn't as difficult as A74 Brick Wall but a bit more complicated than M1, it's solvable without guesses or T&E
gary w wrote:after a tough battle..rather more than 5 hours....managed to crack it
Wrong answer walk-through by Caida
No contradiction moves Walk-through by Afmob
Beginning solution outline by gary w without any t&e
Assassin 64V2
CathyW wrote:completely stumped after 26 steps.
mhparker wrote:it was no monster. I would give it a clear rating of 1.75
tag solution by CathyW, mhparker, Howard S, rcbroughton, Para, Glyn & goooders!
Alternative ending to tag solution by mhparker
Missed moves by mhparker
Consolidated tag walkthrough by Andrew
Assassin 65 V2
Ruud wrote:Tough, but no hypotheticals (guesses) needed.
CathyW wrote:Hmmph! Confused. Can't say that the V2 is a fun puzzle.
Howard S wrote:Learnt a lot
tag solution by Howard S and Para - moral support from CathyW and mhparker
Alternative to tag solutions' step 29 by mhparker
Maverick 2 (M2) by mhparker
mhparker wrote: This one lives up to its name by ruffling JSudoku's and SudokuSolver's feathers somewhat (in the nicest possible way, of course Wink). And yet the puzzle is solvable purely by logic. (Est. rating: 1.75)
Afmob wrote: What a difficult killer! It reminded me of the recent A78 killer since the solving path was so long, and I was not able to find a shortcut like in M1. Rating: A tough 1.75. It was more difficult than M1 but the Brick Wall (which is my reference for the hardest puzzle I've solved so far) is still a in a different league
Para wrote:I agree with the 1.75 rating. It was a tough one, with some interesting moves that help settle down the puzzle.
mhparker on A86 thread wrote:there are 2 critical moves .... that are difficult to spot. If you don't get both of them, you'll have an exceedingly hard time solving this Assassin!.... similar to my Maverick 2, which also had an extremely narrow initial solving path, except the M2 remained difficult..
Walk-through by Afmob with massive use of innies/outies
Walk-through by Para with A lot of tough combination work
Transformer Killer X by Para
Para wrote: It contains a little trick, that could help you in solving..Rating-wise i think .. a 1.75.
mhparker wrote: Standard moves exhausted and a huge forest of candidates still remaining! Looks like I'll need to find that trick Para was talking about..
mhparker wrote: .a very enjoyable Killer-X!..some advanced moves I think a 1.75 rating is not a bad estimate.
Assassin 68 V2
Para wrote: It is probably a high 1.75 because it uses no hypotheticals, mostly creative combination work.
mhparker wrote: I would rate it around 1.75 (i.e., roughly A60RP level)
sudokuEd wrote: lots of combination pecking....Still no-where near A60 RP Lite in difficulty. But a very nice 1.75!
Vortex Killer X by mhparker
mhparker wrote: Est. rating: 1.75
Andrew wrote:Assassin 66V1.5 and Vortex Killer ...Vortex Killer was definitely the easier and more enjoyable of these two puzzles
I would rate Vortex Killer between 1.5 and 1.75. Ed currently has Vortex Killer as 1.75 and A66V.15 as 1.5. Maybe he should consider swapping those ratings?
Assassin 70 V2
sudokuEd wrote: I'm still stuck on both V2 & V3
gary w wrote: Obviously this one turned out to require afearsome amount of combination work
mhparker wrote: I discovered that this puzzle could be unlocked without an awful lot of combination crunching
tag walk-through by sudokuEd, Afmob, goooders, Para
Alternate ending by mhparker

Assassin 71
CathyW wrote:This is definitely a tough one. 45 steps (about 3 hours) and counting. Shocked..Finally! Took about 4 hours in total. At least 1.5 rating. I can't say I particularly want to go through it again
gary w wrote: this was a tough one..sure was..took me 5 hrs plus Exclamation
Afmob wrote: What a monster. I didn't find a nice way to solve to puzzle so be prepared for some contradiction moves. I think it was more difficult than A69 V1.5 so I guess rating is about 1.75
Andrew wrote: A71 must be one of the hardest ever V1s!... I'll go along with Afmob's rating of 1.75. I think this is the first time that a V1 has been harder than the V2
sudokuEd wrote: I'd rate the puzzle a 1.5 since it took me less than 10 hours to get a nice solution
About A71 On A74 thread mhparker wrote: there's been a tendency for people to overrate puzzles recently. The A71 was a good example of this...Sure, it was very tough. But does it really deserve a 1.75 rating?
About A71 on A74 thread sudokuEd wrote:I agree (about overrating puzzles) - especially about A71
Maverick 1 (M1) by mhparker
mhparker wrote: (Est. rating: 1.5) This puzzle .... should provide plenty of opportunity for creativity and individualism, as its name implies
gary w wrote: I'm finding this one tough going!!... Finally cracked it
Afmob wrote: Definitely a fun assassin with lots of cool moves
Para wrote:all this talk about x-wing and x-cycles going on... It is also solvable by just sticking to the basic killer techniques as 45-test cage combos and Killer Subsets
Andrew wrote: It took me a week, on and off .. If I hadn't received encouragement off-forum from Mike and then seen that Para had posted his partial walkthrough from my position, now expanded to a full walkthrough, I might well have given up on this one. Maverick 1 felt to me at least as hard as any of the other 1.75s that I've done. I spent longer on it than on any of those others. It's definitely my longest walkthrough yet. Therefore I've no hesitation in rating Maverick 1 as 1.75.
Para wrote: This puzzle felt more like a 1.5 rating to me. But that is mostly because it fell fairly quickly compared to say A60RP-Lite which i rated a 1.75. For me it wasn't in the same league as that puzzle.
gary w wrote: it had a rather lovely solving path (which I "sort of" used myself but could never have expressed it as well as the other two (Afmob & mhparker) did)
on sat Nov 24 Afmob wrote: M2 was more difficult than M1 so... now I would rate M1 with a 1.5
Rating 1.5

Assassin 78 V2
gooders wrote: i suspect the cage pattern could produce something quite nasty
mhparker wrote: (Est. rating: 1.75) It takes a clever move to get the ball in motion, but once it's gained momentum, this puzzle should reward you by staying interesting until near the end
Para wrote: It's a bit of an annoying killer because the end is so tedious. Mostly because it seems a bit useless work when you really did all the fun bits already...Furthermore it is a fun killer, so don't be disheartened or anything
Para wrote:I am going to rate it a 1.5, although i actually want to rate it something like a 1.65 but as this isn't a category it will be a 1.5
gary w wrote: I finally cracked Mike's vicious didn't give up without a fight..a hard slog right to the end. Hope 79 isn't too demanding!!
Walkthrough by Para without the extra bit that is in his 1.75 walk-throughs
Assassin 66 V1.5 (SSscore 1.52)
CathyW wrote:Edit: Definitely much harder - at least a 1.5. ..Edit 2: ... scratch Rating up to 2 probably. Either needs hypotheticals or I'm missing something....Edit 3: Give up ..just checked through Para's WT. Nothing short of brilliant imho!
Para wrote: That was a good puzzle somewhere between 1.50 and 1.75. Some fancy combination work and/with 45-tests did the trick.
Andrew wrote:I would rate A66V1.5 as a solid 1.75; possibly a bit higher for my solving path with 1.75 for Para's slightly more direct route.
Assassin 61X
mhparker wrote:(Est. difficulty: r1.75 level)
CathyW wrote:I found it easier than the A61
Andrew wrote:I found Mike's A61X a real struggle.. 1.75 ... 1.5... ratings look right
Assassin 60
mhparker wrote:1.5: Hard Assassin, having a significantly longer and/or narrower solution path, and/or requiring more advanced techniques. The A60 was definitely one of these.
CathyW wrote:Ruud has certainly ramped up the difficulty this week
Andrew wrote:I particularly liked Para's (walk-through) which was so direct.
Assassin 79 RP by Ruud
Ruud wrote: It is not unsolvable. That's all I want to add...
Para wrote: This RP doesn't match up with the 60RP or even 60RP-lite. It is fun to solve
Afmob wrote:But if you find the right moves it doesn't take too long to solve. Estimated rating: 1.5, it had some tricky moves but compared to M2 it's a easier
gary w wrote: my solving path was quite short it was difficult to see and the puzzle took me a while to solve. Like Afmob,based on other killers I'd rate it approx. 1.5
Andrew wrote: I found the main challenge was to spot some moves, rather than actual difficulty of the moves. A79RP was easier than Maverick 1 and rate A79RP at 1.5
Walk-through by Para with a very friendly opening but some nice moves at the end
Walk-through by Afmob
Walk-through by Andrew with a rather different solution to Para and Afmob
Assassin 63 V2
Mike wrote:(Estimated rating: 1.75
Assassin 69 V1.5
mhparker wrote: Est. rating: 1.5
Para wrote:a typical Mike Killer.The rating seems to fit. One really tricky move
Afmob wrote: V1.5 was definitely harder than the original because it didn't fall that fast and I needed several contradiction moves
Assassin 71 (V2) - Full Border
Andrew wrote: It still seems easier than A71
mhparker wrote: Overall, I would rate the A71V2 at around 1.5
gary w wrote: Took me less than 1.5 hours...So there Ruud..I reckon this one was much easier than V1 !!!
Afmob wrote:Another difficult V2 though it was a bit easier than V1

Rating 1.25

Assassin 75
CathyW wrote: I'm struggling with it Confused Sad ..... I feel a bout of combo crunching coming on..Finally got there. Smile..Total time about 4 hours and I haven't done a WT!
sublue wrote: My first placement was ...... But I'll be darned if I can figure out how I did it! Note to self: write this stuff down the *first* time!
gary w wrote: After the wall this one wasn't too bad...took me about 2.5 hours
Afmob wrote: That one was tougher than I thought.... so rating should be about 1.25..And I thought I (would) get some relaxation after the pain that was the Brick Wall.Twisted Evil
Andrew wrote: On what I've done so far it feels like a 1.25..I particularly liked Susan's (sublue) use of innies/outies that are in the same columns
azpaull wrote: I'm glad to see that this gave (or is giving) others problems, too.....I think this will go into my growing bank of "ones to come back to" for now!
solution briefly outlined by gary w
Walk-through by sublue: less-intuitive, defensable
Walk-through by Afmob: forcing chains (Considering placement with 2 possibilites)
Walk-through by Andrew: Interesting interactions between split cages sharing a common cell
Assassin 76X
mhparker wrote: may not be the "non plus ultra" as far as advanced techniques are concerned. ... (Est. rating: 1.5)
Para wrote: I think this puzzle is a rating 1.25, 1.5 is a bit high as it doesn't require much finesse
Afmob wrote:Rating: 1.25, nothing too complicated..
Andrew wrote: If one spots the two key moves quickly then it's definitely 1.25.... I didn't! I spent several hours struggling and nibbling. Perhaps Mike's estimate took account of the difficulty in spotting the key moves
Walk-through by Yokozuna Para
Discussion: diagonals can serve a big purpose...of increasing the quality of the puzzle..and of helping the problem of non-uniqueness cage patterns. By mhparker & Para from
Walk-through by Afmob with same "breakthrough" move like Para
Walk-through by Andrew with long later stage
Assassin 78
in the Lead-in Ruud wrote: This could become a classic. SumoCue (unreleased) gives it the highest rating I've ever seen for a puzzle it can solve. JSudoku chokes. Richard's SudokuSolver is still running while I'm writing this.
mhparker wrote: The puzzle proved to be less difficult than Ruud's comments suggested, but very enjoyable
nevertheless. Estimated rating: 1.25
goooders wrote:i agree with mhp's rating
Nasenbaer wrote: Enjoyable - yes, but I needed more than 4 hours to solve it! Maybe I'm a little rusty. Wink
Afmob wrote:I haven't found a fast way to solve it so it took me rather long to solve it
Para wrote:Took me a while to solve.. I think 1.25 is probably a fair rating, but it takes a very odd move to crack it which you normally don't look for
gary w wrote: Given Ruud's comment I approached this one with some trepidation but it turned out to be fairly standard..took me about 2 hours
Andrew wrote: I must admit I was really struggling until I got a hint from Afmob. ....After that it was pretty straightforward
CathyW wrote: I'd been looking at 78 on and off all week and still didn't crack it. (Had to cheat and look at the posted WTs Sad )
Walk-through by mhparker
Walk-through by Afmob with PB use of Innies+Outies Difference to solve a Killer
Outline by gary w
Walk-through by Andrew including the hint
Concentric Squares (CS) Killer by mhparker
gary w wrote: this turned out to be a rather lovely puzzle
Afmob wrote: It required lots of litte steps but nothing to complicated
Andrew wrote: I'll agree with your rating of 1.25
Assassin 69
CathyW wrote: A69 is proving extremely tricky!..estimated rating 1.5
mhparker wrote: This was a nice puzzle. ... Rating probably around 1.25
gary w wrote: Enjoyed going through Cathy's wt too. Solving path seemed very similar to Mike's... the path is quite tightly constrained.....I really appreciate the effort in putting the wts on
Andrew wrote:My solving path was quite a lot different than the others. ..I'll agree with Mike's estimated rating of 1.25
Assassin 71 V1.5
gary w wrote: I for one thoroughly enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with this cage...Slightly easier than v1 but...about 3 hours,in fact
Andrew wrote: A lot easier than V1 ..I'll rate it at least a 1.25. Maybe it should be rated higher because it was a fairly narrow solving path and a lot of work after the breakthrough
Afmob wrote: was the easiest of the bunch. It didn't need any complicate or long contradiction moves so given rating of 1.25 should be right. By the way, it was the most fun to solve
Assassin 61
CathyW wrote:Tougher than it looked from the preliminaries but got there eventually
Andrew wrote:I found this one fairly straightforward and didn't need any wizard moves
Assassin 65
CathyW wrote:Excellent puzzle - kept me occupied most of this afternoon... Was stuck for quite a while
Para wrote:Was a fun puzzle
Andrew wrote:not ..... particularly difficult..I rate this Assassin as 1.25..also 1.25 for the ways that Cathy and Para solved it.
Assassin 64
Para wrote:Was having some fun with this one. Also used a technique we don't get to use much in Assassins. Guess this assassin rates somewhere between 1.00 and 1.25
Andrew wrote: I agree with Para that it's rated between 1.0 and 1.25
CathyW wrote:Hmm - more a 1.5 in my book - quite a challenge
Vortex Lite X by mhparker
mhparker wrote: Est. rating: 1.25..the Vortex Lite is really no more difficult than a typical Assassin!
Andrew wrote: I'll agree with that(rating of 1.25) although at one time I was struggling a bit... No "advanced techniques"
Ruud wrote: the Vortex Lite was very enjoyable
Assassin 68 V1.5
CathyW wrote: nothing majorly advanced required but it was quite a slog...I would rate this puzzle as 1.25 - 1.5. It took me a couple of hours on the 1st attempt
Assassin 77V2
Ruud wrote: Without the easy starter and a lot more work
Para wrote: i understand the non-symmetrical cage-pattern now, didn't notice the 77 in the first run
Afmob wrote: Rating: It was a bit more difficult than V1 so I estimate rating about 1.25
Andrew wrote: I'm impressed that Para managed to solve this puzzle by deliberately avoiding the 45 rule. However it did mean that he had to work a lot harder ...I agree with Afmob's rating of 1.25. Para's route avoiding the 45 rule was probably an easy 1.5
Walk-through by Para which doesn't contain a single 45-test
Walk-through by Afmob using Innies and Outies
Walk-through by Andrew who started the same (as Para & Afmob)..(but) then used a different solving path
Transformer Killer X "Lite" by Para
Para wrote:Rating-wise i think .. about a 1.00-1.25
CathyW wrote: Had to have a big hint from Para about "The Trick" but have now solved the Transformer Lite. "The Trick" is clever - seems obvious once you know!! I would agree with 1 - 1.25 for the Lite.
Andrew wrote: An interesting puzzle with a fairly difficult cage pattern and, of course, a neat trick by Para..Even with "The Trick" I rate it a solid 1.25. No way it's a 1.0!
Diagonal surprise by Ruud
Ruud wrote: Not a V2, but... with unorthodox (unorthogonal) cage shapes
Caida wrote:This looks really cool
In the lead-in, Ruud wrote: For those who are familiar with old Dutch traditions, you know where those candy colors refer to...
could it be related to Sinterklaas?
mhparker wrote: not too difficult. Rating probably around 1.25
goooders wrote: just like a normal killer once it started to crack it fell over very quickly i thought it wouldnt because of the weird cage structure
Andrew wrote: I agree with Mike's rating of 1.25. Diagonal cages are always harder for human solvers so, for that reason, I won't rate it any lower
Caida wrote: I quite liked this puzzle - but kept slowing down looking to use 45 rules
Assassin 70 V3
gary w wrote: Didn't find it too worse than version 1 ..I noted .. the two totally different soving pathways in v1 and v3 just determined by the broken cage at r4c258. Killers are fascinating!!
Afmob wrote: it was nearly as difficult as V2 though the moves were less complicated. I guess rating would be 1.25
sudokuEd wrote: Really good solution Afmob. 9c is a ripper! Good call on the rating - once you find one of the keys it falls very easily
Assassin 74 variant 2
Ruud wrote:..requires a few steps which are more advanced than those required for the original, but in total, the solving path is shorter
Afmod wrote: This one required some more complicated combo analysis. I can't say that the walkthrough was shorter than my WT for V1
Andrew wrote: I didn't find A74V2 much harder than A74 so I can't rate it any higher than 1.25..the solving path is shorter than for the original, but not by much

Rating 1.0

Assassin 74
Andrew wrote: This one flowed easily for quite a time, then got a bit stubborn so I'll rate it at 1.0..There was certainly plenty of pattern repetition giving repeating themes for the solving path
CathyW wrote: 13 placements during lunch break
Afmob wrote: This assassin was pretty straightforward but it took me quite a while to finish it since I found no obvious shortcuts..Rating: 1.0,
gary w wrote: perhaps this was about a 1.0? Took me about 2.5 hours..I notice Ruud likes to use 3 cages but he excelled himself here.. and all but one was L shaped.
Walk-through by sublue including Venn Diagram logic and algebra
Walk-through with no short-cuts by Afmob
Solving outline by gary w
Assassin 73
Andrew wrote:Thank goodness for another fairly easy one. I liked the way that one theme kept repeating itself ... I'll rate this as 1.0
gary w wrote:pretty straightforward one and no combo crunching required
Afmob wrote: Although this Assassin was "just" of rating 1.0 it kept me busy
Assassin 68
CathyW wrote: (took a couple of hours including doing the WT..a reasonable challenge...Estimated rating 1-1.25
Para wrote: It was a really fun puzzle. I enjoyed solving it. I agree with Cathy about the rating.
Andrew wrote: I'll rate it as 1.25. I found it a difficult cage pattern because I didn't find any innies/outies that helped
Assassin 76
cathyw wrote: Getting in first again ... Rating of 1.00 imho
Para wrote: With Cathy's reassurance that it was only a rating 1.00... And it proved to be a quickie. Took me about 40 minutes to solve with keeping the walk-through. A rating of 1.00 sounds about right. Not anything spectacular
Afmob wrote: This one wasn't too difficult..Rating: 1.0 since it was quite straightforward apart from (a) little trick
gary w wrote: about a 1.0.Didn't take too long to do..but about 4 times longer than today's Times "deadly" killer. Ruud's puzzles still set the bench mark
Caida wrote: I think my walkthrough looks different - but think it must be because I over-complicated things..I would be delighted to receive any pointers
azpaull wrote: actually finished on Tuesday - which is very unusual for me. I'll have to give it a 1.0 - to paraphrase Groucho, any Assassin that will allow me to solve it....
Walk-through by Para
Walk-through by Afmob with "one little trick"
Walk-through as promised by cathy w
Brief solution which avoids crunching by gary w
Walk-through, with pointers from Andrew and Para, by Caida
Assassin 77
Para wrote:This is an odd puzzle. The opening is very easy, after that i think there's very little places to progress . For me it's a rating 1.00
goooders wrote: not sure i agree with paras rating sure the beginning is easy but then it grinds to a halt and becomes horrible is it possible that para is really rather good and cant see the difficulties others may have?
Afmob wrote:I didn't have any problems with this one at all. Rating: 1.0, an easy assassin, so Para's estimated rating should fit
gary w wrote:I sympathise with goooders.I too started off well and then got stuck for quite a while..Took me over 3 hours to I too would rate this as more than 1.0..(but) I have to agree with you two guys that it really wasn't that hard an assassin. .... it should have come out much quicker for me!
Andrew wrote: I was going to rate A77 at 1.25 since I felt it was a typical Assassin, ... However I missed one important step.... Para also did a reasonable amount of combination/permutation work so IMHO it's arguable that the rating should be an easier 1.25 rather than 1.0. It took me longer (than 3 hours). I think there has been a tendency recently to rate puzzles down by comparing them with the hardest ones in a rating range, overlooking that each rating value covers a range of difficulty
Walk-through by Para with probably the shortest path to the finish
Walk-through by Afmob with a direct and short solving path
Walk-through by Andrew with re-worked steps...that.. have gone in earlier
Assassin 79
Afmob wrote: made mistakes somewhere and had to start over again twice..Rating: 1.0
gary w wrote: no severe combo crunching needed
Andrew wrote: My solution seems to have taken a bit longer than some of the others. I missed a few things and was slow to spot others ..I'll rate it as a moderate to harder 1.0
azpaull wrote: I enjoyed this - as I do any Assassin that I can finish! Because it took less combo-crunching, I'll put this at a fun 0.75! (Keep mixin' 'em up, Ruud!)
Assassin 66 (SSscore 1.25)
Howard S wrote:One of the easier ones - I am torn between 0.75 and 1.0
Andrew wrote:I think I'll rate this as 1.0. Step 32 isn't a difficult one but I found it was hard to spot
CathyW wrote:0.5 because I only used Innies, Outies, Outies-Innies, cage combinations, killer combos and combination analysis and because it only took me just over an hour including writing down my steps as I did them
azpaull wrote:this was the first Assassin in several weeks that I have been able to do on my own....I'll give it a 0.75....let me thank you all for your walk-throughs and your commentary
gary w wrote:both a66 and a67 took me about 1.5-2 hrs to do.A "deadly" killer in The Times normally takes me about 0.5 hrs so i'ld rate both of these as significantly harder
Walk-through by Andrew (SSscore 1.32)
Walk-through by Cathy (SSscore 0.98)
Assassin 63 V1.5
Para wrote:1.5 seems overrated. Didn't have any more trouble with this one than with the V1. Nothing special needed
Andrew wrote:would probably be rated as 1.0 for Para's solving path
Assassin 72
frank wrote: It is nice to claim victory for a change
Andrew wrote: Fairly straightforward but I did need some hidden killers, expressed directly or indirectly so I can't rate it lower than 1.0
Afmob wrote: I think the problem with this assassin was not to solve it but to make the solving path not too long so I tried to keep it as small as possible. Rating: 0.75 - 1.0 but more 1.0 than 0.75
CathyW wrote: Enjoyed this one. I'd agree with the 1.0 rating
gary w wrote: A nice easy one after last week's horror!
Rating 0.75

Assassin 67
Howard S wrote:This seemed straight forward - certainly easier than 66
CathyW wrote: I can't say I found it easier than A66 but would agree with the 0.75 rating
Andrew wrote:I solved in one session, apart from a break for dinner, so that makes it easier than average Assassins over the last few months
gary w wrote:a67 took me about 1.5-2 hrs to do.A "deadly" killer in The Times normally takes me about 0.5 hrs so ....significantly harder
Assassin 62
Para wrote:Somewhere between 0.5-0.75 probably
Assassin 63 (59)
goooders wrote:isnt this very easy?
Andrew wrote:This was a smooth puzzle except right at the end..about 0.75 which is probably about right
herschko wrote: found this one relatively easy.... I just wouldn't call it an "assassin."
Assassin 62
Para wrote:Somewhere between 0.5-0.75 probably
Assassin 70
Afmob wrote: This one was a bit strange since there were many solving paths you could go, but I tried to keep it as short as possible. Overall, a rather easy assassin
mhparker wrote: Rating? 0.75? It was probably significantly easier than Ruud intended it to be
sudokuEd wrote: Definitely only a 0.75 rating - maybe even 0.5 - except I used 1 little contradiction move. Maybe that speeded things up
Andrew wrote:I did miss something important. .... However it still comes out and would only be rated between 1.0 and 1.25 that way. An excellent solving path by Afmob!
azpaull wrote: I didn't think it was doable without that key, but since it was difficult for (most of) us to find that key, I think we need to give it at least a 1.25..Edit: Make that a 1.5, I just reviewed the rating scale

Posts: 257
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2006 11:06 am
Location: Sydney Australia

Post by sudokuEd »

Assassin 50-59 & Forum Killers' (& Killer X) Ratings

Ratings in (mostly) chronological order
Assassin 1 (Rating 0.75)
Assassin 1V2 (Rating 1.25)

A48-Hevvie (Rating 2.5)

Assassin 50 (Rating 1.75)
Assassin 50 V2 (Rating 3.0)
Assassin 50 V0.2 (Rating 0.75)

Assassin 51 (Rating 1.25)

Assassin 52 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 52 V2 (Rating 2.0)

Assassin 53 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 53V2 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 53V2.5 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 53V3 ( (Rating 1.75)
Assassin 53 V0.1 (Rating 2.0)

Assassin 54 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 54 Version 2 (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 55 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 55 V2 (Rating 2.0)

Assassin 56 (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 56 V2 (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 57 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 57 V1.5 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 57V2X (Rating 1.75)

Assassin 58 (Rating 1.0)
Assassin 58 V1.5 (Rating 1.5)

Assassin 59 (67) (Rating 1.25)
Assassin 59 V1.5 (Rating 1.5)

Rating 4.0

Special Killer X4 V2 (Did Not Solve: DNS 8 steps No progress)
Para wrote:But i don't think there is any proper way of solving this puzzle.
Rating 3.0

Assassin 50 V2
mhparker wrote:rating 3.0: "Ruudiculous", requiring a team effort and massive hypotheticals to solve, if it can be solved at all. The A50V2 and (possibly) A60RP could be considered examples of this.
Ruud wrote:could be one of the toughest killers I made so far.
Glyn wrote:I am struggling with it here. Tried making a huge implication chain round the outside, knocks out a few candidates but nothing worth reporting.
Rating 2.5

mhparker wrote:2.5: Requires a team effort and several short to medium length hypotheticals. The TJK18 and A48-Hevvie would probably fall into this category.
sudokuEd wrote:Very
rcbroughton wrote:not an easy one by any means
Condensed/simplified walk-through by sudokuEd
Rating 2.0

Assassin 55V2
mhparker wrote:2.0: Traditional "V2" standard, typically requiring a team effort and maybe (but not necessarily) involving limited use of hypotheticals. Example: A55V2.
sudokuEd wrote:can't resist trying the lollie. But will need lots of help. Any other suckers
Tag solution by sudokuEd, CathyW, mhparker
Assassin 53 V0.1
Para wrote:53V0.1 i still have no clue on how to advance. I did the basics and am stuck.
mhparker wrote:Had to use a hypothetical to continue
tag solution by Para and mhparker. Starts at
Assassin 52 V2
Para wrote:doesn't seem i am going to solve this one by myself.
mhparker wrote:.. the puzzle was not that difficult - certainly not "terrifying", and easily within range of ordinary mortals.
Tag solution by Para, mhparker, Jean-Christophe
full walkthrough for the V2, based on tag solution.
Rating 1.75

Assassin 53V3
Jean-Christophe wrote:Grouping some cages... make it real hard to solve. ...
sudokuEd wrote:Took hours to see some 'obvious' contradiction moves.
Para wrote:It wasn't as hard as the line "the new JSudoku can solve it" make it look
Assassin 56 V2
Para wrote:It's a tough one, but once you know where to look it will break slowly.
sudokuEd wrote:A very, very difficult puzzle with lots of contradiction moves and extensive combination conflicts. Had to restart many times to get a valid solution. Must have spent 15 hours on this one
Assassin 50
mhparker wrote:As far as difficult V1 Assassins go... add A50V1 to the list... In terms of techniques, the A50V1 was harder than this one (A55).
Andrew wrote:A tough challenge
Para wrote:I spent a while looking for a nicer way ... But can't find anything.
Assassin 54 Version 2
mhparker wrote:It should be harder than the original, but is definitely still solvable via logic
sudokuEd wrote:It is a real good one too -lots of combining "45" moves to see contradictions.
Assassin 57V2X
mhparker wrote:The latest released version (of JSudoku 0.6b1) only manages 2 placements before giving up.
Andrew wrote:Mike's step 30 - I'll settle for the stiff drink after working through it.
tag solution by rcbroughton, Andrew, mhparker
sudokuEd simplified walk-through
mhparker alternate ending to simplified walk-through
Rating 1.5

Assassin 58 V1.5
mhparker wrote:It should be slightly harder than the original was intended to be, but still very do-able.
no walk-through
Assassin 59 V1.5
CathyW wrote:I'm stuck
Rating 1.25

Assassin 53V2.5

Para wrote:properly solvable (typical assassin difficulty)... Solved that one just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the end result.
Assassin 56
Andrew wrote:Assassin 56 was only the 3rd V1 that didn't have any 2-cell cages
Assassin 54
Para wrote:This one went quickly for me. Not many difficult moves but maybe my definition of difficult is a bit off for other people.
Andrew wrote:I don't think any of the posted walkthroughs needed many advanced moves
Assassin 59
mhparker wrote:1.25: Harder Assassin. Actually, most recent Assassins seem to have become more difficult than they traditionally used to be. So a rating of "1.25" would be considered the norm now. Typical example: A59
CathyW wrote:Strangely, I found this one easier than 58.
Assassin 51
Jean-Christophe wrote:It was enjoyable to solve. Just the right difficulty level for me. Definitely does not need T&E or big combination crushing like some others.
Andrew wrote:A tough challenge.
CathyW wrote:was definitely hard enough for me!
Assassin 52
CathyW wrote:relatively straightforward.
Para wrote:straightforward. Nothing spectacular
Assassin 55
CathyW wrote:Shocked Confused Exclamation
Ruud has certainly ramped up the difficulty level this week.
Para wrote:What a work to fill 81 little cells.
mhparker wrote:This V1 wasn't too bad. There was quite a narrow solving path at the beginning... There weren't any really difficult techniques required.
Assassin 1V2
sudokuEd wrote:Rating? About average Assassin one year on - an early placement, then steady progress with that extra trick to finally break it.
Andrew wrote:I'll rate A1V2 as a solid 1.25
Assassin 53V2
Andrew wrote:Initially I'd got stuck
Rating 1.0

Assassin 53
Para wrote:This was a quick puzzle. But as this is the first of the new assassin year, this one could get some newer players excited.
Assassin 58
CathyW wrote:Struggling with this one! Confused
mhparker wrote:The V1 had a (probably unintentional) design weakness that was admittedly not easy to spot
herschko wrote:I did not find this one hard at all.
Assassin 57
mhparker wrote:1.0: "Average" V1 Assassin (looking back over a longer period of time). Something like A57, perhaps.
Jean-Christophe wrote:It isn't as hard as usual.
CathyW wrote:I thought more combination analysis would be required from Ruud's comment on the puzzle page. Still fun to solve!
Andrew wrote:A bit easier than some recent ones and definitely less combination work than suggested by Ruud's introduction
Assassin 57 V1.5
CathyW wrote:Plenty of combination analysis required .... methinks!
Rating 0.75

Assassin 50 V0.2
Ruud wrote:This version 0.2 has the same difficulty rating as a recent Moderate on
Glyn wrote:I did it before I had the beer though.
Andrew wrote:Don't know about that (Ruud's rating). It was definitely routine so V0.2 is a fair rating. However as someone who still does the killers on the other website it took me longer than any daily killer there.
Assassin 1
mhparker wrote:0.75: Easy Assassin, like some of the very early ones, such as A1
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