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How do YOU use Draw/Play?

 
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keith



Joined: 19 Sep 2005
Posts: 3341
Location: near Detroit, Michigan, USA

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2015 11:49 pm    Post subject: How do YOU use Draw/Play? Reply with quote

I am interested in how people use Draw/Play on the main page of the Daily Sudoku site. Please describe your use cases.

Personally, I use it for two reasons:

1. To print puzzles that I then solve on paper.

2. To generate message code that makes it easier for others to access puzzles I post. This is the ASCII function. (There is a "How To" on this, I believe.)

I do not use Draw/Play to solve puzzles or to get hints.

How about you?

Keith
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CORUJA



Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 15
Location: BRUMADINHO - MG; BRAZIL

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2015 12:42 pm    Post subject: Re: How do YOU use Draw/Play? Reply with quote

Hi Keith,
I use Draw/Play to solve the very hard puzzles.
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alanr555



Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Posts: 198
Location: Bideford Devon EX39

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can go months without using DS at all but recently I cam back to it
when I encountered some published grids that seemed not to be
resolvable (separate topic). Use of D/P enabled me to confirm (in most
cases!) that I had identified as much as D/P could up to the point of the
"Too Hard" warning issued when requesting a hint too far. This enabled
me to challenge the publication rather than my own approach.

Normally I would seldom use the "Hint" facility but it has proved very
valuable in that recent context. However there are occasional messages
to the effect that there is an inability to explain some hints. Does this
involve a "psychic" approach??

Clearly not! Either there is an underlying logic or the solver has resorted
to a "trial and error" approach. As the latter is unlikely, the probability
would seem that there is a linguistic difficulty with providing a concise
set of words describing the logic.

Perhaps the solution is to have a glossary of "complex hints" with some
appropriate labels - so that the Hint message line can refer directly to
"technique A1" or whatever and then the user can attempt to see what
logic has been applied.

The messages already require the user to do some work when such
phrases as "line/box interaction" are used - but at least the user (or
player in this case) has a clue as to where to look.

DS has some really useful features and this is by no means to taken
as a criticism. After ten years plus most of the basics have been
addressed (I recall some of the discussion in the early days) and so
there is an opportunity to delve more on specific issues rather than
just aiming for an overall workable product. This topic that is called
"explanation" could still be a candidate for attention.

In Friendship
Alan
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nataraj



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 1048
Location: near Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alanr555 wrote:
...
However there are occasional messages
to the effect that there is an inability to explain some hints. Does this
involve a "psychic" approach??

...
Alan


Psychic approach .. I like the idea.

But, like yourself, I don't think it is psychic at all.

I am pretty sure I know what the problem is: the Draw/Play Solver only tells you the next ELIMINATION (which may be ten or twenty steps ahead), but nothing about the NEXT STEP !

So, if you are still unable to see the XY-wing that allows you to eliminate a '3' in row 5, leading to a naked pair (57), that removes a 5 from column 3, which in turn enables another naked pair ...

you get my drift?

The "hint" is not a hint at all. It is a newspaper headline from the future: "President Axaquatl killed in his office in Palm Springs". You might wonder why the president resides in Palm Springs, you might wonder about the name, too. It does not tell you if you need a Fallout Shelter or better buy a house in Mexico. Knowing bits and pieces about the future is little help for the present.

I remember a short story by Philip K. Dick about a man from the future dropping into a house in Oxford - and all the questions from the present day scientists were answered. But in terms incomprehensible to them. Must try to find which story that was ...

Helmut
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nataraj



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 1048
Location: near Vienna, Austria

PostPosted: Sat Nov 07, 2015 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could not find the story about the Oxford scientists. But this one is about the same theme:

"Service Call", published 1954. I found it in vol.4 of the Collected Stories, titled "The Days of Perky Pat".

Helmut
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