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Clouds

Posted: Sun 06 Aug, 2017 10:49 am
by pinkagape
I meant to ask this after it appeared in the U.K. Championships, but now it's come up in the Puzzle GP, it has become more pressing.

How do you solve Clouds?

Re: Clouds

Posted: Sun 06 Aug, 2017 2:44 pm
by PuzzleScot
Coincidentally, I've solved a lot of clouds puzzles recently.
I have an app called 'logic games' on my phone (logo is 2 grey cogs). "Free on iOS, Android and WP" by Andrea Sabbatini.
There are dozens of familiar puzzle types you can practice, including Clouds...

Anyway, that doesn't help if you don't know how to solve them. There are a lot of techniques you can develop to solve them.

The most simple is to create the simplest possible cloud dimensions along the clues on each edge.
eg, (taking a genuine example of a 10x10 puzzle) if the row clues down one edge are
2 5 5 2 2 2 7 5 4 2, the simplest breakdown is
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
0 3 3 0 0 0 2 2 2 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 3 3 0 0

The column clues are
2 7 5 2 2 2 6 4 3 3, so the simplest breakdown (connecting likely items) is
0 2 2 2 2 2 2 0 3 3
0 3 3 0 0 0 2 2 0 0
2 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0

Attempting to draw round the grid, with dashes to indicate known connections:

Code: Select all

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2 3
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2 3
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2 2 3
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2 2 3
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2 2
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? 2
. 2-2 2 2 2-2 . 3-3
. 3-3 . . . 2-2
2-2 . . . . 2-2
Now it's a case if matching bits up, and rearranging options if not enough space is left.
Some methods are in common with fill-a-pix, while remembering there can be no singles.
Not sure if this helps much. Nothing beats practice though...

Re: Clouds

Posted: Sun 06 Aug, 2017 8:40 pm
by dickoon
PuzzleScot wrote:I have an app called 'logic games' on my phone (logo is 2 grey cogs). "Free on iOS, Android and WP" by Andrea Sabbatini.
There are dozens of familiar puzzle types you can practice, including Clouds...
Ooh, what a good recommendation! Dozens and dozens of puzzle formats to practice there. Thank you for pointing it out!

Re: Clouds

Posted: Mon 07 Aug, 2017 12:01 am
by kiwijam
Alan's approach is generally best, although you can't always tell how they break down into 2s or 3s or 5s...

Tip 1: If there is a 2 next to a 3 (or a 4-3), then no cloud can cross between them. I draw a thick border through the grid along that line. This can be helpful if there are large clues in the opposite direction.

Tip 2: If a clue is the sum of its adjacent clues (e.g. 2-7-5) then every cloud in the middle column goes left or right, but never both. This can be helpful if there are 3-clues in the opposite direction, which therefore cannot cover all three cells.
More importantly, any shaded cell in the 2 or 5 must extend to the 7, but no further.

There are more advanced ideas, if you link to one you are stuck on I'm happy to explain how to progress.
http://www.janko.at/Raetsel/Regenwolken/index.htm

Re: Clouds

Posted: Sun 05 Nov, 2017 5:01 pm
by puzzlemad
dickoon wrote:
Sun 06 Aug, 2017 8:40 pm
PuzzleScot wrote:I have an app called 'logic games' on my phone (logo is 2 grey cogs). "Free on iOS, Android and WP" by Andrea Sabbatini.
There are dozens of familiar puzzle types you can practice, including Clouds...
Ooh, what a good recommendation! Dozens and dozens of puzzle formats to practice there. Thank you for pointing it out!
I've had this app for a good while too - great for passing the time whilst waiting to pick kids up etc. Took me a while to get my head round the dominos notation.

Re: Clouds

Posted: Tue 07 Nov, 2017 9:37 pm
by PuzzleScot
puzzlemad wrote:
Sun 05 Nov, 2017 5:01 pm
dickoon wrote:
Sun 06 Aug, 2017 8:40 pm
PuzzleScot wrote:I have an app called 'logic games' on my phone (logo is 2 grey cogs). "Free on iOS, Android and WP" by Andrea Sabbatini.
There are dozens of familiar puzzle types you can practice, including Clouds...
Ooh, what a good recommendation! Dozens and dozens of puzzle formats to practice there. Thank you for pointing it out!
I've had this app for a good while too - great for passing the time whilst waiting to pick kids up etc. Took me a while to get my head round the dominos notation.
The notation for some of them is a complete pig, and the amount of tapping to increment others is insane. Wasn't that much of a fan of battleships or 'branches' for the former reason (You have to get the segments perfectly orientated. I'd prefer to have 'ship/sea' or 'horiz/vert' - it's still a right answer...) and fillomino & kakuro for the latter.

However, there are dozens of puzzle types, and between 10 and 200 levels of each. It's as good an implementation for a phone/tablet app, for the variety of puzzles covered, that I could imagine. Good luck to the author. Still highly recommended.