croco-puzzle

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drsteve
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by drsteve » Tue 04 Oct, 2011 6:07 pm

berni wrote:
drsteve wrote:I'll leave it to someone else to give a formal translation of the rules - have I missed anything?
Yes: The connection is not only not diagonally forbidden. In other words: all white cells are connected with the edge of the puzzle. Or yet in other words: The outline of the black cells is a "Rundweg".
Knowing that suddenly makes some old Coral puzzles I've got on file so much easier to solve! Thanks Berni

detuned
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by detuned » Tue 04 Oct, 2011 9:42 pm

That's very interesting - when I first met corral I thought that as a loop puzzle it wouldn't be so hard to get used to and was surprised to find out how tricky some of the examples could be, but I suppose the nature of the puzzle is that you don't really solve it like any other loop puzzles.

edit - ah wait - koralle or coral doesn't seem to be quite the same as corral, although there are some obvious similarities. Interesting!

drsteve
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by drsteve » Wed 05 Oct, 2011 6:13 am

detuned wrote:That's very interesting - when I first met corral I thought that as a loop puzzle it wouldn't be so hard to get used to and was surprised to find out how tricky some of the examples could be, but I suppose the nature of the puzzle is that you don't really solve it like any other loop puzzles.

edit - ah wait - koralle or coral doesn't seem to be quite the same as corral, although there are some obvious similarities. Interesting!
Yeah, I assumed Corral, not Coral or Coral Reef at first. Coral Reef was in some old WPC's but haven't seen it for a while.

dickoon
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by dickoon » Wed 19 Oct, 2011 11:10 am

I was totally stuck on yesterday's U2 Pillen, which will still be available for people who aren't logged in - specifically, I couldn't find a way to place all of the 10 to 5, 3 and 1 Pills at the same time. (I could do all of 10-6 and 4-1 but couldn't find a 4, or I could place all of 10-1 but I had 5 in the lowest "4" row and nothing in the bottom "1" row...) Quite irritating, especially as I generally quite like (and am OK at) Pillen puzzles. Would someone be so kind as to provide a spoiler and/or a walkthrough, please?

afcwarren
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by afcwarren » Wed 19 Oct, 2011 1:04 pm

Dickoon:

This is how I done the puzzle, which I doubt is the most efficient way:

First black out all cells that cannot be circled.
The 10 pill can only go in one place: in row 5 (3,2,5).
The 9 pill must go in column 8 as either 1,6,2 or 6,2,1 so circle the 6 and 2.
Black out other cells that can’t be used (i.e. R9C11).
The ‘3’ in R9 cannot be used meaning the ‘4’ has to be and has to be part of the 7 pill.
Column 11 must use the '1' in row 10 which is part of the 3 pill which then confirms the 7 pill.
The 8 pill must now go in row 7 (4,3,1).
Blackening out again shows that column 10 must use the 0,6,0 which is the 6 pill.
There’s only room for the 5 pill in column 6 (3,1,1) meaning the 1 pill is in row 7 (1,0,0).
Row 11 must use the '1' in column 8 so that decides the 9 pill (don’t forget to change the circles otherwise you’ll get a Fehlversuch like I did!)
To finish off, the 4 pill must go in column 4 and the 2 pill in row 1.

I hope this is accurate!

dickoon
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by dickoon » Wed 19 Oct, 2011 5:17 pm

afcwarren wrote:The 9 pill must go in column 8 as either 1,6,2 or 6,2,1 so circle the 6 and 2.
Gah! For whatever reason I repreatedly decided it must be the 162 and did not consider it could be the 621. One of my many otherwise-solutions would have been correct otherwise. Thanks, Warren! I appreciate it.

sknight
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by sknight » Sat 22 Oct, 2011 1:27 am

Wow, was that a painful day on Croco-puzzle.
When a 1-9 domino hunt is a "welcome break" from the other puzzle, things are pretty grim.

david mcneill
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by david mcneill » Sat 22 Oct, 2011 8:40 am

My whole week has been painful. The domino hunt didn't seem particularly easy either.

PuzzleScot
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 22 Oct, 2011 10:13 am

All puzzles, anywhere, are proof-solved and graded before publishing. Croco appears to be one of the few exceptions.

It shouldn't be that difficult for the puzzle generator to determine a difficulty level when proving uniqueness of solution, and would be a welcomed feature!

ronald
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by ronald » Sat 22 Oct, 2011 10:51 am

The random difficulty levels of croco, and frustratingness, are part of what makes it fun: I don't think it should be changed. You can easily see the difficulty level from the length of time the first few pioneers take, if you want.

I would note that berni has recently made some changes that the players said they wanted - and yet some of the top players then left, as a result of the changes.

PuzzlerNickG
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by PuzzlerNickG » Sat 22 Oct, 2011 12:11 pm

I've started doing these now.

The domino one was easy enough, but then I somehow forgot to mark the very last border and got hit with a Fehlversuch on what was an otherwise correct solve. I wish this interface had a place to mark off the dominoes as you find them.

The Sudoku one was beyond me. I got stuck early and had to give it up as I didn't have time to complete it.

dickoon
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by dickoon » Sat 22 Oct, 2011 12:48 pm

Mmm. I'm not sure people are as good at knowing what they really want as they are at knowing what they think they want. If Steve Jobs has taught us nothing else...

I wasn't delighted to hear that the plan was to have a deiberately harder puzzle on croco-puzzle each day, but I'm not sure there has been actually all that much effect in practice; the criticims that at least one of the leavers has had has been about a specific sort of difficulty experienced in some of the puzzles, but the issue of where the borderline is between a puzzle being difficult and a puzzle being unfair and/or "impossible without guessing" is, in my 11th-kyu opinion, not a clear-cut one. To me, it's far more important whether the puzzles and the overall experience is fun or not; we all draw our boundaries of "this puzzle is so hard that it's not going to be sufficiently fun for me to spend time on it" differently. (I'm not touching today's puzzles, though, FWIW.)

While I agree with Ronald that the differences in difficulty are part of the fun, my preference would definitely be for croco-puzzle to err slightly on the side of keeping towards the more accessible end of the spectrum, as I broadly tend to believe that competition is more readily available in relatively difficult puzzles than it is in relatively accessible puzzles. It's Berni's site, and damn good either way, so he gets to make the call.

sknight
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by sknight » Sat 22 Oct, 2011 11:37 pm

Now, today's hard puzzle (the Skyscrapers puzzle) provides an interesting contrast. It's a challenging puzzle, but there's a very clear logical path through the whole thing. i never had to use multiple layers/colors or otherwise bifurcate. Just straightforward, steady progress with reasonable use of candidates. It took me a solid 12.5 minutes to sort it out, but it felt and smooth and logical. That's the sort of challenging solve I don't object to. I think the people who have complained have mostly not been complaining about this sort of puzzle, but rather puzzles which seem to require extensive bifurcation, systematic process of elimination, and generally don't feel like much fun.

berni
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by berni » Wed 26 Oct, 2011 9:58 am

PuzzleScot wrote:All puzzles, anywhere, are proof-solved and graded before publishing. Croco appears to be one of the few exceptions.
They are proof-solved, but not in the way, you think of: I've got two programs, one generates the puzzles, and a second, completely separated programm, that checks them. The second one works mainly with bifurcations and this is much more reliable, once the rules of a correct solution are implemented correctly. Using two programs also increeses the likelyhood of finding a bug in one of it (whenever they disagree, there is a bug somewhere).

But indeed, I don't solve them manually and I do not grade them. Some of my motivation for the Ü-Rätsel is, that I can participate myself. This is obviously not possible any more if I go to proof-solve and rate the puzzles in advance.
It shouldn't be that difficult for the puzzle generator to determine a difficulty level when proving uniqueness of solution, and would be a welcomed feature!
I think, determining the difficulty of a puzzle is the most difficult thing, when producing puzzles automatically. This is especially true for harder puzzles. I've heard of a lot of systems to determin the difficulty and all had drawbacks. The two most used ones are:

a) Number of givens (think of a sudoku): Some years ago, I had to create 5 sudoku for a psycological experiment, where all sudoku had exactly 25 givens and non of the givens was superfluous, but with 5 different levels of difficulty. This shows, that the number of givens is not a useful instrument to decide, whether a puzzle is difficult or not. This argument also applies to variations: Number of 1 and n in skyscrapers or thelike.

b) The logic(*) needed to solve to puzzle (for this puzzle I only need easy logic, while I need a very difficult conclusion for that): This aproach feels better to me. but still has some drawbacks: One needs to identify *all* possible logics for one puzzletype. This is almost impossible, as from my experience, after a while a new one will show up, that noone has expected. Indeed, this is a feature, that I'd say makes a puzzletype interesting. (Bend-Between is an example, where I do not expect such new logic, and most people think it to be a rather boring puzzletype; as a sidenote: In the very beginning, I thought hashis to be of that type too, but that prooved to be wrong; I don't like them anyway...). Therefore with this approach, one has two possibilities (think of it as a tightrope walk): First: Prepare only puzzles, that contain known logic. Second: Prepare also puzzles, where the computer needs bifurcation to solve. With the first one, one will almost never find new logic which ist part of the fun. The second approach has the drawback, that for some puzzles noone will be able to find a way without bifurcation. Since a while I'm ponding on a way how to reduce the likelyhood of this to happen, but I did not find the time to implement some of my ideas yet. (By the way, my first idea on how to do this, didn't work out well). (see also my statement for the slalompuzzle below)

(*) Im not sure if this is the correct english word. I mean the methods used to solve a puzzle. E.g. "If all but one number are given in a row of a sudoku I can put the remaining one in the remaining empty square" is one "logic" and so on.
dickoon wrote:While I agree with Ronald that the differences in difficulty are part of the fun, my preference would definitely be for croco-puzzle to err slightly on the side of keeping towards the more accessible end of the spectrum, as I broadly tend to believe that competition is more readily available in relatively difficult puzzles than it is in relatively accessible puzzles.
I'm keeping an eye on this. from oktober to november almost nothing changed. There where some puzzles this month, that where far too easy and I tried to reduce the likelihood that such puzzles will appear again in Ü2. Beside this, there where two changes: One is the new coral puzzle type which will appear from november on and the other one is a new generator for slalom puzzles. This generator has some new inteligent logic implemented which might find new conclusions, that are not implemented directly. But let's see, what november brings...

berni
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by berni » Wed 26 Oct, 2011 12:19 pm

ronald wrote:and yet some of the top players then left, as a result of the changes.
I don't think, they left permanently. It's short before the WPC and top players may prefer to train on paper. They might fear, that using applets to solve puzzles might ruin their style. I think, after WPC they will be back again.

david mcneill
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by david mcneill » Wed 26 Oct, 2011 3:47 pm

Thanks for detailed comments. I'm likely to stick around on Crocopuzzle, even though I have been doing relatively badly of late. I am pleased that you are trying to reduce the number of ridiculously easy puzzles. These become a test of the most ergonomic keypad rather than puzzle-solving ability. Hopefully, as you continue to develop the site, the ridiculously hard ones will be ironed out as well.

PuzzleScot
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by PuzzleScot » Thu 27 Oct, 2011 10:49 pm

Some time ago, someone asked if was possible for someone to be top of one table and bottom of the other.
Well, I'm about as close as you can get on that today! With c.50 having done each, I'm #2 on one, and last on the other. :roll:

ronald
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by ronald » Wed 09 Nov, 2011 10:44 pm

I have enjoyed the difficulty levels of the U2s this week - challenging but logical. Thanks.

dickoon
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by dickoon » Thu 10 Nov, 2011 6:44 pm

Congratulations to DavidMcN, the first UK-team-eligible member to reach 2k! I should imagine that kiwijam will be no more than a day or two behind. :)

Also, rating points have been a little easier to come by than usual while so many of the big hitters have been otherwise engaged in Hungary. *looks shifty*

PuzzleScot
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by PuzzleScot » Tue 15 Nov, 2011 1:03 am

Whenever I try to play a preisraetsel, I'm getting the message: "Die Teilnahme am Preisrätsel ist für Angehörige von CrocoPuzzle untersagt. Gleichzeitige Teilnahme mit mehreren Benutzerkonten kann zum Ausschluß führen. Der Rechtsweg ist ausgeschlossen."

Which google translate tells me means: "Participation in the price puzzle is forbidden for members of CrocoPuzzle. Simultaneous participation of multiple user accounts can lead to expulsion. The decision is final."

I've always been able to do it before

Calavera
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by Calavera » Tue 15 Nov, 2011 12:42 pm

I'm not sure if I understand your posting correctly. Do you mean that you are currently not able to do the Preisrätsel? Because the text you're quoting is there in every case regardless of the puzzle working or not. Also the expulsion is usually done at the time of the lottery not when you try to solve it... So if you have indeed problems with this puzzle I'd search for the reason somewhere else.

PuzzleScot
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by PuzzleScot » Tue 15 Nov, 2011 2:26 pm

That's strange wording, implying members of croco-puzzle can NOT participate in the Prize puzzle? (Unless this means 'staff'?)

I have a secondary problem, which probably highlighted this more than usual - The applets are not displaying for me at all. I sometimes get a blue box flash for an instant, but essentially, it is blank. I have Firefox 8.0 on WinXP-Pro, and Java Version 6 Update 29.
I've cleared all caches and temporary files, rebooted etc, but still blank.

It works fine on IE8, but I only have that on my system for emergency purposes. Any ideas?

Calavera
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by Calavera » Tue 15 Nov, 2011 3:13 pm

PuzzleScot wrote:That's strange wording, implying members of croco-puzzle can NOT participate in the Prize puzzle? (Unless this means 'staff'?)
It does indeed mean staff. The wording is relatively the same that is used in all such purposes (like lotteries in magazines and such) so it's immediately clear for native speakers. When reading the english translation I agree that it isn't that clear any longer.

It's probably because of the translation for "Angehörige". While "member" is certainly correct the German word has a focus on relation (as in next of kin) and/or part of an organization.

For the technical stuff you have to wait for a reply of berni...

Mephisto
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by Mephisto » Tue 15 Nov, 2011 3:52 pm

"Angehörige" has a family touch, even in German, see http://dict.leo.org/?lp=ende&search=angeh%F6rige

I would call all people who are members in a forum/community/club/associatien "Mitglieder" (members), see http://dict.leo.org/ende?search=mitglied

I would call people who work at/with/for an organization "Mitarbeiter" (employees, members of staff), see http://dict.leo.org/ende?search=mitarbeiter

EDIT:

Google would translate "Die Teilnahme am Preisrätsel ist für Mitarbeiter von CrocoPuzzle untersagt. Gleichzeitige Teilnahme mit mehreren Benutzerkonten kann zum Ausschluß führen. Der Rechtsweg ist ausgeschlossen" to "Participation in the price puzzle is prohibited for employees of CrocoPuzzle. Simultaneous participation of multiple user accounts can lead to expulsion. The decision is final"

PuzzleScot
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Re: croco-puzzle

Post by PuzzleScot » Tue 15 Nov, 2011 4:11 pm

Sounds like 'Associates' would be a more apt translation. Still, I am being forced to use IE against my will. Even sacrificing Monday's puzzles!

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