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Method: Guessing
http://www.calcudoku.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5
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Author:  sneaklyfox  [ Sat May 14, 2011 5:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Method: Guessing

When do you start guessing and how do you do it?

Do you ever find that at one point of a difficult puzzle, it may be easier to systematically guess a number in a particular box than to find another logical answer?

Author:  pnm  [ Mon May 16, 2011 11:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

sneaklyfox wrote:
When do you start guessing and how do you do it?

I definitely use guessing when doing a timed puzzle... but I guess that's not what you mean :-)

Author:  maartensmit  [ Mon May 16, 2011 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

I always look for a logical continuation. If I can't find one, I do start looking for trains of thought like 'what happens when I put a 4 in that square', but I always do that in my head. I'm not sure if that falls in the category 'guessing' :lol:

As soon as I need to guess a number and see what happens, I just accept that either I have missed some easy continuation, or this puzzle is just too difficult for me and I move on.

Author:  picklepep  [ Tue May 17, 2011 6:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

i hate guessing, but occasionally it's called for when there's no easy logicing to be done. When I'm guessing I usually look for a spot in the puzzle that has the fewest number of possibilities, while also opening the puzzle up the most.

Author:  maartensmit  [ Tue May 17, 2011 7:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

picklepep wrote:
i hate guessing, but occasionally it's called for when there's no easy logicing to be done. When I'm guessing I usually look for a spot in the puzzle that has the fewest number of possibilities, while also opening the puzzle up the most.

This might be some people's solving strategy, but I think it kind of defeats the purpose of the puzzle, namely to use logical reasoning to find out how the numbers should be filled into the puzzle. Guessing says to me 'This puzzle is too hard for me to solve using logical reasoning, and I'm too lazy to keep searching'.

Also, when guessing a number, all but one possibility have to be wrong. After all, the puzzle has one unique solution. Therefore, it should be possible to find out in your head why this possibility works and why the other one doesn't. If they both work, just keep searching. There has to be something wrong with one of them.

Author:  richr  [ Tue May 17, 2011 7:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

I use guessing as a last resort, but I do use it when I can't find (especially late in the day) a logical link. I find the 9x9 patterns the
most difficult.

Author:  sneaklyfox  [ Wed May 18, 2011 2:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

maartensmit wrote:
This might be some people's solving strategy, but I think it kind of defeats the purpose of the puzzle, namely to use logical reasoning to find out how the numbers should be filled into the puzzle. Guessing says to me 'This puzzle is too hard for me to solve using logical reasoning, and I'm too lazy to keep searching'.


You seem to think that guessing has nothing to do with logic. Earlier, you said that you do ask yourself what would happen if you put a certain number in a box. You said you do it in your head. So that counts as logic? But if someone doesn't want to keep all the numbers in their head so writes it down as a "guess" then it's not logical anymore? I don't think guessing necessarily means you don't use logical reasoning.

Anyway, in my point of view, the purpose of the puzzle is to solve it using your brain and whatever method works though some methods may be better than others.

Author:  maartensmit  [ Wed May 18, 2011 7:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

sneaklyfox wrote:
maartensmit wrote:
This might be some people's solving strategy, but I think it kind of defeats the purpose of the puzzle, namely to use logical reasoning to find out how the numbers should be filled into the puzzle. Guessing says to me 'This puzzle is too hard for me to solve using logical reasoning, and I'm too lazy to keep searching'.


You seem to think that guessing has nothing to do with logic. Earlier, you said that you do ask yourself what would happen if you put a certain number in a box. You said you do it in your head. So that counts as logic? But if someone doesn't want to keep all the numbers in their head so writes it down as a "guess" then it's not logical anymore? I don't think guessing necessarily means you don't use logical reasoning.

Anyway, in my point of view, the purpose of the puzzle is to solve it using your brain and whatever method works though some methods may be better than others.

In a way, you could say that everything is based on guessing. For example there's a 4+ box of 2 squares, one of which is in a column with already a 3 in it. You could define your logic as: 'If I put a 1 there, there would be a 3 there, and then there would be two 3s in that column. Therefore that choice is impossible and it should be the other way around.

The line that I'm trying to draw is the difference between a) calculating in your head what would happen if you filled some number into some square, and b) actually filling it in and see what comes from it.

Of course, any means of making the puzzle easier to solve is acceptable and by no definition wrong or prohibited, but I would not use guessing as a method. And indeed, I do not believe guessing has anything to do with logic.

Edit: I now understand that you are trying to say that guessing in your head and guessing on paper aren't that different. I see why you think so, but for some reason it feels somewhat wrong to me to write down a number of which you're not sure it's correct, although calculating the possibilities in your head doesn't.

Author:  sheldolina  [ Thu May 19, 2011 7:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

I start guessing when I really donĀ“t have a clue what to do. But I save the puzzle before I start guessing, so if my guess is wrong I can always go back to where I was.

Author:  sneaklyfox  [ Fri May 20, 2011 3:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Method: Guessing

maartensmit wrote:
And indeed, I do not believe guessing has anything to do with logic.

Edit: I now understand that you are trying to say that guessing in your head and guessing on paper aren't that different. I see why you think so, but for some reason it feels somewhat wrong to me to write down a number of which you're not sure it's correct, although calculating the possibilities in your head doesn't.


Well, I do understand that it feels different to guess in your head or guess on paper. I probably wouldn't call it a "guess" unless it were written down. I was just slightly irked by your earlier comment in which you thought that it was *wrong* to make a guess on paper and that by doing so one would be defeating the purpose of the puzzle almost as though anyone who used the guessing method were intellectually inferior.

So am I to understand that you only put a number down in a box when you know for sure that it is correct? That would mean that you do not use the = sign or the save feature? Just for clarification.

One reason why we may disagree is that there's no place in this online calcudoku page that allows us to write in pencil the possible numbers that go in a box. (I've seen this elsewhere on other calcudoku sites.) So, in your example of 4+ cage, I might put 1 and 3 in a random order until I can logically deduce which order it is. Half the way to solving those two boxes is knowing which numbers go there but would you call that a guess?

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