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killers too difficult? https://www.calcudoku.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=364 
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Author:  picklepep [ Sun Nov 04, 2012 12:27 am ] 
Post subject:  killers too difficult? 
cecileb wrote: I left the competition long ago, because I got bored solving the easiest puzzles just to add points to my score. I also don't get any thrills tackling the difficult killers. Solving them seems like just an exercise in random guessing (unless I'm missing something & there's some way to better hone my skills). I wouldn't consider leaving the site, because of the many unique types of difficult calcudokus, which are so much fun to solve. I like Patrick's idea of limiting the number of points to acquire each day, rather than decreasing the number of puzzles per day. Btw that new pencil option is wonderful & makes solving many of the puzzles much faster. Best regards, cecileb most puzzle can be solved w/ very little guessing ack! didn't read it correctly. I was thinking most calkudoku can be solved with very little guessing. As for killers, I tend to agree with you all that it is more of a guessing game than an analytical puzzle. 
Author:  pharosian [ Sun Nov 04, 2012 1:07 am ] 
Post subject:  Re: Lowering level of participation 
cecileb wrote: I also don't get any thrills tackling the difficult killers. Solving them seems like just an exercise in random guessing (unless I'm missing something & there's some way to better hone my skills). I also feel this way about some of the difficult killers... such as two of the ones this past week. I'll have to check to see which dates, but I just couldn't get any traction. Edit: Went back and found I wasn't able to do the Difficult killer for October 31, and while I managed to solve the one for November 3, it required me to guess between {6,8} and {5,9} for the 14 cage in N5. Fortunately, I picked correctly and didn't have to do major backtracking. What did I miss?? picklepep wrote: most puzzle can be solved w/ very little guessing I think I've learned most of the tricks (looking for innies and outies, narrowing down possibilities based on largevalue 2cell cages in same row, etc.) but some of them just don't seem to present any footholds. There are too many jagged edges to ever come up with groups of 45. Is there some website that describes techniques for some of these really difficult ones? 
Author:  rossiniman [ Sun Nov 04, 2012 11:11 pm ] 
Post subject:  Re: Lowering level of participation 
I disagree with the critiques of the Kindly Sudokus. I think they're tremendously interesting, especially as a little variety from the calcudokus  I wouldn't get rid of them or reduce the number of them at all. I also don't think they require guessing. I don't always GET all of them, but the ones I do get (most of them) can be done with detective work, without guessing. 
Author:  pharosian [ Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:42 am ] 
Post subject:  Re: Lowering level of participation 
Thank you, clm, for your very helpful explanation. I didn't see that g8 was the "outie" for N7 and N8, and therefore didn't get the 2 in d1 which led to the 6 in e3, which was crucial to making the {6,8} determination for the 14 cage. I will try to look for more opportunities such as that when I get stuck next time. You rock!!! rossiniman wrote: I disagree with the critiques of the Kindly Sudokus. I think they're tremendously interesting, especially as a little variety from the calcudokus  I wouldn't get rid of them or reduce the number of them at all. I also don't think they require guessing. I don't always GET all of them, but the ones I do get (most of them) can be done with detective work, without guessing. I don't mean to sound critical of the K Sudokus... I really love doing them and look forward to them and don't want to see any reduction in them at all. But that doesn't mean I love bashing my head against a wall, which is what it feels like sometimes when I just can't figure out how to "analyze" a solution. You say you don't always GET them. Well, with the K Sudokus, I feel that I "should" be able to get them all (unlike the modulo puzzles, for example, which I find too frustrating due to the large number of possibilities for the mod cages). It frustrates the crap out of me when I can't see a way to solve one of these things. 
Author:  rossiniman [ Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:02 am ] 
Post subject:  Re: killers too difficult? 
I have the perfect solution. When I can't get one, and I feel exactly the same way, I figure all it would take is a LITTLE more time. All that's needed to provide that little more time is quitting my job, ignoring my family, and abandoning sleep! 
Author:  ray [ Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:56 pm ] 
Post subject:  Re: killers too difficult? 
I disagree with the sentiment that Killer puzzles are best solved by guessing. I have yet to do that. Instead I will get a few numbers and then look at sum combinations such as for 5 or 6 which are limited and so often decipherable. Once a third is filled in (I highlight combinations that I know must go in a cage but not the order), then the Sudoku part starts to come into play since I can sometimes find which row (or column) in a box must contain a given digit. All in all it makes for a very interesting challenge. 
Author:  pharosian [ Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:22 am ] 
Post subject:  Re: killers too difficult? 
ray wrote: I disagree with the sentiment that Killer puzzles are best solved by guessing. I have yet to do that. Instead I will get a few numbers and then look at sum combinations such as for 5 or 6 which are limited and so often decipherable. Once a third is filled in (I highlight combinations that I know must go in a cage but not the order), then the Sudoku part starts to come into play since I can sometimes find which row (or column) in a box must contain a given digit. All in all it makes for a very interesting challenge. Now that I've been doing these for a while and learned some of the tricks, it's rare that I don't complete oneand I don't have to guess. Today's Difficult had me pulling out my hair for a while until I realized that the 2 in N4 could only fit in one of two cells. That led to quite a few more cells being filled in, which eventually enabled me to solve the darn thing. It still required me to track down and eliminate a few paths in N2 and N3 before I finally got it, though. Whew! 
Author:  bram [ Fri Dec 21, 2012 7:07 am ] 
Post subject:  Re: killers too difficult? 
pharosian wrote: Now that I've been doing these for a while and learned some of the tricks, it's rare that I don't complete oneand I don't have to guess. Today's Difficult had me pulling out my hair for a while until I realized that the 2 in N4 could only fit in one of two cells. That led to quite a few more cells being filled in, which eventually enabled me to solve the darn thing. It still required me to track down and eliminate a few paths in N2 and N3 before I finally got it, though. Whew! I had a hard time solving today's difficult too, but luckily I also managed without having to go very far in testing unproven assumptions. After taking the step you described I took a closer look at column 4. With 1, 2 and 8 at the left of N5 and a cage with the sum of 17 at the left of N8, the sum of the three numbers at the left of N2 would also have to be 17. And wherever 9 went, 3 and 5 would also have to go, meaning that the numbers in the stillempty part of column 4 where those three numbers didn't go would have to be 4, 6 and 7. I tried putting 4, 6 and 7 at the leftmost cells of N2 and realised that the cage 17 straddling the top of N1 and N2 would then also have to contain those three exact numbers. Seeing that 6 and 7 were already at the right of N4 (as per your hint), 4 would have to go into the top cell of column 3 and into the bottom left cell of N2. The numbers in the middle and right cells at the bottom of N2 would then have to be 8 and 3 (so that the sum of all the numbers in N2 would be 45), and the sum of the numbers in the two leftmost cells of the 24 cage (those in row 3) must then be 9. But with 2 and 6 already in that row (at the right of N4 as per your hint) and 4 and 8 already used in the part of the 24 cage at the bottom of N2, there was no even number left to use in order to obtain a sum of 9 in the two stillempty cells of cage 24. In conclusion, putting 4, 6 and 7 at the left of N2 led to a contradiction, so they must go to the left of N8 instead while 3, 5 and 9 must go to the left of N2. The puzzle became quite manageable from then on. Sorry, I just couldn't resist verbalising excessively 
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