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Puzzle 36: Fencing Match 4

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Phil said...

Another day, further procrastination, another sgt-puzzles string:


I probably should have rotated the puzzle so that it was longer than it is wide, as that matches the aspect ratios of monitors more closely, but the puzzle was large enough as-is that I was worried about transcription errors.

I liked it; there's a unifying aesthetic that it has, a particular logical "force" that you use constantly, that's the sort of thing you don't see in autogenerated puzzles. Not too difficult, despite its size, but quite fun.

(Despite my aforementioned aversion to marking up my Nikoli puzzle books, I do own the Nintendo DS collection of Slitherlink puzzles they put out in Japan. Shame that it becomes almost unplayable once you get to the largest puzzle sizes due to major lag in the drawing code.)

I have a question for you: do you find yourself tending to start the 'best' solutions in the top-left corner? I noticed quite a bit of this through the Nikoli puzzles. It could be the recency illusion at work, of course, but it sure seems that lots of puzzles have their strongest solving starts there.

Thanks again for providing me a source of procrastination when I should be writing.

Grant Fikes said...

I must agree that handmade Slitherlink puzzles tend to be much more pleasing visually than computer-generated puzzles. A computer can make puzzles and do logical things faster than a human can, but only a human can truly know what make a puzzle fun for a human to solve, or pretty for a human to look at. In my experience with Nikoli puzzles, this artistry tend to be more evident in larger puzzles, because the author has more room to *be* artistic. :)

I don't have the DS game, largely because, somehow, I simply prefer having the physical books. I don't really know why, now that I think of it; I don't subscribe to, either. Maybe there's simply something about solving with a pencil that feels more right, more casual, more. . . the way God intended it. :p

Since we (at least in English) tend to read from left to right and top to bottom, perhaps the upper-right corner just subconsciously feels more like a beginning, causing the solver and author to use that as their beginning. I do try to deliberately challenge myself to start from elsewhere sometimes, though. :)

Thanks for solving/commenting!

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