Sunday, 1 August 2010

Filomino from Nikoli

A lot of people enjoy solving puzzles every day to escape the pressures of the world. With Nikoli logic puzzles you need just paper, pencil, and an active mind, no expensive programs or training.

Infact, where the world's attention is on Nikoli, where puzzles are concerened.

Personally, I am a huge fan of Nikoli puzzles and it won't be right starting a puzzle blog without referring them.

So, "what's next after the sudoku craze?" As a matter of fact, people are looking to Nikoli for answers. The publication of Nikoli original puzzles other than sudoku have been steadily increasing throughout North America and Europe.

What makes Nikoli puzzles unique is that their editors collaborate with individual puzzle creators and fans. Puzzle authors submit puzzles and their experienced editors review each and every puzzle. As they are very particular about quality, even experienced puzzle creators get rejected through their reviewing process. Having a fan focused creation process makes Nikoli puzzles exciting and they have a totally different "flavor" and freshness.

You don't need any special talent to solve Nikoli puzzles just an interested active mind will do the trick. Besides, their carefully reviewed puzzles will not cause solvers unnecessary stress and they also don't require high levels of knowledge or any complicated hypothesis. A special talent is not a requirement to find the answers. You just need an open mind, thinking for yourself that "Maybe this is the right way"

A unique aspect of Nikoli puzzles is that a puzzle that is challenging to a beginner and yet solvable, can also give the expert solver pleasure in solving it. In fact, there exists a bond between puzzle creator and solver.

Today, I am going to focus on Fillomino puzzles from Nikoli.

Fillomino is a type of logic puzzle published by Nikoli. Other published titles for the puzzle include Allied Occupation

Fillomino is played on a rectangular grid with no standard size; the internal grid lines are often dotted. Some cells of the grid start containing numbers, referred to as "givens". The goal is to divide the grid into polyominoes (by filling in their boundaries) such that each given number n in the grid is part of an n-omino and that no two polyominoes of matching size (number of cells) are orthogonally adjacent (share a side).

Unlike some of its contemporaries among puzzles, there need not be a one-to-one correspondence between givens and polyominoes in the solution; it is possible for two givens with matching number to belong to the same polyomino in the solution, and for a polyomino to have no given at all.

Solution methods
It is common practice in solving a Fillomino puzzle to add numbers to the empty cells when it is determined what size polyomino each must belong to; these numbers are effectively treated identically to the givens.

Below is a sample Fillomino puzzle

1.Place numbers in all empty cells according to the following rules.
2.Put numbers into empty cells so the puzzle grid becomes divided into Blocks of cells with the number of cells indicated by the number in the cells.
3.A Block must contain the number of cells indicated by the number in the cells of the Block.
4.A Block cannot touch a similarly sized Block, horizontally or vertically.
5.Cells without numbers may form Blocks necessary to complete the puzzle.

The typical means of starting a Fillomino puzzle is to draw in the obvious borders between non-matching givens and surrounding all polyominoes completed by the givens alone ('1's, pairs of orthogonally adjacent '2's, and so on). From there, the solver searches for three things, possibly in combination.

When you see fantastic exceptional puzzles, please check who made them. I am certain it would be from Nikoli puzzles.

So long, everyone, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Gold or Cotton - Which is heavier ?

There are a set of puzzles called lateral thinking puzzles. While some of us find it rather annoying, a lot many of us find it challenging and interesting. What separates lateral puzzles from a normal puzzle is that lateral puzzles makes you think.

Naturally, answers to such puzzles can be either complicate or very naïve depending on the nature of the person who is trying to solve it.

Almost all lateral puzzles are mostly stories which are incomplete and needs the person to fill up the storyline with his or her imagination and creativity. At times, an out of box thinker will find it easier to solve these.

Which would you say is heavier, a pound of cotton or a pound of gold?

Technically, you would say that they should both weigh the same as a pound of cotton and a pound of gold are both one and the same, as a pound is an unit of weight. You might also argue that a pound of gold will drop faster than a pound of cotton in the atmosphere but will fall at the same speed if placed in vacuum.

The solution to the above puzzle is that a pound of cotton outweighs a pound of gold because there are two different types of “pounds” that are used for measuring the weight of cotton and gold. While cotton is weighed using the avoirdupois pound that consists of 16 ounces, gold is weighed using the troy pound. Troy pound is used for measuring precious metals and consists of only 12 ounces (373 gms)

Feel free to post those puzzles to which you are searching for a solution. Alternately, don’t hesitate to post puzzles, which you feel is a twister and want to puzzle-slug with others.

So long, and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Solving fun puzzles

Many people find solving fun puzzles as a way to relax, and take a break from the pressures of work. With lateral puzzles all you need is an active mind.

Most of you must have heard about the below mentioned lateral puzzle. It used to be one of the commonly asked interview questions at Microsoft. I don’t know whether they have changed the format now, but it still is a nice puzzle. It is about a bear. It may still be in the list of interview questions as not many (I guess) people have heard about it…

Okay, here goes…

If a bear proceeds to walk one mile south, then makes a turn to his left and further proceeds to walks another one mile towards the east, and then he turns once again to the left and proceeds to walks one mile towards the north and finds out that he has arrived at its original position, what is the color of this bear?

Uh oh! I was thinking of a triangle, but instead they asked about the color.

Okay, it is clear from the onset of this lateral puzzle that we are at the north poles and that it is evident that the bear is a polar bear, and which would obviously be white in color. Besides, there are no bears at the South Pole. So that answers our question.

Now, taking this a step further, one can argue that anyone who is positioned at the North Pole and who is walking the same path will reach its original starting position. So, the question was just extended to confuse the person being interviewed.

Let me have your comments…..

Sunday, 20 June 2010

I Love My Puzzles – Welcome To My World

This is a blog where I post puzzles, both logic and other types of puzzles that interest me. Some of them are “borrowed” as I am not exactly a puzzle maker, but am more of a puzzle connoisseur.

Feel free to distribute these puzzles elsewhere as long there is a back-link provided to this blog. This way, we both tend to benefit. However, please do not spoil by adding the solution to the puzzle in the comment section for everyone to see.

A whole lot of people find solving puzzles as an enjoyment as well as a way to kill time. Well, I fall into the former category and I would rather play solitaire any day to kill time. I am certain that you too will find it enjoyable to solve most of the puzzles that I plan to project over a period of time in this blog. Besides, all you need to solve these puzzles is an active mind and an outlet to escape from the pressures of daily life by finding a fun way to relax.

Being a longtime fan of Nikoli, I am not ashamed to say that most of my puzzles are inspired by theirs. Sudoku was created and named by Nikoli and has spread around the globe and it is believed that over a hundred million people try and solve Sudoku puzzles every day.

You don't need any special talent to solve these puzzles, but instead all you require is an interested and open mind to enjoy these puzzles. Lastly, please feel free to add your comments and indicate ways that I could make this blog a treasure chest for people who enjoy solving puzzles.

So long everyone, welcome to my world of puzzles.