Hooray - no clue numbers in the Killer!

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Hooray - no clue numbers in the Killer!

Seems like someone at The Times finally listened. It was still a fairly easy one (took me about 9 minutes rather than suggested 23) but hopefully they'll get progressively harder through the week to give us a decent challenge.
CathyW

Posts: 316
Joined: 20 June 2005

I was also delighted but it was still frightfully easy

The Times are sorting out their problems one by one

they shouldn't be called killer if they bareley take longer than the fiendish ones
Pi

Posts: 389
Joined: 27 May 2005

I'd love to know if my technique differs

Wow.. some of you really do these killer's quickly! I thoroughly enjoyed todays (26th sept) but it did take me 23 minutes. I wonder where I am wasting time. Would anyone care to "open the kimono" and reveal their technique for doing it so quickly?
markj

Posts: 7
Joined: 25 September 2005

Well, today's took a bit longer! Especially as I made a silly mistake and had to start over.

I always start by filling in candidates for the 'cages' where there is only one option e.g. 8 and 9 for 17 in two cells, 1, 2 and 4 for 7 in three cells. Then you can often eliminate those from the rest of the row, column or box (not always immediately as sometimes the cage overlaps two boxes). Some of the larger cages are useful too in this respect e.g. 30 in 4 cells can only be 6+7+8+9, 15 in 5 cells can only be 1+2+3+4+5. Thereafter it's really a question of applying normal sudoku rules and remembering the 45 total for every row, column or box as well as eliminating candidates because they won't add up to the total in the cage.

I don't suppose you're doing anything different but practice helps you recognise the possibilities more quickly.
CathyW

Posts: 316
Joined: 20 June 2005

thanks!

Cathy, Thanks for that - you are doing the same as me albeit a lot faster. Your comments have made me realise that I have three factors which determine my slowness:

1. I am still getting to grips with the obvious ones, particularly if there are lots of cells within a dotted line!
2. I find myself unnecessarily double-checking each and every entry.
3. I get so into enjoying the logic of the killer that I tend to forget that normal su doku rules apply, so don't ever bother applying them.

That 3rd factor is clearly the issue that slows my progress, but it also extends my enjoyment I guess.

Today's took me a while too - it initially had me totally confused as I also made a stupid mistake from the word go. However, for some reason I find it easier to reverse-engineer mistakes with killer whereas a mistake in a regular su doku generally compounds itself to the point where I can no longer work out where it went wrong.
markj

Posts: 7
Joined: 25 September 2005

You're welcome. Having said the above, today's took me ages - definitely more than 28 minutes. Did it eventually but there were no single option cages - all adds to the fun and it was good to have a real challenge in a Killer puzzle which seems to have been lacking since the initial five puzzles at the end of August.
CathyW

Posts: 316
Joined: 20 June 2005

At least they are starting to live up to their names
Pi

Posts: 389
Joined: 27 May 2005

Dear Times

Please bring back the clues. All is forgiven.

possum

Posts: 86
Joined: 05 April 2005

can anyone do killer "toughs" without writing down candidates? i used to be able to standard "difficults" that way, but not "fiendishes". i know someone who never writes anything down but the answers. she hasnt started on killer "deadlies" yet, but can do the killer "toughs" this way. i m hoping the "deadlies" will finally make her get that pencil out again.
PaulB

Posts: 6
Joined: 10 October 2005

PaulB wrote:can anyone do killer "toughs" without writing down candidates?

Well, I can't - today's Times "Gentle" was the first killer I've done without candidates at all, though a few others haven't needed many!

I manage some standard difficults without but have never done a fiendish yet without them. I admire those who can do them without noting candidates
CathyW

Posts: 316
Joined: 20 June 2005

I manage some standard difficults without but have never done a fiendish yet without them. I admire those who can do them without noting candidates

I am probably missing out on the finer Swordfish/XYWing techniques but I never write in anything other than obvious pair possibilities. I found early on that trying to fill in every square with every possibility was not only tedious and girly (because that is what Vordemann recommended) but actually clouded my ability to see the patterns. I prefer to look and solve, although this does involve doing it at one session, without a break.
Bigtone53

Posts: 413
Joined: 19 September 2005