Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

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Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby Pupp » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:29 am

Post on how you solve puzzles. Not techniques, but rather if you feel your trying to solve with a rigorous process that leaves little room for creativity, or if you solve creatively. Creative doesn't mean quicker or slower, but just a path an algorithm might not take.

I find I'm very creative when solving Sudoku puzzles. No doubt because I used to play chess, in which the opponent makes half the moves.
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Re: Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby SteveG48 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:10 pm

Pupp wrote:Post on how you solve puzzles. Not techniques, but rather if you feel your trying to solve with a rigorous process that leaves little room for creativity, or if you solve creatively. Creative doesn't mean quicker or slower, but just a path an algorithm might not take.

I find I'm very creative when solving Sudoku puzzles. No doubt because I used to play chess, in which the opponent makes half the moves.


Pupp, to me a rigorous process means that you don't indulge in guesswork. It does not preclude creativity.
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Re: Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby Pupp » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:02 pm

SteveG48 wrote:
Pupp wrote:Post on how you solve puzzles. Not techniques, but rather if you feel your trying to solve with a rigorous process that leaves little room for creativity, or if you solve creatively. Creative doesn't mean quicker or slower, but just a path an algorithm might not take.

I find I'm very creative when solving Sudoku puzzles. No doubt because I used to play chess, in which the opponent makes half the moves.


Pupp, to me a rigorous process means that you don't indulge in guesswork. It does not preclude creativity.


I think Sudoku has creative element to it. Mainly in the fact that harder puzzles can be solved in different ways. It seems to me, some of the forum people put too much stock into trying to solve problems like an algorithm would. I never said I was guessing. Maybe you have be a person that plays, or has played, games like chess, Go, checkers, etc, in which your looking for a way to win, but is impossible to play at the level of a super computer. So there is a lot of creativity in chess, which I used to play.

Being creative has nothing to do with guessing, but rather in how you look at a board to solve it. I solve creatively. When I mention I used certain technique(s), often I'll get comments from other forum users that they couldn't find how I got to use the techniques I mentioned, then basically suggests I was guessing. Yet, I solve puzzles rated 5.5 or more, consistently and flawlessly, yet nobody on this forum has any idea how I got to to use what technique(s) I mentioned I used in a particular puzzle.

I said this in another thread: I wish there was some standard way that sudoku apps can save games so they can be published online with the moves taken to solve the puzzle. It would be helpful for a lot of things.
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Re: Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby mith » Wed Sep 16, 2020 11:38 pm

He didn't say creativity = guesswork. You can be creative and rigorous at the same time.

The problem in other threads is that you haven't been able to turn your "creativity" (the techniques you used) into something rigorous. Which doesn't necessarily mean the techniques aren't rigorous in most cases (though one such technique was shown to not be). But to use the previous thread as an example, when you say you used Skyscrapers to solve a puzzle, and SE rated it 5.5, there are only a few possibilities

To borrow from chess, I would reframe this as intuition vs. calculation. When solving a sudoku manually, intuition often informs where you look first, or which cells/houses/etc. look "weak" and deserve more attention. But sometimes a more thorough approach is warranted (for example, scanning every row/column/box looking for naked/hidden sets). The best chess players are both intuitive and highly skilled at calculation. (And sometimes fail at both - making an intuitive move in a blitz game that isn't actually sound, or missing a line when calculating deeply.)
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Re: Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby SpAce » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:46 am

Pupp wrote:When I mention I used certain technique(s), often I'll get comments from other forum users that they couldn't find how I got to use the techniques I mentioned, then basically suggests I was guessing.

Right, you weren't actually guessing in the one example I've seen. You were unknowingly using unsound logic, which is much worse than deliberately guessing. The results are the same either way.

Yet, I solve puzzles rated 5.5 or more, consistently and flawlessly

Should we take your word for it? It would be easier to believe if you presented examples of puzzles you've solved and explained how you passed the critical bottlenecks. The one technique you showed us simply cannot produce flawless results consistently. I thought you admitted it yourself.

yet nobody on this forum has any idea how I got to to use what technique(s) I mentioned I used in a particular puzzle.

How could we? The only sample of your creative techniques you've presented was very obviously flawed. Please don't imply that we just didn't understand your genius move. That's simply not true.

You're quite welcome to present more of your special techniques, but I can't guarantee that you will like what we have to say about them. Of course we're keeping an open mind. Naturally it would be awesome if you could present a totally new and effective technique. It's just not very likely at this point, so excuse our skepticism.
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Re: Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby Pupp » Thu Sep 17, 2020 3:43 pm

Lately I haven't been solving puzzles with any techniques that haven't been around for years, which is a good thing. I do want to say that I'm having difficulty with puzzles that are over 6. I only managed to solve a single one over 6.5, and I think on that one, I didn't get lucky, but the puzzle just happen to use techniques I was most familiar with. But puzzles between 4.0 and 5.5 for sure I'm solving very well, with only the occasional hiccup for puzzles that are definitely over 5.0.

One of the techniques I was posting about, I think was a failed understanding of properly implementing skyscrapers earlier in the puzzle, that was causing that particular formation.
I know if I see that formation now, I'm almost certain I already screwed up the puzzle. :lol:

As I learn more and more proper techniques, I'm getting much less stuck, assuming I'm doing a puzzle in my range, which tops out about 5.5, but I can solve some puzzles over that. Although it doesn't mean it's always easy to find a particular step. I love posting that I solved a puzzle in X minutes, but it doesn't mean the next puzzle might not take twice as long... or a lot longer than that. Of course, plenty of times I just rewind the puzzle to the beginning and have to start over. I'm not a machine. It doesn't help that the level I'm on has such a wide range of difficulty levels. I don't know from one puzzle to the next if it's going to be 4.2 or something close to 7.0. It would be amazing if I solved a puzzle over 6.5. Even puzzles over 6.0 are borderline at best for me, quickly going down as the difficulty creeps up over 6.0.

But I assure you that I do try and use standard techniques, and I'll post again when I start solving puzzles over the 6.0 range on a decent basis. I do agree I'm not going to invent a new technique. Certainly with easier puzzles, probably below 4.0, occasionally a bit higher than 4.0, one could get stuck on a position, and sometimes solve a step with luck, and think your solving with something new technique, or some technique you never heard of, but was actually luck.

But I will not spend my days trying to solve puzzles like some app. It's best that I just keep trying to get better at techniques, and keep learning new techniques to add to my arsenal.
-I've been using skyscrapers for several weeks, but can only honestly say I mastered that technique rather recently. I started using skyscrapers a couple months ago, but the puzzles only used a single, easy to find skyscraper once in a while. But now I see skyscrapers as a regular feature in the harder puzzles. My biggest focus right now is learning more advanced wing formations like WXYZ-Wings and related versions of that.
Just because I solved a puzzle with different techniques than SE, which used a WXYZ-wing, doesn't mean I'm not hyper focused on the fact I didn't learn that technique yet, and looking for WXYZ-Wings every time I solve a puzzle. :geek: :oops: :lol:

EDIT: I think I"m gonna take a week off from Sudoku, then focus on the more difficult wing patterns I'm having problems with.
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Re: Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby Mauriès Robert » Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:21 am

Hi Pupp,
I suggest you look at the TDP side, you can use your creativity to apply it in an original way.
You will find (in French) illustrations of TDP in comparison with expert techniques on this web page.
Sincerely
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Re: Solving Puzzles: Creative -vs- Rigorous

Postby Pupp » Sat Sep 19, 2020 5:51 am

Thanks.

I really do need to work on those various wing techniques. I'm sure I'm lagging behind on my studies.

That being said, I'd have never fathomed I'd be solving even 5.5 SE rated puzzles on a regular basis in such a short amount of time. (March was when I started really getting into Sudoku).
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