What I see here

Anything goes, but keep it seemly...

What I see here

Postby 813554 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:32 pm

Hi, I'm relatively new here. I'm from Turkey and I'm 20. I always loved Sudoku and other puzzles. In high school, I was the only person who reads newspaper. I bought one every day, my friends took sports page, I read the rest while I'm eating and solved the puzzles later on. Even the hardest sudoku puzzles on newspaper were so easy for me. I've downloaded and app for starbattle, I solved them all then I went back and made all of them three stars. Then it was done, I couldn't find a good website that I could find new starbattle puzzles. Then I remembered my days in high school and downloaded a sudoku app. Easy is easy, medium is easy, hard is easy and expert is impossible. What? I always thought sudoki is such an easy puzzle, how hard could it be, it's small, rules are simple... One day I was really frustrated, I was mad. I was shouting at myself "How the hell I can't solve this!?". I decided to learn the game, I was going to learn all the techniques. I decided to ask this on a sudoku forum and I Googled it, this site was the first result. It was really surprising to see how many terms this game has. X-wings, scy srapers, 2 string kites, jelly fishes... I've posted a pic of the puzzle I couldn't solve and some guys were saying "There's a hidden triplet in r2c4, r3c4..." and it was all nonsense to me! "Okay r should be standing for 'row' there, b is 'box' probably. What is 'turbot fish'? let's see the pic, oh, okay so this is a turbot fish then. Got it.". I learnt a lot in time.

Forums always seemed old to me. I always feel like I'm in 2000's when I browse in a forum and I love this feeling. Past always seems happy. Today, I yearn for yesterday but tomorrow I will yearn for today. "These old music... This is gold. Look at how shite music is today...". I want to play hide and seek on the streets with my friends. I yearn for the days I didn't even live in. '70s music is great, I love old classic cars, I love the way people dresses back then... Anyway, I see, I am not the only person who thinks forums look old because this forum is not so alive. Less new topics I see, same a few people replies all the posts... When I ask something, I can find myself at a topic of 2006. This is the most popular sudoku forum and 20, 30 people are online, sometimes fewer. It's sad.

Another point: I have never met a person who takes sudoku seriously. A few people knows the rules but a lot of them haven't solved a puzzle in a year. Especially young people. This forum shares the birthdays of the members at the bottom, you can always look at it. I never see a person under 30 there. Maybe people lost their interest in sudoku, maybe sudoku is old itself. None of my peers around me even knows the rules. What do you think about this?
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Re: What I see here

Postby 813554 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:46 pm

:D :oops: :geek: :lol: ;) Look at these smilies. I find myself in another world when I look at them. A white world, where all phones are clamshall, where TV is still a thing... Everybody's young and they wear hoodies. Spray paint is everywhere, people listens music from boomboxes. I don't know, it makes me smile.

In inventor's studio, newest topic is older than a year and topics has really few replies. Why this place is so empty, why people don't know about sudoku? Why don't they care?
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Re: What I see here

Postby 999_Springs » Tue Oct 23, 2018 11:29 pm

hey there. going to add my quick thoughts to this

here's a little bit of sudoku history. wayne gould (pappocom) and his son popularised sudoku by bringing it into british newspapers around 2004-05 when it quickly took off, and so did these forums (originally at sudoku.com). like pretty much every fashionable thing out there, it had its share of the limelight in the media, everyone loved it, my ENTIRE year group at school were completely immersed into it, people said it would replace crosswords, and a community was built around here to discuss mainly newspaper puzzles (look through old posts and you'll find only newspaper puzzles everywhere). those who were interested kept the community going by discovering new techniques like 2005-06 was the heyday of new methods being discovered, everything was rough-around-the-edges, and the community flourished. however eventually public interest dies and people move on and become interested in other things. in particular, nobody does sudoku for any reason other than just for fun, nobody does it professionally (in contrast, there is some level of money-making involved in general puzzle solving championships where some countries like the usa will sponsor top performers to go to contests, but there is nothing like this for sudoku - the puzzle solving community and the sudoku speed-solving community hate each other).

in 2010 the site was bought by some random people who didn't know that this forum existed, accidentally got rid of it, and couldn't find it again. the community lost a lot of posts, and despite jason's efforts to scrape a 1-year-old backup from 2009, loads of people just left then or shortly after. i left in 2010 after the forum became completely dead

these forums seem to have been revived a little bit lately, there are WAY more posts here these days than i've seen in years, and i've recently become active again for the first time in 8 years or so. i'm not sure why, i think it's because all the other sudoku forums have died, eg programmers forum, but don't know

the fact is that this same sort of slow death happens to literally EVERY topic-specific forum community out there - people gain interest in it, then public interest wanes and only the dedicated members stay, and eventually leave one by one. go find a forum for any computer game that was popular in the 2000's and you'll see the same thing happening. it's not just sudoku it's literally every other fad out there

finally, the whole idea of internet forums in general is dying these days, people are using reddit/slack/discord/whatever else for their information needs instead.

suffice to say i'm genuinely surprised to find this forum has survived as long as it has done without any crash or people just leaving. i did briefly check this place out in 2014 to find it completely dead and thought that was it. it's great that it's still sort of active, and that new members like you are finding this place and keeping it going :)

This forum shares the birthdays of the members at the bottom, you can always look at it. I never see a person under 30 there.

i ABSOLUTELY guarantee you that >99.5% of these are not real people, but are spambots, who have zero posts. this sort of birthdays pattern can be seen in EVERY internet forum. not just this one. spambots like setting their birthdays on profiles so it gives them more attention when it comes up. btw i joined in 2007 when i was 13

This is the most popular sudoku forum and 20, 30 people are online, sometimes fewer.

probably 90% are spambots or webcrawlers. it's more like 0 to 3 people if you ignore the spambots

"These old music... This is gold. Look at how shite music is today..."

I yearn for the days I didn't even live in. '70s music is great, I love old classic cars

think of it like this: even in the 70's there must have been some great music, and some terrible music. but nobody remembers the terrible music, so now the only 70's songs that you hear these days are the songs considered the best, and you never hear the terrible 70's music because it died. in other words you love 70's music because only the good parts survived. same goes with cars, if old cars were terrible you wouldn't know about them
Once upon a time I was a teenager who was active on here 2007-2011
ocean and eleven should have paired up to make a sudoku-solving duo called Ocean's Eleven
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Re: What I see here

Postby qiuyanzhe » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:13 pm

Something too long that I would set hidden.
Hidden Text: Show
This is about my idea of what I see here. I have been thinking about this even before I see this topic, and as the end of a year, it's time for me to bring out my thoughts.

In our country, the majority of sudoku players focus on competing, and a minority focus on solving high-difficulty puzzles, and only players of either team who is good at programming, combines computing with sudoku.
As a competitive player, in my early years, I got my first sudoku book(by Nikoli),in the book authors strongly recommended hand-crafted puzzles. I once thought the same, until one day I noticed some programs, then started making puzzles in a combined way. (programs are also getting better!)

Something about "Patterns Game"
As I was once amazed by the various techniques in previous posts, I naturally start to learn about the longest and the most active topic-- Patterns Game. I knew it clearly that without a specific program it is hard to get fully involved, but I enjoy presenting my idea via puzzles, so I begin to post low-difficulty puzzles since the last game. It is a time-costing thing to check if a puzzle is minimal, and I get really annoyed when I realized an "elegant" puzzle is not minimal.
In my opinion 'minimal' means nothing about human logic. It is just a restriction for manual making and a filter for computer generating. Puzzles filtered out might also have interesting properties.

So I don't think that game is about sudoku, it's just a long-term programming match.

Sometimes when I am negative towards this site, I think nobody really cares about a specific puzzle, and see this site as an online encyclopedia of solving techniques, along with only some programming-related researches.

But think it back, we ARE discovering new things, it's just that compared with results during teens of years, we don't have so much progress in every month.

Also some personal view about SE:
I don't think SE is still a best rating system, as I find the blindspots of SE mainly in these aspects.
1) Multi-value URs
For (6+)-cell URs, it is always involving two digits. 12-23-31 URs do not count.
This makes us easier to make bottlenecks containing half-URs, while avoiding them from using it. In 999_Springs's post we can see puzzles with 4.5&5.7 have exactly the same thing.
2) Wings and Chains
Genuinely I don't think Wing is a special type of solver. X-wing is a cycle, XY-wing is an open chain, XYZ-wing has a branch. And I don't think "conventional" wings should have such low ratings compared to some similar chains(Y-Wing, 4-link Y-chains,etc.).
3) Direct
It is generally agreed that difficulty of Naked Single should depend on the number of empty cells around them. With 6 givens it's rated a bit lower than a 3+3+2 one, is quite rational. But I don't think being direct can reduce the difficulty of any pair. In most of the time(where there is no Naked Single) they are considered to have a same difficulty by common sense, no matter if it's direct.
This feeling is even stronger during the latest Patterns Game. When I saw the pattern, I almost proved that a 3.2/3.2/3.2 puzzle would not exist, as the only X-wing would be like that(as in all the x/x/3.2 puzzles), and it is "useless by my intuition". And I got shocked when I saw such a puzzle by Robbie. It turns out that the x-wing made a hidden pair "direct". And I got fainted.
4) Non-pencilmark information
In the topic "Solving without Pencilmarks", many of the posts are solvers using something other than pencilmarks. In SE, the only place where such things are involved are URs(and BUGs). In that topic I posted a puzzle to compare UR with a bivalue cell, also examples of "equations". It is hard to tell how to use these informations in general, but I don't think it proper to include non-pencilmark informations only in URs.

This might be the first part. I don't know when to start another part and again I'm getting the text too long.. Whatever, I enjoy sudoku, and enjoy being one of our forum.
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Re: What I see here

Postby qiuyanzhe » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:16 pm

And (an early or late, depending on the time difference) Happy New Year to all folks! :D
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Re: What I see here

Postby Mathimagics » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:54 pm

qiuyanzhe wrote:I don't think SE is still a best rating system, as I find the blindspots of SE mainly in these aspects ...


Interesting stuff … rating systems are inherently problematic, I think, and a best a rough indicator …

Good to hear that competitive Sudoku is popular in China … what about Kakuro? Any interest? 8-)
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Re: What I see here

Postby 999_Springs » Mon Dec 31, 2018 5:59 pm

a couple of comments

- the speedsolver community (which is what you seem to be referring to) and this one which likes solving and generating difficult puzzles are 2 completely different communities. we solve puzzles differently like if you solve for speed you never do a pm grid and you think that all puzzles should be doable with pairs triples x-wings and ur's, otherwise they are not valid puzzles. strmckr is the only real speedsolver we have lurking this forum you can ask him if you'd like to know more

- sudoku explainer is a very old slow buggy clunky java program from 2006 when people unironically listened to james blunt and westlife, and ugg boots and blackberries were in fashion. everyone knows that it's terrible and buggy at the lower levels and that the GUI is ful off speeling misteaks evrywear. we only use it because it's very good at rating stuff at the high levels. I mean fish and ALS's and stuff weren't invented at that time so they are not included. Also nick seems to have taken down the entire website so nobody can download it any more except from here. you can read this thread if you want to hear my obnoxious 15 year old self vent about se to anyone who's interested (it got lost in the big forum crash of 2009, there was some discussion before it died and I reposted it)

- the patterns game is supposedly a mechanism for generating puzzles with interesting properties such as high ratings, and it can be useful for that. I personally believe it's a bit of a cult these days, and as such, i like to make a mockery of the whole thing by posting phallic sudoku puzzles and gifs of donald trump and stupid rubbish like that in the thread. but i believe it did play a good role in keeping the forum going during the post-crash years when nothing happened so I don't mind it being a cult hahahah

edit: happy new year to all
Once upon a time I was a teenager who was active on here 2007-2011
ocean and eleven should have paired up to make a sudoku-solving duo called Ocean's Eleven
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Re: What I see here

Postby enxio27 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:08 pm

Musings for a New Year's Eve, a dozen-ish years after sudoku hit the mainstream. . . It's a little sad to me, too, to see the meteoric rise of sudoku and its subsequent near-demise. I started out with puzzles from uclick, which puts out (or used to) puzzles for several magazines and newspapers. I quickly discovered and began participating in a number of online sudoku forums, most of which are gone now. I find only three sudoku forums worth visiting anymore. Of the three, this one is definitely the most active.

My interest in sudoku is a bit different from most. I like the common variants (diagonal, windoku, jigsaw, etc.) better than "vanilla" 9x9 sudoku, and get far more enjoyment out of a relatively easy (but time-consuming) multi-grid puzzle such as the ones that 1to9only and Hajime have been generating recently. Still searching for my "holy grail" of a program that will generate all of the major variants in the common grid arrangements as well as user-defined grid arrangements.

I also collect puzzles, LOTS of them. I saw very quickly that sudoku wouldn't be around (at least in publicly accessible places) forever, and I began amassing puzzles from all of my favorite sites so that I would never run out of puzzles, even if I were the last person on earth who still had any interest in them. I now have far more puzzles than I could ever solve in my lifetime, but the vast majority of those are 9x9 vanilla, which most here would find too easy to bother with. At one time, my goal was to master all of the techniques, but lost interest about the time I got to swordfish (I still have not found a puzzle in which a swordfish actually eliminates a candidate).

I've dabbled with the Patterns Game, but I don't have the free time to keep up with it, although I like collecting the puzzles from it.
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Re: What I see here

Postby blue » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:58 pm

enxio27 wrote:I like the common variants (diagonal, windoku, jigsaw, etc.) better than "vanilla" 9x9 sudoku ...

enxio27 wrote:(I still have not found a puzzle in which a swordfish actually eliminates a candidate).

The Innie/Outie rules for Jigsaw ... (love them!) ... are related to "fish".
A 3-region/3-column elimination for digit 'd' in the "innie" cells, is equivalent to franken-swordfish elimination for that digit.
The strongly linked sets in the 3 regions, form the base, and the weak links in the columns, give the "cover".
If the digit appears in a filled cell in the columns, it's only a franken-X-wing.
But then 4-regions/4-columns with 1 filled cell, is a swordfish again.
For similar eliminations in the outie cells, the columns form the base, and the regions give the covers.

Happy New Year to All !
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re: Swordfish

Postby Pat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 9:26 am

enxio27 wrote:

    I still have not found a puzzle in which a swordfish actually eliminates a candidate


Puzzle collections sorted by solving qualities
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Re: What I see here

Postby Leren » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:25 am

Some Swordfish exemplars from Hodoku.

Hidden Text: Show
1......345..3.2.78...8........6.5..3..5...4..3.....6.298.2.6.1.............78.9..
..5.7.2.........498....5.7.91...6..7.4.9.8..2..645..8..8..................1.43...
3.15..............74...6.3..8.6.7..4...9.....27..5..8......126.........861..23.5.
.31..6..56....7......59....8..1....27.......3.4...38..12763.........1.....84..3..
..........8..63..4..2.....8..5.......46..25.....9...3172...54.......7.93.932....5
..6..........756.....2.3591.5..149.38..9.2.....37......25..94..9...2..3..........
.......5..46.518.....9..4.6.3.8......2.3..6.9417..9.......68.142.......85.1......
6.913...........1...4...5.74..8...798.2.............6......3..82....19.3...4296..
16.54..7...8..1.3..3.8.....7...5..696..9.2.57.............3..4........16...1645..

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Re: What I see here

Postby 1to9only » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:39 pm

enxio27 wrote:Still searching for my "holy grail" of a program that will generate all of the major variants in the common grid arrangements as well as user-defined grid arrangements.

First: About my own programs, these are unlikely to be released - it's ok to call me selfish, but it's the only way to avoid someone else monetizing the puzzles...

Then: The only (free) program that comes close to meeting your requirement is something I found here, scroll down a bit for downloads, or go here.

About the GUI version [2.0]
- it has not been updated for quite a number of years (but the source (under GNUGPLv2) is available for download)
- it uses Qt for the UI bits (puts me off, but technically some improvements are possible!)
- the program is useable (takes a little bit of messing about to figure things out!)
- it allows design of overlapping sudoku grids
- the puzzles created are non-symmetric (can be fixed to create symmetric grids!)
- it saves them in binary .sdk format (can be fixed to save text lines!)
- there are a few reported features!

About the command line version [1.04]
- the puzzles created are non-symmetric
- the nonets are not empty
- it saves text files
- specify number of grids followed by grids block coordinates (this, i like!)
Code: Select all
 [sensei-1] demo4-creator.exe -num 1 -grids 2 0 0 2 2
 [sensei-2] demo4-creator.exe -num 1 -grids 2 0 0 1 2
[tridoku-1] demo4-creator.exe -num 1 -grids 3 0 0 2 2 4 4
   [wing-3] demo4-creator.exe -num 1 -grids 3 0 0 4 0 2 2
  [samurai] demo4-creator.exe -num 1 -grids 5 0 0 4 0 2 2 0 4 4 4
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Re: What I see here

Postby enxio27 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:55 am

Thanks to Leren and Pat for the swordfish puzzles. I'll give them a try!

1to9only wrote:First: About my own programs, these are unlikely to be released - it's ok to call me selfish, but it's the only way to avoid someone else monetizing the puzzles...

I'm disappointed, but I do understand completely. My goal is to generate puzzles for my own use, not to sell them (I think that ship has sailed, anyway--sudoku just isn't popular enough anymore). I just wish I knew how to write my own puzzle generator.

Then: The only (free) program that comes close to meeting your requirement is something I found here, scroll down a bit for downloads, or go here.

Thanks for that! I've already downloaded it and will check it out. So far, I don't see that it will generate puzzles using additional constraints (diagonal, windoku, etc.), irregular nonets (jigsaw), etc., but I haven't done an exhaustive evaluation yet.

There is also JSudoku, which is also released under a GPL license. If I could even extend that to include a few more puzzle types, I would be happy.

Hajime's generator looks promising, as well, but it is essentially based on Excel macros and has memory-based size limitations.
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Re: What I see here

Postby Leren » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:33 am

Can't resist posting the Swordfish move from the first Hodoku puzzle - 11 eliminations.

Code: Select all
*-----------------------------------------------------*
| 1     679      8       | 5   679    79   | 2 3  4   |
| 5    *469     *469     | 3  *469    2    | 1 7  8   |
| 247   237-4    237-4   | 8   17-4   147  | 5 6  9   |
|------------------------+-----------------+----------|
| 8    *124     *124     | 6  *124    5    | 7 9  3   |
| 267   267      5       | 9   237    37   | 4 8  1   |
| 3     179-4    179-4   | 14  17-4   8    | 6 5  2   |
|------------------------+-----------------+----------|
| 9     8       *47      | 2  *45     6    | 3 1  57  |
| 2467  123567-4 12367-4 | 14  1359-4 1349 | 8 24 567 |
| 246   12356-4  1236-4  | 7   8      134  | 9 24 56  |
*-----------------------------------------------------*

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Re: What I see here

Postby 1to9only » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:54 am

1to9only wrote:About the command line version [1.04]
- the nonets are not empty

Adding -restrictinters 4 to the command line created empty nonets in the few puzzles I tested this on.
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