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Difficulty: Expert Monday, March 19, 2007

Not Completed Play This Puzzle

CHAT LOG for Monday, March 19, 2007

12:09 am
TeaNCrackers

done
12:39 am
WHB

Done
1:04 am
mikehell

Done, one mistake, had to restart, but not bad...
2:32 am
augurus

Four shame.
3:35 am
sprite

the thing I love most about experts: if I mess up, I don't have to feel stupid :)
4:18 am
h

go
4:48 am
h

33 filled but stuck, going autofill green
4:51 am
spreadeagle

h - Stuck after 33 filled? That doesn't sound good...
4:52 am
h

it is an expert, after all - i think i need a forcing-chain or something now...
4:54 am
spreadeagle

I guess I'd better get busy and see what I can do as soon as I'm fully awake.
4:55 am
h

its a little slov going, but steady until this point... im looking at an interesting pattern, but not sure what to do about it. a rectangle (4 corners) with xy,axy,xy,bxy... i imagine theres some xy-wing solution for it...
4:57 am
spreadeagle

I've never been willing to think hard enough to figure out the wing things.
4:57 am
h

me neither, even with greens - it is still too much... im going reds now - tired of staring at it...
5:00 am
h

force-chain found endpoint... prolly gonna be done soon...
5:01 am
spreadeagle

I just getting started, 10 filled pretty easily
5:02 am
h

done
5:02 am
h

gl
5:02 am
spreadeagle

thanks
5:05 am
orsetta87

hi all
5:06 am
orsetta87

come to visit my space http://orsetta87na.spaces.live.com/
5:06 am
orsetta87

and write me a comment if you like it
5:06 am
orsetta87

I'm waiting for all you
5:06 am
orsetta87

:-)
5:18 am
spreadeagle

yep, 33 filled and stuck, going green
5:23 am
spreadeagle

Greens don't help. I think I will go have a cup of coffee and come back and try to apply the x-wing thing to see if I can figure it out.
5:43 am
Dazza

well that was a toughie, no greens used.
6:02 am
peternl

hi all
6:07 am
peternl

hmm, tricky
6:24 am
Moozey

hi peter.....ohhh an expert...I won't have time to do that now, I'll pop back at lunchtime
6:46 am
lk911

wow...that would have been one to mark time on...think it took me about 18min!!!
6:51 am
smooth_pappa

morning eeryine... go!
6:51 am
smooth_pappa

*everyone*
6:53 am
eyeman

ok, time to go
7:05 am
smooth_pappa

done! with greens of course
7:15 am
eyeman

yeah, done with a couple of post-St. Patty Day greens.
7:27 am
Moozey

done with greens at the end but it went swimmingly to be honest...probably didn't need to use the greens at all
7:44 am
spreadeagle

Done, but I had to force it. I could not find any way to apply x-wing, y-wing, or any of the other solution methods I can find.
7:51 am
Lilith

easy... :)
8:02 am
drwho

Difficulty score 49. I thought I was breaking new ground in solution techniques, turned out to be old logical fallicies rediscovered.
9:07 am
Krys10

oh good, somethng a little more meaty
9:13 am
hurshy

now you made me want meat.
9:14 am
gman

filled in 22 and am stuck.. Trying not to guess..
9:15 am
hurshy

you generally do have to use forcing chains on the experts here. unless you have a very very good memory.
9:16 am
gman

my memory is stuck, too...!!
9:19 am
hurshy

you can get more than 22 though. i have.
9:20 am
gman

yeah, it was right in front of me,, and left. I'm workin it.. Thanx
9:24 am
hurshy

hmm, looks like i will have to use some greens, sadly.
9:24 am
hurshy

i'm just not in a determined enough mood today.
9:27 am
UnikeTheHunter

Go.
9:27 am
hurshy

where?
9:28 am
UnikeTheHunter

Go here. And I'll probably use auto-greens pretty soon.
9:29 am
hurshy

nah, you can get a long way without greens.
9:29 am
UnikeTheHunter

Okay, I'll try.
9:31 am
spellacked

darn, going very well, when suddenly I get a conflict.
9:31 am
gman

I have 33 filled in and have run out of techniques. Anyone in the same quandry??
9:31 am
spellacked

tarting over with autogreenies
9:32 am
hurshy

experts are really just sort of silly, in a way. cause forcing chains are not hard. they're just unsatisfying. and since you know you need them, you don't bother about trying to find a way yourself. so actually this one did not take me long at all... about 20 mins.
9:33 am
gman

did you force after 'greening' up??
9:34 am
hurshy

yep, but i didn't do that until pretty late.
9:35 am
hurshy

but as soon as i greened, a quick glance told me that i wasn't going to get anywhere without forcing.
9:35 am
UnikeTheHunter

What you mean by "forcing?"
9:36 am
gman

Forcing is the same as guesing.
9:36 am
UnikeTheHunter

Sounds nicer, eh?
9:37 am
Krys10

so, have we determined that a forcing chain will be necessary? i just got stuck
9:38 am
gman

drwho earlier made it sound like he did it without forcing.
9:38 am
UnikeTheHunter

Going green.
9:39 am
UnikeTheHunter

Ah, a solo.
9:40 am
gman

Are you with us drwho?? I'm going to keep staring at this one for awhile without guessing.
9:41 am
UnikeTheHunter

Gman. Check for solos. When I quit crosshatching, there were three of those that opened up quite a bit.
9:42 am
Krys10

I'm going to check for unique rectangles before i start forcing chains - often they're tucked in there somewhere...
9:46 am
Krys10

there was one (a type III i think) but it didn't do much - just removed one option, and now I think I am stuck with forcing chains
9:46 am
spellacked

I'm starting chains with 23 spaces left... sound about right?
9:46 am
Krys10

i have 23 spaces also
9:47 am
gman

I have 23 left, also.
9:47 am
UnikeTheHunter

When you start guessing, is there a technique for improving the odds of a good guess?
9:48 am
Krys10

i start by picking one of a pair that i know will resolve a bunch of other pairs - for instance this time i started with the 89 pair in the middle box
9:49 am
UnikeTheHunter

When I guess, seems like the guess with legs is always the wrong one.
9:50 am
Krys10

i haven't found that to be true for me, but i don't have any particular instinct about which way to go on a guess
9:50 am
Krys10

keep track, though, because if you run into a conflict, you know the other guess is definitely correct
9:51 am
Krys10

unless you've made an error in logic
9:51 am
UnikeTheHunter

It's probably a meaningless observation.
9:51 am
gman

I theorize that if you're down to a choice of 2 numbers, choose the number that will eliminate more of that number in adjacent cells/boxes. Also, save yourself checkpoint work by making sure a guess is going to lead to multiple other cell solutions. Clear as mud??
9:51 am
Krys10

all done
9:51 am
Krys10

yeah, gman, i agree with you
9:55 am
spellacked

I must have done something wrong, because my chain led to two solutions -- a rectangle of 14
9:57 am
UnikeTheHunter

I'm down to your 23 cells left.
10:01 am
spellacked

whew got it -- I recommend the 1/5 pair in the middle box for solving the chains
10:02 am
UnikeTheHunter

I'm going to try the 4,3 at lower left.
10:04 am
UnikeTheHunter

Go it.
10:08 am
EndlessD

whoo
10:15 am
Atalante

i don't get this angst over using greens? my memory is appalling, i can't remember every pair i uncover so i click in the greens for those squares. is that such a bad thing??!!
10:16 am
hurshy

ata... that's fine. it's like using the list. you know.
10:17 am
Atalante

so ... what else do people do with them? oh - autofilling etc?
10:17 am
hurshy

hmm, oh, yes, i am rather disdainful of the auto-green programs...
10:17 am
hurshy

disdainful should be my middle name...
10:18 am
hurshy

why am i such a snob???
10:18 am
Atalante

me too. they take away the fun
10:18 am
Atalante

Mrs L. Disdain
10:19 am
Atalante

might as well have high standards!
10:20 am
Atalante

uhoh sily wants to help play
10:20 am
hurshy

it's my parents' fault.
10:20 am
hurshy

play, sily, play!
10:21 am
Atalante

noooooo last time she tried to play she entered 9s in every square, more or less
10:22 am
Atalante

never seen so much pink flashing around
10:22 am
hurshy

oh, i didn't see the word "help" before.
10:22 am
hurshy

i just thought she wanted to play. not sudoku.
10:23 am
Atalante

loooool yeah, she can go play! shoo! go play!
10:23 am
Atalante

she's sure she can do anything I can
10:25 am
hurshy

anything you can do, i can do better...
10:25 am
Atalante

wonderful competing with a kitten *sigh*
10:29 am
hurshy

don't bother trying, you'll never win
10:30 am
Atalante

dont we all know it!
10:31 am
hurshy

did you see me say on babble, i have an appointment with a local temp agency next week.
10:32 am
Atalante

oh coooool! no, I've been concentrating on this for once. dont like the grid on babble today!
10:32 am
hurshy

really? grid seemed fine to me.
10:33 am
Atalante

oh its fine, I just don't like it. I dont like the words its producing. its not as satisfying as other grids!
10:33 am
hurshy

i need another week or two, though, to find out a key piece of information that will determine whether i want to look for a job west of here or one northeast of here...
10:35 am
Atalante

you have time
10:36 am
hurshy

yes. but it's hard because some ads are like "immediate opening", so then i'm like, should i apply, or not, cause i'm not ready to take something until i find out that info.
10:36 am
patgas

it usually takes a couple weeks to go through the process of interviewing and stuff anyway
10:36 am
Atalante

well if you can't start immediately ....
10:37 am
patgas

"immediate opening" just means that it's not like three months away
10:37 am
Atalante

oh well ignore me then :)
10:38 am
Atalante

I always assumed they meant starting immediately!
10:38 am
hurshy

lol
10:38 am
hurshy

i am very much looking forward to finding out that info so i have a better idea where to apply, though.
10:40 am
patgas

i think it means more like "immediately after we get 20 people in HR as well as several unrelated vice presidents to sign off on this"
10:41 am
hurshy

not if it is a small office...
10:41 am
hurshy

that has been looking for someone for at least a month...
10:41 am
orsetta87

hi all
10:41 am
orsetta87

come to visit my space http://orsetta87na.spaces.live.com/
10:41 am
orsetta87

write me a comment if you like it
10:42 am
hurshy

and see, i'm in the boonies, so a lot of things i'm looking at are loooong commutes, and i don't want to bother interviewing and all that so far away if it's the wrong direction far away.
10:42 am
patgas

is orsetta a bot?
10:42 am
orsetta87

I'm waiting for all you
10:42 am
orsetta87

what' s a bot?
10:42 am
patgas

a script that posts the same thing over and over again
10:43 am
OrangeSlice

yay! an expert
10:43 am
orsetta87

oh maybe you're right but I love to receive comments from people of other countries
10:44 am
patgas

i think most people probably assumed you were a spammer, no offense
10:44 am
hurshy

lol
10:44 am
orsetta87

oh my god no I'm an Italian girl
10:45 am
orsetta87

and I have never met a spammer in my internet experience
10:46 am
hurshy

you must lead a sheltered internet life.
10:55 am
spreadeagle

OK, I just figured out how to solve this without using a force (guess) after having 33 filled in. There is a site called BrainBashers.com with explanations for many techniques. There is one on there called "swordfish" (no, I'm not making this up) that allowed me to eliminate several 4's. Maybe someone else has a better way, but this worked for me.
10:55 am
OrangeSlice

oh hell.
11:05 am
spreadeagle

Just for the heck of it I went to Orsetta's site. She is a pretty 19 year old Italian girl from Napoli. Maybe that is what we call Naples? The site appears to be in Italian, so I can't tell you much else.
11:10 am
OrangeSlice

Thanks for the tip. I never look for those except in dire circumstances, but I solved it right away when I started to get stuck.
11:12 am
Atalante

yes, that's Naples
11:18 am
spreadeagle

Orange - You're welcome. I've never seen that before, but it sure worked for me.
11:20 am
spreadeagle

I'll try anything to keep from guessing.....
11:24 am
OrangeSlice

Knowing which technique to use is often all the help one needs :)
11:30 am
OrangeSlice

Well I guess I can't say that, but it's often all the help I need.
11:30 am
OrangeSlice

I know several of the ugly techniques, but having to employ them is so rare that I don't automatically "see" them when I'm searching a puzzle.
11:55 am
Minski

Done! Medium hard. Used greenies and only one guess.
11:58 am
OrangeSlice

I think the reason is was an expert and not a medium was because of the technique required to solve it without guessing.
11:58 am
OrangeSlice

It was rather easy other than that.
12:00 pm
OrangeSlice

And probably had the same effect, since the swordfish only eliminated one candidate from one paired cell (though that did solve the puzzle).
12:05 pm
Fizzbut

Wow, I just tried that "swordfish" technique after filling in33 only with 7's. I elliminated 1 7 and the rest of the puzzle was easy. Tks spread.
12:05 pm
OrangeSlice

Yep, the 7 goes on to solve the swordfish chain.
12:13 pm
spreadeagle

Glad to help.
12:53 pm
Zugzug7

Go
1:05 pm
Twin C

WHAT????? That was no expert.
1:05 pm
Twin C

That was easier than half the easy ones nowadays.
1:06 pm
Zugzug7

you must have made a right guess
1:06 pm
Twin C

No guesses
1:06 pm
Twin C

just greens
1:07 pm
Twin C

I'm very surprised.
1:07 pm
Zugzug7

nvm. I've had a breakthrough
1:18 pm
Zugzug7

had to make a guess..... wrong. I claim mulligan.
1:46 pm
ypsigirl

whahooo 5 expert points... thank you very much!
2:36 pm
kebek

has anyone solved without green? i'm down to 23 squares but i appear to be stuck. and i've never solved an expert without the green. trying to hold out...
2:37 pm
OrangeSlice

You need to use green unless you want to force the puzzle.
2:38 pm
kebek

darn
2:38 pm
kebek

ok, thanks
2:38 pm
OrangeSlice

There's a system of remote locked pairs that allow a logical isolation of one cell that opens the puzzle.
2:39 pm
skizzybiz

sounds fancy
2:40 pm
kebek

:) yeah. i bet there's someone who could hold it all in their head, but that's not me.
2:40 pm
OrangeSlice

Kind of icky, actually.
2:42 pm
skizzybiz

i just got down to 23 myself
2:42 pm
kebek

welcome
2:42 pm
skizzybiz

i'm saving this for later, got stuff to do
2:42 pm
kebek

after that it apparently gets gross
2:43 pm
OrangeSlice

Look at the chat log, about one page up from the bottom.
2:44 pm
kebek

yeah, i'm reading up on my swordfish. :)
2:44 pm
OrangeSlice

it's easier than it looks.
5:00 pm
brianarn

Here goes - I'll have to look up that swordfish thing I bet, but am trying without it, maybe I know the strat without the name
5:01 pm
OrangeSlice

ehehe
5:03 pm
OrangeSlice

the swordfish is a more complicated version of something most people do without thinking about.
5:10 pm
brianarn

Seems it. I'm liberally using greens (and trying not to feel bad about it, hehe) but I seem to be making slow, steady progress.
5:19 pm
brianarn

37 squares left, starting to get stuck -- someday I'll be better at this. :D I'm not paid either, so, no checkpoints to make guesses
5:20 pm
OrangeSlice

It's good not to guess then :)
5:20 pm
OrangeSlice

The swordfish uses the 4's.
5:24 pm
brianarn

Having read more on it, yeah, I do swordfish already, just didn't know it had a name. :)
5:25 pm
OrangeSlice

Well it's basically using locked pairs, the only difference is it uses several of them at once.
5:32 pm
brianarn

I'm down to 23, which seemed to be what people said was the sticking point. :D Digging around now for some sort of swordfish-y solution with the 4s
5:47 pm
brianarn

Well, I applied the swordfish thing, although it seems awfully fishy (no pun intended), and it seems to have worked, because that broke the whole puzzle open and the rest fell into place.
6:35 pm
DDG

wow i see lots of crazy talk
6:35 pm
DDG

what did i miss?
6:46 pm
jawilke

hi joel... what's up these days?
6:47 pm
skizzybiz

who are you?
6:47 pm
jawilke

Mark - I went to high school w/ you
6:47 pm
jawilke

webmasters
6:48 pm
skizzybiz

i'm sorry, my memory is failing me. wanna aim me? same username
6:49 pm
jawilke

sure... i'll have to get aim :)
6:53 pm
skizzybiz

this puzzle is killing me. i believe i understand x-wing and swordfish, but i'm not seeing how to apply it here. maybe i just haven't eliminated enough yet...
7:01 pm
skizzybiz

forget it. i just guessed
7:02 pm
skizzybiz

i'm outta here. i'll be on AIM, mark
7:04 pm
dorens

not that bad with greens
7:15 pm
helenkeller

go
7:48 pm
helenkeller

done
9:56 pm
torgone

Chewy piece of pie . .
10:34 pm
System

what are greens?
10:39 pm
OrangeSlice

Well, the adjective "green" would apply to anything of that particular color.
10:40 pm
OrangeSlice

In this case, green numbers.
10:41 pm
girlie

System, if you hold down the shift key when you put a number in the box it will mark it up as a small green number.
10:41 pm
girlie

you can do this when you want to make a note what a particular square *might* be
10:58 pm
Playwoman

Hello, All. How is it?
10:59 pm
snppngtrtle

Hello. Wasn't too bad today.
10:59 pm
Zugzug7

just peachy... tantalizing over this darn puzzle.
11:00 pm
OrangeSlice

The answer is in the chat log.
11:03 pm
Playwoman

Ah! I'd better read it, then!
11:26 pm
Zugzug7

I have no idea but I finally got it! This was really getting to me. At work I go as far as I can and then print 2 or 3 copies and play around with them until I get it. This was way too tough for this late in the evening.
11:29 pm
OrangeSlice

It needs an ugly maneuver.
11:29 pm
OrangeSlice

Though if you didn't guess for anything, you must have pulled it off.