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What is Difficulty?

As said before (see in particular my post from last week), we assign different scores to different puzzles in accordance with what we consider different difficulty levels. But difficulty is an abstract concept which is hard to grasp; we usually do this based on the more practical observation that solving certain puzzles can be expected to take longer than solving others.

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Some Miniatures

When we put together a set of puzzles for an event, we usually assign different point numbers to them; it is rather rare that the winner of a contest is determined simply by who has solved the most puzzles. Of course, the idea is that some puzzles are more difficult than others, so higher scores are awarded for them in order to acknowledge the greater skills required to solve them.

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The Taxonomy of Puzzles

Every now and then, I have spent some time thinking about the classification of puzzles. That is not an actual puzzle project, just an idée fixe of mine. In the past I have already presented a few ideas on the subject here and there, but never complete in any sense. This will also be just a sketch.

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Classics Collection

Classics Collection: Double Block

When I announced the puzzle series “Classics Collection”, I did not really have an exact schedule in mind. Now, a full month after posting the first group of puzzles, it seems like a good time to continue the series. Here is the second part: Double Block

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Quality Solving vs. Speed Solving

Although I had announced on different occasions that I have no plans for competing in puzzle events in the foreseeable future, I felt like solving a couple of puzzles last weekend. So I took part in the first round of the Puzzle Grand Prix 2020, with moderate success (rank 12, with a score of something like 70%).

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Nurikabe Geometries

This is another posting about Nurikabe puzzles, so you could consider this a follow-up of sorts. However, its purpose is a different one. In the first Nurikabe article I presented a set of puzzles which I thought might be suitable for beginners. Today’s puzzles are not particularly hard, but very unfamiliar, so the target group is not the same.