It has been a while (at least one month) since the last time I talked about Conceptis, but I’m ready to put this topic to rest.
Before I go on, here are the previous parts of this series:
Part 1: https://vouivreview.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/spontaneous-saturday-conceptis-puzzles/ (Sudoku, Calcudoku, Kakuro, Battleships, Skyscrapers)
Part 2: https://vouivreview.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/spontaneous-saturday-conceptis-puzzles-part-2/ (Tic-Tac-Logic, Hitori, Fill-a-Pix, Pic-a-Pix, Nurikabe)
Now, after the puzzles I have already mentioned, there remain three more: Link-a-Pix, Hashi, and Slitherlink. Along with those, I will provide a brief summary of those I have already covered.
Link-a-Pix is another one of those self-explanatory puzzles that are really easy to solve. What you have is a plethora of pairs of numbers that must be connected using the number of squares corresponding to those numbers (including the squares on which the numbers are situated). Here is a solved puzzle for visual reference (notice how the 1s are not connected to anything):
This puzzle and the next are, in my opinion, the hardest to solve without guessing. The three tenets, straight from the horse’s (i.e. Conceptis’) mouth, are:
- There are no more than two bridges in the same direction.
- Bridges can only be vertical or horizontal and are not allowed to cross islands or other bridges.
- When completed, all bridges are interconnected enabling passage from any island to another.
The main things to note are: the number of bridges from an island should equal the number on that island, and islands cannot be isolated. Here are a few tips to remember while getting started:
- If the island is labeled with an even number N and has N/2 possible paths for bridges, all of those paths must be covered with two bridges each.
- If the island is labeled with an odd number N and has ceil(N/2)—ceil is a ceiling function, basically meaning “round up”—possible paths for bridges, each path must be covered with one bridge and the rest will be left for later.
- If the island is labeled with an odd number N and has ceil(N/2) + 1 possible paths for bridges, one of which is (or can be) connected by one bridge, the remaining paths must be covered with two bridges each.
- If the island is labeled with an even number N and has N/2 + 1 possible paths for bridges, one of which is (or can be) connected by one bridge, the remaining paths must be covered with one bridge and the rest will be left for later.
All in all, just keep these four tips in mind and remember not to isolate.
Here are the three tenets of Slitherlink, again, straight from Conceptis:
- The value of each clue equals the number of links surrounding it.
- Empty squares may be surrounded by any number of links.
- When completed, the solution forms a single continuous loop with no crossings or branches.
The main things to keep in mind while setting up the solution are corner numbers and neighborly 3s. The corner numbers are taken care of in the following manner:
Corner 1s cannot be marked on the outer edges, corner 2s must be labeled as if the 2 were trying to embrace the board, and corner 3s must be marked on the outer edges.
Now, concerning neighborly 3s, there are two types of setups to note: the photo setup and the prison setup. (Those are not official names, mind you; they are merely mnemonics.) The photo setup is used for 3s that are one tile diagonal from each other, while the prison setup is used for 3s that are adjacent to each other. Here is a visual presentation of the two setups (photo on the left, prison on the right):
Using the corner setups and neighborly 3 mnemonics, as well as avoiding isolation, should help in solving the puzzle to a great extent.
Finally, a summary of the puzzles I have covered (this is the tl;dr portion for those who do not want to read everything).
- Sudoku: You all know it; none of the same number in any column, row, or box; most varied type of puzzle on Conceptis
- Calcudoku: None of the same number in any column or row; the combination of numbers and operands should equal the specified total number of the field; comes in SingleOp, DualOp, and QuadOp
- Kakuro: None of the same number in one column or row; solved like a crossword puzzle
- Battleships: All ships must be completely separate from each other; the number of a row or column must equal the number of black spots in that row or column (also, I recently found out a nifty trick: click the number of a row or column to fill the rest of it with water)
- Skyscrapers: None of the same number in any column or row; the number in a row or column must equal the number of skyscrapers (with heights equivalent to the numbers on the board) that a person would see down the row or column
- Tic-Tac-Logic: No three X’s or O’s in a row; no more X’s than O’s down a row or column; no two rows or columns can be completely alike
- Hitori: No more than one number down a column or row; circled numbers cannot be isolated; remember the Triplet, Stalker Duo, and Sandwich mnemonics (consult Part 2 if confused)
- Fill-a-Pix: Number on a tile = number of blackened tiles surrounding that tile; numbers to note: all 9s and 0s, 6s on edges, and 4s in corners
- Pic-a-Pix: Numbers on a column or row determine how many tiles must be colored and in what manner; number omitted = Grid dimension (height or width) – ∑ clues (consult Part 2 if confused); comes in B/W and Color
- Nurikabe: Black tiles cannot be isolated; number on a tile = number of spaces a white “island” must take up; no two numbers on the same island; no 2×2 or larger black areas
- Link-a-Pix: Connect pairs of numbers using a number of tiles equal to the corresponding number (including the squares on which the numbers are situated); comes in B/W and Color
- Hashi: No more than two bridges in the same direction; bridges do not cross; number of bridges from an island = number on the island; all islands must be connected (i.e. no isolation)
- Slitherlink: Number on a tile = number of links surrounding it; continuous loop (i.e. no isolation); remember how to deal with the corner numbers and neighborly 3s
Overall rating: 9/10. I’m not stating the reason again since I did on both my previous posts.