nikoli.com

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detuned
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nikoli.com

Post by detuned » Wed 23 Jun, 2010 10:00 pm

https://member.nikoli.com/index.html?lang=en

The online presence of the Japanese puzzle company nikoli. This is a subscription based site, with a monthly fee of 550 yen (currently about £4), which allows you to play a variety of puzzles in a variety of sizes and difficulties in a sophisticated flash solver. As a competitive extra you can see how your solving times match up to the rest of the community!

ronaldx
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by ronaldx » Wed 17 Nov, 2010 2:12 am

Regarding nikoli.com - of which I am a member. The competition on there are incredible and quite often I find myself in the bottom 20% of finishers with what I think is a fast time for me. (although I do alright at Number Link with a bit of practice, as long as they're not too hard!)

I notice that my times very much depend on what interface I'm using... solving the simplest puzzle with a trackpad will take me hours. I actually ended up buying a mouse partly to play on Nikoli, but I know that there are faster/better mice out there. And I'd imagine that a touch-screen device (perhaps particularly an iPad, if they run Flash?) would be significantly faster.

I noticed on today's Masyu - Tom - that you posted a comment about having a 'bad mouse'

Any more thoughts on what difference it makes? Any tips on inputting stuff quickly?

GarethMoore
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by GarethMoore » Wed 17 Nov, 2010 2:53 am

A good tip on Nikoli.com in general is to SHIFT+click. There are some non-obvious things, such as that you can mark grid lines with an X in Masyu - very useful for keeping track of implications visually, and there's no other way of doing this.

Also try clicking on other stuff, such as the numbers on the left of Hitori puzzles - this highlights the given number which is very useful indeed.

You can also hold down SPACE and drag the puzzle about once you zoom in, if you have a small monitor - previously this was very buggy (and would trigger erroneously) but I think it works reliably now at last.

Fiddling with the options at the bottom of players helps too - e.g. set the light style you want in Akari, and the line thickness in Slitherlink that you like.

Finally, if you get stuck on a puzzle open someone else's solution and see what they did - can be very educational (or alternatively even more mystifying sometimes! ;) ).

detuned
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by detuned » Wed 17 Nov, 2010 3:56 pm

I knew you could shift click to get the dots for yajilin - which is useful - but didn't know that re masyu. Frankly (much like shading ins/outs in slitherlink) I don't think you actually need to use these when solving.

Viewing solutions can be somewhat useful - mostly though bemusing as to just how fast these people can go!

ronaldx
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by ronaldx » Wed 17 Nov, 2010 4:12 pm

Wow, those tips are awesome, I didn't know that about shift-click and space-drag! Thanks!!

I sometimes do find shading in/out useful for Slitherlinks, but I think I've never needed to on a Nikoli example. I gather that shift-click will work here too? (I'll test for myself!)

Thanks again :)

drsteve
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by drsteve » Thu 18 Nov, 2010 1:43 pm

I'll echo those thanks.

My times on Nikoli are usually respectable for Shikaku, but are laughable on Nurikabe in particular. Any tips for a faster Nurikabe (except getting better at them?)

detuned
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by detuned » Thu 18 Nov, 2010 1:58 pm

Nurikabe in particular is simply a case of using the beautiful interface to swiftly paint out paths the black squares take via strokes of the mouse, rather than individually clicking them. The faster you get at doing that encourages an intuition as to where islands/sea must go, without having to double check things by marking them one by one. This occasionally leads to a dickhead error, but not too often.

Another speed tip is to avoid marking in islands with dots where it's obvious. I'm not hugely brilliant at this - but obviously the less time you spend marking these out the quicker you are going to be.

ronaldx
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by ronaldx » Wed 24 Nov, 2010 9:22 pm

I'm not sure why but sometimes I can just "see" nikoli's Numberlinks.

I just completed a "hard" 10x10 numberlink in 39 seconds, putting me in 29th out of 859 openers - and just off the front page. What a rush!
(And the recent "easy" one in 47 seconds, putting me in 76th)

There are several rules which are not so obvious to prove but I think can be proven, by uniqueness of solution -
eg., if you can connect numbers by following an edge, they must connect that way
empty corners can be filled in
lines often turn tightly around givens

has anyone attempted to codify these solving strategies?
the very best solvers appear to be using techniques that I don't have (or perhaps lucky guessing?) - and sometimes the larger puzzles still elude me.

detuned
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by detuned » Wed 24 Nov, 2010 9:41 pm

All you'll ever need to know about solving numberlink

Most of it requires meta-strategies. Like Palmer says, let the constructor deal with those painstaking details of ensuring the solution is unique.

This is an interesting problem. I've traded a few useful remarks here and there with Thomas Snyder but I don't think either of us has come up with a short-and-sweet combinatorial check as of yet.

sknight
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by sknight » Mon 07 Nov, 2011 4:42 pm

A quick note about last week's Time Trial Ripple Effect:

As of right now only slightly over half the people attempting have solved it (I think it's around 500 out of 960).
It took me 1 hr 22 minutes to solve.
I was at the 52nd percentile in solving speed, which means it's basically:
1/4: solved in less than 80 minutes
1/4: solved in more than 80 minutes
1/2: ran home with their tail between their legs.

Ouch.
Certainly the nastiest puzzle in recent memory for me (though there was a pretty nasty Kakuro the other week).

(I had a mistake when I first tried submitting at 1:20 -- boy was I glad I was able to find and fix it in only 2 minutes)

sknight
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by sknight » Thu 18 Oct, 2012 12:27 pm

There's a very nice new Hashi puzzle up in the Botsu Bako section courtesy of nyoroppyi.
Recommended.

kiwijam
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by kiwijam » Thu 18 Oct, 2012 10:54 pm

sknight wrote:There's a very nice new Hashi puzzle up in the Botsu Bako section courtesy of nyoroppyi.
Recommended.
(PS Botsu Bako = members only)

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furudo.erika
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by furudo.erika » Sat 29 Dec, 2012 11:13 am

So the way nikoli only lets you win one puzzle championship per year means I get my big chance to win late in the year
Image
Image
7 seconds :x

PuzzleScot
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by PuzzleScot » Sat 29 Dec, 2012 2:14 pm

Erm, isn't it 11s ?

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furudo.erika
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by furudo.erika » Sat 29 Dec, 2012 4:35 pm

PuzzleScot wrote:Erm, isn't it 11s ?
The puzzle championship results are by submission time as underlined. Presumably this is to prevent cheating but it does also end up penalising slow internet connections.

detuned
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by detuned » Sat 29 Dec, 2012 5:41 pm

Well, it penalises connections further afield from japan that's for sure. it's certainly an extra advantage that the likes of kota and hideaki don't really need. Being first to register is a big deal!

I still have mixed feelings about sharing out the championships, although I obviously benefited from that earlier in the year. The first couple of times for the masyu were really good. I had a little warm-up for being blasted out the water by playing the croco masyu immediately before with gorogoro taking 33% out of my time, and my little hiccough correcting an early error half-way through left me well off the pace in 8th.

Still, 5th is a seriously good result erika :) As willwc has found out, if you keep plugging away at them you'll end up winning one sooner or later!

kiwijam
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by kiwijam » Sun 30 Dec, 2012 12:20 am

detuned wrote:Still, 5th is a seriously good result erika :)
Indeed! Well done. 8-)

sknight
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by sknight » Tue 21 May, 2013 4:20 pm

Nikoli is adding another puzzle type to their online roster.
Satogaeri (which was only published briefly on paper in 2002) is being added next month.
There are five sample problems up right now as well as a basic tutorial.

kiwijam
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by kiwijam » Tue 21 May, 2013 9:41 pm

Thanks for letting us know, Jackson.
I assume this means we'll be seeing more of these before long.
http://www.nikoli.com/en/puzzles/satogaeri/index.html
First impressions good... :)

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furudo.erika
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by furudo.erika » Sat 24 Aug, 2013 12:40 am

A miss is as good as a mile :evil:
Image

kiwijam
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by kiwijam » Sat 24 Aug, 2013 11:10 am

furudo.erika wrote:A miss is as good as a mile :evil:
Ouch! Next time... :twisted:

sknight
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by sknight » Wed 12 Feb, 2014 1:47 pm

Hitori is one of those puzzle I want to like more than I actually do.
I like the relative simplicity of the rules, and I appreciate the elegant design of a good puzzle.
But the signal to noise ratio drives me nuts.
Computer-generated Hitori are the worst, but I often end up resenting any time spent scanning the
puzzle for useful information in a sea of filler digits.

All of which is prologue to a note about the latest Botsu Baku puzzle, for Nikoli subscribers.
It's a nice big Hitori from Cherry in which you are told up front that the ONLY digit you
need to pay attention to is "1". Everything else will just take care of itself if you sort
out the 1's. Best signal to noise ratio EVER. I may use it to demonstrate core Hitori
strategy without all the clutter to my students who are interested.

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furudo.erika
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by furudo.erika » Sat 19 Apr, 2014 11:43 pm

detuned wrote:if you keep plugging away at them you'll end up winning one sooner or later!
Well I wasn't expecting it to be Hitori and certainly not with that ugly solve but I'll take it :D

detuned
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Re: nikoli.com

Post by detuned » Sun 20 Apr, 2014 3:00 pm

Nicely done :D

Wasn't at my sharpest last night, although my time isn't standing up too badly. I was feeling around a lot and trial-and-erroing more often that not, but without the time pressure there is some nice logic to that puzzle

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