Thursday, November 29, 2007

Enigmatic comments

This is a placeholder for comments on postings at Enigmatics.

Please remember to identify which Enigma problem you are commenting on.


Chris said...

Regarding Enigma 1474,

I completed this puzzle in a similar way to you (without mathimatica obviously) stating that the H had to be moved. however, this is the reply i got from newscientist:

"Dear Chris,
Thank you for your email regarding a possible mistake in Enigma 1474.
I would like to reassure you that the stated puzzle is correct.
(For your interest, I would like to point out that this Enigma has its own set of rules, and it is not a Sudoku.)
The published answer (to be published in 9 Feb 08 issue) should make this clear.
Thank you for your interest in Enigma."

So it appears we were both wrong in this


Stephen Luttrell said...

I don't see why it is obvious that you didn't use Mathematica! But I agree with your implied comment that many Enigmas, including this one, can be done by other means.

I have never done a Sudoku puzzle, though I am aware of their existence, so I treated this Enigma as just another puzzle to be solved.

I have read and reread this Enigma many times to try to see how I might have misinterpreted it, and I have even attempted a manual solution (shock, horror!) of the "offending" part of the grid, but it is clear to me that the published grid is wrong.

What matters to me in Enigmatics is illustrating Mathematica technique rather than solving Enigmas; I use these Enigmas only as source material.

Stephen Luttrell said...

The solution to Enigma 1474 has now been published, showing that the originally published grid is consistent with a solution in which one grid square has two entries and another grid square is empty.

Either the author of this Enigma puzzle resorted to low cunning to catch people out (and the grid was published correctly), which is not what these Enigma puzzles should be about, in my opinion. Or the author realised that the grid had been published incorrectly, yet then managed to find the crafty solution that has now been published.

Either way, this is not a very good example of an Enigma puzzle.

Chris said...


i have not seen the published result myself yet but by the sound of it i agree totally. not only is it a rubbish Enigma but breaks its own rules.
Quote "making sure each row, column and 3x3 box contains all the 9 characters"

If one of the boxes is empty this cannot be the case. the column or row may have 9 characters but the corresponding row or column would end up with only 8 characters.