Schedule for Next Week

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All the Pentomino puzzles from last week can be found in this PDF.

Instead of new puzzles, this coming week will highlight our best rated puzzles of 2014. Have you liked what GMPuzzles has offered over 2014? How do you want to see our site grow over the next year?

  • FoxFireX says:

    Another great year of great puzzles, and I think I somehow managed to catch up despite having an infant in the house for the vast majority of that year. I’d still love to see some way of checking your progress, and finding out if there are any puzzles that you’ve missed. I think I caught ’em all this time, but it’s hard to be sure.

    One minor thing is that I think I’ve accidentally hit the Fave button once or twice. Not a big deal, but also kind of annoying because there didn’t seem to be a way to undo it.

    I’ve been trying to keep my eyes open for any further hidden contests, but nothing sprung out at me this year; since getting the Patreon system in place, I find that I don’t really tend to read the actual entries very often, just dropping by the site to register answers. Speaking of which, it’d be lovely if the date or a more unique title could be applied to the PDF pages; sometimes they get out of order, and it can be confusing when you enter an answer string completely correctly, then discover it was for the wrong puzzle. Not that I’ve done that. … Often.

    Anyway, still loving the great material being posted here. By far the highest quality puzzles day in and day out that I’ve found. Happy to help support the great work, and looking forward to what’s in store for the next year.

  • Daniel Cohen says:

    I too would like to see some way to monitor progress. I find myself having to note down where I’m up to elsewhere.

    I would suggest a calendar or something similar in a corner of the site, where a day has a green background if the puzzle is complete or blank if otherwise.

    Other than that, actual puzzle quality is awesome! Thanks to all contributors!

  • Giovanni P. says:

    I liked the idea of alternating focused and variety weeks for the puzzles, especially the weeks where one or two puzzlemakers write two different puzzle types.

    I also liked the variety of guest puzzlemakers we’ve had on the site over the year–they’ve helped to spice things up a bit between the regular contributors. I would definitely like to see the guest puzzles continue in the next year.

    I do have two questions regarding the Patreon:

    1) Will the #1 fans puzzle be released in the near future?

    2) If I recall correctly, you had said that the e-books for Nov. and Dec. would be e-book versions of previously published books. Should we have received these by now, or have they not been released yet?

    Thank you, and here’s to another excellent year of Grandmaster Puzzles.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      I made the decision to construct the #1 Fans Puzzle myself — since this is my site originally — but I have found no spare time to do a lot of tasks in front of me, so this is still on delay.

      You should receive the Art of Sudoku this week (or replacement PDF if requested); I am trying to get someone else to help layout another book I have the rights to reprint. Watch your email for details on that.

  • Carl W says:

    I’ve only been here two or three months so far, (though I am working through the older puzzles as time permits). So I can’t comment too much on the year itself other than to say that I am continually impressed by the quality of puzzles here. Thanks to all contributors!

    So for the major points, (puzzle quality and variety), I think everything is going perfectly—just keep it up.

    On minor points, here are a few things that would be nice: 1. Tags for the author of each puzzle. 2. An indication of the number of successful solves/favorites for each puzzle, (and perhaps the ability to sort a puzzle view by either). 3. As mentioned above, the ability to track unsolved puzzles. If this worked as a “solved” or “unsolved” tag for anyone logged in, that would be convenient, (allowing to combine things like, “show me all the star battle puzzles I haven’t solved yet”).

    I’m looking forward to a new year of puzzles.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      I’ll have some comments on the other things later this week, but can I ask for clarification on (1).

      You can currently use the author of the puzzle as a filter (either by clicking the name at the end of a post, or knowing to enter an url like http://www.gmpuzzles.com/blog/author/drsudoku/). “Guest authors” are all covered by this: http://www.gmpuzzles.com/blog/author/gmpuzzles/

      Does that give you everything you’d want involving author “tags” or is there some utility in having them in the cloud on the left that I am missing? I believe I can turn on an authors bit like the existing “Categories” pull down and I may just do this.

      • Carl W says:

        Thanks for pointing me to the feature. I know I’ve used that in the past, but I couldn’t find it when I looked for it recently. (I think it must have been a guest-contributor puzzle and I didn’t know to look for the “by Grandmaster Puzzles” link, instead I just looked at the name in the title and I was a bit surprised it wasn’t a link.)

        So yes, I think the feature is sufficent as-is, and I just couldn’t find it.

        I don’t think it’s important for names to appear in the cloud on the left. A “By author” dropdown like the current “By category” dropdown would be great.

        The only other part of the feature I was trying to request would be the ability to select a puzzle type and author at the same time. I know I can manually construct a URL to combine multiple tags currently. Is there also already a way to construct a URL to achieve something like “show all Pentominous puzzles by Grant Fikes”? As the puzzle collection here continues to grow, a feature like that could be handy.

        Thanks for your attention.

        -Carl

        • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

          I don’t quickly see a way to use WordPress’ search capabilities to combine author and tag in an html filter. Perhaps someone else will know better but I’m guessing this capability will be harder to get for the limited use it might have.

  • Jonah says:

    It’s been a great year! The week of May 17th was my favorite, of course.

    A couple forms I’m crossing my fingers for in the year to come: Shakashaka and Yajisan-Kazusan (“Proof of Quilt” and “Prev-Arrow-Cation” as Grant calls them).

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      I very strongly dislike Shakashaka (not as much as I dislike Hitori, but close). So it is unlikely to ever appear on the site.*

      *Yes, it appeared once as a cipher puzzle because it was the submission item for a hidden contest. But it will not appear again as long as I’m editing the site.

      • Jonah says:

        Awwww, but it looks so cool when you solve it! Plus it sounds like my favorite breakfast dish and my favorite burger chain.

      • Aaron Chan says:

        I can definitely see the reason on the Hitori, but can you illuminate on the reason for Shakashaka?

        • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

          I rate almost all puzzle styles first around this question: “would I ever buy a book of these?” Every puzzle gets some N which is the number of puzzles of that style that would hold new discoveries for a solver. Shakashaka has a very low N in my mind. I’ve never solved a Shakashaka that made me excited to see more.

          It could be that it is a puzzle style that cannot be made “elegant” or beautiful. The rules/goal don’t feel as clean to me as most other puzzle styles.

          I find the logic typically awkward or uninteresting; I’m mostly just doing one thing when solving it (working around number clues and finding diagonal white cells that can’t touch). The lack of variety in the logical flow runs counter to the styles I like most (e.g., Fillomino, Cave) where there are several different approaches at any time and different puzzles can solve in very different ways.

          The puzzle also has a UI problem whether on paper or computer. For instance, do the white cells want diagonal lines to help out like Grant uses? I solve the puzzles with the paper turned 45 degrees. Maybe I just hate diagonals.

          It is an adequate puzzle and there are other places you can go to find adequate examples of it. I don’t see how to make it mind-blowing, with unexpected challenges and discoveries; I’d rather take the time to focus on styles with a lot more depth and a lot more fun (and N > 100).

  • Michael says:

    This is probably not going to happen, but in an ideal world, I’d like to have the dimensions of puzzles stated somewhere (unless trivially obvious from the rules, e.g. Sudoku).

    The reason I’d like to see this is because I wrote a tool to let me solve most of these puzzles without mucking about with image editing, and it would simplify the entry of the larger puzzles significantly.

    Counting out the puzzle size normally isn’t a problem, but every now and again, we get a puzzle that’s significantly larger than the norm, and it can be difficult to ensure the count is right. (The Giant Patreon puzzles are likely more at risk of this problem, but I’ve only received the one for this month, and at least that one provided enough information to verify my count.)

    Of course, even better would be some kind of machine-readable and/or plain-text format for each puzzle, but I’m pretty sure that isn’t going to happen. 🙂

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      So many of our puzzles are 10×10 or quickly countable if not that size so I don’t see adding in this to the description.

      I’ll tell you that the large puzzles, especially when written by Grant Fikes, tend to fit into particular size buckets as he follows a Japanese company’s style quite closely. Above 18×10 and 17×17, 20×36 is most frequent, with 64×50 for the giant size.

      (I make plain-text formats of all of our puzzles for creating the art files, but there are at least 5 distinct formats depending on the styles. And I don’t see enough value in the time it would take to post them to help on this.)

  • Andrew Brecher says:

    I vote for “NEWS” — a nice twist on object placement variants. I saw it for the first time on LMI last month and love it.

    http://yureklis.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/news/

  • Loren says:

    Having been a GMP blog subscriber for the full two years (plus some of the puzzle author’s personal public blogs before that), I want to send an extra year-end Thank you!

    In terms of puzzle quality and selection, I’d be hard pressed to make any comment other than completely positive. The puzzles are great: Embarrassment of Riches! (translation, I can’t find time to solve every puzzle sent to Patrons; those Giants take lots of time 😉

    In terms of the actual site improvements: I would like a way to see comments to posts in a separate RSS feed. Please advise if I missed a feature. In the alternate, I would like a way to register to see all comments in e-mail. I note that it is possible to add a comment to get future comments e-mailed but a global setting for all posts would be nice.

    Regards,
    Loren

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