Scrabble (PI) by Carl Worth

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Crisscross by Carl Worth

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Theme: Pi Filling

Author/Opus: This is the 31st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Carl Worth.

Rules: Place each of the given words into the grid, one letter per cell, reading from left to right or top to bottom. All words must be connected, and no words other than the given words can appear in the grid. All occurrences of PI have already been entered into the grid (as the symbol π).

Answer String: Enter all crisscross letters (and spelling out PI where it is used) from left to right for the marked rows and top to bottom for the marked columns. Separate each row/column’s entry with a comma. Use CAPITAL LETTERS and ignore all empty cells.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 25:00, Master = 40:00, Expert = 1:20:00

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other word logic puzzles.

  • David Olmsted says:

    Are the phrases to be entered as individual, independent words or as phrases? And if as phrases, how is the space(s) and the question of connection to be handled?

    • drsudoku says:

      Sorry that this was not clear. The two and three word phrases here should be entered without their spaces (e.g., PITTSBURGHPIRATES and WHOOPITUP or more accurately πTTSBURGHπRATES and WHOOπTUP).

  • Bryce Herdt says:

    Hm. Two questions regarding letter count.

    1. Should the instructions really say “one letter per cell” so long before mentioning the exception? Admittedly, the solver isn’t the one placing the pi’s, so maybe I’m just being pedantic. On this one.

    2. Why are the words and phrases grouped by length in English letters? Since PI is always going in one square, every entry’s length is uniquely determined, so requiring solvers to search different groups for a given length seems an unnecessary step.

  • JohnJBulten says:

    1. Pi is one letter!

    2. When solving I did regroup them by cell count rather than word length. I think in puzzles like rebus crosswords the idea is that it looks cleaner to group by word length, but lots of puzzles do in fact have technically unnecessary steps that are not filled in for aesthetic reasons. But word length doesn’t actual help all that much here anyway. I used connection logic and number of crossings at each pi.

    This is a great “stuffer” grid and I hope you like it.

  • Aaron Chan says:

    So how do you go about doing puzzles like this? I kind of just guessed my way through it and getting it wrong a number of times.

  • JohnJBulten says:

    I usually solve such puzzles for speed, pretty much how you describe. When I solve for logic proof, I dropped some hints above about how I do it. A couple vaguer points to start with:

    V yvfgrq gur fcnpvatf orsber, orgjrra, naq nsgre rnpu cv fb V pbhyq svaq jbeqf gung pna tb va bayl bar cynpr; ovshepngrq ba cvccva; hfrq genvgf fhpu nf bayl bar jbeq raqvat va cv, ab zber guna sbhe yrggref orsber be rvtug nsgre n cv; naq pbhagrq juvpu cv pbhyq abg or hfrq zber guna bapr fb gung nsgre njuvyr V xarj nyy gur cv gung zhfg or hfrq gjvpr, juvpu jnf n ovt sbepvat guerfubyq.

    Often you can say “I’m pretty sure this word looks like it’s going to fit here” without proof, which is fine if you’re solving for speed because such an inference is very often right in crisscrosses.

    (I guess I’m in a generous mood.)

  • Carl W says:

    Here’s a quick (or not-so-quick—I guess I got a little wordy here) thought on what I expected solvers to do (and what I did while constructing/testing to ensure uniqueness):

    Svefg, Wbua’f vqrn bs qrgrezvavat cv flzobyf gung pbhyq bayl or hfrq bapr, (hagvy neevivat ng n frg gung zhfg rnpu or hfrq gjvpr), vf vagrerfgvat gb zr, nf vg jnf fbzrguvat V unq arire pbafvqrerq.

    Zl nccebnpu fgnegrq bss ol vqragvslvat gur jbeqf gung unir gjb bppheeraprf bs CV, pbhagvat gur ahzore bs yrggref orgjrra gurz, naq svaqvat nyy tevq ybpngvbaf jurer n cv flzoby vf frcnengrq ol gung ahzore bs fdhnerf.

    Bs pbhefr, gur tevq vf pbafgehpgrq va n jnl gung whfg ybbxvat ng gung vasbezngvba jvyy abg yrg lbh cynpr nalguvat vzzrqvngryl. (CVCCVA ybbxf nccrnyvat fvapr vg bayl unf bar cbffvovyvgl sbe gur svefg CV naq gura bar bs gjb qverpgvbaf sbe gur frpbaq—ohg vg’f abg rnfl gb qrgrezvar juvpu bs gur gjb qverpgvbaf vf pbeerpg ng guvf cbvag).

    Ohg pbafvqre gur jbeqf jvgu gjb fcnprf orgjrra gur gjb CVf. Gurer ner sbhe ybpngvbaf va gur tevq gung pbhyq npprcg gurfr, ohg gur bar va pbyhza frira pna or qvfpneqrq dhvpxyl: Jvgu ebbz sbe bayl gjb yrggref nsgre gur frpbaq CV bayl FYRRCVAT CVYY pbhyq cbffvoyl svg, ohg gung jbhyq frg hc n jbeq npebff jvgu ACV naq gurer vf ab fhpu jbeq va gur yvfg.

    Guvf zrnaf gung gur guerr erznvavat ybpngvbaf jvgu gjb yrggref orgjrra cv flzobyf zhfg nyy or hfrq, naq zbfg fvtavsvpnagyl gur bar va gur evtugzbfg pbyhza zhfg or bpphcvrq. Guvf zrnaf gung CVGGFOHETU CVENGRF pnaabg bpphcl gur ybpngvba va ebj guvegrra nf vg jbhyq uvg guvf jbeq va gur evtugzbfg pbyhza. Vg nyfb pnaabg svg va gur ybpngvba va pbyhza sbhe abe gur ybpngvba va ebj friragrra jvgubhg ehaavat vagb n guveq cv flzoby.

    Gurer vf bayl bar erznvavat ybpngvba jvgu rvtug fcnprf orgjrra cv flzobyf, fb zl svefg cynprzrag vf CVGGFOHETU CVENGRF va pbyhza rvtugrra.

    Zl nccebnpu pbagvahrf jvgu ybtvpny cynprzragf bs bar jbeq ng n gvzr, (CVCCVA tbg cynprq sbhegu va zl fbyivat cngu naq gur svany jbeqf cynprq jrer INCVQ na HGBCVN).

    Gur ybtvpny cebprff zvtug or fcrq hc ol pbyyrpgvat n yvfg bs yrggref gung nccrne va gur jbeq yvfg rvgure orsber be nsgre CV (be gur pbeerfcbaqvat yvfgf bs yrggref gung arire nccrne). Univat gubfr yvfgf jbhyq fnir fbzr ercrngrq fpnaavat bs gur jbeq yvfg sbe cbgragvny pbagenqvpgvbaf, (fhpu nf gur fgrc V qrfpevorq nobir gung ehyrf bhg ACV).

    Naq svanyyl, nf unf orra zragvbarq orsber, n chmmyr yvxr guvf qbrf nssbeq bccbeghavgvrf sbe terrql bcgvzvmngvbaf. Lbh zvtug or noyr gb qvfpneq cynprzragf gung ybbx cnegvphyneyl ceboyrzngvp be pbzzvg gb cynprzragf gung ybbx gbb tbbq abg gb or inyvq rira orsber lbh shyyl cebir gurz jvgu ybtvp.

  • LorenR says:

    By the end of the puzzle, words were flying into the grid without much logic checking required. But even though I knew what were likely the key words/spaces to fill first, I found the breakin fairly brutal to use logic alone (esp. because I was fixated on that 6-letter word that seems like it could be placed first) until I rejected the first “obvious” placement word. I too placed that word fourth.

    I thought about making the extra word list(s) but never needed it.

    But that it was made this a great puzzle! Thank you!

  • SS says:

    Wow, this was tough! Felt good to finish it though. 🙂

  • Thomas L says:

    For some reason, the answer line is always giving me incorrect, even though I have the solution. Could someone clarify? So far I’ve tried 1) putting in all the letters in the marked rows separated by commas and 2) putting in only the letters where two words meet in that row.

    • drsudoku says:

      The answer is all the letters in the marked rows including PI. There are about 18 letters in each of the three entries; make sure you are not including spaces and using capital letters like “ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQR,ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQR,ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQR”. It is possible you are missing one word placement which would cause an error.

  • Thomas L says:

    I just checked over the entire puzzle, and it seems that there aren’t any mistakes (all words are on the board, all strings >=2 letters are words, etc.), and it’s still not working. Is there some way I could get my actual puzzle board or answer checked without giving too much information here?

  • drsudoku says:

    You can send me an image/photo at our contact address below. (Not advertising this as a general service for all puzzles, but this word one is trickier so I don’t mind it here.)

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