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3/11/2015 12:51:38 PM

Toby Speed
Toby Speed
Posts: 18
Whoops! I'm new to this forum and put my question in the wrong category, Dell magazines. Now it's in the right place.



Hi all,


After years of doing only crostics, I saw the ad for England's Best Logic Puzzles, Vol. 1 & 2, caved in and bought them. That was after trying (and failing!) to solve the sample puzzle provided, but they looked like a lot of fun.

My question is, how do I tackle the illustrated puzzles that have no grid? For example, there may be an illustration of six people seated around a table, or a chest of drawers, or houses in a neighborhood. After trying to solve these repeatedly, by writing the clues beneath the pictures, I have a 100% failure rate. I just cannot wrap my head around all of the "he sits two seats in front of X, who is across from Y," or "this race happened before that one." Where do you begin with such puzzles?

I enjoy the grid puzzles very much and have a higher success rate with them, with only occasional meltdowns. ****]https://www.pennydellpuzzles.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" border="0">

Thanks!

Toby

3/11/2015 4:03:53 PM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
Adorable cat picture. I'm another cat person. But anyway, I usually make my own grids when there's a puzzle without a grid. I make them on an Excel spreadsheet, and I've made it so that if I use Excel to fill in the categories at the top, for example, everything on the left-hand side will fill out automatically. Or if I don't bother filling stuff out on the computer, but just printing a blank grid, I can then write in the categories myself as I'm solving.

If you know how to use Excel, I can send you some of my grids, if you like, by private message attachment.

Once in a while, if I don't have a grid handy, I'll write in very light pencil on the diagram, for example, "Alex or John" in one spot, and "not yellow or red" in another spot, and then sometimes I can figure out what that spot has to be, and I'll erase "John" let's say and make "Alex" a darker shade of pencil in the right spot.

You can let me know, either by private message or by replying to this public message, whether or not you'd like some of my grids.

And if you can't use Excel, I could put some grids into PDF format for you. I think Penny or Dell has grids you can download, but they may be only 5x5 or whatever, while I have all sorts of configurations.

--
Amy

3/11/2015 4:13:10 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
Hi Toby, welcome to the forum! smile I have the first 2 volumes of England's Best Logic Puzzles as well. The best place to start with these types of puzzles is filling in any info you can that is given to you directly from the clues. Usually there are one or two tidbits of info in the clues that you can fill in right away. From there, try to see if you can narrow something down to a few possibilities. Say there might be a puzzle where you have 4 people and you have to match their first and last names, see if you can narrow someone's last name down to 2 possibilities. Keep working between the diagram, clues, and any notes you make (a big help with these types of puzzles) trying to plug in any more info, and narrowing down possibilities until you can fill in any more of the info. For me, with these puzzles, it's a lot of working back and forth. I think the more you work with these puzzles, and get a feel for them, the easier it will come for you. Like I said in the beginning of my post, I also have these books, so if you ever need help with a puzzle, I'd be happy to try and help! smile

3/12/2015 7:18:08 AM

Toby Speed
Toby Speed
Posts: 18
Purple Pisces wrote:
Hi Toby, welcome to the forum! smile I have the first 2 volumes of England's Best Logic Puzzles as well. The best place to start with these types of puzzles is filling in any info you can that is given to you directly from the clues. Usually there are one or two tidbits of info in the clues that you can fill in right away. From there, try to see if you can narrow something down to a few possibilities. Say there might be a puzzle where you have 4 people and you have to match their first and last names, see if you can narrow someone's last name down to 2 possibilities. Keep working between the diagram, clues, and any notes you make (a big help with these types of puzzles) trying to plug in any more info, and narrowing down possibilities until you can fill in any more of the info. For me, with these puzzles, it's a lot of working back and forth. I think the more you work with these puzzles, and get a feel for them, the easier it will come for you. Like I said in the beginning of my post, I also have these books, so if you ever need help with a puzzle, I'd be happy to try and help! smile


Hi, Purple Pisces, thank you! Purple is my color, too, and I'm also a Pisces. And I love cats and puzzles, so there you go. I find myself seizing those given tidbits in the puzzles like they're buried treasure. smile It seems to be true that as I learn how to solve new puzzles, it gets easier to solve them, or at least to know how to approach them. Taking notes is a good idea. It's something I haven't done enough of and will try. One of the other people on the forum mentioned that he keeps a puzzle notebook where he can scribble all his notes as he narrows down the possibilities. I skipped 99% of these puzzles the first time I went through Volume 1, and I'm going to go back and try them again. I'll let you know if I need help!

Toby

3/12/2015 7:18:52 AM

Toby Speed
Toby Speed
Posts: 18
Amy Lowenstein wrote:
Adorable cat picture. I'm another cat person. But anyway, I usually make my own grids when there's a puzzle without a grid. I make them on an Excel spreadsheet, and I've made it so that if I use Excel to fill in the categories at the top, for example, everything on the left-hand side will fill out automatically. Or if I don't bother filling stuff out on the computer, but just printing a blank grid, I can then write in the categories myself as I'm solving.

If you know how to use Excel, I can send you some of my grids, if you like, by private message attachment.

Once in a while, if I don't have a grid handy, I'll write in very light pencil on the diagram, for example, "Alex or John" in one spot, and "not yellow or red" in another spot, and then sometimes I can figure out what that spot has to be, and I'll erase "John" let's say and make "Alex" a darker shade of pencil in the right spot.

You can let me know, either by private message or by replying to this public message, whether or not you'd like some of my grids.

And if you can't use Excel, I could put some grids into PDF format for you. I think Penny or Dell has grids you can download, but they may be only 5x5 or whatever, while I have all sorts of configurations.


Hi Amy, thanks for your reply. The cat in the photo is Kashi, my beloved cat whom I just lost in January. She was at least 16 1/2, possibly as old as 18, a sweet and petite loyal companion for many years. I actually tried to make my own photo the avatar, but the website refused to upload it, no matter how small I made it.

I appreciate your offer of the grid patterns. Please do send some by private message attachment -- thank you! I've noticed that in the prepared grids in the puzzle books, what's on the left side is not exactly what's across the top. It seems like the leftmost portion is often first and last name, or first name and position, and I'm not sure if there's any logic to which elements are chosen. For the rest of the grid, the elements down the left side are reversed across the top. Is there any, ahem, logic to the placement, do you think?

I've been reading through the forum, and I see that you are an active puzzler. It's nice to meet you.

Toby

3/12/2015 9:44:48 AM

Amy Lowenstein
Amy Lowenstein
Posts: 1599
I'm sorry you lost your little Kashi, Toby.

I'm not sure of the logic behind which item Penny/Dell places first on the left side of a grid. Usually, if I have a choice, and one of the items is a "less than ... more than" type of item, that's the one I'll put on the left, because it makes it more meaningful to me. Making it alphabetical by last name, or alphabetical by first name, or something like that, doesn't always make as much sense to me. When you use the blank grids that I make, you can, of course, put in whatever you want as the first thing on the left.

In fact, once in a great while, I get so annoyed at a puzzle which has numbers, or money, or time, as one of its components, yet the people from Penny/Dell decided to put the first name as the thing on the left -- that I'll ignore their grid and print my own, which will have the number/money/time/whatever on the left, and then after I solve it that way, I'll fill in their table in their order so I can check my answers easily vs their answers in the back of the book.

I'll e-mail you some grids privately, shortly.

Happy puzzling.

--
Amy

3/12/2015 1:15:47 PM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 698
Hi Toby. In a logic problem, the order of the placement of categories is apparently based on the order of their importance, at least in the opinion of the constructor or editor. First will be the top category on the left side of the grid. Next, the categories across the top, left to right, in diminishing importance. This order is followed on the solution page as well.

The 2 most important categories (top of left side [first name, for example], and the first given across the top [last name]) are given once. The remaining categories, from across the top, are listed in reverse order down the left side, under the main category. Now every variable will cross every other variable once.

But when using your own grid, as Amy said, you can fill in the variables any way you like. I usually end up making a grid for picture or table logics, and using notes and miniature diagrams if I need to, as I can't figure out anything in my head! smile
edited by Frances on 3/12/2015

3/17/2015 10:15:51 PM

Toby Speed
Toby Speed
Posts: 18
Hi Frances. I see what you mean, that every variable crosses every other variable once. I'm going to start making my own and tackle those illustrated puzzles.

Sometimes, even though first and last names (or whatever) are on the top of the left side and in the first position across the top, I'll start filling in the table below the grid according to my own priorities. If I have more to work with on the other variables, I might leave the characters' names to fill in later. I've been keeping a notebook with me along with my puzzle books -- more paper is a good thing!

I hope more volumes are published soon in this series.

Toby

4/15/2015 1:26:49 PM

Lynda
Lynda
Posts: 30
Hi Fellow Logic Problem Solvers, I'm also new to this web site (I just joined today to post a mistake I found) but not to puzzling and I just wanted to ask you all if anyone here solves the puzzles that don't have grids the same way I do. And that is to abbreviate all the possible answers next to each object and then eliminate as many as I can. Granted, this doesn't always work as sometimes I'm still left with a couple of possibilities but most of the time I get it right. Thanks, Lynda

4/15/2015 5:56:51 PM

Frances
Frances
Posts: 698
While I don't start out a puzzle doing this, I will invariably end up making little abbreviations in the blank spots when working a table logic that I'm trying to solve without making a grid. Listing the options, rechecking clues, and making more eliminations is easier when it can be seen clearly what the choices are in each place.

4/17/2015 12:37:58 PM

Purple Pisces
Purple Pisces
Posts: 878
Welcome to the forum Lynda!! smile I'm like Fances, I don't start out at the beginning making abbreviations, but once I see that an object is narrowed down to a few possibilities, then I'll list those options next to them and cross off possibilities as I get further into the puzzle.
edited by Purple Pisces on 9/11/2015

5/4/2015 7:11:00 PM

JoyP
JoyP
Posts: 4
Logic Problems Without Grids: Regarding solving logic problems without grids, I too have found that the easiest way to solve them is to write an
abbreviation for each possibility next to each object in the puzzle and then erasing or crossing them out as they are narrowed down to the right one.
It takes time to write the abbreviations, but once you get that done, it's not too difficult to solve the problem. Without the abbreviations, it's really hard
to keep it all straight in your mind.

9/11/2015 1:28:36 PM

Josh
Josh
Posts: 170
Great conversation here!


I don't do the abbreviations that often, but do when it helps. Many times I'll write all of the potential values down in various blank spots, so I can at least visualize who I'm working with, and then start to line them up as certain pairings become apparent. It gets a bit messy, but it helps! I was able to finally polish off a challenger logic problem from a Math & Logic book I had the other day with that technique; I had to put it down awhile ago because I couldn't figure the thing out.

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