Tips for Better Solving

Starting Bigger Triddlers

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Starting Bigger Triddlers
Answer
5/14/07 11:37 PM
Does anyone have any good tips for starting triddlers? I'm pretty good with the smaller ones but once they get bigger I have no idea what to do.

Thanks a lot

madbatter
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Re: Starting Bigger Triddlers
Answer
5/15/07 8:47 PM as a reply to madbatter.
I've solved a lot of triddlers (over 3700 right now), so I have a few strategies for solving the big ones. To illustrate the first, I'll use tridder 236: Lizzard's Last Vision.

Start by picking a color that isn't used much in the puzzle. In this case I've chosen the light gray to solve for first.

Next, mark with another color all the possible locations of triangles of your chosen color. A hidden feature of the triddler applets is that you can use numbers on your keyboard to choose colors that do not appear in the puzzle. For this 5-color puzzle I used #6, which is a darker gray, to color the rows that have a light gray clue. (see below attachment Triddler help - 1)

From here you can find all the triangles that are light gray (I had to change my background color to make it easier to see). Using the bottom-left rows, you can see which 6 triangles are gray. It's a little more difficult to solve for the top rows. In the fourth row, you can eliminate the 3 triangles on the left from being gray because they are other colors. As you solve, it will look like the other attachment, Triddler help - 2.

Once you have solved for the gray, you can begin with the other colors. Often this is enough to get you started, but you can repeat this process with another color.
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Re: Starting Bigger Triddlers
Answer
5/15/07 9:30 PM as a reply to madbatter.
Another tip is to start with the edges whenever possible. Often within the first few rows of one of the six edges you will find something useful. Even if it is just one triangle or two, you can expand from there.

This technique is especially helpful for a lot of GICaesar's early Cities of Slovakia puzzles (through September 2006). These all have a kind of frame around them that you can solve entirely before you start on the inside.

To see an example, start with 2611: Cities of Slovakia: Belusa (one of my favorites). The easiest place to start is the top, since the entire top row is black, but to illustrate my point consider the bottom row. The middle 5 triangles are black. In the attachment, I have marked 3 red triangles which cannot be black because of the diagonal clues (indicated with red arrows). To fit the clues for the rows marked with blue arrows, the triangles colored blue must be black. You can continue in a zig-zag pattern in either direction and find the endpoints.

As you become more familiar with this technique, you'll recognize where the endpoints are likely to be so you can solve more quickly. In the example, I have green circles around two clues - they correspond with the endpoints of the segment from the bottom row. Notice that they are the first 4s after a lot of 2s.
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Re: Starting Bigger Triddlers
Answer
5/15/07 9:33 PM as a reply to madbatter.
I like big Triddlers too. It doesn't seem to work in the new applet (though Undo is a tradeoff that's more than worth it), but a tip I was given in the web applet you can use the number keys (not keypad) to get extra colors if there aren't already 8 color slots full. You can use these extra colors as markers.

Without markers, complex Triddlers are a lot of counting and recounting, but when you've got a good puzzle they're ever so much fun.

The only ways I know to get started are the way one does in Griddlers: Either you find an edge that has obvious fill-ins and work out from there, you find a color that has a small specific patch and work that first (remembering that each grid space is worth two), then use it as an anchor to find the adjacent strings, or you can find large numbers which have some overlap when worked from opposite edges. Once you have anchors (or if you're really good at holding multiple thoughts at once) you can do multiline solving.

One important tool is elimination. Since a clue color has to be correct in all three directions you can eliminate (i.e., designate as background) a lot of spaces adjacent to edges of areas worked or the puzzle itself.

Other than that, really, it's a matter of sticking with it emoticon
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Re: Starting Bigger Triddlers
Answer
5/16/07 3:16 AM as a reply to madbatter.
Expanding upon the technique using the edges I described above, the clues of 1 are perhaps the most useful. Many of koko's puzzles utilize this logic and I'll demonstrate using 3688: Rockfish.

The most basic of the tricks using clues of 1 can be demonstrated using the bottom-left corner of the puzzle (see attachment named "1s end"). If the triangle with the red dot is black, the clue to the left says that the next several to the right will be black also. Since there can only be one black in the more vertical row, the red triangle cannot be black. Similar logic can be used for each of the triangles with blue dots.

A more complex trick is based on the Multi Line Solving technique described as Example 3 in the Griddler Tutorial. Instead of looking at more than one row to find a conflict, you only have to look at the cross-clues for rows with clues of 1. For an example of this, see the attachment below called "1s conflict". Here, the clues of 1 provide us with enough information to find exactly which 18 triangles are black.

As you become more familiar with this technique, you will notice that whenever 2 adjacent rows have clues of 1 and the edge cross-row has clues of 3 or higher, you know that the triangles between the 2 rows are blank - I have marked examples of this with blue dots.

There's also a tip from somewhere among the triddler tips that if you have a row with an even clue, one end of the segment will have a cross-clue of 1. It works, but the logic behind the proof is difficult to explain. In the attached example, the endpoint is from the cross-row with the red dot.

These techniques are primarily used in the more difficult triddlers, but I use them often.

*Comment: the trick of using the keyboard numbers to choose colors not in the puzzle does work in the new applet as long as you have already chosen a color besides the default ones.
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Re: Starting Bigger Triddlers
Answer
5/16/07 10:30 PM as a reply to madbatter.
thank you so much for all the great hints!!! emoticon
they really helped
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