Puzzle 255 (Slalom)

This is a Slalom puzzle.

Puzzle 255

Puzzle 255

If you approach this one like a Numberlink it falls pretty quickly. The logical solution is a bit more difficult.


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10 Responses to “Puzzle 255 (Slalom)”

  1. mathgrant Says:

    I actually have a tough time creating Slalom puzzles like this one, where you need to think topologically and universally to solve the puzzle logically. Such puzzles often end up having simpler solutions, or something. Nice work here.

  2. Scott Handelman Says:

    You’re absolutely right that it feels like a Numberlink: trying to solve it is harder than doing stuff and seeing you’ve magically solved it. Bryce is absolutely right when he said the right-hand-rule is amazingly helpful, but just like in a real maze, it feels like cheating here too.

    It’s the very reason I despise Numberlinks. I look at them and have no idea where to start. I lack the Jedi knowledge that allows one to “feel out” a solution. Will someone become my Jedi master?

    • Jack Says:

      My beef with numberlinks isn’t just that it’s not always clear where to start. With the nikoli numberlinks, I usually find it easiest to start by abusing the fact that every square is going to be used. Which is NOT a logcial requirement of the puzzle. It’s not in the rules. Numberlinks can have unique solutions without filling every square. So the very first thing I do in the puzzle, and the key to finding the solution, tends to be abusing cheap meta-logic. It just makes me feel dirty, somehow.

      • mathgrant Says:

        Even nikoli.com discourages the solver from trying to solve a Numberlink puzzle too logically. (Of course, that doesn’t help the constructor, who must ensure that only one solution exists, no matter how much trial and error is needed to do so. That’s why I only have a few Numberlink puzzles on my own blog, and they’re all 10×10.)

  3. Andy Says:

    I’m glad you mentioned Numberlink in the comment, as I probably would have enjoyed the puzzle less if I had tried a logical route.. It definitely did feel Numberlink-y, even to the point that every blank cell ended up being used. I wonder if using every cell was on purpose or was necessary for uniqueness..? Either way, an enjoyable puzzle as always, thanks!

  4. TheSubro Says:

    1. Great puzzle.
    2. I – being the snail I am – did it entirely with logic (as I perceive the concept), and enjoyed every moment of it.
    3. I too hate Numberlinks, but I blame myself and not the puzzle. If you have a puzzle with a unique solution, universal constraints, and a theoretically limited number of path choices (albeit some times a large number of such alternate options), then you have the makings of a classic nonmathematical logic puzzle – just like masyu, slalom, yajilin, etc. The problem with Numberlinks for me is that oftentimes on its harder rated puzzles my little brain is not able to adequately envision the full breadth of path options in a manner that allows for intelligently chosen attempted suppositions and eliminations – resulting in the unique non-eliminated solution paths. I spend time trying to figure out a full or partial break-in – and grow discouraged when I can’t in a prompt fashion. Then I try the soft “let me try these paths” and then morph em around abit and then realize I am not really getting anywhere and step away thinking – “Numberlinks suck.” But truth be told, its not them, its weak little me.

    Thanks for this fun puzzle.


  5. A Goat Noble Says:

    I think that Slalom puzzles that don’t quickly telegraph the answer to the challenger from the general layout must be really hard to make, because something about the layout of most of them seems to quickly give away what the creator was going for. Then again, maybe it’s something that’s generally an issue for people who tend to have very visual minds?

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