Puzzle Pack Vol. III: Hidato

My original intention was to release this quick, short pack near the beginning of May as catch up. Well, it’s not the beginning of May, and the pack is still relatively quick and short, so now I really feel like I’m short-changing you guys. I suppose as important as puzzle construction is as a hobby to me, I can’t go turning down really big opportunities in life for its sake alone.

Download the pack (PDF; 950 KB)

This pack contains

  • The rules, a walkthrough for an example, and a few strategies for Hidato
  • 10 puzzles using the standard rules, half 5 by 5 and half 8 by 8
  • 4 Cipher Hidato puzzles, half 5 by 5 and half 8 by 8
  • 4 Straight Hidato puzzles, half 5 by 5 and half 8 by 8
  • 4 Diagramless Hidato puzzles, half 5 by 5 and half 8 by 8
  • 4 Wide Hidato puzzles, half 5 by 5 and half 8 by 8
  • 4 Sum Hidato puzzles, half 5 by 5 and half 8 by 8
  • Hints and solutions for all puzzles

Version 2 uploaded on 5/27/2012 6:50 PM EDT: Fixed some typos and rewrote III.8 (which got reordered to become III.7) to fix an extremely severe error.

Version 3 uploaded on 5/28/2012 7:20 AM EDT: Fixes errors in III.13 and III.15 along with a few other typos. I rechecked every puzzle just before uploading this, so I hope these are the last of the major mistakes.

“Hidato?” you might say. “HIDATO?!” Yes, Hidato. Suffice it to say, these might be the first and last Hidato puzzles I ever make; I’m not sure how much more I could do with the type after these. But what good ideas I had I made the most of, so hopefully you will be able to find enjoyment in those. Like with the Slitherlink pack, the variations will probably be more interesting than the classic ones.

As usual, reporting of errors you find either in a comment here or by email would be much appreciated.

I’ll do my best to have the next pack out in less than two months. It actually already has some significant progress behind it… more on that later. I won’t make a guarantee though; you know how those usually end up.


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26 Responses to “Puzzle Pack Vol. III: Hidato”

  1. Bram Says:

    Should be fun. I kinda like Hidato, it’s a different kind of path puzzle, with the diagonal option. It’s just that almost anything out there is computer made and just made by a random string of numbers where part is removed, instead of designing it while keeping in mind it’s a path puzzle and using that. A lot of time my solutions will just be a drawn path instead of writing out all the numbers.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Yeah, I fully agree about the type having some interesting features to it, which is why I chose it in the first place. There were some path-style deductions I was able to work with that I don’t usually see in the other types I do.

      That said, I’m not sure it’s going to go the way of Fillomino, which I think had the similar issue of getting a bad rap due to all the computer-made instances out there. Fillomino really does have a lot of potential; Hidato just doesn’t. But there’s enough to work with for a pack this size.

      • mathgrant Says:

        Fillomino has a bad reputation because of bad computer-generated specimens? While I agree that I haven’t seen any particularly amazing computer-generated Fillomino (Tatham’s applet in particular generates puzzles with an insane degree of sameness, seeing as they almost never use the “no two same-sized regions can touch” rule, or have implied polyominoes), I’d say that Calcudoku is a much more shining example of such a puzzle. Before Thomas Snyder (out)did the NYT Ken-Ken, I think most of us (myself included) held the puzzle in low regard, to say the least.

      • MellowMelon Says:

        Fillomino’s bad reputation has probably been repaired by content seen on LMI and other blogs, but I am pretty sure it was not that well-respected until recently.

      • mathgrant Says:

        I must have lucked out; the first time I’d seen Fillomino was on Zotmeister’s blog which introduced me to Nikoli in the first place, and Fillomino 3 was one of the first three Nikoli books I ever got as a result. Fillomino/Polyominous is the most frequent puzzle type on my blog, was my first 64×50 puzzle (and hopefully not my last!), and was the subject of my first LMI test (co-authored by some person nobody cares about). Given this information, my opinion of Fillomino is probably about as obvious as is the opinion of the main character of “Rock: It’s Your Decision” when he smashes a vinyl album in church. 🙂

  2. Joshua Says:

    I’ve enjoyed some hidato puzzles in the past, and there’s no doubt that these are much more interesting than those. Thanks for them!

    So far I see only one typo: “to find the only to” should be “only way to”.

  3. Bram Says:

    There’s a problem with puzzle III.8. I sent an email showing why.

  4. Giovanni P. Says:

    Huzzah! Unusual choice, but we’ll see how it plays out.

    Quick quibble: I think the number range under III.11 is supposed to be 1-23, not 1-25. Just a small thing.

  5. Xevs Says:

    Hi, Palmer.
    I’m enjoying solving the pack now.
    There probably be an error, I think.
    In the III.13, 8 and 10 can be switched each other.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Yes, that’s also the case… evidently my QC was lax for this pack. 😦 Thanks for pointing that out.

      Will have a fix uploaded soon. I’m going to try to give every puzzle another check before posting a new version though.

  6. Xevs Says:

    Also in the III.15, 8 and 10 can be switched each other.

  7. hagriddler Says:

    Nice puzzle pack ! I found 3 solutions to III.8.

  8. hagriddler Says:

    Ah, I was too quick to respond, I see that this typo was solved.

  9. Nils Says:

    Minor typo: In puzzle III.11 obviously only numbers from 1-23 are used.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Whoa, I definitely made that correction as soon as gpagano reported it in an earlier comment. Wonder what black magic happened to make it not appear in the uploaded version. Will be fixed next update.

  10. Xevs Says:

    I solved all and really enjoyed.
    I think other mistakes of problems doesn’t exist in the pack.
    My favorites are 10, 13, 25, 26, and 29.
    I used an intuitive solving way in III.30… tough one.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Thanks for the comment and the check on the other puzzles.

      Here’s a much more specific hint for logically doing III.30: Reduce the bottom right area to these cases
      (i) four consecutive numbers in the inner cage
      (ii) the equation 3x+(x+3) = inner cage sum
      (iii) the equations 3x+y = inner cage sum, 2x+2y = outer cage sum
      (iv) inner cage has an end of the path
      Three of these can be eliminated without much trouble. The puzzle is not that hard once you’ve gotten this step.

  11. Anuraag Sahay Says:

    This was one puzzle i always liked, ever since having seen this very long back,not under the same name though.This puzzle has all the goodness a path puzzle should have.
    The smaller ones are fun and did not require writing down.I am telling this because i did not touch any of the larger ones,yet.I really like wide hidato , and variations are more fun as you thought. Wasnt III.24 the best of those, and trivial in terms of difficulty? It took me just a glance and 5 seconds..Quite intuitively solvable,when you know it is a wide one.
    A pleasant set.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Rating the difficulty of III.23 and III.24, the two small Wide puzzles, was kind of tricky. As you say, it’s possible to see the answer in very little time. However, as the first page explains, I’ve decided to do difficulties exclusively based on how hard the logical solution is. Proving uniqueness on those two puzzles takes some nontrivial observations, so I gave them relatively high ratings.

      III.25 might be doable with intuition as well. But III.26 you’d have to get very lucky on. I would guess that particular one is hard no matter how you approach it.

  12. Anuraag Sahay Says:

    i meant III.23

  13. Anuraag Sahay Says:

    And i think you should explicitly write the rule as “numbers touching even at a point”, for wide hidato.

  14. Anuraag Sahay Says:

    I just tried the 30th puzzle.I had a different experience than a 5star should give. This is how it worked:
    I quickly filled in 9 cells in the top-right and 11 in the left-bottom using simple logic(nice use of cages for a break-in).
    From here ,it becomes diffcult. Still, i could complete till where the number 22 was waiting, using classic hidato rules alone , while the cage in the top-left helped only to determine that i have to make a route into the top-left quadrant and turn back from there and again
    come back to the left half (so i should leave 1 free diagonal in the middle of the grid).Surprisingly,other than that deduction in the middle about the direction i should head to, I did not have to use any of the four cages in the top-left and bottom-right , either for progress or for uniqueness.
    I liked how it completely relied on the main hidato logic after the large initial break-in.

  15. Joshua Zucker Says:

    There’s still a typo on page 6: “different numbers represent different digits” should be “letters” instead of “numbers”.

  16. Nix Says:

    Very nice pack, especially the variations. Thanks!

    In the last item of General Strategies (p. 3), in “to fill that number with a square”, “number” and “square” have gotten swapped.

    This is just a matter of taste, but cipher anything would be nicer to solve if the letters didn’t fill the cells the same way regular clues do, so that there would be more room to write the actual numbers.

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