Continuing the basic clinic, this post recognizes Dave Green for his Sunday 5-star syndicated series, and checkpoints an illustrative example of Sysudoku marking on one of them. The checkpoint compares the traces, with and without the dublex bypass.
Finally I turn to my daily puzzle supplier, Dave Green. His syndicated King Features puzzles from 1-star (Monday) to 5-star(Sunday) fit right in with our current basic clinic.
For me, Dave does what Nikoli claims to do. You often see a whimsical pattern in his given clues. A cross-hatch pattern may be repeated several times across the puzzle. And as to feelings, sometimes I get the eerie feeling that Dave is chuckling as he throws me a curve that I’m going to miss the first time through .
Dave varies the collapse point a great deal, but his level of difficulty is unusually consistent. Except that his 3 and 4 stars sometime rival the 5 stars, at least for me. Starting with the dublex bypass up to 3 stars, I usually wind up with pencil marks for anything above 2 stars with Dave.
Our homework on Dave’s 6/22/14 5-star was surprising on two counts. First, on how far the dublex bypass took me, and secondly, the number of operations compared to straight out slink marking. The bypass leaves a lot to do, but you get there faster, and there is a lot less slink marking before the collapse begins.
Here is the complete trace. The DB part in number order, but without number sections. We just add in box marking and line marking as before.
There are no decisive highlights in the slink marking trace but you probably struggle if you miss anything. This trace certainly represents the best of grind-it-out Sysudoku basic.
Comparing the traces, the without DB box marking goes further through the numbers. There’s not much difference in the number of operations, but the dublex marking is faster when you are not tracing. Anyway, what you really need to assess is not the writing time, but the searching time – how long it takes to identify the next move.
It does appear so far that the bypass does not impose extra work, and could be used on all puzzles. I’ll continue evaluating.
For contrast with the early generosity of 6/22/14, the next Sunday paper brought what might be the absolutely stingiest 5-star Dave has ever produced. It’s still basic, but you have to scrounge and be extra sharp, picking up every crumb to avoid starvation – and advanced solving. See what you can do with Dave’s Sunday 5-star of 6/29/14. I’ll make the same with and without DB comparison in the checkpoint.