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Since there has been interesting strategy discussion on these puzzles and by popular request, I have opened an archive on the last thirty weeks. The discussion section is open for continued posting.
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As Ben said, not all black cell patterns admit an X solution, so I removed one black cell from the Elf's pattern.

Here are 2 X puzzles. The first one is M rated. The second one is for those who like a harder challenge.

Are there any other Elfs out there ?


by: jgrab

Very good challenge, thanks. Good use of X-restrictions, until the end.


by: The Elf

Add to this thread
Still looking cool. Seems to be quite a challenge, even though I started with the M today.

Thanks a lot @Leren and Ben :-)


Here is a puzzle using The Elf's pattern:

No chain needed


by: jgrab

Thankjs; a nice Setti and x-wings puzzle.


by: The Elf

Add to this thread
I enjoyed it, nice x-wingfestival.


Don't forget to post an idea for a puzzle if you want your
name on it. I'm sure there are lots of puzzle Elfs out there :)


by: Astrid

Hi Leren, i got "my own" puzzle already last year from you, but i think it's a very nice idea, indeed :)
Over the last few years i had many Hours of fun with your puzzles, so... thank you so much <3


by: The Elf

Hi Leren, the puzzle Elf has got one more. ^^

Stay Tuned:


Perhaps ther are even some puzzle gnomes, trolls or wizards, who knows?


by: Leren

@ Elf

Is this a standard or X variant, or both ?


by: The Elf

I only do the black cell patterns, but I like X-es (sorry, forgot to specify).

But feel free to make a standard from it as well if you like.


by: Ben

I don't think there is any possible x-str8ts puzzle with that pattern.


by: The Elf

Since I have no idea how those puzzles are created, that may well be possible. Are there some guidelines (I can think of: symmetrical with rather free diagonals)?

That's why I wote last week: feel free to modify the pattern as much as needed. It's more like brainstorming input, intended to give new ideas, even if the original input isn't recognizable afterwards. ;-)


by: Ben

I can't provide any guidelines. A lot of patterns don't have an X solutions.

Your pattern has a lot of non-X solutions. I'll try and put one together, though for me it's quite manual to create a new puzzle. Not like Klaus, who I think can do it with one click.


by: Ben

The Elf,

I've built a puzzle in less time than it usually takes me. I hope you like it.


by: Leren

Add to this thread
@ The Elf

I'm not much of a mathematician, so I can't give you a dissertation on what black cell patterns can't give rise to an X puzzle, but common sense tells me a bad X pattern is over-constrained in some sense, so if you remove one black cell, or even move it, it usually fixes the problem.

In the same vein I've always wondered why the knight jump gap between black cells produces so many great puzzles. Hone discovered that, so maybe he can enlighten us mere mortals :)



by: Astrid

quick exercise


by: ThomasF

thanks Leren, a nice moderate one


by: jgrab

Add to this thread
Thanks, a nice quickie.



by: Astrid

One tiny SI, rest is standard tools, though not too trivial. Good level of difficulty. thx


by: jgrab

Didn't find something "tiny" after 14 solved cells, and switched to a chain.


by: kolumbus

@jgrab: I found a really tiny contradiction thing starting from A8, call it SI or chain (is there any difference?)


by: Astrid

Add to this thread
@jgrab: both possibilities in B2 lead to a certain conclusion, in fact it has overall the same result as kolumbus' contradiction.
Though… SI was the wrong word i used.



always a pleasure to be able to do everything just in your head...


by: Andrejs

This time weekly puzzle even for me was easy. Setti's rule indeed demonstrate how powerful it is. Extreme puzzles can be a bit more difficult.


by: Jan

Add to this thread
Checking with the solver, indeed only one setti is required.

Article created on 27-June-2010.
This page was last modified on 17-April-2011.
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  • 7 '; just some singles
       - Candiru - 41 minutes ago
  • 22´ - Warm up for the tax return
       - Dietmar - 1 hour ago
  • 15:20 by hand without candidates using three settis
       - Jan - 1 hour ago
  • 11'
       - humpti dumpti - 1 day ago
  • 19' settis
       - ttbass - 1 day ago
  • 27 min - settis did the most
       - Mensur - 1 day ago
  • Settis only, fun! ♫♪
       - Alan Bourdillon Traherne - 1 day ago
  • 13 min, the best I've ever done :)
       - Hette - 1 day ago
  • I took 1 hour and 24 minutes. I used two guesses in working this out.
       - BTD6_maker - 1 day ago
  • settis, then logic and careful elimination.
       - Benny_42 - 1 day ago
  • nice and easy, though it took me a second approach cause of a stupid oversight
       - easydoesit - 1 day ago
  • 12' - Easy one with some settis and careful elimination.
       - LK - 1 day ago
  • 12' - easiest extreme ever :)
       - selecti - 1 day ago
  • 26' without solver
       - Uli - 1 day ago
  • 22 min
       - Sabine - 1 day ago
  • 18:54; easy.
       - abracadabra - 1 day ago
  • 5 min like morl
       - Loser - 1 day ago
  • Some minutes only
       - jgrab - 1 day ago
  • 24 Minuten, settis und leichtfür ein "extreme"
       - wjanet - 1 day ago
  • quite easy
       - hiitsme - 1 day ago
  • 8 min - very easy this week but nice
       - Susan - 1 day ago
  • 20 min
       - Kurt - 1 day ago
  • 25' w/o solver, nice and easy
       - Hel - 1 day ago
  • 19' - one settI, rest pure logic. Very nice, although yesterday''s 4☆ Puzzle appeared harder for me
       - Carpat - 1 day ago
  • 15 min - mostly logic, a few settis, 4* rather than 5*, but nice for a leisurely Sunday morning ;-)
       - Stef - 1 day ago
  • 16 min
       - SirMichael - 1 day ago
  • 19 min, easy
       - poblid - 1 day ago
  • 10'-a few settis, that's it
       - Earnie - 1 day ago
  • 16 min.a few settis, easy
       - juehe - 1 day ago
  • 15min - rather easy today
       - COM - 1 day ago