Thoughts on Puzzle 37: Tidying Up

Got to the 3+1 situation, figured i was stuck, then wrote Python code for a bruteforce attempt. While that was still running, analyzing the puzzle more by hand, which resulted in a correct solution before the script finished

when does this one end?

First wrote a program for a LP Solver, like i did it for the last number puzzles too, which however didn’t produce a solution even after 3 hours.
Then wrote a simple Python backtracking program which found the solution after 1 second.

In just under two and a half hours.

I have columns 5-7 filled in and I’m sure about those. Trying to work through and list/eliminate possible permutations for the others.

Made it, just in time, naturally was on my original word list :smiley:


I’m getting more and more frustrated with theses puzzles/with myself.
Tried so many approaches and I dont seem to be getting close to the solution. I dont know what you guys mean with going for one of two possible numbers. I still have so many for every spot. And it didnt help to start on the left…

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“I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.” ~ Thomas Edison

With an hour to the deadline last night, I thought I’d cracked it, only to discover that my solution was perfect except for two diagonally touching squares which had the same number. This one defeated me :sob:


Yeah, I tried and ended up deciding with a couple hours to go to write a recursive backtracking solver, which I did, watched run for a while, realized that I had neglected to make it iterate column-first, fixed, and… found it declared the puzzle unsolvable, running out of time before I could figure out why and make it work :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

My approach was lazy: I removed all the spaces and pucntuation. I have lowercased everything and started eyeballing for anything that looks like a word, but wasn’t in original text. Once I found one word, the category was quite obvious. Then found few more. I picked list of items in this category from internet. For each I have highlighted its first an last letter and got few more hits. From there i was able to guess partial answer which gave me approximate location of words I missed in the text (and few missing letters). The whole process took less than 20 mins.

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Wrong thread perhaps?

Yep. Sorry., Nevermind, 20 chars min.

This was the only puzzled I failed to complete in time.

I finally solved this grid by hand… I only wish we’d had a weekend for this one, cos I simply didn’t have the time for it on the day!

I finally solved it today! :partying_face:

And I realized that I was stuck on my first try because I had miscalculated one of the column and had therefore written the wrong digit in one of the square :woman_facepalming:

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Now that the contest is over, can someone please tell me the solution to this puzzle?

Brute-forcing C code, pw to open: “hack the galaxy” (no quotes)

Using your solution, I came up with the words “with” (for the number 8) and “enea” (for the number 9).

I used a different method, and I came up with a lot of possible words. I entered all of them, and the contest website told me that all of them were incorrect. Two of the words I came up with were “with” and “enea”.

So, if the correct answer is “with” or “enea”, then the contest website could have had some glitch.

Since when was ‘enea’ a word? The correct answer for that puzzle was ‘with’.