I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Double CalcuDoku

I imagine that you are familiar with the double Sudokus like the following one:

I though: wouldn't it be nice to make overlapping CalcuDokus? Well, here is the first one I generated:

As you can see, I overlapped a 3x3 area. To explain how this works, I have coloured the puzzle, which is normally in B&W. The two squares are two normal CalcuDokus, but the green area belongs to both the yellow and the blue puzzles.

Notice that cages can cross the boundary. For example, the right-side cell of the 2-cell cage "2:" belongs to both puzzles, while its left-side cell only belongs to the yellow puzzle.

As I don't like puzzles that admit multiple solutions, I ensured that the program delivers a unique solution. The interesting thing with overlapping CalcuDokus is that they can overlap by any amount of rows and/or columns, while Sudokus, to maintain the integrity of the boxes, can only overlap by 3 or 6 rows and/or columns.

For the time being, my program only supports an overlapping of 3 rows and 3 column, but I am going to parameterise it. Then problem is not in generating and solving the puzzle, but in displaying it.

Concerning the name to give to these puzzles, I thought that Niken would be a nice possibility. This is because "Ni" means "two" in Japanese and KenKen (which is a registered trademark of Nextoy LLC) is much more widely known than CalcuDoku. In any case, "CalcuDoku", as a name, is quite long on its own. As "Ken" is a normal Japanese word (which, as you probably know, means "wisdom"), I don't believe that Nextoy could accuse me of infringing their trademark. I could also call it KenTwo or TwoKen but, somehow, it doesn't seem right. Also Kenni is not good. What do you think?

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