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#1 2007-06-08 14:03:44

T-Bag
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What is puzzle?

In this topic there is a discussion about good optimization puzzles.

But what is puzzle AT ALL? What separates it from riddle?

Do you agree with the definition from Wikipedia?

Let's define "puzzle" together!!


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#2 2007-06-20 12:22:18

Andrey Bogdanov
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Re: What is puzzle?

I wil not to completely define the puzzle. But give one feature which, in my opinion, is required for puzzle:

Puzzle must have well defined simple checking procedure.
We always should be possible to say if the given answer satisfy to puzzle conditions or not. And while checking the answer we do not need to use ane special knowledge - only basic ones - basic language knowlidge (alphabetic, reading), basic mathematical khowledge (arithmetic opartaions, geometric shapes).

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#3 2007-06-20 18:07:25

T-Bag
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Re: What is puzzle?

Good, Andrey Bogdanov!

What about the uniqueness of the correct answer? And the way of obtaining it?


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#4 2007-06-21 08:30:27

Andrey Bogdanov
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Re: What is puzzle?

Uniqueness of the answer is not the special feature of puzzles, it's only the sign of good puzzle. And this is not for every type of puzzles.
For example, optimization puzzle has many correct solutions. Some of them are the best. But other solutions are solutions also.
And the way to obtain answer may be any - you may guess, you may use logic, you may crib a neighbour answer smile.
And again if the puzzle has logic solution and this solution is simple (meaning does not require any special knowlidge) then it's a good puzzle. And if nobody can find logic solution - may be it's a bad puzzle, but it's a puzzle.

Last edited by Andrey Bogdanov (2010-12-14 10:03:56)

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#5 2007-06-21 12:01:56

T-Bag
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov wrote:

...solution is simple (meaning does not require any special knowlidge)...

It's a good point!

But... What about the information given in the setup (assignment) of the puzzle? Should it be complete? I mean - not rely on some "common sense" or some info that the solver is supposed to know?
If not, one might call this problem a riddle! wink


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#6 2007-06-21 12:16:21

forsmarts
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Re: What is puzzle?

T-Bag wrote:

But... What about the information given in the setup (assignment) of the puzzle? Should it be complete? I mean - not rely on some "common sense" or some info that the solver is supposed to know?
If not, one might call this problem a riddle! wink

I'd say that the given data should cover all solver's needs in order to solve the puzzle. The riddle you're appealing to completely fits this condition (of course, if the instruction would be clear, for example "Connect all 9 dots with the solid line consisting of the four segments") and it could be the puzzle if it was reproducible. But now everyone knows the solution and it's really not interesting to resolve it again. But it's the good one-time riddle that you can set to anyone who barely knows what the puzzlesport is.

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#7 2007-06-21 12:19:35

T-Bag
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Re: What is puzzle?

forsmarts, what d'you mean by "reproducible"? That one can construct other puzzles uzing the same scheme?


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#8 2007-06-21 12:22:46

forsmarts
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Re: What is puzzle?

I mean that I can hardly imagine another puzzle with the same instruction. If you'd offer us one, don't forget to hide the solution!

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#9 2007-06-21 12:26:28

T-Bag
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Re: What is puzzle?

It could be "Connect all N dots with the solid line consisting of the M segments"... smile

Another question: Is crossword a puzzle? Why or why not?


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#10 2007-06-21 12:37:59

forsmarts
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Re: What is puzzle?

T-Bag wrote:

It could be "Connect all N dots with the solid line consisting of the M segments"... smile

Yes, I mean exactly this formulation.

T-Bag wrote:

Another question: Is crossword a puzzle? Why or why not?

Yes, it's the puzzle, but it's not WPC-style puzzle, because it violates one the main rules - to be language-neutral. Actually, you can call a puzzle anything you want smile I assume that we are speaking about WPC-style puzzles, which have a lot of restrictions.
And I wonder why a lot of wonderful puzzlers which participated in WPC themselves didn't join our discussion yet smile I'm sure everyone has a lot to say about what he finds good and bad in current state of puzzlesport smile

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#11 2007-06-21 13:08:04

FlinK
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Re: What is puzzle?

forsmarts, while T-Bag is thinking about the number and configuration of dots wink, I have a "puzzle" for you:

You have beam compasses, a ruler (with no marks on it) and a pencil. Could you divide an angle into THREE equal angles? big_smile

BTW, language-neutrality is indeed an important feature.

Last edited by FlinK (2007-06-21 13:08:27)


Mam w sobie zwierza!!! Ale ten zwierz... Leniwiec.

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#12 2007-06-21 13:29:10

forsmarts
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Re: What is puzzle?

FlinK wrote:

forsmarts, while T-Bag is thinking about the number and configuration of dots wink, I have a "puzzle" for you:

You have beam compasses, a ruler (with no marks on it) and a pencil. Could you divide an angle into THREE equal angles? big_smile

I don't know if our foreign friends know what it means, but Flink - [:llllll:]. Another main requirement for the puzzle (without any quotes) - to have a solution. At least one. More - makes it not so good, less - makes it terrible.

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#13 2007-06-21 13:43:23

FlinK
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Re: What is puzzle?

forsmarts, it is a very old mathematical problem indeed. Solving it (or any other problem) could be finding a solution OR proving it doesn't exist.

So problems with no solution could (and should) not be called "puzzles", right?


Mam w sobie zwierza!!! Ale ten zwierz... Leniwiec.

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#14 2007-06-21 13:43:37

Andrey Bogdanov
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Re: What is puzzle?

T-Bag wrote:

But... What about the information given in the setup (assignment) of the puzzle? Should it be complete? I mean - not rely on some "common sense" or some info that the solver is supposed to know?

Yes, the puzzles assignment should contain all required information. Usually for short some parts are missed and supposed as well known. For example, the digits (0-9) or definition of triangle may be missed.

T-Bag wrote:

Another question: Is crossword a puzzle? Why or why not?

If you see my requirements - the simple checking procedure, then crossword is not a puzzle - you cannot check the answer without special book, vocabularies and so on. I can fill the crossword with any symbol and you must prove why I'm not correct.
But we can transform crossword to puzzle if we give the word list in puzzles condition.

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#15 2007-06-21 14:48:48

Andrey Bogdanov
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Re: What is puzzle?

FlinK wrote:

So problems with no solution could (and should) not be called "puzzles", right?

I again send you to my definition. Puzzles must have a checking procedures for the answers. If you can give this procedure for the trisecting problem then it's a puzzle.
But if this puzzle has no answers which require your procedure then you never can say about its solving.

In mathematics solution has another sense - you must give the answer or prove answer does not exist. But for puzzle such proving is not a solution.

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#16 2007-06-21 15:14:23

forsmarts
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov wrote:

I again send you to my definition. Puzzles must have a checking procedures for the answers. If you can give this procedure for the trisecting problem then it's a puzzle.

Interesting definition. OK, here's the formulation: "Write the different numbers from 1 to 9 into the 3x3 grid". I guess it's easy to check, but is it puzzle?

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#17 2007-06-21 15:25:21

Andrey Bogdanov
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Re: What is puzzle?

forsmarts wrote:

Andrey Bogdanov wrote:

I again send you to my definition. Puzzles must have a checking procedures for the answers. If you can give this procedure for the trisecting problem then it's a puzzle.

Interesting definition. OK, here's the formulation: "Write the different numbers from 1 to 9 into the 3x3 grid". I guess it's easy to check, but is it puzzle?

First - you move this topic to the section named "WPC-style puzzle", but we discuss the definition for puzzle in general (not only WPC).
And about your question, I think your give a good puzzle for a three-year-old child. May be this puzzle is too easy for your.
But I understand what you want to say - puzzle must be puzzling smile. I think it's difficult to say but anybody understand this - puzzle must require some intellectual work.

Ok, above I say "will not to completely define the puzzle". And now I try to write a definition:
Puzzle is the intellectual problem which has well-defined simple checking procedure.

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#18 2007-06-21 15:41:31

forsmarts
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov wrote:

First - you move this topic to the section named "WPC-style puzzle", but we discuss the definition for puzzle in general (not only WPC).

It's too wide I guess. As I said to Flink, the one can call "puzzle" anything he wants. So I suggest to define exactly puzzles fitting for puzzlesport.

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#19 2007-06-21 15:50:55

FlinK
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov wrote:

I try to write a definition:
Puzzle is the intellectual problem which has well-defined simple checking procedure.

It's a good PART of definition. Let's try and shape it further!

forsmarts, you were right about moving the topic to WPC section. "Puzzle" for general public and "puzzle" for puzzlers are 2 overlapping, but clearly different concepts!


Mam w sobie zwierza!!! Ale ten zwierz... Leniwiec.

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#20 2007-06-21 15:58:41

T-Bag
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov, should this be indeed called "puzzle"? It has a solution, it has a "simple checking procedure", it's puzzling, it requires some intellectual work... It's even "language-neutral"! smile


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#21 2007-06-21 21:49:46

Andrey Bogdanov
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Re: What is puzzle?

T-Bag wrote:

Andrey Bogdanov, should this be indeed called "puzzle"?

Yes, it's a puzzle. Moreover, such puzzles was at previous WPC in Hungary.

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#22 2007-06-22 11:18:09

T-Bag
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From: Panama
Registered: 2007-05-30
Posts: 26
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov wrote:

T-Bag wrote:

Andrey Bogdanov, should this be indeed called "puzzle"?

Yes, it's a puzzle. Moreover, such puzzles was at previous WPC in Hungary.

Wow, that REALLY surprises me!

IMHO, [almost] no logic is required to solve jigsaw puzzles, only attentiveness and patience.


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#23 2007-06-22 12:08:50

Andrey Bogdanov
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Re: What is puzzle?

T-Bag wrote:

Wow, that REALLY surprises me!

IMHO, [almost] no logic is required to solve jigsaw puzzles, only attentiveness and patience.

This puzzle was in team part. And a little complication was added - the puzzle contained a superfluous elements.

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#24 2007-06-22 16:32:53

T-Bag
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From: Panama
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Posts: 26
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov, that's really cool!

Were there also missing elements? big_smile


What do you say to that, Pretty?

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#25 2007-06-22 18:30:56

FlinK
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From: Praha, Czech Rep.
Registered: 2007-05-29
Posts: 56
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Re: What is puzzle?

Andrey Bogdanov wrote:

T-Bag wrote:

Andrey Bogdanov, should this be indeed called "puzzle"?

Yes, it's a puzzle. Moreover, such puzzles was at previous WPC in Hungary.

Were they at the WPCs before Hungary? Will they be at the up-coming championship?

I think they don't belong there... Even (especially) with "superfluous elements"...


Mam w sobie zwierza!!! Ale ten zwierz... Leniwiec.

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