28 January 2015

Piña Colada

Title: Piña Colada
Rating: 2/5 

 
Made with white rum, coconut cream, pineapple juice, and garnished with a maraschino cherry, this drink is pretty much the antithesis of anything I would want to drink.  Nevertheless, the puzzle goes down easy.

The official rules:

  • The digits 1 through 9 appear in each row and each column exactly once.
  • Digits in each shaded region must add to the indicated sum (denoted by +) or multiply to the indicated product (denoted by *).   
  • Squares with multiple colors contain a number that’s used in the sum/product for adjacent regions of each of those colors.  
  • Remember: numbers can repeat within a shaded region if that repetition doesn't violate the first rule.

21 January 2015

Brainfreeze

Title: Brainfreeze
Rating: 3/5

As I've mentioned before, conversations with Laura Taalman (of, among other things, Brainfreeze Puzzles) sparked some ideas about the puzzle variations that make up this blog.  Here's to inspiration.

The official rules:

  • The digits 1 through 9 appear in each row and each column exactly once.
  • Digits in each shaded region must multiply to the indicated product.   
  • Squares with multiple colors contain a number that’s used in the product for adjacent regions of each of those colors.  
  • Remember: numbers can repeat within a shaded region if that doesn't violate the first rule. 

14 January 2015

Countdown

Title: Countdown
Rating: 3/5



There is renewed interest in space travel of late.  Perhaps the astronauts could take along some of these puzzles for the downtime?

The official rules:

  • The digits 1 through 9 appear in each row and each column exactly once.
  • Digits in each shaded region must add to the indicated sum.   
  • Squares with multiple colors contain a number that’s used in the sum for adjacent regions of each of those colors.
  • Remember: numbers can repeat within a shaded region if that doesn't violate the first rule.

07 January 2015

Bacardi Cocktail

Title: Bacardi Cocktail
Rating: 2/5 

  Celebrate the new year with this mix of Bacardi white rum, lemon juice, grenadine syrup, garnished with a lime.

The official rules:

  • The digits 1 through 9 appear in each row and each column exactly once.
  • Digits in each shaded region must add to the indicated sum (denoted by +) or multiply to the indicated product (denoted by *).   
  • Squares with multiple colors contain a number that’s used in the sum/product for adjacent regions of each of those colors.  
  • Remember: numbers can repeat within a shaded region if that repetition doesn't violate the first rule.

04 January 2015

Watch This

So, I watch a lot of movies.  Not as many this year as last year, but that still adds up to more than most people.  "Not as many" means that I watched 288 movies last year.

That doesn't mean I go to the theater a lot.  Most of what I watch is not from the year I watch it.  Rather, it's from a list compiled from the New York Times Best 1000 Movies List, the titles in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, a list of interesting movies on Slant (which at this point I can't find on the site anymore--it's been about six years since I started this project), and an alternative doubled canon.

With that much eclectic viewing, it's pointless for me to compare the best movies I see with critics' top 10 lists from any given year.  What I can do is share what I saw last year that I think you should see too.  Of the movies I saw last year, I'd recommend about half of them.  The list below represents those I'd most strongly recommend (those I graded as A- or A).  Take a (brief) break from puzzle-solving, and see if you can find these.  They're listed alphabetically, and I think they're well worth the time.

1. Before Midnight (2013)
2. Camera Buff (1979)
3. Casque d'Or (1952)
4. La Deuxieme Souffle (1966)
5. The Gatekeepers (2012)
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
7. Her (2013)
8. The Immigrant (2014)
9. Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
10. Kaos (1984)
11. Museum Hours (2013)
12. Le Plaisir (1952)

31 December 2014

I Want to Believe

Title: I Want to Believe
Rating: 3/5

Sometimes an idea takes hold for whether a certain design is possible.  I wanted to pay homage in my own small way to The X-Files, a show I adore.

The official rules:

  • The digits 1 through 9 appear in each row and each column exactly once.
  • Digits in each shaded region must multiply to the indicated product.   
  • Squares with multiple colors contain a number that’s used in the product for adjacent regions of each of those colors.  
  • Remember: numbers can repeat within a shaded region if that doesn't violate the first rule. 

25 December 2014

Windmill

Title: Windmill
Rating: 3/5


As happened in a previous puzzle, this sum puzzle contains regions that overlap each other (instead of just abutting each other).  May your pursuits to solve this one not be quixotic.

The official rules:

  • The digits 1 through 9 appear in each row and each column exactly once.
  • Digits in each shaded region must add to the indicated sum.   
  • Squares with multiple colors contain a number that’s used in the sum for adjacent regions of each of those colors.
  • Cells at the following positions belong to the regions that go horizontally and vertically through that cell: (2,2), (2,8), (8,2), (8,8).  The (light purple) color of these cells is the RGB-average of the colors from the horizontal and vertical regions that intersect there. 
  • Remember: numbers can repeat within a shaded region if that doesn't violate the first rule.