Sunday, May 25, 2008

Battleship Solitaire

Recently, I've been playing a type of puzzle called Battleship Solitaire. Basically, this type of puzzle involves a battleship grid, and numbers along the sides of the grid. Based on these numbers, you are supposed to work out the locations of the ships.

In principle, the game works out to be similar in some areas as Paint By Numbers, and hence some strategies which I discovered earlier were viable for this game too. However, this game is probably (at my present skill level) partially dependent on luck, since some puzzles I played were ill-posed, having 2 possible solutions. Of course, this is almost certainly due to the puzzle generator, which does not check for the uniqueness of the solution.

Some sample shots of a new game and a solved puzzle follow.

A puzzle with 9 starting hints.

A solved puzzle.

The rules of the game (copied from this website), for reference, are :

The computer hides the ships in the grid and a few 'shots' will be fired into the grid to get you started (Hints). The ships will be hidden in the grid with the following rules.
  • The ships will be orientated in either the horizontal or vertical direction only.
  • No two ships will be adjacent in any direction including diagonally
  • There is one battleship (4 squares in length)
  • There are three cruisers (3 squares in length)
  • There are three destroyers (2 squares in length)
  • There are four subs (1 square only)
  • The numbers in the right column indicates the number of grid squares occupied by ships in the horizontal direction for each row.
  • The numbers in the bottom row indicate the number of grid squares occupied by ships in the vertical direction for each column.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Quick Question : Alarm Clocks

Just a quick question :

For most analogue alarm clocks, the time and alarm time are adjusted by dials located on the back of the clock. The question is, why can the time of the clock be adjusted by turning the time dial either clockwise or anticlockwise, while the alarm time dial can only be adjusted anticlockwise ?