What's New -  2nd Quarter,  2018






April 29,2018:

Here's a  "Telephone words" program that converts number strings into words based on standard keypad number-to-letter assignments as illustrated here (e.g. 364 ==> DOG).

Businesses like phone numbers that can be presented as words with the idea that they are easy to remember.   I (and probably most callers) dislike them because it slows and complicates the dialing process.   But they do make interesting puzzles!.  

One problem with real phone numbers is that they include "0"s and "1"s which have no associated letters. I ignore "0"s and use '1"s as space characters, allowing multi-word encoding.

One other problem when using numbers to encode messages is that there may be multiple  translations. For example,46631364 not only decodes to:"GOOD DOG" but also to "HOOF FOG" and 12 other variations.  For what it's worth, this program finds them all. 


May 18, 2018:  "Cut List" shows woodworkers how to cut a set of parts from a set of available stock.  This program creates diagrams showing the stock pieces and how the required parts may be efficiently cut from them.  A 2 line update today changed part diagram outlines from green to black. The previous green outlines and the light green fill color both mapped to the same shade of gray when printing in black/white and, if the parts were adjacent,  part boundaries could disappear!  Cutlist Version 4.05.1 posted today fixes that. 


May 19, 2018:

 This program lets you remove matchsticks by clicking.  The objective is to remove the smallest possible number of matchsticks that will eliminate all squares of all sizes in th grid. 

It finally happened - someone found a better solution for the 4x4 grid than my program thought possible.    How Many Squaes Version 2 posted today has a revised "best" solution target formula:   See the linked page for more details with a reward offered for a solution that beats by revised estimates!


May 26, 2018

Complete this grid using the eight letters "B" through "I" so that the following four conditions are met:

  1. No column or row of the completed grid contains two vowels.
  2. No column or row of the completed grid contains two consecutive letters of the alphabet.
  3. "I" is in the middle row. "G" is not.
  4. Both "B" and "H" are in corner squares.

Here's another MENSA Calendar puzzle from earlier this month. It can be tough to solve because there is  only one letter arrangement that satisfies the 4 placement rules, but 40,319 incorrect arrangements!  There are hints that help both the user and the program solve it, as well as download links on the  Letter Logic page


June 18, 2018:  We have family of puzzles based on placing letters in a grid with restrictions on placement in relation to othter occurrences of the same letter or alphabetically adjacent letters.   No Close Neighbors Version 3.1 adds one more variant of the "no-duplicates" type. Here it is::

"Place 5 copies of the letters in the word FRUIT in a 5x5 grid with no letter appearing more than once in any row, column, or diagonal. Four letters have been pre-placed to get you started."

This is puzzle named "5x5 Fruit" in the saved puzzles list for you to load and solve (or allow the program to solve it for youJ) .