Elimination Grids, Cryptograms, and other logic games to keep you Puzzled

Sahana Talwar

We all hate the feeling of being bored. Our parents, friends, and siblings are all busy, and we’re stuck entertaining ourselves. One great way to pass the time is with logic puzzles

Elimination Grids

Elimination grids are logic puzzles where you have rows and columns with several variables which can be almost anything depending on the situation. You are given a set of clues that help you decide which things go together. When two things go together, you put a check mark in the box that lines up with both options.

The best thing to do is to start with the easy clues. Lets say I’m trying to figure out who bought a scarf from where. If a clue says that Susan bought the blue scarf, then I’ll put a check mark in the box that lines up with Susan and the blue scarf.

When you check a box, you can put an x in the rest of the row and column it’s in. If I put a check mark in the box that lines up with Susan and the blue scarf, I would put an x in the boxes that line up with Susan and the other colored scarves and an x in the boxes that line up with the blue scarf and the other people.

This next part is a pretty easy concept that’s a bit hard to put into words. The simplest way to say it is if A = B, and B = C, then A = C. If Susan bought a blue scarf and the blue scarf was bought at Target, then you would put a check mark where Susan lines up with the blue scarf, where the blue scarf lines up with target, and where Susan and Target line up.

Something that’s easy to forgot is that the clues usually give multiple hints. If I said that Susan bought a blue scarf or a scarf from Target, then you would know that she had one or the other, but it also tells you that the blue scarf isn’t from Target.

Elimination grids seem scary at first, but with a bit of practice, they become easy.

Cryptograms

Cryptograms are codes where  letters are substituted with other letters. This can be a fun game online or with your friends.

One of the first things you should do when looking at a cryptogram is to look for the small words. If there are multiple three letter words with the same letters, there’s a good chance it’s the word the. Two letter words are often actually the words to, of, on, or in. Something else to remember is that E is the most common letter in the English language. That doesn’t necessarily mean that a letter that appears multiple times is the letter E, but it is a good thing to keep in mind.

Hashiwokakero

Hashiwokakero is a logic game where you have to make bridges. There’s a square filled with dots, and each dot has a number inside of it. The number inside the dot tells you how many lines that dot will have. Each dot can have two lines going in the same direction. The goal is for all the dots to make one continuous road.

The best way to start off is by looking at the corners. If a dot has a 3 but only two dots it can connect to, there is at least one line to each of the dots. Similarly, if a dot has a 4 but only two dots it can connect to, you’ll draw two lines to each dot.

Another strategy for this game is looking for big numbers. If the number is a 7 then draw one line in each direction, and if the number is an 8, draw two lines in each direction. If a 5 has only three dots it can connect to, draw one line to each of the dots, and if a 6 has only 3 dots it can connect, draw two lines to each of the dots.

Dots with a 1 in them are a huge help in this game. Dots with a 1 can’t connect to other dots with a 1 because they would be separated from the rest of the bridge. They help in other ways too. If a 5 has only three dots it can connect to and one of them is a 1, there will be one line to the 1 and two lines to the other two dots. The same is true for a dot with a 7.

Hashiwokakero can be hard at first, but over time you’ll develop strategies. It’s a very fun and unique game.

Chess puzzles

Chess isn’t everyone’s favorite game, but if you’re looking to strengthen your chess skills, chess puzzles are just right for you. Chess puzzles give you scenarios where you have to figure out how to win.

Knowing how each piece moves is very helpful when solving chess puzzles, but if you’re not sure, the website linked in this article shows you where each piece can move. Another tip for solving chess puzzles is to figure out how your opponent will move. Double check that none of your opponent’s pieces can take out one of your pieces.

Chess puzzles are a great way to learn chess and can remind you to think about the outcomes of your actions.

Whether you’re actually interested in solving them or you just need something to pass the time, logic puzzles are super diverse and super fun.

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Elimination Grids, Cryptograms, and other logic games to keep you Puzzled

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