Logic Puzzle Forums Is the next step "What If?" or are these puzzles all straightforward logic?
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#1
04-02-2013, 05:46 PM
 BillsBayou Member Join Date: Mar 2013 Location: New Orleans Posts: 77
Is the next step "What If?" or are these puzzles all straightforward logic?

I keep hitting brick walls with these puzzles. Many can be solved by following the logic and associations and doing math where necessary. However, when I hit a brick wall, I'm left with going into "What If" mode.

I do a screen print; post it into Windows Paint; and fall back to that puzzle when I realize my "what if" option leads nowhere.

Is this the right way to solve these puzzles?
#2
04-02-2013, 11:17 PM
 Quazar Member Join Date: Feb 2013 Posts: 33

I've had to use that approach on the harder ones occasionally. I've found the solve sometimes requires seeing that X is either Y or Z, then "what if" X=Y and follow the conclusion (on a notepad) listing the consequences for awhile (A=B, C=D)...

...and if that doesn't lead to a contradiction, then look at X=Z and hope that there's a clue that does conflict. If A can't be B then X can't be Y so it's Z.

After awhile it feels less like logic than guessing. I don't know if this the right way or not.
#3
04-03-2013, 12:09 AM
 Laura Member Join Date: Aug 2008 Location: Connecticut Posts: 79

I don't know if it's the best way, BillsBayou, but when the clues don't lead directly to a solution, I also print screen into Paint to try different directions. Sometimes that quickly shows that a particular path won't work. Like Quazar, I also try X=Z if X=Y didn't work. Then I go back and try the other option.

I only use that as a last resort, because most often if you look carefully at the clues (especially the before/after ones), you can solve the puzzle.
#4
04-03-2013, 12:16 AM
 admin Administrator Join Date: Jul 2008 Posts: 181

There's of course nothing wrong with using a "What If?" or trial-and-error method if you get stuck, but none of our puzzles actually require that - each and every one can be solved using just logic. Some require more advanced logic than others, however.
#5
04-03-2013, 12:43 AM
 MoonLitCrystal Junior Member Join Date: Mar 2013 Location: Maryland, USA Posts: 6

That's funny, I was just wondering this exact same thing! I came across it by accident one time, and ever since then I find myself trying it (or looking for it) in almost every puzzle I do.
#6
04-03-2013, 01:04 AM
 zenobia43 Senior Member Join Date: Mar 2012 Posts: 175

BillsBayou, if you encounter one of those brick walls again, post the screen shot of the grid and the clues, and we'll see if we can come up with the logic to get the next X.
#7
04-06-2013, 03:36 AM
 clintb Junior Member Join Date: Apr 2013 Posts: 2

I am a very new user and I occasionally hit the same brick wall and was doing the same thing you are, screen shot, etc. I then found this video on youtube...

I found it from a link on the logic puzzles site somehow, but I can't find it again. Anyway, in the video there are two "advanced techniques" discussed. If you employ the "advanced techniques" when you hit a brick wall, you will never have to resort to trial and error.
#8
04-08-2013, 04:03 PM
 BillsBayou Member Join Date: Mar 2013 Location: New Orleans Posts: 77

Clintb,

Thanks for the link to the video. I was able to solve this puzzle using the techniques found there. I used an equivalency to substitute "1980" for "chemistry" in clue 5. This meant that the other two values in clue 5 could only be those two years. That put me on the road to solving the puzzle.
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