Uber- and Ultra-Gogen Puzzles
Many of us are familiar with the 5x5 grid superficially like the one below on the left that appears in our local newspapers each day. You are given nine clue letters and a list of words that between them contain all of the letters from A to Y and from that, you can determine where all of the missing letters go. Easy - it takes five to ten minutes to do. However, have you ever thought about what you would get if you started missing letters out of the clue words or even providing fewer than the nine letters on the grid and, for those that you do provide, they are not necessarily in the standard places?
Now, you have the UberGogen (missing letters from clue words) and UltraGogen (missing letters in the grid). Each puzzle still has to have a unique solution and you have to be able to position all of the remaining letters using logic alone.
I had written a program that can solve these problems in anything up to around half a second and I had written another program that creates these problems - two a day to go on my website at http://www.grosse.is-a-geek.com/ubergogen.html - easier ones on Mondays. BTW, the one on the left doesn't have the letter 'W' in the clue words.
So, I ran the program to create 1,000 new problems and wrote a PostScript compiler and created the interiors of 4 books, then converting them to PDF, ready to be printed. That was the programming artistry...
...Now, for the covers.
I decided to use some of my paintings of my cats, each holding a puzzle from the relevant book. For the front cover, just the subject of the painting with their puzzle. For the back, a zoomed in portion of it with the density adjusted so that white writing stands out well enough on it. And that is about it artistically speaking.
The books are designed to be ideal Christmas/Birthday gifts and are 5.5"x8.5". Each of the four books contains a total of 250 puzzles - 125 like the one above on the left and 125 like the one above on the right - along with the answers for each of them in the back. If you want to have a go, simply print out the puzzle pair above and fill them in.
You can get the books if you visit my website and follow the links. http://www.grosse.is-a-geek.com/uberbooks.html