Question about B Dazzle Owls Scramble Squares Puzzle 9pc

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Here are some papers, code and blog posts (this is nice one too) on how to algorithmically search for solutions to squzzles/scramble square puzzles. You might have received one of these puzzles as a holiday gift over the last few years, they were quite popular.

C and Perl Implemenations

General Backtracking Approach

The algorithm is straightforward - just one that searches through solutions.

What's interesting is that I've seen people solve these puzzles, even brand new ones (no prior knowledge), very quickly. There's something that happens with a persons vision or something that's helping them not have to exhaustively search the full solution space. If I'd seen someone do this once or twice, I'd think it was just lucky picks. (these puzzles have enormous solution spaces (4^8 x 9! = 23,781,703,680 puzzle configurations) )

Is there something in this puzzle that "hints" to a human early in the solution testing that a solution is viable or not. That is, after 1 or 2 pieces placed, can the human see a promising solution "faster" than the basic algorithm that searches quickly through all piece placements and orientations. If so, what is that data ("hint") the human sees and how can we factor it into the algorithm?

Possible hint data:

Rules of thumb on how all these puzzles are printed and cut (do the puzzles all get made with same orientations so exposure to one puzzle provides data on other puzzles?)

Humans can see the whole pattern in parallel even when pieces aren't lined up so they don't have to check each piece systematically

Are combinations of pieces eliminated as the humans solve it thus taking them out of future solution attempts, reducing solution space the more the human works on the puzzle.

Thank You

C and Perl Implemenations

General Backtracking Approach

The algorithm is straightforward - just one that searches through solutions.

What's interesting is that I've seen people solve these puzzles, even brand new ones (no prior knowledge), very quickly. There's something that happens with a persons vision or something that's helping them not have to exhaustively search the full solution space. If I'd seen someone do this once or twice, I'd think it was just lucky picks. (these puzzles have enormous solution spaces (4^8 x 9! = 23,781,703,680 puzzle configurations) )

Is there something in this puzzle that "hints" to a human early in the solution testing that a solution is viable or not. That is, after 1 or 2 pieces placed, can the human see a promising solution "faster" than the basic algorithm that searches quickly through all piece placements and orientations. If so, what is that data ("hint") the human sees and how can we factor it into the algorithm?

Possible hint data:

Rules of thumb on how all these puzzles are printed and cut (do the puzzles all get made with same orientations so exposure to one puzzle provides data on other puzzles?)

Humans can see the whole pattern in parallel even when pieces aren't lined up so they don't have to check each piece systematically

Are combinations of pieces eliminated as the humans solve it thus taking them out of future solution attempts, reducing solution space the more the human works on the puzzle.

Thank You

May 30, 2011 | Google Computers & Internet

This continues to be the most commonly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa (with a quick search revealing several pages of answers)

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

Dec 16, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This continues to be the most commonly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa (a quick search reveals several pages of solutions for this question and two of the last six questions have asked this)

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

Nov 07, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This continues to be the most commonly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa and a quick search would've found several pages of answers for this

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

Sep 29, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This continues to be the most commonly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa (a quick search finds several pages of answers)

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

Jun 06, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This continues to be the most commonly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa (the quick search would've quickly found the answer)

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

May 20, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This continues to be the most commonly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa (the search box is useful for quickly finding information)

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

May 15, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This continues to be the most commonly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa (a quick search on FixYa reveals several pages of answers)

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

Mar 27, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This continues to be the most regularly asked about Curious Village puzzle on FixYa

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of three squares and tell you the size and angle of another two squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other (knowing this gives you the location of one more square and just two possible locations for another)

From here, the rest should be easy (with eight pins to form two squares)

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

A picture of the solution can be seen here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

Feb 25, 2010 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

This is one of the most asked about puzzles

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of some of the squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other

From here, the rest should be fairly easy

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

You can see a picture of the solution here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

As the hints state, all but one square is tilted and each pin can only be used once

The hints also give you the location of some of the squares

As an extra hint, none of the three small tilted squares mentioned in the hints overlap each other

From here, the rest should be fairly easy

Make sure to use all the pins (all squares must have a pin in each corner)

You can see a picture of the solution here if you need it

http://professorlaytonwalkthrough.blogspot.com/2008/02/puzzle100.html

May 21, 2009 | Nintendo Professor Layton & the Curious...

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