Questions tagged [difficulty-rating]

A question about assessing or adjusting the difficulty level of a puzzle.

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31
votes
6answers
20k views

What are the criteria for determining the difficulty of Sudoku puzzle?

What are the criteria for determining the difficulty of Sudoku puzzles? Is it a subjective estimation based on the author's experience, or are there any precise guidelines? For example, there are ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any popular puzzles with polynomial-time algorithms?

First, a little background: as I noted in my answer to another question here, most of the puzzles that seem to stay popular for extended periods of time are canonically 'hard' in an algorithmic sense: ...
12
votes
4answers
841 views

How to rate difficulty of a classic riddle?

How, as a writer of riddles, can I rate their difficulty? I guess, for me alone, knowing the answer even before the riddle existed, it's pretty much impossible, and I should need some external help. ...
11
votes
3answers
853 views

Puzzle design: How to incorporate confirmation of an answer?

Sometimes when I'm designing a puzzle which has more than one stage, I'd like to incorporate a 'check' for some of the answers (e.g. the answers of the earlier stages). Example: This puzzle needed 2 ...
11
votes
3answers
836 views

In the Undead Game, what makes one board more difficult than another?

In the Undead Game, what makes one board more difficult than another? The game is defined like this: A 4x4 (or 5x5, etc) grid has some random squares filled with diagonal lines representing mirrors. ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

What should you look for when rating the difficulty of a puzzle?

After you're finished making a puzzle, what types of details should you look for when rating it's difficulty? What makes a puzzle easier or harder? Keep in mind a puzzle includes both the question and ...
9
votes
1answer
325 views

What factors affect the difficulty of Hamiltonian puzzles?

There is a type of puzzle which can be modelled as finding a Hamiltonian path through a graph. One example is the Icosian game. What factors affect the difficulty of such puzzles, to be solved by ...
9
votes
2answers
747 views

The strength of ciphers against brute force methods - what makes it more difficult but keeps it fair for humans?

EDIT: We have a couple of cipher puzzles on this site which use primitive, simple ciphers like Caesar, Bacon and substitution ciphers, and some of these puzzles combine them. This made me wonder ...
9
votes
2answers
304 views

Generating different difficulties in custom puzzle

first of all this is my first time asking something here so please let me know if I am doing something wrong or asking it on the wrong place. I have a custom puzzle model where I need to generate ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Are there 'Hexanum' puzzles that require advanced methods to solve? [closed]

The puzzle below features each week in a TV guide. It's called "Number Workout" there but I've done a bit of research and it seems to be called "Hexanum" elsewhere. It bears some resemblance to Sudoku,...
5
votes
2answers
267 views

How long should an anagram be in order to be solvable by a human?

I'm writing some puzzles for a bunch of smart friends, but I'm unsure if the puzzle is too easy or too hard. For instance, an anagram like this: fangos theorem Should be solvable by a human without ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there a rating system for crossword puzzles?

On searching the internet for difficult crossword puzzles I find that the New York Times is often mentioned. But is there a rating system? If so how does it work?
4
votes
1answer
475 views

Estimate beginner, mediocre, advanced & expert on puzzle games

I've created the Hannoi Towers, Lights out and not sure about the original name of this game. Now, when I want to create badges (beginner, expert etc.) for the puzzlers I stumbled upon a problem, I ...
1
vote
3answers
687 views

Hardest slitherlink you know [closed]

What is the hardest slitherlink board you have seen/solved/tried to solve? I've tried googling for some hard ones but came up with simple ones or sites describing what slitherlink even is... So in ...