# Questions tagged [difficulty-rating]

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

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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 ...
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: ...
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. ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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,...
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 ...
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?