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January 31, 2011
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Puzzle #590: Number Soup

Today's puzzle brings yet more logic and arithmetic together for Number Soup!

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Comments

Joshua Gravatar for Joshua

I'm having trouble solving the middle right puzzle, with the 60x clue. I can only put the 89 in the bottom left, which makes the bottom right 1, which puts the 6 above that, which makes the 10 4+6, but now that the 4 and 6 are used I don't see how I can make the multiplication to 60.

Also, my students found these puzzles too hard for the most part, so I tried to think of a good hint about how to get started on each one. I can send you a copy of that if you want; just drop me an email.

02/03/11 11:02 am

David Millar Gravatar for David Millar

Hi Joshua. I think the main problem is that I don't know basic multiplication. That clue should be 30, not 60. Sorry about that - fixing it now.

I'm sorry to hear that these were too difficult. I'd love to hear the hints you used as well as any other feedback you have on making these work better for younger puzzlers. I'll also see what I can do to add clarity because of the issue you mentioned in your other comment.

(On the other hand, I might throw in a set of harder Number Soup sometime soon to test the waters. If it helps, maybe I could tag easier puzzles on the site "easy". Thoughts?)

02/03/11 2:58 pm

Joshua Gravatar for Joshua

I think for some of the puzzles, if you gave a fourth "domino" clue to help them place the numbers, that would be good. Also some kids were confused about what other numbers they were supposed to use after the domino clues, so maybe some single squares with the other digits would help them. (They also liked crossing them off once they were used, so that might be a good solving aid for them too.)

Hints for starting places, like I created, seemed to be a big help. A lot of kids could have used a second hint in a similar style to be used after they figure out the first one. (I emailed you my hints file, feel free to use it however you like.)

The kids were definitely engaged but it would have gone even better if half the puzzles were like these and half were significantly easier. Things like more 3+ or 16+ clues, the nice x5 clue you had in one of the puzzles, and so on -- those make great break-in points to get the kids started. I guess in general they just need more extra clues!

Maybe some easier puzzles would use the kenken-style 1,2,3 once each in each row and column, too. Or, some puzzle pieces that are bigger than the dominoes to give fewer choices for placement.

One minor note: Photocopying them into black and white, some of the color schemes worked much better than others. The Jan 27 puzzles seemed easy to read and the Feb 1 puzzles not so much. (The shaded regions were almost invisible.)

02/03/11 8:58 pm

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