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Penguin Book Of Nurikabe [Paperback]

Michael Mepham
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

March 24 2006
Sudoku and kakuro are the fun and addictive logic puzzles that have been driving you mad. But if you thought they were the greatest puzzles to sweep the world, then here is another of those sometimes infuriating but always entertaining Japanese mind-benders.

Nurikabe is a one-of-a-kind puzzle that's hard to put down. Although it has more rules than other logic puzzles, it is popular with beginners and master puzzlers alike.

Nurikabe provides the perfect mental tussle. All the puzzles in this book have an indication of level of difficulty. A short, illustrated tutorial will start you on the road to a new puzzle addiction.


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About the Author

Michael Mepham is a veteran puzzle complier. His puzzles are featured in newspapers around the world, including Life magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the National Post, and The Daily Telegraph (U.K.). He compiled the runaway bestsellers The Penguin Book of Sudoku, The Beginner's Book of Kakuro, and The Penguin Book of Ultimate Kakuro.

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2.0 out of 5 stars Poor editing: flaws, duplicates, incorrect ratings April 27 2006
Format:Paperback
Of the 15 "Expert" rated puzzles in this book, there are only 4 that are unique:
#86 = #89 = #93 = #97
#87 = #91 = #95 = #99
#88 = #92 = #96 = #100
#90 = #94 = #98.
That's right, one of the puzzles is repeated three times, and three are repeated four times! I haven't noticed any duplicates in the rest of the book, but I also haven't checked thoroughly. I haven't done too many of the puzzles in the book yet, having only just got it, but at least number 87 (= 91, 95, 99) has a flaw -- it has two potential solutions -- one in the back of the book, and one obtained by swapping the colours of two of the cells adjacent to the 6.
The difficulty throughout the book is on the easy side, though for a book which is likely aimed at newcomers, that's to be expected. Many of the puzzles have far too many "1" clues, which, while they can help the puzzle designer shape the rest of the puzzle, should really be used more sparingly. Here, I never got the sense that they were being used for any purpose than to make the puzzle easier. In one particularly egregious puzzle in the "Intermediate" section, there are 20 ones. That means that 80 cells will be shaded black right off the start. Together with the white cells involved, that's 100 cells of the puzzle solved without any actual thought. The puzzle itself is only 10x14 = 140 cells total.
I haven't done all of the puzzles yet, but even one of the "Expert" puzzles didn't require any actual thinking (just applying the standard automatic tricks over and over, not having to consider the connectedness of the nurikabe in any interesting way, or even use the reachability of cells from islands).
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