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New puzzle set system

28 comments (Add new comment)
Posted 23rd Apr 2013 at 16:06
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
I've just completed a new puzzle set system that I've been working on for a while.

It has two aims:
1) to make it easier for me to add new sets of puzzles to the site (previously there was a big overhead for each new set)
2) to make it easier to find and add sets of puzzles to your account, and have a much wider range

Today I've made the new version of the site live and I've added 33 new sets of puzzles to go with it. All of these are sudoku-based sets, but I will be adding more over the coming weeks now that it's much easier for me to do so.

What's more, you can now play one puzzle from each set for free - so you can preview the content in the set before you buy it.

On the menu page you now see an animated browser showing all available puzzle sets, and if you click through you can see the list of available sets along with your shopping cart. You can add and remove sets from your cart and check out with a single click to Paypal, where a single transaction will buy all items. You also automatically get a 10% discount for multiple (3+) purchases in a single transaction.

The existing sets are no longer available to any user who hasn't already bought one in the past - existing users of the existing sets will continue to have access to these (and other old sets) via the 'legacy sets' link on the main puzzle list page. Note that all of the puzzles in the new sets are brand new, and don't duplicate any of the content in the old sets. Currently the only puzzle set that is in both old and new lists is the 'Christmas Hanjie' set, and it will show up as purchased in the new list if you have already bought it from the old list.

Your cart remembers what's in it, so you can leave and revisit the page (or even access it on a different computer) without losing your selections.

Any questions or problems, please let me know.

Also if there are any sets you want to see that aren't there, let me know. And of course if you would like second (or third...) volumes of any sets that's good to know too.

Gareth, puzzlemix

Posted 23rd Apr 2013 at 18:59
Last edited by Coalchaser 23rd Apr 2013 at 19:00
Coalchaser Daily subscriber
Two new consecutive sudoku sets, plus a sudoku xv set?? (and a ton of other new sets of course)
Thank you Gareth, this is awesome! :)
Posted 23rd Apr 2013 at 19:40
Elisabeth Daily subscriber
Delighted, thank you Gareth. I've already purchased 4 new sets!!

I have tried one or two free ones and in the stats they are coming up as published before July 2012 (not that it really matters, but you have said they are all new puzzles)

I would very much like a set of Jigsaw Killers, please, although I have plenty to get on with for now:)

Posted 23rd Apr 2013 at 21:35
Last edited by gareth 23rd Apr 2013 at 22:17
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
Thanks Elisabeth! Good point on the comments and stats pages - that's some default text for the sets which I've now removed (it assumed all of the sets pre-dated the ranking change a year ago). Thanks for pointing that out!

Jigsaw Killers - ah, I missed them out! They should be available soon. [Edit: Available now!]


Posted 24th Apr 2013 at 01:02
Looks exciting ... now if only I had time to solve more puzzles!

I noticed at
that it said
Rankings for 'Rankings for Jigsaw Killer 2'
where you probably don't want the Rankings for to appear inside the quote marks. And maybe you don't want the quote marks at all.

I also vaguely wonder why laylaartemis's time shows up in both the old and new systems, but mine only in the old; I assume that means that I solved it before the new system existed and laylaartemis solved it afterwards. No big deal in any case.

Thanks for all the training here -- I did quite well in the latest round of the Grand Prix!

Posted 24th Apr 2013 at 01:18
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
Ah, you're talking about the old sets for the rankings. Those old "legacy" sets only show up for people who already have them - new users won't see those. And yes, you're right - if you played the puzzle before the date given you'll show up only in the older chart because the site didn't log the requisite data. This is all exactly as it's been since July last year.

The "Rankings for 'Rankings for..." is obviously wrong - thanks for pointing that out! I guess it must always have done that since I haven't changed that recently. :) Hopefully I'll fix that tomorrow.

Glad the puzzles helped - I haven't looked at the Grand Prix rankings but I will take a look! Good luck with the remaining rounds!


Posted 24th Apr 2013 at 11:17
Elisabeth Daily subscriber
Thanks again Gareth, what a quick response, all very tempting!! I should also have said thank you for giving us a free taster for each of the new sets, I hope they will persuade many to buy the whole of them:)
Posted 24th Apr 2013 at 15:27
I join the applauding crowd. ^__^ Kropki, Killers (all kinds) and XVs look particularly attractive to me. :) Would appreciate if there were also some easier Hitori and Nurikabe.
Posted 24th Apr 2013 at 15:27
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
I've fixed the 'Rankings for' double prefix on the ranking pages, and I've also now made the new puzzle set checkout system work properly on Internet Explorer - sorry to anyone who tried it out on that browser already. I made a late change after testing on it and it turns out that 'item' cannot be used as a variable name in Javascript if using Internet Explorer (well, not if you don't declare it first anyway). Seems like a bug in Internet Explorer to me.


Posted 29th Apr 2013 at 09:38
Elisabeth Daily subscriber
I am thoroughly enjoying these new sets, Gareth, so thank you again. I don't find one for Killer Sudoku-X, is this possible please??

I find the animated browser slightly distracting and would prefer if it only moved when I asked it to do so:) I can, of course, hide it when solving puzzles by clicking full screen.

Posted 29th Apr 2013 at 23:04
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
Thanks Elisabeth. I've just added a set of Killer Sudoku-X too - thanks for the idea!

I think I will change the animated browser so it stops moving once you open a puzzle to play next time I update the site. That way it won't distract during play, but does attract attention to the sets when viewing the main menu page.


Posted 30th Apr 2013 at 08:17
Elisabeth Daily subscriber
That's great, Gareth, thank you yet again. I shall be adding another batch to my account shortly,and hope to get my email right this time!

I can see you want to draw attention to the sets and I get round it by filling the screen with the puzzle. Unfortunately anything moving like that does strange things to my eyes, particularly as it rushes back to the start:)

Posted 12th May 2013 at 16:57
I'd be interested in skyscrapers. Lots of interesting sets there already.
Posted 13th May 2013 at 14:35
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
Skyscrapers - yes, thanks for the comment! I've been waiting to add these until I had finished making some new puzzles which don't have all the clues present, because as joshuazucker has pointed out before you don't need to have all (or indeed usually anywhere near all) the possible skyscraper clues present in a puzzle.

Anyway, the work on the new puzzles is now finally complete and I'll be adding them shortly - these will be the 'new' style, with a reduced number of clues. These actually tend to make the puzzles easier, by focusing attention where it is merited rather than on a whole host of other unhelpful clues.

Gareth, puzzlemix

Posted 13th May 2013 at 16:27
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
I've now added books of 100 Skyscraper 5x5, 100 Skyscraper 6x6 and 100 Skyscraper 7x7.

Gareth, puzzlemix

Posted 6th Jun 2013 at 08:18
Hi Gareth,
You write in the first message here that "existing users of the existing sets will continue to have access to these (and other old sets) ". I take it you meant access as in links, but still not for buying? Wanted to grab that Hanjie set, but too late... :( Ah well, hope there's more coming.
Posted 6th Jun 2013 at 12:01
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
Hi Ritulia,
If you have the legacy set link then you can still buy any of those sets if you wish, at least at the moment. :)

I also added a new Hanjie set yesterday - Summer Hanjie: Relaxing Picture Puzzles.


Posted 6th Jun 2013 at 13:01
Yes, I have one of those sets. But when I try to add another I get this message: "Unknown puzzle set."
screenshot here
Posted 6th Jun 2013 at 13:54
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
Ah, interesting! :) Sorry about that - I can see I broke that when I added the new puzzle set system, but the good news is that I've now fixed it again so all the legacy sets can now be purchased again. :)

Thanks for letting me know, and sorry for the inconvenience!


Posted 6th Jun 2013 at 14:41
Meanwhile, another little something for you. :-D When I got back to this site from PayPal, I tried to click on other links - my puzzles, discussions, anything - but got stuck on the "thank you" page. For some reason, every URL still contained "thankyou" in it. XD Like this:
That was with the legacy set. The new ones finished ok.
Posted 6th Jun 2013 at 14:53
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
That's interesting! How funny. The site was really grateful for your purchase. :) I'm sorry about that, though - I've now fixed that too, so if you add any more legacy sets you won't have the same problem.

Thanks for letting me know, and thanks for buying the set!

Gareth, puzzlemix

Posted 6th Jun 2013 at 16:24
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
I've also now altered the main puzzle list page so the long horizontal list of available sets will no longer move while you are playing a puzzle or indeed doing using any other window on your computer. Someone had emailed me saying they found it distracting, so this is now fixed.

Gareth, puzzlemix

Posted 25th Jul 2013 at 22:25
Elisabeth Daily subscriber
Glancing idly at the list of sets of puzzles, I see that Wraparound and different sizes of Futoshiki have been added....lovely!! Thanks, Gareth.
My favourite is still the Killer Jigsaw Set which I am working steadily through, determinedly trying to complete them without using the aids and spending many happy hours on them. It won't be long before I shall be asking for volume 2!
Posted 25th Jul 2013 at 22:46
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
Yes, I added 6 new sets yesterday:

Futoshiki 5x5, 6x6, 7x7, 8x8 and 9x9 (first ever 9x9 Futoshiki on the site I think!)

And also a Wraparound Sudoku set.

I'm glad you're enjoying the Killer Jigsaw set, and I'd better get working on a second set then! ;)

Posted 14th Aug 2013 at 11:27
purplejobo Daily subscriber
Gareth, any chance of some Slitherlink sets please? I bought a pdf set a few years back but an online set or two would be great. I think they are still my favourite.


Jo x

Posted 15th Aug 2013 at 18:26
gareth Administrator Daily subscriber
That's a great idea! I'll get onto making them as soon as possible. :)
Posted 10th Oct 2013 at 16:39
Elisabeth Daily subscriber
I have finished the Jigsaw Killers, so any chance of another set, please, Gareth? They remain my favourites, although I am much engrossed by the Wraparounds at present. Sorry so few are doing these, but perhaps everyone is too busy as they can't be done in a rush/coffee break. (Please don't give up carlotes!! and what has happened to the others that started off on the first few??). Have done over 30 and find them challenging, the last one or two requiring X-wings which were hidden away.
Posted 30th Oct 2013 at 14:37
Gareth, any chance of some Nurikabe and new Hanjie sets? I simply love that puzzles.



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