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Provided by: sgt-puzzles_6879-1_i386

 

NAME

        solo - puzzle game based on Sudoku
 

SYNOPSIS

        solo   [--generate  n]  [--print  wxh  [--with-solutions]  [--scale  n]
        [--colour]] [game-parameters|game-ID|random-seed]
 
        solo --version
 

DESCRIPTION

        You have a square grid, which is divided  into  square  or  rectangular
        blocks.  Each  square must be filled in with a digit from 1 to the size
        of the grid, in such a way that
 
        o      every row contains only one occurrence of each digit
 
        o      every column contains only one occurrence of each digit
 
        o      every block contains only one occurrence of each digit.
 
        You are given some of the numbers as clues; your aim is  to  place  the
        rest of the numbers correctly.
 
        The  default  puzzle  size is 3x3 (a 9x9 actual grid, divided into nine
        3x3 blocks). You can also select sizes with rectangular blocks  instead
        of square ones, such as 2x3 (a 6x6 grid divided into six 3x2 blocks).
 
        If  you  select  a  puzzle  size which requires more than 9 digits, the
        additional digits will be letters of the alphabet. For example, if  you
        select  3x4  then the digits which go in your grid will be 1 to 9, plus
        "a", "b" and "c".
 
        I  first  saw  this  puzzle  in  Nikoli   (http://www.nikoli.co.jp/puz     
        zles/1/index_text-e.htm),  although it’s also been popularised by vari‐
        ous newspapers under the name "Sudoku" or "Su Doku".  Howard  Garns  is
        considered  the  inventor  of the modern form of the puzzle, and it was
        first published in Dell Pencil Puzzles and Word Games. A more elaborate
        treatment  of  the  history  of  the  puzzle  can be found on Wikipedia
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudoku).
        To play Solo, simply click the mouse in any empty square and then  type
        a  digit  or  letter on the keyboard to fill that square. If you make a
        mistake, click the mouse in the incorrect square  and  press  Space  to
        clear it again (or use the Undo feature).
 
        If you right-click in a square and then type a number, that number will
        be entered in the square as a "pencil mark". You can have pencil  marks
        for multiple numbers in the same square.
 
        The  game  pays  no  attention to pencil marks, so exactly what you use
        them for is up to you: you can use them as reminders that a  particular
        square  needs  to  be re-examined once you know more about a particular
        number, or you can use them as lists of the possible numbers in a given
        square, or anything else you feel like.
 
        To  erase  a single pencil mark, right-click in the square and type the
        same number again.
 
        All pencil marks in a square are erased when you left-click and type  a
        number,  or  when  you  left-click  and press space. Right-clicking and
        pressing space will also erase pencil marks.
 
        (All the actions described below are also available.)
        Solo allows you to configure two separate dimensions of the puzzle grid
        on the "Type" menu: the number of columns, and the number of rows, into
        which the main grid is divided. (The size of a block is the inverse  of
        this:  for  example,  if  you  select 2 columns and 3 rows, each actual
        block will have 3 columns and 2 rows.)
 
        You can also configure the type of symmetry shown in the generated puz‐
        zles.  More  symmetry makes the puzzles look prettier but may also make
        them easier, since the symmetry constraints can force more  clues  than
        necessary to be present. Completely asymmetric puzzles have the freedom
        to contain as few clues as possible.
 
        Finally, you can configure the difficulty  of  the  generated  puzzles.
        Difficulty  levels  are  judged  by the complexity of the techniques of
        deduction required to solve the puzzle: each level requires a  mode  of
        reasoning  which  was not necessary in the previous one. In particular,
        on difficulty levels "Trivial" and "Basic" there will be a  square  you
        can  fill  in with a single number at all times, whereas at "Intermedi‐
        ate" level and beyond you will have to make  partial  deductions  about
        the  set  of  squares  a number could be in (or the set of numbers that
        could be in a square).  At  "Unreasonable"  level,  even  this  is  not
        enough,  and  you  will eventually have to make a guess, and then back‐
        track if it turns out to be wrong.
 
        Generating difficult puzzles is itself difficult: if you select one  of
        the  higher  difficulty  levels, Solo may have to make many attempts at
        generating a puzzle before it finds one hard enough for  you.  Be  pre‐
        pared  to  wait,  especially if you have also configured a large puzzle
        size.
        These actions are all available from the "Game" menu and  via  keyboard
        shortcuts, in addition to any game-specific actions.
 
        (On  Mac  OS  X,  to conform with local user interface standards, these
        actions are situated on the "File" and "Edit" menus instead.)
 
        New game ("N", Ctrl+"N")
               Starts a new game, with a random initial state.
 
        Restart game
               Resets the current game to  its  initial  state.  (This  can  be
               undone.)
 
        Load   Loads a saved game from a file on disk.
 
        Save   Saves the current state of your game to a file on disk.
 
               The  Load  and  Save operations should preserve your entire game
               history (so you can save, reload, and still Undo and Redo things
               you had done before saving).
 
        Print  Where  supported (currently only on Windows), brings up a dialog
               allowing you to print an arbitrary number  of  puzzles  randomly
               generated  from the current parameters, optionally including the
               current puzzle. (Only for puzzles which make sense to print,  of
               course  - it’s hard to think of a sensible printable representa‐
               tion of Fifteen!)
 
        Undo ("U", Ctrl+"Z", Ctrl+"_")
               Undoes a single move. (You can undo moves back to the  start  of
               the session.)
 
        Redo ("R", Ctrl+"R")
               Redoes a previously undone move.
 
        Copy   Copies  the  current state of your game to the clipboard in text
               format, so that you can paste it into (say) an e-mail client  or
               a  web  message board if you’re discussing the game with someone
               else. (Not all games support this feature.)
 
        Solve  Transforms the puzzle instantly into its solved state. For  some
               games  (Cube) this feature is not supported at all because it is
               of no particular use. For other games  (such  as  Pattern),  the
               solved  state  can be used to give you information, if you can’t
               see how a solution can exist at all or you want  to  know  where
               you  made  a  mistake.  For still other games (such as Sixteen),
               automatic solution tells you nothing about how  to  get  to  the
               solution,  but it does provide a useful way to get there quickly
               so that you can experiment with set-piece moves and  transforma‐
               tions.
 
               Some  games  (such as Solo) are capable of solving a game ID you
               have typed in from elsewhere. Other games (such  as  Rectangles)
               cannot  solve  a  game  ID they didn’t invent themself, but when
               they did invent the game ID  they  know  what  the  solution  is
               already.  Still  other  games  (Pattern) can solve some external
               game IDs, but only if they aren’t too difficult.
 
               The "Solve" command adds the solved state to the end of the undo
               chain  for the puzzle. In other words, if you want to go back to
               solving it yourself after seeing the answer, you can just  press
               Undo.
 
        Quit ("Q", Ctrl+"Q")
               Closes the application entirely.
        There  are  two  ways  to save a game specification out of a puzzle and
        recreate it later, or recreate it in somebody else’s copy of  the  same
        puzzle.
 
        The  "Specific"  and "Random Seed" options from the "Game" menu (or the
        "File" menu, on Mac OS X) each show a piece of text (a "game ID") which
        is sufficient to reconstruct precisely the same game at a later date.
 
        You can enter either of these pieces of text back into the program (via
        the same "Specific" or "Random Seed" menu options) at  a  later  point,
        and  it  will  recreate the same game. You can also use either one as a
        command line argument (on Windows or Unix); see below for more  detail.
 
        The difference between the two forms is that a descriptive game ID is a
        literal description of the initial state of the game, whereas a  random
        seed  is  just a piece of arbitrary text which was provided as input to
        the random number generator used to create the puzzle. This means that:
 
        o      Descriptive game IDs tend to be longer in many puzzles (although
(cube(6)),  only  need  very  short  descrip‐
               tions). So a random seed is often a quicker way to note down the
               puzzle you’re currently playing, or to tell it to somebody  else
               so they can play the same one as you.
 
        o      Any text at all is a valid random seed. The automatically gener‐
               ated ones are fifteen-digit numbers, but anything will  do;  you
               can  type  in  your full name, or a word you just made up, and a
               valid puzzle will be generated from it. This provides a way  for
               two  or  more  people  to  race to complete the same puzzle: you
               think of a random seed, then everybody types it in at  the  same
               time,  and nobody has an advantage due to having seen the gener‐
               ated puzzle before anybody else.
 
        o      It is often possible to convert puzzles from other sources (such
               as  "nonograms"  or  "sudoku"  from newspapers) into descriptive
               game IDs suitable for use with these programs.
 
        o      Random seeds are not guaranteed to produce the  same  result  if
               you  use  them  with  a different version of the puzzle program.
               This  is  because  the  generation  algorithm  might  have  been
               improved  or  modified  in  later versions of the code, and will
               therefore  produce  a  different  result  when  given  the  same
               sequence  of  random  numbers.  Use a descriptive game ID if you
               aren’t sure that it will be used on the same version of the pro‐
               gram as yours.
 
               (Use  the  "About" menu option to find out the version number of
               the program. Programs with the same version  number  running  on
               different platforms should still be random-seed compatible.)
 
        A  descriptive  game  ID  starts with a piece of text which encodes the
        parameters of the current game (such as grid size).  Then  there  is  a
        colon, and after that is the description of the game’s initial state. A
        random seed starts with a similar string of  parameters,  but  then  it
        contains a hash sign followed by arbitrary data.
 
        If  you  enter  a  descriptive game ID, the program will not be able to
        show you the random seed which generated it, since it wasn’t  generated
        from  a  random  seed. If you enter a random seed, however, the program
        will be able to show you the descriptive game ID derived from that ran‐
        dom seed.
 
        Note  that  the game parameter strings are not always identical between
        the two forms. For some games, there will be  parameter  data  provided
        with  the random seed which is not included in the descriptive game ID.
        This is because that parameter information is only relevant when gener‐
        ating  puzzle  grids, and is not important when playing them. Thus, for
        example, the difficulty level in Solo (above) is not mentioned  in  the
        descriptive game ID.
 
        These additional parameters are also not set permanently if you type in
        a game ID. For example, suppose you have Solo set to "Advanced"  diffi‐
        culty level, and then a friend wants your help with a "Trivial" puzzle;
        so the friend reads out a random seed specifying "Trivial"  difficulty,
        and  you  type  it in. The program will generate you the same "Trivial"
        grid which your friend was having trouble with, but once you have  fin‐
        ished  playing it, when you ask for a new game it will automatically go
        back to the "Advanced" difficulty which it was previously set on.
        The "Type" menu, if present, may contain a list  of  preset  game  set‐
        tings.  Selecting  one  of  these will start a new random game with the
        parameters specified.
 
        The "Type" menu may also contain a "Custom" option which allows you  to
        fine-tune  game  parameters.  The  parameters available are specific to
        each game and are described in the following sections.
        (This section does not apply to the Mac OS X version.)
 
        The games in this collection deliberately do not ever save  information
        on  to  the computer they run on: they have no high score tables and no
        saved preferences. (This is because I expect at least  some  people  to
        play them at work, and those people will probably appreciate leaving as
        little evidence as possible!)
 
        However, if you do want to arrange for one of these games to default to
        a  particular  set  of  parameters, you can specify them on the command
        line.
 
        The easiest way to do this is to set up the parameters you  want  using
        the  "Type" menu (see above), and then to select "Random Seed" from the
        "Game" or "File" menu (see above). The text in the "Game ID"  box  will
        be composed of two parts, separated by a hash. The first of these parts
        represents the game parameters (the size of the playing area, for exam‐
        ple, and anything else you set using the "Type" menu).
 
        If  you run the game with just that parameter text on the command line,
        it will start up with the settings you specified.
 
cube(6)),  select  "Octahedron"  from
        the  "Type"  menu, and then go to the game ID selection, you will see a
        string of the form "o2x2#338686542711620". Take only  the  part  before
        the  hash  ("o2x2"), and start Cube with that text on the command line:
        "cube o2x2".
 
        If you copy the entire game ID on to the command line,  the  game  will
        start  up in the specific game that was described. This is occasionally
        a more convenient way to start a particular game ID than by pasting  it
        into the game ID selection box.
 
        (You  could  also  retrieve the encoded game parameters using the "Spe‐
        cific" menu option instead of "Random Seed", but if you  do  then  some
        options,  such  as  the  difficulty level in Solo, will be missing. See
        above for more details on this.)
        (This section only applies to the Unix port.)
 
        In addition to specifying game parameters  on  the  command  line  (see
        above), you can also specify various options:
 
        --generate n
               If  this  option  is  specified,  instead of a puzzle being dis‐
               played, a number of descriptive game IDs will  be  invented  and
               printed on standard output. This is useful for gaining access to
               the game generation algorithms  without  necessarily  using  the
               frontend.
 
               If  game parameters are specified on the command-line, they will
               be used to generate the game IDs; otherwise  a  default  set  of
               parameters will be used.
 
               The  most  common  use  of  this  option  is in conjunction with
               --print, in which case its behaviour is slightly different;  see
               below.
 
        --print wxh
               If  this  option  is  specified,  instead of a puzzle being dis‐
               played, a printed representation of one or more unsolved puzzles
               is sent to standard output, in PostScript format.
 
               On  each  page of puzzles, there will be w across and h down. If
               there are more puzzles than wxh, more  than  one  page  will  be
               printed.
 
               If  --generate  has  also  been specified, the invented game IDs
               will be used to generate the printed output. Otherwise,  a  list
               of game IDs is expected on standard input (which can be descrip‐
               tive or random seeds; see above), in the same format produced by
               --generate.
 
               For example:
 
               net --generate 12 --print 2x3 7x7w | lpr
 
               will  generate  two  pages of printed Net puzzles (each of which
               will have a 7x7 wrapping grid), and pipe the output to  the  lpr
               command,  which  on  many  systems  will  send them to an actual
               printer.
 
               There are various  other  options  which  affect  printing;  see
               below.
 
        --version
               Prints version information about the game, and then quits.
 
        The following options are only meaningful if --print is also specified:
 
        --with-solutions
               The set of pages filled with unsolved puzzles will  be  followed
               by the solutions to those puzzles.
 
        --scale n
               Adjusts how big each puzzle is when printed. Larger numbers make
               puzzles bigger; the default is 1.0.
 
        --colour
               Puzzles will be printed in colour,  rather  than  in  black  and
               white (if supported by the puzzle).
        Full documentation in /usr/share/doc/sgt-puzzles/puzzles.txt.gz.
 

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