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How To Play Hanjie

Games : Puzzles

Hanjie is one of many puzzles experiencing an increase in popularity.

It is one of the most difficult of the cross-elimination games, particularly with larger grids.

Whilst games such as kakuro require you to learn patterns of numbers, it is more abstract with hanjie as you need to learn patterns of filled and unfilled cells.

In hanjie, you will be given a reference next to a line, for instance '2,2'. This means that there are two lots of two cells filled in that row or column.

It contains one more piece of information - as well as there being four filled cells in total (2 + 2), these four are not continuous but separated by at least one white space.

This means that if it is a mini-grid of width 5 cells, then there is only one valid combination:
filled, filled, unfilled, filled, filled because nothing else will fit.

However, as the width of the grid increases there are more and more combination: for instance if the width is 8 cells wide then you can see the above combination can be shifted along the grid, and also the gap may be increased to up to 4 - in other words, there are many more combinations.

The key skill is cross elimination - using the information for all rows and columns to gradually work out what the solution must be. For instance, if you find out the first cell must be filled in from the corresponding column, then the number of combinations reduces greatly, and you also can fill in automatically the second square (as two must be filled in together).


By: Dan

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