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       solo - puzzle game based on Sudoku


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

       solo --version


       You have a square grid, which is divided into  as  many  equally  sized
       sub-blocks  as  the grid has rows. Each square must be filled in with a
       digit from 1 to the size of the grid, in such a way that

              every row contains only one occurrence of each digit

              every column contains only one occurrence of each digit

              every block contains only one occurrence of each digit.

              (optionally, by default off)  each  of  the  square’s  two  main
              diagonals 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.

       Under the default settings, the sub-blocks are square  or  rectangular.
       The  default  puzzle  size is 3Ã3 (a 9Ã9 actual grid, divided into nine
       3Ã3 blocks). You can also select sizes with rectangular blocks  instead
       of  square  ones, such as 2Ã3 (a 6Ã6 grid divided into six 3Ã2 blocks).
       Alternatively, you can select â.PP Another available mode  is  â.PP  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
aâ, âbâ and âcâ. This cannot be selected for killer puzzles.
       select  3Ã4  then the digits which go in your grid will be 1 to 9, plus
       â.PP     I     first      saw      this      puzzle      in      Nikoli
       (,   although   it's
Sudokuâ or âSu Dokuâ. 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 (
       also been popularised by various newspapers under the name  â.SH  "Solo

       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 â.PP 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.

       Alternatively,  use  the  cursor keys to move the mark around the grid.
       Pressing the return key toggles the mark  (from  a  normal  mark  to  a
       pencil  mark),  and  typing a number in is entered in the square in the
       appropriate way; typing in a 0 or using the  space  bar  will  clear  a
       filled square.

       (All the actions described below are also available.)

Solo parameters

       Solo allows you to configure two separate dimensions of the puzzle grid
       on the â.PP If you tick the â.PP If you tick the â.PP If you  tick  the
       â.PP You can also configure the type of symmetry shown in the generated
       puzzles. 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,
Trivialâ and âBasicâ there will be a square you can fill in with a single number at all times, whereas at âIntermediateâ 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 âUnreasonableâ level, even this is not enough, and you will eventually have to make a guess, and then backtrack if it turns out to be wrong.
       on  difficulty  levels  â.PP  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 prepared to wait, especially if you  have  also
       configured a large puzzle size.

Common actions

       These  actions are all available from the â.PP (On Mac OS X, to conform
       with local user interface standards, these actions are situated on  the
       â.IP "New game (âStarts a new game, with a random initial state.

       Restart game
              Resets  the  current  game  to  its  initial state. (This can be

       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 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
 it’s hard to think of a sensible printable representation of Fifteen!)
              course â.IP "Undo (âUndoes a single move. (You  can  undo  moves
              back to the start of the session.)

       Râ, Ctrl+âRâ)                                                      Redo
              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

              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 â.RE

              Quit (â.
                     Closes the application entirely.

Specifying games with the game ID

       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
       The  â.PP  You  can  enter either of these pieces of text back into the
       program (via the same â.PP 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:

              Descriptive game IDs tend to be longer in many puzzles (although
              some,   such   as   Cube   (cube(6)),   only   need  very  short
              descriptions). 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.

              Any text at all  is  a  valid  random  seed.  The  automatically
              generated  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
              generated puzzle before anybody else.

              It is often possible to convert puzzles from other sources (such
              as â.IP "âRandom 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
              program as yours.
              (Use the â.RE

              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 random 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  generating  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

              These  additional parameters are also not set permanently if you
              type in a game ID. For example, suppose you  have  Solo  set  to
              â.SH  "The â.PP The â.PP The â.SH "Specifying game parameters on
              the command line"

              (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 â.PP If you run the game with just that parameter text
              on the command line, it will start  up  with  the  settings  you

Octahedronâ from the âTypeâ menu, and then go to the game ID selection, you will see a string of the form âo2x2#338686542711620â. Take only the part before the hash (âo2x2â), and start Cube with that text on the command line: âcube o2x2â.
              For  example:  if you run Cube (see cube(6)), select â.PP 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
              â.SH "Unix command-line options"

              (This section only applies to the Unix port.)

              In addition to being able to  specify  game  parameters  on  the
              command line (see above), there are various other options:


              --load These options respectively determine whether the command-
                     line argument is treated as specifying game parameters or
                     a  save  file  to  load. Only one should be specified. If
                     neither of these options is specified, a  guess  is  made
                     based on the format of the argument.

              --generate n
                     If  this  option  is specified, instead of a puzzle being
                     displayed, 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
                     displayed,  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 wÃh, 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  descriptive  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 7Ã7 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.

              --save file-prefix [ --save-suffix file-suffix ]
                     If this option is specified, instead of  a  puzzle  being
                     displayed,  saved-game  files  for  one  or more unsolved
                     puzzles  are  written  to  files  constructed  from   the
                     supplied prefix and/or suffix.

                     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  descriptive  or  random  seeds;  see
                     above), in the same format produced by --generate.

                     For example:

                     net --generate 12 --save game --save-suffix .sav

                     will  generate twelve Net saved-game files with the names
                     game0.sav to game11.sav.

                     Prints version  information  about  the  game,  and  then

              The  following  options  are  only meaningful if --print is also

                     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.

                     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.