This site exists to make available a small collection of computer games - currently Sudoku, Kakuro, Sokoban, Minesweeper, Hangman, Boggle, codeword, sum_puzzle and SCRABBLE - and to provide explanations of methods to solve these classes of puzzles. The programs can be downloaded for free and are very easy to install on Linux, Windows and Mac OS X.
The site also describes and makes freely available the programs I've written to manage these web pages
Comments and suggestions about all the programs and web site are very welcome.
A Sudoku Program SourGumdrop
SourGumdrop is a Sudoku playing program that can help players learn techniques for solving puzzles. A typical screendump is shown below.
A Kakuro Program SourGumdropK
SourGumdropK is a Kakuro/Cross sum program with a wide range of hint methods and pop-ups to show the combination lists for all sums. A typical screen dump is shown below.
A Sokoban Program Sourkoban
Sourkoban is a Sokoban playing program that can show animations of the solutions for all of its built-in maps and which remembers your solution for all puzzles. It also contains a graphical map editor/creator. A typical screen dump is shown below.
A Minesweeper Program Minestein
Minestein is a Minesweeper program that produces puzzles which can be solved entirely by logic and which have a user defined minimum difficulty rating. It also has a two stage hint system to help beginners. A typical screendump is shown below.
A Hangman Program Hangman_SG
Hangman_SG is a Hangman program with 55,000 words and 170 difficulty levels. A typical screen dump is shown below.
A Boggle Program Boggle_SG
Boggle_SG is a Boggle game which can show the number of words starting from each letter in the grid by use of colour shading. A typical screendump is shown below.
A SCRABBLE Program SQUABBLE
SQUABBLE is a SCRABBLE game in which you play against the computer. A typical screendump is shown below.
A Codeword Program codeword_SG
codeword_SG is a challenging pattern recognition game and test of word power. A typical screendump is shown below.
A logic and arithmetic puzzle Sum_Puzzle
Sum_Puzzle is a challenging logic and arithmetic game. A typical screendump is shown below.
Site_Maker is a collective term for the three programs I've written to help me create and maintain this website. The first, make_menu, takes a simple textual description of a menu and generates the corresponding XHTML ready to form part of the web pages. The second, make_pages, takes a simple text file which contains a list of the site's files and generates completed web pages. This involves combining page content, menus, page-specific keywords, titles, banner images, social networking links and so on. The third program, check_pages, analyses the completed web pages to check that the pages addressed by internal and external links exist, and also sends the pages to the W3C validator site for checking.
These pages explain the methods for solving Sudoku puzzles and displayed as hints by SourGumdrop including: Simple filter, Singles, Hidden singles, Hidden pairs, Hidden triples, Locked candidates 1, Locked candidates 2, Naked pairs, Naked triples, Naked quads. Xwing, Swordfish and Jellyfish
These pages explain the methods for solving Kakuro puzzles and displayed as hints by SourGumdropK.
This page describes a way of using Sourkoban to learn how to solve Sokoban maps.
January 20th 2014
The games described on this site have been superseded by new versions which are available from pzl.org.uk.
February 23rd 2013
Version 2.0 of Sum_Puzzle, released. Added options to read puzzles from files, to save puzzles to files and to enter puzzles through a puzzle editor. Also added code to make sure that generated puzzles have only one solution (For the previous version about 1 in 45 puzzles had more than 1 solution. Apologies.) Fixed a bug in the uninstall code. So, if you want to uninstall sum_puzzle, download the new version!
October 29th 2012
A new game Futoshiki_SG, released.
August 3rd 2012
A new game Sum_Puzzle, released.
July 24th 2012
Version 1.03 of codeword_SG released. Anyone trying to play a second game would have found that the letter and number squares were unresponsive and the game needed to be restarted! Two bugs in a month. Apologies. The Testing Team won't be receiving their bonuses this year. If you think you can do a better job please get in contact.
July 11th 2012
Version 1.02 of codeword_SG released. A small proportion of the puzzles in the previous version were corrupted and this version replaces them. The corruption was due to an incorrect grid specification supplied to the puzzle generator.
June 27th 2012
A new game, codeword_SG, released.
May 14th 2012
SQUABBLE version 2.0 released. This is a complete rewrite. Comments, bug reports welcome.
February 8th 2012
It has been reported that Sourkoban and Minestein do not function correctly under iceWM. If you don't know what iceWM is, you are very unlikely to be using it, and this need not concern you. So far I've not been able to find a fix for this problem, but all previous bugs have been fixed, so please continue to report them.
August 28th 2011
The first release of a new SCRABBLE game called SQUABBLE in which users play against the computer. Initially released without a pad file in the hope of getting some feedback before making it more widely available .
May 23rd 2011
SourGumdrop. If you make a mistake entering a puzzle using the Puzzle Entry widget new methods will now help you to find and correct the error. In addition, the Puzzle Entry widget is now brought up if an error is detected when a puzzle is read from a file.
May 19th 2011
SourGumdropK. If you make a mistake entering a puzzle, either using the Puzzle Entry widget or from a file, it can be difficult to spot the error. To help with this I've added a new display and made the Puzzle Entry widget available until all checking is finished.
April 29th 2011
I've at last had it confirmed that the programs all work on Mac OS X and so have added installation notes.
April 25th 2011
Boggle_SG updated to version 1.10: 1. Added "Save settings" option; changed letter frequencies to match those found on the dice of the commercial game (thanks to user ARC); Fixed bug in shading algorithm (thanks to user AS).
March 18th 2011
February 18th 2011
I was asked by Intel if I'd like to joint their AppUp Developer Program which is designed to encourage and help people to write applications for a range of Intel based netbooks. This request has spurred me to overhaul and improve the games programs distributed from this site while addressing the challenges of getting the programs to function on small screens. The list of changes is so extensive that I've described them on a separate page.
March 30th 2010
Released SourGumdropK v1.05 which solves external puzzles much more quickly, uses less memory, has 200 new puzzles, includes new options and fixes bugs.
January 20th 2010
Released a new game: Hangman_SG, a Hangman game with 55,000 words arranged into 170 difficulty levels.
January 12th 2010
Released SourGumdropK v1.04 which adds options to save and load partially completed puzzles.
January 6th 2010
Released SourGumdropK v1.03 which fixes a serious bug. Please report all bugs.
November 11th 2009
Uploaded yet another new release of the web site. This time all numerical values in the CSS are defined in em units which will help the partially sighted when using large fonts. Also I've added buttons for paging backwards and forwards through the pages. Note, as it is now reported that Firefox usage has at last overtaken that of Internet Explorer 6, I've finally abandoned trying so coax the web pages to work with that antique and its predecessors. Well, to be honest, it's really because I am thoroughly sick of it. The time I and so many others have wasted... Get Firefox, Opera or IE8.
The pages have been checked using Firefox, Konqueror, Opera, IE7, IE8 and Chrome.
September 4th 2009
Uploaded a new release of the web site. Included with the new design are pages describing the programs I've written to manage the site.
June 19th 2009
Python 3.0 was released recently. This breaks the programs because of the change to the print syntax. Users must install Python 2.6 otherwise the programs will not run. Thanks to Emile who emailed to point this out.
December 8th 2008
Version 0.03 of Minestein released: Expert mode logical puzzle creation time greatly reduced: it now takes 1/260 of the original time!
December 1st 2008
Version 0.02 of Minestein released: halved the time taken to generate puzzles that can be solved by logic - though it is still too slow for large grids with many mines. (Please see December 8th 2008).
November 1st 2008
Minestein a Minesweeper program released for the first time. Please report bugs and suggestions for improvements.
October 26th 2008
Python version 2.6 was released recently and unfortunately it contains a bug which broke SourGumdropK. This new version of SourGumdropK (v1.02) provides a workaround for that bug and also improves some of the related code. Though a workaround it is a permanent solution. Testing with 2.6 has shown that when Python moves to 3.0 the programs should all work.
October 7th 2008
New version (v1.01) of the Kakuro program SourGumdropK released. Fixes bugs in the parsing of external puzzles and the uniqueness check.
August 21st 2008
Noticed that Gordon Royle now has 47793 17 clue Sudoku puzzles so redid my statistical analysis.
July 31st 2008
Reorganised the website and switched to using zip files for downloads. The zip files contain the source code and an icon file for each program. A single page now handles all downloads but the original download pages have been left on the site to satisfy external links. PAD files are now available in the ./pad directory. All program version numbers upped to 1.0. Thanks to kls for the pretty new banner and the gumdrops.
July 2nd 2008
Sourkoban v0.04 released. Bug fix: undo, redo did not update the move counter. In fixing this I removed the count of the number of pushes.
May 30th 2008
Sourkoban v0.01, a Sokoban program released.
April 20th 2008
April 16th 2008
SourGumdrop v0.64 released. Search strategy selection not working. Fixed.
April 10th 2008
SourGumdropK v0.01, a Kakuro program based on SourGumdrop released.
April 3rd 2008
Version v0.63 released. The default hint search strategy is now "simplest hint". The main change this release is embarrassing. While working on SourGumdropK, a Kakuro program, based on SourGumdrop, I noticed that the SourGumdrop puzzles had, at some stage, lost their difficulty ratings. This has been rectified. Please note that the prefered contact email name has now changed to rodg.
January 30th 2008
Version v0.62 released. Norman Hall requested the ability to group algorithms and to have a hint search strategy to find the simplest hint. He also wanted more control over the amount of information displayed about hints. His encouragement also got me round to adding the ability to save and read partially completed puzzles with their candidates. The "?" button in the Toolbar can now be used to execute hints (i.e. delete the candidates found) which means I can now click through a whole puzzle without moving my mouse - useful for testing! This latter change is not reflected in some screendumps used in the website. All these additions have been made and the documentation updated accordingly.
January 1st 2008
Ian Millington The R'n'D Guy pointed out that my locked candidate 1 figure was ill chosen so I've replaced it. Thanks.
May 19th 2007
SourGumdrop v0.60 released. Sudoku16 and Sudoku4 now possible: ie 16x16 and 4x4 grids. See: Alternative grid sizes
May 13th 2007
SourGumdrop v0.54 released. Since v0.5 I have tidied up the configuration code, fixed a bug in which the wrong causes were shown for hidden triples, and another in the directed guessing solver. Added the option to colour candidates using the middle mouse button. Thanks to all those reporting bugs. None known at present.
April 30th 2007
SourGumdrop v0.5 released. This is a complete rewrite of the program. New features: simpler, cleaner default look, but with a new configuration option which enables users to alter almost every component of the interface; new hint levels including the ability to show the candidates which form the pattern; simpler menu arrangements; timer; bug found and fixed in swordfish and jellyfish.