Author round-table 022

InterviewsAuthor round-table

Puzzles and all that we get from them. --- Pencil Rocket & YukiHiro ---

The guests this time are Pencil Rocket and YukiHiro. They are young among the authors of nikoli.com. From Nikoli we have NyanBaz and Nob.

NyanBazToday's theme is puzzles and all that we get from them. We would like not to limit the subject but actually to talk about anything concerned with puzzles.

NobThis theme was discussed twice in the past. Those two times were with veteran authors. We have asked young authors to take part this time.

YukiHiroIt was a very deep talk that went on twice in the past. I'm not good when the topics get so deep.

NobDon't worry about the past today.

NyanBazI investigated how young you guys are as authors. Among the past "Puzzles and all that we get from them," the author with the shortest history is -4. He made his debut as a puzzle author in Puzzle Communication Nikoli Vol. 80. Pencil Rocket's debut was in Vol. 100 and YukiHiro's debut was in Vol. 113. Both of you from when Puzzle Communication Nikoli had become a quarterly.

Pencil RocketWell, that fits with what I remember.

YukiHiroIt's difficult to know the line between who is a veteran and who is a new arrival. I have the image that Pencil Rocket is a veteran. Masyu the super giant by Pencil Rocket appeared in the first Nikoli I bought.

Pencil RocketOh, that was Vol. 110.

YukiHiroYes. I still haven't solved that problem. (laughs) Sorry. I failed several times and started again, my paper with the puzzle is full of marks and wrinkles.

NyanBazWas that the first time you had a super giant size published?

Pencil RocketYes. That is the first to get published but I had been sending in stuff. That one was my third super giant size problem.

YukiHiroI remember it because the pen name was so special, I was impressed. It's wonderful that we're talking now today.

NyanBazLet's go on with the talk Olake and -4 started, they were comparing puzzles to food.

YukiHiroI have an image of Japanese sweets with Masyu. I'm not sure if it is the appearance or the whole atmosphere. Don't you think the black circles are like ohagi, all covered in dark beanpaste?

NobCome to think about it, we said something similar when Masyu started to be published.

YukiHiroI always have the image of Yajilin as a fashionable sweet that everybody wants.

NobI think about Yajilin as French cuisine. It doesn't have the taste of the ingredients but a taste which the chef has worked at.

Pencil RocketWell.

NyanBazIt has that in common with sweets that it's not the taste of just one ingredient.

YukiHiroNot just a one-ingredient cake but one with many things all together. It has both numbers and arrows and they give it that feel.

NyanBazSure, Yajilin has the most complicated appearance among the puzzles on nikoli.com.

YukiHiroShakashaka will get on nikoli.com soon. Is that going to make the impression change?

NyanBazShakashaka, well how about it? I don't think it has that much of a complicated appearance.

NobShakashaka will be like kuzumochi, jelly like. And cut into triangles.

NyanBazThat's the way it appears really.

YukiHiroI think that Heyawake is like kuzumochi. It isn't affected, it has a taste that lingers. But, hmm, what is Shakashaka really.

Pencil RocketBecause you make white squares, isn't it like mochi (rice cake)? But then there's Mochikoro (Sorry only in the Japanese page), that is mochi, isn't it.

NyanBazWe won't worry about Mochikoro this time.

YukiHiroShakashaka has an image that it is not sweet, and not hot and spicy really either.

NobAha, what is the puzzle with an image of hot and spicy?

Pencil RocketHard puzzles have a hot, spicy image with me. Or it is just puzzles I am poor at maybe?

NyanBazYou don't agree with hot food?

Pencil RocketNo, no, that's not the reason. I like hot foods. But thinking about hot, spicy indigestible puzzles they're the ones I think are hard or that I'm weak at.

NobWell, then what is a sour tasting puzzle?

YukiHiroI think that Slitherlink is sour. Acidic really.

NyanBazOh, I get that. Drawing lines feels sour and bitter.

YukiHiroSudoku has the image of bitter.

NobOh sure.

NyanBazHow about Kakuro, that is also putting in numbers?

NobIt's konpeito, hard little drops. The appearance is hard and tough, but it's sweet when you start licking.

YukiHiroThat's just the appearance. I think the taste of Kakuro is bitter. Puzzles where I need to put in numbers leave an impression of bitterness.

Pencil RocketFillomino leaves a sweet impression, but it needs numbers too.

NobNurikabe seems to be like seaweed, nori really. But that's only in appearance.

YukiHiroNurikabe makes me think of a sweet chocolate cake. Persistent sweetness, sometimes.

NyanBazPersistent may be too negative. Pencil Rocket has a soft spot for Nurikabe, what do you think there?

Pencil RocketI like sweets. (laughs) I don't think that it's too sweet.

NobSo how about Hitori?

Pencil RocketDoes that have an image that it's bitter?

YukiHiroIt is bitter, but it's a different bitterness. Sudoku is the bitterness of herbal medicine. Hitori has it a little more, nearly like artificial bitterness. That bitterness resembles the taste you get licking on a spoon.

NobI get why you feel like that.

NyanBazThis doesn't seem to be so great really. Let's go on with something more positive. (laughs)

Pencil RocketI'm with the opinion that Hitori is bitter. But it's the bitterness in it I like.

NyanBazDo you feel that puzzles where you have to look all over the place makes them bitter?

NobDoes Akari feel bitter? There your eyes have to rove all over the field, when you're doing it.

YukiHiroThat is a puzzle where the feel changes with the problem. An easy Akari problem has the image of a candy drop.

NobA candy drop takes time till it's all melted away. An easy Akari takes no time. Would that be candy floss?

NyanBazHmm. Sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't.

NobHow about Numberlink?

YukiHiroThat's a unique and special puzzle.

NobNumberlink really is unique. Like the kind of food you think is sort of odd?

YukiHiroThat's a little different isn't it. There are the puzzles with strange rules that are published in Omopa. Now that is something edible that is odd.

NyanBazNumberlink has very clear and well defined rules.

NobIs Numberlink like tokoroten? The jelly with no real taste that just slides down well.

YukiHiroI'm a vinegar soy sauce person, I don't think it goes down that well.

NyanBazSometimes Numberlink problems really don't go down that well, that's what makes them just right.

YukiHiroYou may even choke on one sometimes, if you think it's all smooth and just keep swallowing away. That's Numberlink all right. (laughs) How about Hashiwokakero?

NobNot much of a rich and satisfying taste. I don't think it will ever become like a staple food. But it doesn't feel like just a side dish either.

YukiHiroCould it be takikomi gohan? Rice boiled with other stuff?

NyanBazIt is something that is not a staple food and not a side dish, either.

NobThinking about what you find at the bakery, is it yakisoba-pan (pastry with fried-noodles)?

Pencil RocketIsn't that a staple, everyday regular food?

YukiHiroCarbohydrate with carbohydrate would be the image. Something like noodles with rice.

NyanBazThat leaves Ripple Effect among the puzzles on nikoli.com.

NobThat is also bitter, just like Sudoku.

Pencil RocketFor me Sudoku is way more bitter.

YukiHiroRipple Effect has the bitterness what you get with citrus fruit. The aftertaste is bitter.

NobI have an image of a pie or a millefeuille.

Pencil RocketThings piled up high . I have the same image. I have seen some really special problems you can fill in looking the whole board over and start with the largest number.

YukiHiroYou just set your rules and get it done.

NyanBazSure, like skinning it from the outside little by little. And, it's bitter and stacked up. Is it like boiled bamboo shoot?

YukiHiroOr a shellfish cooked in its own shell. You have to pick to get at the filling. And it leaves a bitter taste.

NyanBazWith a shellfish cooked in its own shell you may not be able to get anything out.

YukiHiroRipple Effect may never get solved, it may fail along the way. Just the right image.

everyoneAha!

NyanBazThere are probably few opportunities for you guys to get to talk like here today. How are your impressions of each other?

YukiHiroThere is something individual in the problems Pencil Rocket makes. That individual parts are honest, without anything underhand.

Pencil RocketI don't really care if there is something that marks the puzzles which I make.

NyanBazDo you want to make radical problems?

Pencil RocketSometimes I may want to make an odd and strange problem. But basically I make my puzzles come naturally just like they turn out.

NobThat's what seems to be how people see you, that your puzzles develop naturally. It's YukiHiro who wants to make radical problems.

YukiHiroBut, I also make ordinary problems.

NobI know. But looking at your work, there is the idea to want to surprise solvers that stands out.

YukiHiroWhen I became an author for nikoli.com, I wanted solvers to know my name. That's why I started to make odd problems.

NobIt would be a problem if all the authors did that. But actually, nothing like that ever happened, so it isn't a problem. Does it take time to make radical and unusual problems?

YukiHiroWhen I haven't hit on any special subject matter, I make ordinary problems. So, it doesn't take any time at all. There are so many authors who make ordinary problems. I try to see that my problems are a bit tough.

NobYukiHiro's ordinary problems are interesting, too. To you guys, is there an author to aim to equal?

YukiHiroWhen I began to make problems, I was influenced by crimson and aspirin. So I aim for something like what these two do.

Pencil RocketI'm aiming at MINE's Nurikabe. The impact of his Nurikabe which I solved first is unforgettable.

NyanBazYou said that in an interview too.

Pencil RocketYes. I'm still not there yet.

NobPencil Rocket, you are going on to graduate school. Do you plan to continue making puzzles from now on?

Pencil RocketI mean to. Today I heard you say that my puzzles are not thought too radical. So I got the idea to want to make radical puzzles.

NyanBazThank you for today. From now on, please make many interesting puzzles.


Discussion on Feb 2012 Published on Oct 10, 2014

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