Hints and Tips for Novices


At about the point when suggested lists of parts disappear - Problem 38 (Serialisation) onward, with the exception of Problem 59, many players, especially novices, might not be able to know where to start; this is especially true when every part is usable, as solutions can often suggest themselves when you know you have to use at least one crossover, for example. Rather than just jumping to a solution (or solutions, if better/simpler/few part approaches exist), it might be a good idea to reference previous solutions that could give a small hint of required structures from previous problems. It still leaves solutions open, but gives just enough of a hint to maybe set people on their way.
I also think that official solutions at least could have some discussion of why they work, how they were approached; it would be nice for community developed ones too, but that would be up to the submitter.


Hi DoctorMikeReddy,

Great ideas. I totally agree - I need to flesh out the solutions more. The descriptions are short right now because I ran out of steam. :slight_smile: We’re working on some additional materials that should help, too. Alyssa is creating an Educator Guide that gives more of a background for each puzzle, how they relate to real circuits, and some help for solving the puzzles. I’m working on a Practice Guide that gives additional practice puzzles in between the standard puzzles in the book. Perhaps in there I’ll point to past puzzles that give some of the concepts needed to solve the current one.

Thanks a lot!


As another tip for novices, I suggest that you set the stand in the box lid. That wat when you drop any balls, they are collected instead of falling on the floor and hiding somewhere.


Great idea, markabiggar!


Another helpful hint for novices. If the bottom most piece is a green, it usually doesn’t make any difference which way it is oriented. But sometimes, if the hook is toward the center, then a ball can travel fast enough to skip over the center and exit down the wrong hole. Placing the hook to the outside prevents this problem.

edit: another possibility is to put a crossover in the middle bottom-most slot.