When I was in middle school, my 8th grade English/Enrichment teacher introduced me to many things that I still love today. One is writing. Another is logic grid puzzles. You may have seen them before. You’re given a story, though it has little actual relevance to solving the puzzle. You have perhaps five people from five different locations and they’re doing five different things on five different days of the week. Your job is to figure out each person’s day, activity, and location based on a number of clues.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with them. Some days I’m more into the logic grid mode than others. Sometimes I stare at the board and I’m just lost; other days I shake my head and realize I missed something obvious. If you know me, then you know that I’m plagued with insomnia. Part of that is from thoughts that spiral around and get stuck — sort of like an earworm for the mind — and these puzzles have been enough of a distraction to actually break the loop.
Another part of me believes that if I become good enough at these to tackle the 7×7 grids without a hitch (and they are hard!) then maybe I will unlock some secret of the universe. Or something.
The iOS app I’ve been using for these is called Logic Puzzles – Classic Logic Grid Problems by Egghead Games LLC. The app is available for iOS, Google Play, and at Amazon. They have additional puzzle sets you can add if you crank out the initial set and want more. (That’s were I stumbled across the 7×7 grids.)
I did try other apps to get my fill. I started with Logic Grid Puzzles – Word Games for Brain Training by Ross McNamara. I recommend starting with that app. The puzzles were overall easier and made me feel like I had already mastered these things.
Logic Puzzles Daily – Solve Logic Grid Problems by Twin Wizards was another find. I haven’t used that one much but it’s still around for me to tinker with when I want a different look than the Egghead Games app.
Let’s take a look at one of the puzzles and go through it. I’m using one from the Egghead Games app (I hope they don’t mind). Before diving in, I want to mention a few of the app features.
- It’s easy to change the color scheme among a small set of options. Mine is set to night mode.
- You can tap a clue to strike it out if you’re completely finished with it. I usually find this distracting so I don’t use it much unless I’m trying to focus on two separate clues.
- There is a memo mode, but I haven’t been using it because I want to draw relationships, not type them.
- There is a nifty undo button that tracks back multiple steps. I haven’t tested how far they go.
- You can tap a square to mark it as not-a-match with an X. Tap it again and it turns to a green circle for correct, but this also X’s out the rest of that row and column, which is a time and typo saver. (Only one answer can be correct with a single row/column per grid box.)
- There is an Erase feature that wipes out any errors you’ve made, leaving the wiped-out cells highlighted until you click elsewhere. If I hit a roadblock and have this problem, I just wipe the whole thing out and start over.
- There is a tip feature that helps you out if you’re stuck. The tips are smart and don’t repeat anything you’ve already figured out. They guide you from proper logic using the clues and the indicators on the grid to guide your next move. Sometimes I’ve been a little lost on why some of the logic suggests a certain thing, but when I talk it out, then it makes sense.
- The app keeps track of your time too. I find a lot of the times to be a bit extreme in order to earn the mastery badge, particularly on the harder puzzles, but that’s ok. I’m not sure how it’s possible to solve a 7×7 challenge in under 10 minutes, but I guess it is.
Update: When I posted this story on Egghead’s site, they sent back a link to their tutorial. It’s a great one. Check it out!
The next page has a puzzle worked out from start to finish and it’s very picture heavy, so if you’re on a data plan, you may want to check it later.