Provided by: sgt-puzzles_9411-1_i386 bug


       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 3×3 (a 9×9 actual grid, divided into nine
       3×3 blocks). You can also select sizes with rectangular blocks  instead
       of  square  ones, such as 2×3 (a 6×6 grid divided into six 3×2 blocks).
       Alternatively, you can select ‘jigsaw’ mode, in  which  the  sub-blocks
       are arbitrary shapes which differ between individual puzzles.

       Another  available  mode is ‘killer’. In this mode, clues are not given
       in the form of filled-in squares; instead, the  grid  is  divided  into
       ‘cages’  by  coloured  lines, and for each cage the game tells you what
       the sum of all the digits in that cage should be. Also,  no  digit  may
       appear  more  than  once  within  a  cage, even if the cage crosses the
       boundaries of existing regions.

       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
       select 3×4 then the digits which go in your grid will be 1 to  9,  plus
       ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’. This cannot be selected for killer puzzles.

       I        first        saw       this       puzzle       in       Nikoli
       (,   although   it's
       also  been popularised by various newspapers under the name ‘Sudoku’ or
       ‘Su Doku’. 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 (

Solo controls

       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 ‘pencil mark’. You can have pencil marks
       for multiple numbers in the same square. Squares  containing  filled-in
       numbers cannot also contain pencil marks.

       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 ‘Type’ menu: the number of columns, and the number of rows, into
       which the main grid is divided. (The size of a block is the inverse  of
       this:  for  example,  if  you  select 2 columns and 3 rows, each actual
       block will have 3 columns and 2 rows.)

       If you tick the ‘X’  checkbox,  Solo  will  apply  the  optional  extra
       constraint  that the two main diagonals of the grid also contain one of
       every digit. (This is sometimes known as ‘Sudoku-X’ in newspapers.)  In
       this  mode,  the  squares  on  the  two  main  diagonals will be shaded
       slightly so that you know it's enabled.

       If you tick the ‘Jigsaw’ checkbox, Solo will generate  randomly  shaped
       sub-blocks.  In this mode, the actual grid size will be taken to be the
       product of the numbers entered in the ‘Columns’ and ‘Rows’ boxes. There
       is  no  reason  why  you  have to enter a number greater than 1 in both
       boxes; Jigsaw mode has no constraint on the grid size, and it can  even
       be a prime number if you feel like it.

       If  you  tick  the  ‘Killer’  checkbox,  Solo will generate a set of of
       cages, which are randomly shaped and drawn in an outline of a different
       colour.  Each  of these regions contains a smaller clue which shows the
       digit sum of all the squares in this region.

       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,
       on difficulty levels ‘Trivial’ and ‘Basic’ there will be a  square  you
       can   fill   in   with  a  single  number  at  all  times,  whereas  at
       ‘Intermediate’  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 ‘Unreasonable’ 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.

       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

Common actions

       These actions are all available from the ‘Game’ menu and  via  keyboard
       shortcuts, in addition to any game-specific actions.

       (On  Mac  OS  X,  to conform with local user interface standards, these
       actions are situated on the ‘File’ and ‘Edit’ menus instead.)

       New game (‘N’, Ctrl+‘N’)
              Starts 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
              course   –   it's   hard   to  think  of  a  sensible  printable
              representation of Fifteen!)

       Undo (‘U’, Ctrl+‘Z’, Ctrl+‘_’)
              Undoes a single move. (You can undo moves back to the  start  of
              the session.)

       Redo (‘R’, Ctrl+‘R’)
              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 ‘Solve’ command adds the solved state to the end of the undo
              chain  for the puzzle. In other words, if you want to go back to
              solving it yourself after seeing the answer, you can just  press

       Quit (‘Q’, Ctrl+‘Q’)
              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  ‘Specific’  and ‘Random Seed’ options from the ‘Game’ menu (or the
       ‘File’ menu, on Mac OS X) each show a piece of text (a ‘game ID’) which
       is sufficient to reconstruct precisely the same game at a later date.

       You can enter either of these pieces of text back into the program (via
       the same ‘Specific’ or ‘Random Seed’ menu options) at  a  later  point,
       and  it  will  recreate the same game. You can also use either one as a
       command line argument (on Windows or Unix); see below for more detail.

       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  ‘nonograms’  or  ‘sudoku’  from newspapers) into descriptive
              game IDs suitable for use with these programs.

       ·      Random 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  ‘About’ menu option to find out the version number of
              the program. Programs with the same version  number  running  on
              different platforms should still be random-seed compatible.)

       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 ID.

       These additional parameters are also not set permanently if you type in
       a game ID. For  example,  suppose  you  have  Solo  set  to  ‘Advanced’
       difficulty  level,  and  then a friend wants your help with a ‘Trivial’
       puzzle; so the friend reads out  a  random  seed  specifying  ‘Trivial’
       difficulty,  and you type it in. The program will generate you the same
       ‘Trivial’ grid which your friend was having trouble with, but once  you
       have  finished  playing  it,  when  you  ask  for  a  new  game it will
       automatically go  back  to  the  ‘Advanced’  difficulty  which  it  was
       previously set on.

       The  ‘Type’  menu,  if  present,  may  contain  a  list  of preset game
       settings. Selecting one of these will start a new random game with  the
       parameters specified.

       The  ‘Type’ menu may also contain a ‘Custom’ option which allows you to
       fine-tune game parameters. The parameters  available  are  specific  to
       each game and are described in the following sections.

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

       The  easiest  way to do this is to set up the parameters you want using
       the ‘Type’ menu (see above), and then to select ‘Random Seed’ from  the
       ‘Game’  or  ‘File’ menu (see above). The text in the ‘Game ID’ box will
       be composed of two parts, separated by a hash. The first of these parts
       represents  the  game  parameters  (the  size  of the playing area, for
       example, and anything else you set using the ‘Type’ menu).

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

       For  example:  if  you run Cube (see cube(6)), select ‘Octahedron’ from
       the ‘Type’ menu, and then go to the game ID selection, you will  see  a
       string  of  the  form ‘o2x2#338686542711620’. Take only the part before
       the hash (‘o2x2’), and start Cube with that text on the  command  line:
       ‘cube o2x2’.

       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
       ‘Specific’  menu  option  instead  of ‘Random Seed’, but if you do then
       some options, such as the difficulty level in Solo,  will  be  missing.
       See above for more details on this.)

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

       --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

              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

       --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  w×h, more than one page will be

              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 7×7 wrapping grid), and pipe the output to the lpr
              command, which on many systems  will  send  them  to  an  actual

              There  are  various  other  options  which  affect printing; see

       --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

              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 quits.

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

              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.