This is the frequently asked question list.
Joining and Membership
Questions and Answers
How much do I pay as a member?
Q Tell me how much it costs to be a member.
A The amount depends on how you pay. Please refer to the "How to join" page.
Is there an option for me to play just my favorite puzzles?
Q I will sign up if I can get just three kinds of puzzles for ¥300JPY a month.
A We can understand that you want to play only your favorite puzzles，but it is our hope that you will enjoy all of the nikoli.com site like a magazine.
After you have solved your favorite puzzles, then, if you are in the mood to try out a puzzle you never touched before, there is a good chance that you will find amusement in it, maybe contrary to your expectations.
We hear no end of stories of people poking around in nilkoli.com and become addicted to the fascination of a new puzzle, that could be you too. We really wish you to enjoy many kinds of puzzles, one by one as you chance onto them.
So, we don't have any membership options other than access to the full nikoli.com. Please try it out and get in touch with the all puzzles, also the ones you have avoided.
I want to do more problems!
Q More problems please!
A Please look at the "Collection of problems" table in your member's home page. If the number in the "Total" column is larger than the number in the "Playable" column, you can get more puzzles with the "Problem addition service."
Why do we get registered from the 11th of the month?
Q Why isn't registration on the day of the payment or the 1st of the month? And why is it the 11th?
A There are a number of ways to pay nikoli.com. If you wish to change your method of payment, a change on the 11th will go more smoothly. We are still working on the settlement date for the system we use.
If the 1st of the month is the registration date we worry that confirmation may be delayed by public holidays or the New Year break. We try to finish registrations soonest possible after the application. Please remember that you get registered from the previous 11th and so you are able to do puzzles from before the actual date of your registration.
I cannot solve problems. I cannot think of a next step.
Q I cannot solve the puzzles.
A There are clues for the solution in any situation. Look for those. If you cannot think of a next step, you may get ideas for that by looking at the solution histories of other members. Only members can view the solution histories of other members.
I saved an incomplete puzzle, but I seem unable to continue it.
Q How do I continue an incomplete puzzle that I saved?
A Please click the "Continue" text.
I want to be able to use the right click function of my mouse.
Q Pressing the Shift key while clicking is difficult, could I use right clicks to put "・" and "circle" ?
A When you use "Windows," you can use right clicks with AutoHotkey.
I want to print out puzzles and do them on paper.
Q Can I print out the puzzles appearing on the screen?
A To print out a puzzle, open the puzzle and right click with the mouse on the puzzle. The "print" command will appear in the window, choose that and you are able to print the puzzle.
My nickname is displayed on the information page.
Q "We cannot confirm your payment" messages will be displayed on the information page, but I don't want others to see such messages.
A If an email from us is not delivered to you or you have maybe not read an email from us we will post it on the information page. This is to make sure the message gets to you.
We take great care when displaying member personal information, payment, or undelivered emails.
The puzzle board on the screen is too big for me to do the puzzles.
Q How can I reduce the size of the puzzle board on the screen?
A When you reduce the screen window size the puzzle board will become smaller.
The puzzle board on the screen is too small to do puzzles.
Q How can I enlarge the puzzle board on my display?
A When you set the window screen to the maximum size the puzzle board will widen.
If you want to enlarge the puzzle board to cover the full screen, press F11 after you have opened the puzzle board.
Except with Sudoku, clicking the "+" in the magnifying glass mark will enlarge the puzzle board.
There are differences in the reactions among the puzzles when using Drag-Moving.
Q Why are there differences in the mouse responses with different kinds of puzzles?
A We have tried to optimize the Drag-Moving for each kind of puzzle, and we aim for the smoothest, most comfortable solution environment for the solver.
A warning message about security will appear on the screen.
Q When I try to open the member's page, the message "You are about to view pages over a secure connection" will appears on my screen.
A The nikoli.com member's page stores personal information in code to ensure privacy.
The warning message appears when you open a page where the data is stored in code. The message is just for your information.
I am a nikoli.com member and I want to change my method of payment.
Q I want to change my method of payment.
A Please login on the member's page and go to the "payment method" page. You can change your payment method there.
I am unable to log in.
Q I never get past the login page however often I try.
When you input your email address and passwords take care with the characters you input, capital and lower case.
When you forget your passwords, please access the "forgot passwords" page. Here you can apply for new passwords.
I can't do the puzzles smoothly like I want to. The cursor does not appear where I click.
Q It feels like when doing larger puzzler, reactions are slower.
A The Flash used by nikoli.com imposes a heavy load on your CPU, and it may be that reactions on your computer are slow.
With increasing puzzle size the load on your computer CPU will get heavier - the reaction slower.
Slitherlink imposes the heaviest load, the program is complicated with the many possible lines.
I cannot do puzzles,there is a Q on my display.
Q I get a Q on my screen where the puzzle should appear. Why?
A This problem is caused by the settings that Quick Time uses to control Flash files. Quick Time is often installed with iTunes, and this kind of trouble may occur if you use iTunes.
To get around this problem Windows XP users need to change the Quick Time settings as follows:
1) Start "Quick Time
2) Open the "settings" window in the "Edit" menu and choose "Quick Time settings."
3) Open the "Browsers" tab.
4) Select the "MIME setting"
5) Now click the "+" mark at the bottom "Other - other file style", and a tree will open.
6) Remove the check mark in the "Flash media" column.
7) Click "OK" twice and the settings window will close.
I cannot do puzzles. I can play the sample problems but not the member's problems.
Q I get a message on my screen saying that I cannot download with Internet Explorer.
A The nikoli.com member's page stores communication in code. If you cannot do the member's page problems but the sample problems are OK, then it is possible that the IE is misreading the code.
Look at the ideas below to get around this.
1) Please update Windows or Microsoft and change your IE to the latest version.
2) Alternatively you may re-install IE.
3) You have to install IE7 if you use IE6 with Windows XP.
4) Change to another browser, like Firefox.
I cannot do the puzzles. The puzzle board appears on my screen, but it does not work correctly.
Q I can see the puzzle board but I cannot do the puzzles.
A There are cases where some functions don't work on old versions of the Flash Plug-in. Please install the latest version of Flash and the problem should go away.
I cannot do the puzzles with IE7.
Q I cannot do the puzzles with IE7.
A We have heard from people who have trouble after upgrading from IE6 to IE7.
Please refer to the page about Internet Explorer (IE7) in the nikoli.com "Recommended Environment" pages.
I cannot open the member's pages.
Q I cannot open the member's pages.
A There have been inquiries about this kind of trouble from users of Internet Explorer with Windows.
The nikoli.com member's page stores personal information in code to ensure privacy, and as a result the URL starts with "https://".
Users of Windows who cannot access pages with URLs starting with "https://", should refer to the information on "How to troubleshoot problems accessing secure Web pages with Internet Explorer" at the Microsoft web site.
After updating Windows or Microsoft you may still be unable to access pages with URLs starting with "https://", if you have not restarted Windows. Restarting Windows should solve the problem.
If there are problems with browsers other than Internet Explorer, please contact us.
I don't get email messages from nikoli.com.
Q I have made an inquiry but there has been no response.
A It may be a problem with your email address, please check the address you have registered.
We always send "confirmation emails" to the address you have registered with us. However, there are reasons why you maybe did not hear back from us, as below:
1) Misspelling in the email address.
2) Our email was treated as spam by your provider's spam filter.
3) Your email box is full and you cannot hold further messages.
We are sorry if you did not receive a message due to our mistake, we always do our best to respond soonest possible.
I want to change my method of payment. I have not been fully registered yet.
Q I want to change the method of payment in my registration.
A To do that we will first change your payment method so that it is not set. Please contact nikoli.com support with the email address and nickname you gave in your registration.
I was informed that my payment cannot be made.
Q My method of payment is by credit card (PayPal)
A We too don't know the reason your payment cannot be withdrawn. There have been cases where maintenance at the Credit Card Company has caused this kind of trouble.
If your payment cannot be withdrawn, please register your payment method (again!) via the "change your status" page among the member's pages. That way you can continue to do puzzles as a member.
I have made a puzzle by myself, would you be interested in using it in nikoli.com?
Q Does nikoli.com accept contributions of original puzzles?
A Sorry, nikoli.com does not accept contributed puzzles.
Is it a "real hard" problem?
Q This problem isn't really hard I think.
A We have been evaluating the difficulty level of puzzles overall, based on the method required to solve a puzzle, depending on how easy the clues are to find and the time needed to discover the clues.
Problems that require advanced methods for the solution will be hard, not only to solve, but also to evaluate. If you have unknowingly or cleverly used advanced (difficult to discover or maybe just not well known) methods when solving puzzles, then they would not feel "hard" to you, or at least not as hard as we have evaluated them. However, for a person coming across advanced methods for the first time, such a puzzle would appear hard.
Evaluating the degree of difficulty does not yield an absolute rating. Please be aware that standards are bound to change with time.
Q I breeze through all your puzzles, your hard category is also really easy for me, are you missing out on something?
A If you find that you consistently solve puzzles faster than the suggested times or that "hard" puzzles are a piece of cake, congratulate yourself. It means that you are better than the average solver of Nikoli puzzles. Maybe it is time for you to start taking part in the Puzzle Championships.
Some people are just so much better than everybody else at finding the solutions, or they enjoy to do the puzzles as fast as possible. Pat yourself on the back if you are one of those "puzzle solving experts," and keep enjoying the puzzles.
Is there only one solution for a nikoli.com puzzle?
Q Are you sure there aren't several solutions to a puzzle?
A nikoli.com puzzles have only one solution. If your solution is not correct a click on the "check" button will show you one of your mistakes.
Before we upload puzzles, we have them verified by several people (staff!). And we also always confirm that there is only one solution by a computer program.
I would like to do some of the other kinds of Nikoli puzzles.
Q I would especially like to do "Numberlink" and "Hashiwokakero" in nikoli.com.
A We do have plans to introduce more kinds of puzzles. However please understand that there are development costs, and if we increase the number of kinds of puzzles, the number of puzzles of one kind that you get every month will decrease. We may need to increase the monthly fees with more kinds of puzzles, but we are working on responding to member requests, keeping costs in mind.
Rest assured though that we will inform everybody via the members page when new kinds of puzzles are added to nikoli.com.
Some of the solution times are very very quick. How do people do it?
Q I cannot believe the solution times of other people. I'm disappointed with my solution time rank.
A There are some real puzzle freaks and enthusiasts as well as puzzle creators among the nikoli.com members. Their ability to solve puzzles is different from ordinary enthusiasts and fans. Don't worry about your ranking, enjoy the puzzles at your own pace.
What is the meaning of the three benchmark times?
Q There are three times like "59min-12min-3min" displayed on the right bottom of the puzzle window. What do these times mean?
A These are target times for beginners, intermediate solvers and expert solvers.
It is difficult to decide target times for some puzzles, e.g. Numberlink. So some puzzles have benchmark times and some don't.
The times suggest how difficult the puzzles are, and your times to solve puzzles may be very different from the"benchmark"times here.
Where can I buy books published by Nikoli?
Q I want to do your puzzles in books.
A Sorry, bookshops outside Japan do not carry our books.
Please order via the "Purchase Books" page in nikoli.co.jp.