Author interviews Vol.25 nyoroppyi

InterviewsAuthor round-table

Talking to nyoroppyi

Nyoroppyi is a 21-year-old man. He is studying the theory related to international affairs in the law department of a university. He is a young author who only recently came to contribute problems to and the mobile site.

NyanBazDid you play with puzzles when you were little?

nyoroppyiYes. I liked puzzles since I was little. I remember that when I was about 5 years old, I told my mother to buy a Paint by Numbers book.

NyanBazYou solved puzzles from you were 5! You are really surprising me. What were you interested in with puzzles?

nyoroppyiI liked it because of the numbers. I loved numbers in childhood. I memorized the powers of 2 up to the 25th power (the 25 power of 2 is 33,554,432). And I made a list of the prime numbers. Thinking about it now, I was a strange child. (laughs)

NyanBazWhen did you get to know about Nikoli?

nyoroppyiIt was when I was a fourth grader. I bought Nurikabe in the Pencil Puzzle Books that was standing next to Paint by Numbers. I liked the puzzles where I had to blacken cells. I started buying Puzzle Communication Nikoli from Vol. 71.

NyanBazWhen did you start contributing to Nikoli?

nyoroppyiThat was as a seventh grader. I contributed "Nanro" and it was used in the Omoro puzzles (section for everyone to think about the rules for new pencil puzzles. It's abbreviated as "Omopa") page of Puzzle Communication Nikoli Vol. 92. That was the beginning.

NyanBaz"Nanro" is putting numbers in a room-divided board. It was a maniac puzzle, it has a lot of complex rules. I read it at the time. I liked it and contributed several times myself. But it did not receive general acceptance. Well, well, so you made an original puzzle from the beginning. Great!

nyoroppyiI don't remember why I decided to contribute it - it came to me in a flash. Perhaps, it was the power it hit me with. After that I thought of original ideas for puzzles several times. But it was not in a flash like with Nanro.

NyanBazYou started a puzzle club at the university?

nyoroppyiYes. I started it with three other people I got to know at the university and we participated in the campus festival. We were quite irresponsible at first. Our members participated in other circles too, so there was nobody in our room to show what we were doing, there was just paper with puzzles there. We were pushing the limits. The club has 25 members now.

NyanBazLet's talk about puzzles. Tell me your favorite puzzle.

nyoroppyiI like Hitori best. It has few restrictions, there is a lot of freedom in how to make Hitori. But, because of the freedom, it easily becomes too hard. When my middle size Hitori appeared in Puzzle Communication Nikoli for the first time, I couldn't solve it myself when I tried it. (laughs) I couldn't find the way for what I should do next. When I made it I didn't intend it to be that hard, I really worried that nobody else would be able to get to the end.

NyanBazI agree. You said it. Making Hitori, you have to keep the people who are solving it carefully in mind. If you don't it doesn't become a good problem. Besides Hitori, do you have another favorite puzzle?

nyoroppyiI like Numberlink too. It's interesting that Numberlink cannot be solved by logic thinking alone. It's a critical point that, and it takes time to make Numberlink. When I try to place numbers symmetrically, that takes a lot of time. Occasionally I don't complete one even after spending several hours on it. (laughs)

NyanBazNumberlink is a puzzle to solve by intuition. Therefore, it's all right even if you make it very hard.

nyoroppyiYes, It's important to keep that in mind. (laughs)

NyanBazAre there puzzles you are weak at?

nyoroppyiI am a student of social science. But I don't like word puzzles. (laughs) I'm not good at making Slitherlink and Masyu either. I very carefully studied problems that I thought were good. But my problems can't be solved smoothly.

NyanBazI get the impression that your problems are mostly hard. Do you feel you really want to make hard problems?

nyoroppyiI don't want to make hard problems really. But I try to make clever problems, and as a result they become hard. I recently began to make easy problems too. It used to be that I wanted to make only ingenious problems. Now I want to make 80% easy problems and 20% problems with impact. Numberlink is an exception, there it is 100% with impact. (laughs)

NyanBazWhat changed when you began to make easy problems?

nyoroppyiI started to consider the flow of the solution and that sort of thing with puzzles in general. I think it's important especially in easy problems to make them so the person who solves them will go along and feel them comprehensible. It's difficult to make that kind of problems so they don't become monotonous and boring.

NyanBazIndeed. Do you have hobbies other than puzzles?

nyoroppyiI play the cello in an orchestra at the university. I began playing the cello when I entered the university. We practice twice a week.

NyanBazWhy did you choose the cello?

nyoroppyiI wasn't in any club in high school, and I thought that I wanted to do some circle activity that I can continue all the four years at the university. Then, because I like classical music, I decided on the orchestra, and I wanted to play a string instrument. There would be plenty of experienced violin people, and the contrabass is too big. So I chose the cello. I wouldn't have minded the viola either, but the posture with the cello is cool. (laughs)

NyanBazCan a beginner play the cello?

nyoroppyiNo. I had a hard time at it. I practiced every day at first.

NyanBazAnd do you play it well now?

nyoroppyiNot very well. But I improved in the three years. Of course, I'm still learning. Even after I graduate, I want to continue playing the cello.

NyanBazI'd love to hear you play sometime.

nyoroppyiNo, no way. (forced smile)

NyanBazDo you have any dreams for what to achieve as a puzzle author?

nyoroppyiIn the future, I want to work related to poor countries. I want to make puzzles known through my work. For example, Hidetoshi Nakata, the footballer, retired and went around the world. He thought of communication for people of the world with a soccer ball. It was impressive for me. If there is one thing you can be proud of, I get the feeling that everybody will understand each other. I think that for me, the answer is puzzles. I want to communicate with paper and pencil, like Hide with his ball.

NyanBazYou are shooting to become the Hide of the puzzle world! Cool.

nyoroppyiI had good experiences in the puzzle club. We made the club because we ourselves enjoy puzzles. At first all we thought about was puzzles. Then our numbers increased and we got in contact with the other people at the campus festival. There I learned that we should not only play with puzzles. Puzzles are a means to communicate. Now I want more people to enjoy puzzling - doing puzzles. For that I think about the ideal is a club.

NyanBazThat sounds wonderful. You think deeply about things, you can be relied on to do it right. Thank you for interesting stories today. Now the last question, anything that you want to tell people solving your puzzles?

nyoroppyiPuzzles are a way to pass on the author's message to the person solving them. Because I am inexperienced, perhaps my message does not often get across to you. But when my message is transmitted to you, the person solving my puzzles, even a little, I'm very happy.

Interviewed May 2009 Published on May 23, 2011