Author interviews Vol.38 bay wolf Jr

InterviewsAuthor round-table

Talking to bay wolf Jr

This is where we interview authors making problems for nikoli.com. Our guest this time is bay wolf Jr. He is a university student of 21. He made his debut recently in nikoli.com. But he has played an active part in our publications, widely, from way back.

NyanBazWhat kind of kid were you when you were small?

bay wolf JrI always read books, since I was in nursery school.

NyanBazWhat kind of books did you read?

bay wolf JrI liked fantasy stuff like "The Chronicles of Narnia" when I was in primary school.

NyanBazThat's a story of a magical world. If I'm not mistaken. Do you like SF.

bay wolf JrSure. Back then my mother and her sister liked SF. So there was a lot of SF books at home. I read a lot of SF when I was a junior high student. Of course I still like SF.

NyanBazWere you good at school study?

bay wolf JrI think I was good. I liked arithmetic, mathematics, and science.

NyanBazDid you do puzzles?

bay wolf JrI don't remember, but my mother tells me that I made mazes and solved them. Perhaps that was when I was in the elementary school lower grades. When I was a junior high school student there was the Sudoku boom. I saw many Sudoku in newspapers and magazines, and I started to solve Sudoku.

NyanBazDid you know pencil puzzles in the Sudoku boom.

bay wolf JrYes. There weren't any bookstores which sold puzzle books near my home in those days. So I bought books with puzzles when I was out traveling. Because I like books, I go to bookstores when I travel. The book with puzzles which I bought first was a Pencil Puzzle Book with Heyawake or Heyawakeman. Afterwards I stopped puzzles because of the examination to get into senior high school. I started solving puzzles again from the eleventh grade. I got to like big sized puzzles and bought Puzzle The Giants. I got absorbed in filling out masses of cells in one sitting. I bought even the Huge Sheet of Slitherlink.

NyanBazFantastic. You make a lot of giant size problems for nikoli.com. Do you still like big problems?

bay wolf JrI love big problems. I really enjoy to make the big problems.

NyanBazFrom when have you been contributing puzzles?

bay wolf JrThat started when I was at the end of eleventh grade. I started contributing because I liked the Omopa page and I understood that the published puzzles are all contributed by readers. My first published puzzle was in Puzzle Communication Nikoli Vol. 123. It was a new kind of puzzle called Kaito-ranma. It was an improvement on another puzzle, not a totally new puzzle.

NyanBazI remember Kaito-ranma that is a puzzle cutting the board by straight lines. It's difficult to contribute puzzles with original rules from the beginning. You still contribute puzzles to the Omopa page. Maybe your work was published in all issues since your debut? I think I spot your name in every issue.

bay wolf JrNo no, not quite that often. I've had 11 kinds of new puzzles published.

NyanBazWhich puzzles do you like best?

bay wolf JrKojun. (Published Nikoli Vol. 125. It is like Ripple Effect. ) I used the limitation of over and under in the board really well there. It's easy to make Kojun problems, especially easy problems. The puzzle I invented and that has continued longest is Norinori.

NyanBazRight, you invented Norinori. It has its own Pencil Puzzle Book now.

bay wolf JrI didn't imagine that Norinori would grow like that.

NyanBazWhich puzzles do you like other than Omopa?

bay wolf JrI don't have a particularly favorite puzzle. But it's fun that I make and solve Heyawake and Masyu.

NyanBazWhat is it in those two that you like?

bay wolf JrThere are so many ways to go about Heyawake, I like that. Heyawake can be solved from the black cells and also from the white cells, any way it is made it ends up the way it has to be. Heyawake is easy to make in the way I like. Masyu is easy to make too, but it has fewer patterns for solving than Heyawake. Still, with Masyu it is possible to realize what I set out to do.

NyanBazGood point. Are there other puzzles you like?

bay wolf JrI like Shakashaka too. Shakashaka is becoming popular recently, new methods and developments are popping up, and it has come to be doable in so many ways.

NyanBazYou really want to do things in just the way you want. What level of difficulty do you like?

bay wolf JrI like problems that are a little hard. I don't like very hard problems. There the hand isn't pushing on all the time. I am weak with Sudoku for that very reason.

NyanBazWhen you make a problem, are you conscious of the difficulty? Do you begin to make puzzles after deciding how difficult they should be?

bay wolf JrYes, almost always. But actually, it doesn't work out in many cases.

NyanBazAdjusting difficulty is difficult. But your easy problems are easy like they should be.

bay wolf JrWith easy problems I'm very conscious of that. I solve them many times, and I revise them. I had trouble with revision work at first. I have revised problems as many as ten times here and there. Recently I started to think that if I revise like that it would be faster to make it anew. (laughs) I can't put up with problems where I intended the solution to go smoothly and they can't be solved smoothly. I revise right away if I think that I don't like the way it has to be solved, when I solve it again.

NyanBazDo you aim at problems you think seem like fun?

bay wolf JrThat's exactly what I do. I don't think about other people there. I make problems that I enjoy. That's why I don't use solution methods I dislike. For example, in Yajijlin, I don't use the method where a line goes through the cell next to a corner cell.

NyanBazDifferent authors have different likes and dislikes. That's why there are problems of different types in nikoli.com. Are there authors you are paying special attention to?

bay wolf JrSome authors where I solve problems and think they are interesting are YukiHiro and SAKAMOTO Nobuyuki. They do odd things in problems that aren't too hard. I like the Slitherlink by SAKAMOTO Nobuyuki where the loop keeps spreading and won't close.

NyanBazSure, they're well made. But now, what hobbies do you have other than puzzles?

bay wolf JrReading novels has been my hobby from long ago. Now I read the novels in the library at the university. I don't really want to go out, and I make just the round trip between home and university every day. But I go to the museums in Ueno. They are free to students. Otherwise, I like listening to lectures that aren't in my field at the university.

NyanBazYou are interested in a lot of things. Do you want to become a researcher in the future?

bay wolf JrThat's what I'm planning to. I want to study the theories of astronomy. I want to study about space as it cleared up after the Big Bang till stars were created. Just now we cannot observe evidence of that period properly.

NyanBazWow. Will you continue making puzzles?

bay wolf JrSure. Especially Omopa. I want to make a lot of Omopa which are super interesting.

NyanBazThe puzzles that you invent in the future, just could end up in nikoli.com. But now, to you, what is a puzzle?

bay wolf JrI haven't thought a lot about it, what could it be? Maybe when I go on with my life, I come want to make puzzles naturally.

NyanBazNow the last question, anything that you want to tell people solving your puzzles?

bay wolf JrI make puzzles I hope you can solve comfortably naturally. I'll be happy if you can enjoy solving my puzzles.

NyanBazThank you for today!


Interviewed Mar 2013 Published on Oct 24, 2013