Sudoku, Cross Sums, Minesweeper, Slitherlink, Sokoban, etc.
You know them, maybe love them, possibly hate them. Guaranteed to waste an arbitrary amount of time.
My question is: is there a general difficulty rating system for this category of puzzles? I mean an algorithm such that, given a particular Sudoku or Cryptarithm, the computer will respond that the instance is, e.g., “medium-hard”, and that this rating more or less means something across different types of puzzles?
I am aware of Ercsey-Ravasz and Toroczkai’s Sudoku rating system, which should extend to other puzzles as well, but do newspaper editors actually use such a system, and, if so, how does it correspond to readers’ experiences? If not, who decides how hard a particular puzzle is, using what criteria?