Saturday, 30 July 2016

Puzzle #193: Greater Wall

Two weeks ago was the Dutch round of the WPF Grand Prix 2016. I wrote all the puzzles for this set, both the casual and competitive section. The sets can be found on the following links: Casual and Competitive. Not all puzzles I had written were used as the set, either because they were not needed or were too difficult. This post contains the puzzles of one type that weren't used.

This post will contain four Greater Wall puzzles. It's my own genre and I still had a lot to play with in this genre as it's still fairly new. That's why I wanted to include it. The first three were the original puzzles I had written, but in the end they were replaced with three other easier puzzles. The fourth was not used as a replacement. The puzzles used in the test all had more straightforward openings. In these puzzles, the openings are a little more complicated. They still given enough information for an easy start, but it needs a bit more effort to get through it completely. Puzzle 2 and 4 use the same opening clue, but the first one is harder to get through.

Rules for Greater Wall

Colour some cells to create a single orthogonally connected wall. The wall can't cover any 2x2 area anywhere. Where given, clues outside indicate all connected blocks of shaded cells in that row or column, in the correct order. Relations between two placeholders apply to the lengths of the corresponding blocks.

Puzzle #1
 
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Puzzle #2
 
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Puzzle #3
 
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Puzzle #4
 
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Friday, 29 July 2016

Puzzle #192: Magnets

Two weeks ago was the Dutch round of the WPF Grand Prix 2016. I wrote all the puzzles for this set, both the casual and competitive section. The sets can be found on the following links: Casual and Competitive. Not all puzzles I had written were used as the set, either because they were not needed or were too difficult. This post contains the puzzles of one type that weren't used.

This post contains four Magnets puzzles. One of them I never submitted, as I thought it would be too hard, but it's still a nice solve. I enjoy solving magnets puzzles, but the puzzles I write tend to turn out pretty hard. I've come to write more magnets puzzles these days that don't have all clues given. I find them more interesting that way. It leaves all clues being useful till the end. The first puzzle is an easier small puzzle. It uses some standard techniques to open up the puzzle. The second puzzle is a bit harder. It uses the interaction between different rows and columns much more. The third puzzle was a similar layout as the first. It works on some standard logic to start off as well. The fourth puzzle is also a larger version of the second puzzle. One clue per row and column usually seems to work the nicest for me.

Rules for Magnets

Puzzle #1
 
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Puzzle #2
 
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Puzzle #3
 
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Puzzle #4
 
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Thursday, 28 July 2016

Puzzle #191: Word Packs

Two weeks ago was the Dutch round of the WPF Grand Prix 2016. I wrote all the puzzles for this set, both the casual and competitive section. The sets can be found on the following links: Casual and Competitive. Not all puzzles I had written were used as the set, either because they were not needed or were too difficult. This post contains the puzzles of one type that weren't used.

This post will contain two Word Packs puzzles. This was the only type to be included in the Casual section. It's a type that I've seen in Breinbrekers before, but not really anywhere else as far as I can remember. I thought it would fit in well in the casual round. It was judged to be too varying in solving times to get an accurate rating for it. As the Casual section wasn't finished by anyone, it wasn't really missed. These puzzles generally work in a similar way. It's all a matter of understanding the logic involved. Usually the words are themed, to make it a bit more interesting. The themes I used for these two puzzles were Animals and Countries.

Rules for Word Packs

Place the given words in the grid, so that each rectangle contains exactly one word. Words in rectangles that touch each other can't contain the same letter.

Puzzle #1
 
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Puzzle #2
 
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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Puzzle #190: Tapa

Two weeks ago was the Dutch round of the WPF Grand Prix 2016. I wrote all the puzzles for this set, both the casual and competitive section. The sets can be found on the following links: Casual and Competitive. Not all puzzles I had written were used as the set, either because they were not needed or were too difficult. This post contains the puzzles of one type that weren't used.

This post will contain three Tapa puzzles. These puzzles were written in case a simpler genre needed to be added. Neither of them is particularly difficult, but they still are pretty nice. I thought the first puzzle had an interesting kind of symmetry. The solve is not too hard. The second puzzle worked out okay. I added more clues than I normally would. There's a few places to start and they al come together in the end. The last puzzle is a nice 10 clue puzzle. It's a low clue count for a 10 by 10 puzzle, especially with a symmetric clue distribution. The solve worked out pretty well.

Rules for Tapa

Puzzle #1
 
 
Puzzle #2
 
 
Puzzle #3
 
 
 
  

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Puzzle #189: Turning Fences

Two weeks ago was the Dutch round of the WPF Grand Prix 2016. I wrote all the puzzles for this set, both the casual and competitive section. The sets can be found on the following links: Casual and Competitive. Not all puzzles I had written were used as the set, either because they were not needed or were too difficult. This post contains the puzzles of one type that weren't used.

This post will contain Turning Fences puzzles. I enjoy this genre. The puzzles always are fun to write for me. I've done a lot of these puzzles and have figured out pretty well how the genre works. I wrote a tutorial for this genre a while back, which might be useful when doing these puzzles. I changed the layout a bit as I thought this was easier for notation than using the Slitherlink layout.
The puzzles aren't the hardest I've written, but I thought that would work better for the GP. The first puzzle is pretty straightforward. It only has even clues. The second puzzle has a simple opening, which leads to a harder finish. I wanted to leave the middle blank. To guide the loop through the clueless middle, I needed to make the end a bit harder to get it unique. The third puzzle is a bit more even in difficulty. It has one important step in the middle of the solve, but the rest should be smooth.

Rules for Turning Fences

 
Puzzle #1
 
 
Puzzle #2
 
 
Puzzle #3
 
 
 
 


Sunday, 15 May 2016

Daily League #68: Inside Sudoku and Outside Sudoku

This is the second twin Sudoku. This time it's a combination of Inside and Outside Sudoku. They're pretty similar types, but the solve is still different.

Inside Sudoku first appeared on the US Sudoku Qualification. I thought the idea worked pretty well. I don't remember seeing it anywhere after that. I turned the idea in a Frame Sudoku, which has been repeated numerously, mostly by Richard Stolk.
The construction of the combination took a bit of work. Setting up the opening was pretty easy, but after that it gets a lot trickier. It's hard to pick the right digits that help both puzzles along. I liked the opening and found some points that nicely helped both puzzles along. It was hard to find a way to get both puzzles unique. There were a few situations that wouldn't resolve uniquely and I took a while to figure out how to avoid those.
I think both puzzles turned out nicely. The Outside Sudoku is the easier of the two. You get a lot of simple digits from the opening, while the Inside Sudoku's opening is more of a struggle. Enjoy.

Rules for Sudoku

Inside Sudoku: In this Sudoku digits on the outside indicate that these digits must appear in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th cell in that row or column when looking from that side.

Outside Sudoku: In this Sudoku digits on the outside indicate that these digits must appear in the first three cells in that row or column, when looking from that side.

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Sunday, 1 May 2016

Daily League #67: Edge Sums Sudoku and Frame Sudoku

Possibly this month will feature five Double Trouble Sudokus. I have written two so far, but I don't know if I will be able to write three others in combinations I haven't seen before. But I'm at least going to give it a try.

This week the puzzle can be solved both as an Edge Sums Sudoku and as a Frame Sudoku. I have used them together in a puzzle, but now they're separate puzzles. I tried for a while to get both puzzles to be solvable without any givens. I only had a limited range of sums to work with, which caused some issue. Edge Sums was the hardest to get unique in this combination as Frame Sudoku gives you the option of creating a useful implied sum. Eventually I compromised by putting two givens in the middle. The Edge Sums puzzle is the easier of the two in this set.

Rules for Sudoku

Edge Sums Sudoku:
In this Sudoku numbers on the outside indicate the sum of the first two digits in that row or column, when looking from that side.

Frame Sudoku:
In this Sudoku numbers on the outside indicate the sum of the first three digits in that row or column, when looking from that side.

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