Friday, 30 August 2013

TVC XIV Practise: Part 2

This post is a bit delayed. That happens when you discover mistakes in your puzzles. I think I fixed them, but sometimes you just get stuck in a spiral of bad deductions that won't get out of your head. I hope most people will still get some use out of them though, with the late arrival.

The first puzzle is a Tapa Loop. I think this is generally a pretty smooth variant and hardly ever causes real issues. This puzzle is not very difficult and if you understand how the variant works, it should go pretty quick.
The second puzzle is a Regional Tapa. The genre is a little bit restrictive in design but I had fun working with it. I did have a problem where I apparently can't count and had to change some of the regions because one region had one cell too many coloured.
The third puzzle is a Cyclic Tapa. Good for people who like classic Tapa as all deductions are like normal. Some clues just have to work for two grids instead of one. I made a stupid error in construction where I placed one pair of copied clues in different squares. But as the rules don't state they have to be in the same square I think this is still a valid puzzle. It would just look nicer. I like how it turned out. I should, it took me ages to get one out that was a bit interesting.
The fourth puzzle is a Pentapa. I always like puzzles with pentominoes, this one is no different. Certain pentominoes are more easily formed by a Tapa wall. These you can usually deduce pretty quickly and then have to try to avoid for the rest of the solve. The Tapa element still comes forward enough though and it's not just playing with pentominoes.
The fifth puzzle is a Elimination Tapa. This was the one that had the biggest error. I changed one of the digits to make a clue work, except that ruined the deductions of a lot of other clues, so had to fix that. It was luckily not the worst fix. I think it's still a nice puzzle. Good practise for bordering clues.

I hope practising all puzzles will help people in the upcoming TVC XIV. Enjoy.

Puzzles can be found below

Rules for Tapa

1. Tapa Loop

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, draw a loop through all blackened cells. The loop cannot pass through a cell twice.

4. Tapa [Regional]

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, the clues don't function only as regular Tapa clues but also serve as a clue for the blackbordered region they are in, giving the contiguous blocks of black cells in the region they are in. Each region contains at most one clue and there are no restrictions on unclued regions.

5. Cyclic Tapa

Follow regular Tapa rules in each grid. Additionally write one or more clue numbers into each marked cells and then copy them into the corresponding cell of the next grid in the cycle.

Click to enlarge

7. Pentapa

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally the Tapa wall should be made up of the given pentominoes. Each pentomino can be used once. Pentominoes may be rotated and/or reflected.

Click to enlarge

10. Elimination Tapa

Eliminate one digit per clue cell. Then solve the puzzle under regular Tapa rules.


  1. Nice elimination tapa. Regional tapa had a nice and simple opening.Very nice tapa, except an obvious uniqueness clue in the bottom-left.I was doing very well on cyclic, but could not satisfy (1,4) in the bottom-right tapa.Perhaps I incorrectly deduced it as a (1,4).

  2. For pen tapa where are the pentominos

    1. Uploaded a new image with the pentominoes.

  3. Anonymous: it's the whole set (except for P); compare

    I had to restart just about every single puzzle in the set, maybe except for the Tapa Loop and Tapa Clone.

    Somehow the difficulty level of your puzzles brings me to invent wrong deductions. It definitely got me to think about the puzzle types, thanks! I'm still convincingly proving that the Pentapa is unsolvable...

    By the way, there's nothing directional in the cyclic tapa rules, right? So the direction could just be taken as a hint to the direction of the intended solving path.

    1. The Pentapa definitely has a valid solution. It's pentominos, I like to play with them. But I agree, it's tricky.

      As for Cyclic Tapa, there really isn't a forced direction. I just think it's purely for naming purposes. I wouldn't go by that conclusion though as I just jumped from grid to grid trying to get the clues to work in construction. If the solve suggests any direction, it is purely coincidental.

    2. I tend to try to put in something new or interesting from which people might learn something about the genre. I don't intend them to come out overly difficult. It is just how they tend to end up if people don't see what I'm trying to help them see.

    3. I didn't mean to complain, I thought the puzzles were great. Also I really appreciate that you share them.

      Got the Pentapa by now, it was one of these cases where I made the same wrong deduction over and over again...

    4. I know you weren't. I was just explaining my thought process when I create these puzzles.

  4. Awesome puzzles and completes the set for the test. I have to still solve the Pentapa :)

  5. Thanks Bram for sharing all these puzzles. It is great to see what a skilled creator can do with these variant rules.
    Enjoy the contest too, I'm sure you'll be wonderbaar!