Wednesday, 30 December 2015

TVC XVII Practise: Part 1

This is the first selection of practise puzzles for the upcoming TVC XVII. I only came aware this was starting again today, so I'm trying to get all puzzles out by Friday. This post will feature the first five puzzles.

The first puzzle is a Peers Tapa. I like the idea of this variant. I always enjoy Tapas that have the same sum in symmetrical clues. This variant forces that. The puzzle turned out reasonably well. It's one of the easier practise puzzles.
The second puzzle is a Tapa Skyscrapers. The variant can drive a lot of the puzzle, so I tend to just place some random, but nice looking, Tapa clues and make the variant drive the rest of the puzzle. I think it worked out well in this puzzle. It's not an overly hard puzzle, but you have to understand how to use the variant.
The third puzzle is a Knapp Daneben Tapa. I always have trouble with 1s turning into 0s when designing Knapp Daneben puzzles. I tried to avoid the issue as much as possible. My personal goal when designing Knapp Daneben puzzles is always to try to only use valid Tapa clues and not use combinations of digits in a cell that would not be allowed in a normal Tapa.
The fourth puzzle is an Outside Tapa. The first Outside Tapa I wrote I used a lot more Tapa clues, but I went for a lower number of clues this time and have the variant drive the solve a bit more. It turns out that using more equal symbols reduces the need for clues. I think it turned out well. This is probably the hardest puzzle in this set.
The fifth puzzle is a Tapa Magic. I'm not that much a fan of this variant. I always feel I have to use too many clues, because the restrictions won't allow it to be unique otherwise. It's still a nice puzzle and shows some of the tricks in this variant.

I hope these are helpful. Enjoy.

[Edit: Tapa Skyscrapers fixed.]

Puzzles can be found below.

Rules for Tapa

4. Peers Tapa

Follow standard Tapa rules. Additionally, each clue a peer, symmetrical to the centre of the grid. The sums of digits should be equal for each pair, but two peers can't be exactly the same. Find the missing peers and solve the puzzle.

Click to enlarge

5. Tapa Skyscrapers

Follow standard Tapa rules. Additionally, numbers outside the grid indicate the number of separate wall segments visible in that direction. A segment of length n is taken as a skyscrapers of height n. Skyscrapers are blocked from view by taller or equal skyscrapers.

Click to enlarge

8. Knapp Daneben Tapa

Follow standard Tapa rules. Additionally, all given numbers are wrong. The correct number is either 1 higher of 1 lower, meaning that a 1 can possibly turn into a 0.

Click to enlarge

9. Outside Tapa

Follow standard Tap rules. Additionally, symbols on the outside indicate the relation between the amount of coloured cells between the corresponding rows/columns.

Click to enlarge

10. Tapa Magic

Follow standard Tapa rules. Additionally, fill every grey cell with Tapa clues. Grey cells without a slash should be filled with a single digit. Grey cells with a slash should contain two digits. Digits can't be repeated within a row or column.

Click to enlarge


  1. I can't get the Skyscrapers to resolve uniquely, might there be a clue missing?

    (The rules should state "taller or equal".)

    1. There should be a 1 at the bottom of column 5.

      (I always forget about that.)

    2. Thanks, much better! (Though there were some trickier deductions to be made without that clue, so: good practice.)

      And thanks for the whole set, really looking forward to the contest now. I particularly liked the Magic Tapa, but they were all nice.