Thursday, 14 January 2016

TVC XVIII Practise: Part 1

Here is part one of the TVC XVIII practise. It features five different variants. The second part will come out later tonight or tomorrow, depending on how much time I can find the rest of the day.

This post will contain the first five types in the instruction booklet. I managed to get through them in a nice way in order for once. Usually one type gives me some trouble.
First there is a Tapa With Borders. I decided to go for a 7x7 grid this time. I tried to avoid any wrong clues in the centre 4x4 square, so you couldn't directly work from there to find the grid.
The second puzzle is a Tapa-Like Loop. It's not really a Tapa, but it's a fun genre. The puzzle shouldn't be too hard.
The third puzzle is a Tapa LITS. This puzzle caused me the most trouble to make. I liked the layout, but it took some time to get a valid solution. Often I had areas that just wouldn't split up into tetrominos or it just wouldn't be unique. Eventually this came out.
Tapa Scrabble. I'm not much a fan of this type. Word puzzles are generally not my type anyway. I hope this puzzle is somewhat representative for the competition puzzles. I have the most doubt about this type.
Tapa Connection. This is probably the hardest puzzle in this set. This type is really restrictive. I wanted to see how far I could push it. Four clues with three pairs of letters gets you pretty close to the minimum I think for this size.

I hope the puzzles are useful. Enjoy.

Puzzles can be found below.

Rules for Tapa

1. Tapa With Borders

Follow standard Tapa rules. There is a 7x7 grid hidden in this 10x10 grid. Find the grid and solve the remaining puzzle.

Click to enlarge

2. Tapa-Like Loop

In this Tapa the wall is formed by a single continuous loop. Clues inside the grid represent the number of neighbouring cells visited by the loop. If there is more than one number in a cell, each number should represent a separate section of the loop. In this puzzle, the no 2x2 rule of Tapa does not apply.

Click to enlarge
3. Tapa LITS

Follow standard Tapa rules. Additionally the Tapa wall should form a valid LITS solution. This means you should be able to divide the Tapa wall into tetrominos, such that no tetromino of the same shape shares an edge. Rotations and reflections are considered the same tetromino.

Click to enlarge
4. Tapa Scrabble

Follow standard Tapa rules. Additionally, the Tapa wall is made up out of letters. All given words should appear in the grid, read from left to right or top to bottom. Words not in the list may not appear anywhere in the grid.

Click to enlarge
5. Tapa Connection

Follow standard Tapa rules. Connect identical letters with lines going horizontally and vertically. Lines cannot intersect. All cells occupied by lines (including cells with letters, should form a valid Tapa wall.

Click to enlarge


  1. Thanks a lot for this, I needed it on some of these, like Scrabble and Connection. Not that good at those. Tapa-Like Loop is one I've written a lot of now so I know it pretty well. My favorite from this set was the Tapa-LITS, I liked the packing element.

  2. Thanks! I particularly enjoyed the Scrabble, including the nice word set. Connection wasn't too hard, though at first I broke the bottom right corner.

  3. 1. Tried guessing that 1-1-1 had to be in the puzzle - viola - it worked.
    2. Haven't solved much of these despite there being lots of them made. 1's are pretty useful with this variant. I notice this puzzle (and one of your past ones) starts with 2-2-2s near the rim of the grid.
    3. Hardest for me. Decided to use uniqueness at the top-left to solve the puzzle.
    4. Love it! Have always enjoyed Scrabble (and its variants) this one was cute.
    5. Oddly enough, this one took me <2 mins and no erasing. Maybe this type would be more fun if the grid was bigger.