Monday 31 October 2011

Puzzle #46: Line of Sight

Rules for Line of Sight

Not much to say about this design. It look nice and solves nice. It's a bit tricky, but not overly so. Just enjoy.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Puzzle #45: Pentopia

Rules for Pentopia

The booklet for the World Puzzle Championships came out today. As this genre will feature at the championship I'm posting another one. The puzzle in the championship is probably a bit bigger than mine as it will have all pentomino pieces in it (as the rules seem to indicate). Even though 12 by 12 grids are the standard size for pentomino puzzles, they don't work very well for this genre to fit all 12 in as you eliminate a lot of space with the clue type. Also thought it was somewhat funny that the example was the same one I made for my LMI-test.

Saturday 29 October 2011

Puzzle #44: Liar Loop

Rules for Liar Loop

This genre idea developed when playing around with Maxi Loop puzzles and discovering how areas sometimes have very little options for the loop to run through and disallowing a certain value would also force the loop a certain way. This eventually led to the attempt to make puzzles with only disallowed values. And a new genre is born.
The puzzle is a bit tricky, but it's partly caused because the way of thinking is different than normal.

Rules: Liar Loop

This genre was developed by myself.

Draw a closed loop through all squares by running horizontally and vertically. The loop doesn't touch or cross itself. The numbers in a boldly marked area indicate that the loop never runs through this many cells consecutively. Whenever it passes through the area it always runs through either more or less cells than the given number.

Friday 28 October 2011

Puzzle #43: Twin Killer Sudoku

I've always liked Twin Killer Sudokus. Part of the reason for that might be because the puzzles of this type I see are usually made by Richard Stolk, who always manages to do beautiful and interesting things with Sudokus.  I prefer them if they don't have both grids completely covered with cages as you can see the design in those puzzles a bit better than in others.
For this puzzle I think it should be clear what the cages should read. I like how it worked out, but I guess as with most of my sudokus they are on the harder side.

Rules for Sudoku

Normal Sudoku rules. Additionally the numbers in the dotted cages represent the sum of the digits in that cage. No digit is repeated within a cage. Both grids have the same solution.

Thursday 27 October 2011

Puzzle #42: Tapa; Islands

When trying to design these I started to noticed how a whole bunch of clue options become obsolete as they would break the rules. I have a feeling that because of this (almost) all Tapa Island puzzles can be turned into a cryptic variant without messing up uniqueness.

Rules for Tapa

The clues work as normal Tapa with the addition that each clue cell is part of an island of horizontally and vertically connected empty cells. At least one of the clue numbers indicates the size of the island this cell belongs to. No two islands can touch eachother horizontally or vertically and no island contains more than one clue cell.

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Puzzle #41: Country Road/Land and Sea

I liked the first one I made of these, so figured I'd give this combo another try. I think this one is a bit trickier than the previous one, but that could also be caused by the fact that this one took a lot more effort to get to work out in a way that I liked.
I haven't been able to combine Land and Sea with any other genre satisfactorily. I like it here because it replaces a clue type completely while in others it just comes over as merely an addition.

Rules for Country Road

Rules for Land and Sea

This one solves as a normal Country Road puzzle, with the addition that the loop can't run through more than 2 white squares consecutively.

[Edit: Fixed a uniqueness issue. Somewhat major, but quite easily fixed luckily]

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Puzzle #40: Maxi Loop

Rules for Maxi Loop
People seemed to like this genre from the first puzzle. So I've toyed around with it again. The finish of this puzzle is a bit trickier that the previous one. The next ones I might try to make bigger or mix up the sizes a bit. All areas being the same size does look nicer, but maybe also limits the difficulty. I'll find out when I try it out.

Monday 24 October 2011

Puzzle #39: Heyawake

Rules for Heyawake

After a busy weekend, I'm back with a puzzle. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up posting a puzzle every day, but I kept at it for as long as I could.
I think I'm getting a bit better with creating Heyawake puzzles. This is still not the easiest Heyawake, but I think it has more standard deductions in them than my last one. There's a bit more number work in this one. Hope you enjoy it.

Friday 21 October 2011

Puzzle #38: Yajilin

Rules for Yajilin

When I make larger puzzles, I seem to find new things to put in. But the only new things I seem to be able to find on larger scale are hard steps I wouldn't have room for on a small scale. I think that's why I'm not much a fan of large Slitherlink puzzles as you can't really put anything in them that doesn't fit on a smaller scale. As my previous Castle Wall puzzle, this one is also a tough one to crack.
I did something silly with the clue placement, which I didn't realise at first. I wasn't 100% sure how to handle the corners, so I basically made it clear at the start what to do with them.

Thursday 20 October 2011

Puzzle #37: Ripple Effect

Rules for Ripple Effect

I am still finding enough interesting patterns to make these puzzles without any given clues. I managed to raise this one to a 7 cell area. That would probably be easier if I made them larger. omehow I'm not sure if people would look forward to larger Ripple Effect puzzles that have no clues.

Wednesday 19 October 2011

Puzzle #36: Island

Rules for Island

I've been busy the last few days and haven't had time to really construct something for this blog. Here's another Island puzzle. I haven't had any comments really on the type. I still enjoy constructing them, so they'll most like keep appearing. For this pattern the number 5 seemed a good number to orient the design around.

Monday 17 October 2011

Puzzle #35: Slitherlink; No Touch

These shifted square clue patterns I always like. I've employed it in many puzzle types. It doesn't work for everything as it always leaves a lot of room. With this type it works really well, as the clues give extra information for many of the unclued squares. I think this one worked out well, although the left bottom is tricky.

Rules for Slitherlink

As an extra rule, none of the given clues share a border with a square that has the same value. This only goes for the given clues, not the remaining squares.

Sunday 16 October 2011

Puzzle #34: Frameless Sudoku

This is so far the only genre I have made, that have also been made by other people. I like to see them from other people. They will also have a different feel from when you made them yourself. Also more fun if you don't know exactly how the puzzle is set up.
It's not that uncommon for puzzle types that people like only to made by its developer though. If you only look at Naoki Inaba's website and then try to find the puzzle ideas he thought of somewhere else. Very few of those are found anywhere else.
This puzzle I wanted to see if I could make all triplets of given sums to be consecutive. It worked out nicely even though the opening is a bit tricky to figure out.

Rules for Sudoku

The numbers on the outside indicate the sum of the first digits encountered in that row or column from that side. The amount of digits can differ from sum to sum and can be only one digit.

Saturday 15 October 2011

Puzzle #33: Maxi Loop

I make a lot of loop puzzles. Loop puzzles just come more naturally to me. This was actually an idea I had been working with before, till I also found it on Naoki's website. There's 2 more ideas I saw there that I had actually tried to work with myself. Both ideas I couldn't really get to work properly, but Naoki proved me wrong and his puzzles in those genres are actually very nice. So I might give them another go some time.
This puzzle isn't as challenging as the last one. So you can relax a bit more this with one.

Rules: Maxi Loop

This genre was developed by Naoki Inaba.

Draw a closed loop through all cells by connecting the centers horizontally and vertically. The loop can't cross or touch itself. The numbers in the boldly marked area indicate the highest amount of cells that the loop goes through consecutively in that area.

Friday 14 October 2011

Puzzle #32: Castle Wall

Rules for Castle Wall

I don't generally makes puzzles larger than the standard 10 by 10 grids. I like to put tricky steps in puzzles and in larger puzzle they can get lost for people. Castle Wall has more widespread constraints and in a larger grid you can do things that wouldn't fit in a smaller grid. This is a tricky puzzle, which uses two techniques a lot. I haven't done enough Castle Wall puzzles to see how often they appear in other puzzles.
If people didn't know yet, clicking the image gives you the image in the original size. The size discrepancy is a bit bigger in this puzzle.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Double Trouble #5: Slitherlink and Turning Fences

This combination of puzzles took the longest to get to work out of all Double Troubles so far. I couldn't get the end to work for most my tries. Maybe it didn't help that I was stubborn in wanting to use a preset layout. It's easier if I just place clues where they are needed.
These Turning Fences I haven't really seen many of. The only time that really comes to mind is a WPC. I'm thinking it was in Borovets, but not too sure. I just came to use it again recently and I figured it should be possible to make them looking like normal Slitherlink, so figured it might also be possible for one to actually be a Slitherlink.

Rules for Slitherlink

Rules for Turning Fences

So firstly it can be solved as a Slitherlink puzzle. this puzzle has its easy and hard parts.It still seems pretty typical for the style and difficulty I like to make them.
Secondly it can be solved as a Turning Fences puzzle. This one is about the same difficulty as the Slitherlink puzzle but as its the first on this blog it might feel harder.

Rules: Turning Fences

Draw a closed loop by connecting dots horizontally and vertically. The numbers in the grid indicate the amount of turns taken on the four dots around it.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Puzzle #31: Line of Sight

Rules for Line of Sight

I have this tendency to go overboard with difficulty when trying out genres I have never designed before. It helps me to discover what is possible under the rules. This puzzle is one of those puzzles. It's a really tough puzzle, but I like it. You can get throught it logically, but it might take a while. The high difficulty is mainly caused by the fact the path is very narrow and requires you to take multiple clues into account at a time.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

Puzzle #30: Double Back

Rules for Double Back 

I tried to make this one with larger areas. I think it worked out well. It's hardest in the midle of the solve.

Monday 10 October 2011

Puzzle #29: Pentopia

Rules for Pentopia

Somehow I almost always seem to end up with 12 clues in a 12x12 grid with these puzzles. I don't really know why that is. I'm guessing it is because too many clues makes the grid too packed.

Sunday 9 October 2011

Puzzle #28: Killer Sudoku

I've always liked Killer Sudokus. I enjoy solving the harder ones as well, which really need pencilmark eliminations if you want to find a nice logical way.
Competitionwise I usualy don't really find Killer Sudokus very interesting though. It's far too easy to turn out a quick Killer Sudoku. It's possible though to make the human element shine through a bit more. Those are the kinds of Killer Sudokus I find the most suitable for championships. I think that's why the Killer Sudoku in the latest United States Sudoku Championship was so much appreciated.
I think I managed to do the same with this Killer Sudoku. I made it a little while back for my girlfriend. The cages are to spell out an A four times. I am really happy with this puzzle.

Rules for Sudoku

Instead of given numbers, you now have a few dashed cages. The number in the cage indicates the sum of the digits in the cage, Digits can't be repeated in any dashed cage.

Saturday 8 October 2011

Puzzle #27: Corral

Rules for Corral

I am starting to like Corral more and more. The logic seems to really suit my design style. I'm happy how this puzzle turned out.

Friday 7 October 2011

Puzzle #26: Yajilin

Rules for Yajilin

I've always enjoyed Yajilin puzzles. I first saw them under a different name in Breinbrekers. It's never realy been a genre I am fast at with solving, but enjoy none the less. Constructing these always seems trickier than the end result. I don't think this one is too hard. But I've said that before and got told off on it, so I'll be careful with the notion this time.

Rules: Yajilin

This genre was developed by Nikoli.

Colour some cells so that you can draw a closed loop through all remaining white cells. The numbers in the grid tell you how many coloured cells can be seen in the direction of the arrow. No coloured cells are allowed to share an edge.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Double Trouble #4: Tapa and Pata

So this idea started with an opening that worked very nicely for both puzzle types. So I really wanted it to work out. It took a lot of effort though to get it to fall. The two types block eachother a bit. I've always liked Pata. It's probably my favourite Tapa variation.
On an unrelated note, I've edited Puzzle #21. Due to my natural curiosity and excellent understanding of Japanese (or google translate working well enough to understand what was being said) I found out it wasn't unique.

Rules for Tapa

Firstly it can solved as a regular Tapa puzzle. I think it's a nice puzzle.
Secondly it can be solved as a Pata puzzle. Here the clues indicate the groups of connected white cells that are around the square. Different groups of white cells are seperated by at least one coloured cell. This one worked out nicely too.

Wednesday 5 October 2011

Puzzle #25: Castle Wall

Rules for Castle Wall

I like how this genre works. I do have trouble making nice puzzles with it though. A lot of times it just won't turn out unique. When it does it usually isn't a very interesting puzzle. I think this puzzle turned out well though.

Rules: Castle Wall

This genre was developed by Palmer Mebane.

Draw a single closed loop through the grid by connecting the centres of cells. The loop can't go through any cells with a bold black border. If such a cell is coloured black, it will be outside the loop; if such a cell is coloured white, it will be inside the loop. Some cells will have numbers and arrows. A number with a horizontal arrow indicates the total length of horizontal line segments in the direction of the arrow. A number with a vertical arrow indicates the total length of vertical line segments in the direction of the arrow.

Tuesday 4 October 2011

Puzzle #24: Slitherlink; Liars

Many people will have seen this variant on Mellowmellon's blog. This was not the first place I encountered these puzzles though. Back in 2006 they appeared on the Dutch Puzzle Championships. We had a short round with 4 of these puzzles. I really liked the idea back then, but hadn't really come back much after that. I found it interesting to see the idea had popped back up afterwards.

Rules for Slitherlink

The clues work as a normal Slitherlink puzzle, except in every row and column exactly one clue is incorrect.

Monday 3 October 2011

Puzzle #23: Heyawake

Rules for Heyawake

I'm still learning the in and outs of this genre a bit. This puzzle has a tricky opening. I'm trying to now mostly let the cages do the work, which I find more fun in this size. I might try making a larger one, where the numbers do more of the work. Heyawake is one of the few genres I don't mind solving on a larger scale.

Sunday 2 October 2011

Puzzle #22: Worm Sudoku

 This type was the best rated in my LMI Hybrids test, so I figured people might like to see another. They are somewhat tricky to make. Not because they are hard to get unique, but to get both elements of the puzzle types to both remain interesting. You don't want a worms puzzle that is unique or really hard to get the unique bits. You also have to make sure that the resulting cage structures make for good possible deductions.
I think this puzzle worked out well. It is 8 by 8 because 9 by 9 puzzles become so hard they lose some of the fun. That's also why the one in the test was 8 by 8.

Rules for Sudoku

Place the digits 1-8 in every row and column. Also connect the given clues in pairs with paths going horizontally and vertically. Every path has the digits 1-8 exactly once.

Saturday 1 October 2011

Puzzle #21: Line of Sight

 Rules for Line of Sight

I am a fan of loop puzzles. When I saw this one, I thought "that's clever". The names it was under were Sight and Site Line, but I thought Line of Sight had a better ring to it. For the Layout I had several ideas which you can see here. The right top one was preferred by people I asked. The left top one is the original layout. If people prefer it differently, I don't mind drawing them differently.
As for the puzzle, it's not too hard. I figured I'd introduce this genre a bit more gently than I normally do. I have this tendency to make really hard first puzzles as it helps me discover what you can do with a genre.

[Edit] First puzzle was not unique. Fixed the left bottom corner.

Rules: Line of Sight

This genre was developed by Naoki Inaba

Draw a closed loop in the grid by connecting dots horizontally and vertically.  The clues in the grid indicate the length of the straight line segment seen in the direction of the arrow.