Thursday 29 March 2012

TVC XII Practise Part 3

And here is the last part of practise puzzles. Or maybe the first part if you go by the order of the instruction booklet. I'm a bit late as I noticed an error in one of the puzzles and had to rectify it. I think out of these puzzles I like the Compass Tapa the best. The path oriented structure in it works very well. I also like the Twilight Tapa, but I'm finding them hard to construct.

Firstly the Visionary Tapa. I think it worked out well. The double clue structure makes the puzzle always a bit more challeging, but overall it's not too hard. At least once you get past the opening.
Secondly there's Make Room for Tapa. This puzzle is pretty easy. In the test it will most likely be a lot harder if we go by the puzzle that has been in the test before. Some of Thomas' puzzles will be more at that difficulty.
The Twilight Tapa is the hardest in this set. I found some interest number combinations that are semi unique. I used one as the opening here. Semi unique here means that there are 2 ways to colour that both look the same, except the coloured and white cells are switched around.
The Compass Tapa worked out well. It is of medium difficulty. I'm expecting trickier puzzles in the test for this one.
The Wired Tapa is nothing special. It just feels like a lot of the same. I didn't really think I put in much interesting. One part I liked, but I'm not even sure if that is necessary to solve.

The puzzles can be found below.
[After a bunch of edits I hope they are actually all correct now. Sighhhhhhhh.]

Wednesday 28 March 2012

TVC XII Practise Part 2

Here is the second part of practise puzzles. This set contains a Broken Tapa, Tapa Tapa and a Sweeper Tapa. I've recreated the Sweeper Tapa. This is because I agreed with the comments that it might be a bit too hard for a practise puzzle. I think this one flows a bit smoother, but still uses the same opening and a similar layout as the first puzzle.
The Broken Tapa is a challenging puzzle. But I expect the actual puzzle on the test will also be challenging. Of course I won't know for sure till I see the points table tomorrow. I still think it's a fun puzzle though.
The Sweeper Tapa should be a bit nicer than my first one. Sometimes you need that extra bit of time to make the puzzle better.
The Tapa Tapa worked out okay. It's a nice variation, except I find the 1 clue constraint around the cities a bit restricting as they block a lot of the paths for the Tapa. Remember that the numbers indicate the shortest possible routes.

Puzzles can be found below.

Tuesday 27 March 2012

TVC XII Practise Part 1

Even though Palmer also made a practise set, I figured I would still give it a go. I've been having fun making them, so I went at it again. I think it will help my solving in the end.
This time I started at the end of the booklet. this is partly because I had a nice idea for Tapa Tapa and partly because I am somewhat looking up to making a Make Room for Tapa and Wired Tapa puzzle. Can't really get those two started. Sadly I won't be posting my Tapa Tapa puzzle as I missed a rule regarding the Tapa cities. They can only have a segments of 1 cell around them, which I didn't do for my puzzle at all. Overall I'm happy with the puzzles, but I guess there's always room for a little improvement. I will post it after the test again, like I did before with a puzzle that broke the test rules. Next time I'll be more careful reading the rules and not just by checking the example.

The Roman Tapa is pretty basic. I think it is some good practise in breaking apart possible givens.
Sweeper Tapa has a nice opening. I could have put down TAPA everywhere instead of PARA, but thought that might happen in the test, so I figured I could just make it read my own nick everywhere. This puzzle is pretty hard though, so I put an easier variant of this puzzle in the second set. It will probably be better practise.
Tapa Like Loop is a fun genre, even though I question its Tapa-ness. I think it turned out a nice puzzle. I'm expecting this puzzle to go a bit bigger in the test.
Tapa Borders is not my best puzzle, especially in comparison to Palmer's. I had a nice idea for the basic structure of the puzzle, but I couldn't make it work completely the way I wanted to. Still helpful practise I think though.

The puzzles can be found below.

Monday 26 March 2012


The first observation one can make in this test is that the definition of Tapa is being stretched a bit for this test. Wired Tapa and Tapa Like Loop don't really seem to be actually Tapas to me. They just employ a similar clue type. I somewhat feel that if there isn't a Tapa Wall, it's not a Tapa.
Secondly, many of these variants already have a few examples available. I've collected the places I have been able to find examples of the puzzles in this test.

Palmer Mebane's Practise Set:

Visionary Tapa: 
TVC XI  practise:

Make Room for Tapa:
Thomas Snyder's Blog:

Twilight Tapa: 
Logic Master's Deutschland:
Palmer Mebane's Blog:

Compass Tapa:
Takeya Saikachi's Blog:

Broken Tapa:
Logic Masters India, Broken Pieces:
Logic Master India, Best of LMI Puzzle Tests:

Roman Tapa:

Tapa Like Loop:
Takeya Saikachi's Blog:

Tapa Borders:
Palmer Mebane's Blog:

Sunday 25 March 2012

Puzzle #102: Penta Sight

This pentomino variant is a bit like a mix between Pentopia and Kurodoku puzzles. It currently leans a bit more towards Pentopia, because it implements a no touching rule. I could also make it lean a bit more to Kurodoku and allow diagonal touching and have all white cells form a single contiguous area. But I'll leave that for another try. I might make a seperate rules page if I try this again. Just like to see how people like it now.


Place a number of different pentomino pieces in the grid. Rotations and reflections are considered the same piece. The pieces aren't allowed to touch eachother, not even diagonally. The numbers in the grid indicate how many white cells can be seen from that cell in all horizontal and vertical directions, including the cell itself. Pentomino pieces block their sight.

Thursday 22 March 2012

Puzzle #101: Island

Another easier Island puzzle. I like the layout, just couldn't get all circles in order.

Rules for Island

Tuesday 20 March 2012

Puzzle #100: Maxi Loop

What is this? A puzzle and it's not a Tapa? How odd. It means I'm resuming my puzzle posts. I tried to make something special for puzzle #100 but my idea crashed and burned. It now occupies about 3 pages in my notebook but still isn't finished as it doesn't want to cooperate into a solvable, unique puzzle. It was actually my second idea as I had an idea with cubes at first. But I scrapped that idea as I got no comments on my LITS cube. I was really happy with that puzzle and was expecting some feedback on it. I figure no one felt like solving a puzzle on a cube when they have to construct it themselves.
Here's a Maxi Loop puzzle. I hadn't posted one in a while as I made the choice to put out Liar Loop puzzles instead. I think it worked out well. It's relativey difficult. The most tricky deductions come towards the end on the left side of the puzzle.

Rules for Maxi Loop

TVC XI Recap

I didn't do so well this time. Okay, I finished 8th, which isn't really that bad. It's just that this puts me behind in the standings a bit. I am still ranked 4th overall with a small gap to 3rd, but when you take only the best 2 out of 3, which is what's really important the gap widens considerably. Both Hideaki and Ko will be far ahead of me then for 3rd place.
I had one of my false starts again, not solving anything the first 10 minutes by breaking the Meiosis Tapa twice. After that it went okay till I attempted the Full Tapa. I kept breaking it till after four attempts I noticed I had missed the word MAN. This is why I prefer simple lists of words, so it's far less likely to miss a word. These gimmicks can be interesting to some, but I don't like them very much for competitions. Then I spent a long time looking for the opening around the 5^1/2^1^2 in the Power of Tapa, but when I found it, it went smooth. I made a silly mistake in the Tapa Balance, having the left 4 wrong. I found the Modern Tapa much harder than the 43 points it was worth. I got the solution to the hard Mad Max Tapa 5 seconds over the 75 minute mark, but I wasn't convinced it was correct so I didn't submit it.
As for my puzzles, I nailed the Tapa Balance idea. I hadn't done it as extreme as Serkan, but I saw the skewed balance coming. I thought the Dissected, Visionary and Fractional Tapas were good preparing practice for the test. The Modern Tapa didn't help me get through the puzzle any smoother. The Meiosis Tapa in the test was somewhat gimmicky. I'm not a fan of overt symmetry in puzzles, where both the clues and solution on each side is the same. I thought my Full Tapa was less intuitive than the one in the test. I also thought it was easier to work my Mad Max Tapa, but when I saw that a lot of the Tapa was actually solvable, I must admit I had missed that.
I hope they helped other people as well and will try to bring out another set next time.

Friday 16 March 2012

TVC XI Practise Part 3

Here are the last few examples for TVC XI. They are a bit on the late side, but I had only 3 days. I did what I could. These genres were the trickiest to construct, so that's why they come last. I don't know how representative of the test they will be as they can be a lot harder than what I made now. I just needed puzzles that I could logically construct. I am also learning the logic involved in these genres.

First up is the Full Tapa. I had a lot of trouble to come up with an idea for this puzzle. When I settled on the 3 and 4 word lengths it slowly got started. I like how it worked out. Most of the puzzle runs on the word lengths, but you need to place the words to get to a unique solution. I assume it's easier than the actual test puzzle, considering the amount of points it's worth.
Secondly is the Power of Tapa puzzle. I don't think it's especially hard. Tried to get a mix of power and normal clues in, but didn't succeed as well as I had hoped. It's still a nice puzzle. The puzzle in the test is worth a the most points of all puzzles, so will most likely be harder.
Lastly the Meiosis Tapa. It's really tricky to construct because there are a lot of options for multiclue cells. Which is also why I avoided multiclue cells for the most part of the puzzle. I at least succeeded in implementing both types of division in the puzzle. It's not too hard, but as the points table goes, it could be of equal difficulty of the test puzzle.

Puzzles can be found below.

Thursday 15 March 2012

TVC XI Practise Part 2

Today features the least finicky puzzles in the test. For these 4 you can pretty much expect a nice logic solve. The remaining three are variants that I haven't worked out how to construct nicely yet. Especially the Full Tapa is a problem as I can't even figure out how to solve the example in the booklet. There's a chance I will find a way to make it work for me, which isn't reflective of the actual test. Battle Tapa from TVC IX was a good example of that.

First up is the Combined Tapa. I'm not really happy with the Digital Tapa part because of the changed 0 rule, but the rest is nice in my opinion. It is 12 by 12 just like the previous time a Combined Tapa appeared on the TVC.
Secondly is the Fractional Tapa. I finally gave up on trying to incorporate the 3 by 3 fractioned cells and then the construction went far more smoothly. I put some clues inside the fractioned cells as Serkan said it could happen, so there's a good chance it will. I think it worked out well. I'm happy with the result.
Then we have the Modern Tapa. I have not a single clue why it's called Modern, but that's unimportant. I think I exploited the set layout very well and it's important not to forget the no reflections rule.
Lastly there's the Tapa Balance. I employed a small gimmick in this puzzle as I expect that Serkan might do the same thing. I would have at least if I were to make the test. So pay attention to the puzzle before you get started. I think this one is relatively tricky.

Puzzles can be found below

Wednesday 14 March 2012

TVC XI Practise Part 1

Fidgety could be the word to decribe this test. It doesn't have to be, but it could be if you wanted to. A bunch of these variants have a chance to give unique puzzles that will involve a lot of trying without being able to be 100% sure you are on the right path. It's just this feeling that comes out during construction. I've tried to make the puzzles so that there is no need for it though. I'm not a good instinct solver, so I wouldn't want the test to turn out this way.

There's only going to be 3 puzzles in this post as the Irregular Tapa part I made doesn't match the rules for the test. I will try to fix it. I thought I had all rules clear, but it doesn't seem to be so anymore. The Fractional Tapa I haven't really been able to work out for how to design it nicely. I keep running into non-uniqueness for the fractional cells.
The Mad Max Tapa I think worked out well. It isn't like the example in the instruction booklet but has a more regular Tapa feel to it. This type could come out fidgety, where you get very little clues and/or a weirdly shaped grid where you just have to cram a lot of squares in it and hope that your solution is the max number. For this puzzle if you understand the ways to maximise the square count, you can solve it very smoothly.
The Dissected Tapa has some commonalities with variants you have encountered before. It needs very little clues to solve. This one can turn out figety too as it can be unique quickly, even though you can't find a smooth logical finish to it. This puzzle turns logically harder if you were to change the 22 and 6 clues both to a 23 clue, but I wouldn't like to see it in the test this way. This puzzle solves very easy if you get how to open the puzzle.
The Visionary Tapa is probably the best practise out of the 3 as I see no fidgety variant for it. I'm most sure of it appearing similarly in the test. I do think the clue type makes for a challenging solve, where the difficulty of the deductions doesn't really matter. I find it tricky to keep looking at the right distance for the second set of clues.

The puzzles can be found below.

Tuesday 13 March 2012


Sorry for the long hiatus. I'd been trying to make something special for puzzle 100, but I have a feeling that is never going to come together the way I want it. Most likely I will just start posting puzzles again and not worry to much about outdoing myself. And if I ever manage to create something special I will just post it as normal, like what I did with my Four Colour Loop.

As for TVC XI, I will again try to post a set of practise puzzles. I've gone over the instruction booklet and I suspect it's going to be a challenge though. Cihan Altay has always been a puzzle maker that can confuse me to no end. You can't accuse him of lack of creativity, but I sometimes think it's going a bit crazy.
It's also a bit how I feel now having read through the instruction booklet.

I have 2 options to post these puzzles. I can again deliver the puzzles in 1 or 2 big batches like I did before. The first batch will then probably come wednesday evening the earliest. I think this is nicest for post count and makes it look more organised. The other option would just be to post a puzzle whenever I finish one. I will probably be a bit chaotic, jumping all over the puzzle booklet as I don't really construct all puzzles in order. I tend to just work on what puzzle type gives me inspiration at the moment. I have posted the puzzles nicely in order before, but that's not the order in which they were constructed. If people prefer me posting puzzles whenever they are ready, I'll go for that but my preference goes to the batching.

I hope to get everything ready by Friday, but I can't promise anything. Just hope whatever is ready will be helpful.