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.

Rules for Tapa

2. Mad Max Tapa

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally the Tapa wall covers the maximum amount of cells possible.

4. Dissected Tapa

Follow Regular Tapa rules. Additionally the Tapa wall and the unpainted cells form 2 congruent shapes. This means they have the same shape not counting rotation or reflection.

5. Visionary Tapa

Follow regular Tapa rules. Each clue cell has 2 clue types in it. The black clues are normal Tapa clues for the direct neighbours of that cell. The grey clues work as Tapa clues for the secondary neighbours of that cell. The secondary neighbours are all cells that are one unit from the clue cell. Stated otherwise the secondary neighbours are all cells that touch the direct neighbours of that cell.


  1. Whoa, this was quite quick.

    The Mad Max was superb, the IB one scared me, but if its something like this, even if harder, I'd like it. In dissected I hadn't even realized the 2x2 rule that restricts a 5 clue till now.

    Haven't tried visionary yet as I still haven't understood the rules properly :\

    1. That 2x2 rule is the previous genre I mentioned in my intro ;)

    2. Ah yes. I was too impatient to get to the puzzles, I didn't read past the Mad Max notes :P Just did the visionary too. Pretty enjoyable. Having finally understood the rules, I now agree with your description of it being least fidgety(yea I read the description further just now).

  2. Hi Bram, many thanks for your attempts to shine some light onto these puzzles, this week looks more 'variant' than usual!

    Mad Max is unlike most puzzles, it is more like an (easy) optimizer because it is still not obvious if you have correctly solved it after you have finished. I hope for more logic than fidget in the test.

    With Visionary I think there may be a wrong clue near the bottom-right. Perhaps 13/145 or 4/14? Or maybe I keep repeating an error - it is a brain workout...


    1. Hmmm, yeah that's wrong. I'll fix it. It's supposed to be 4/14.

    2. I know what you mean with Mad Max. That's the fidgety part of it. But for my Mad Max puzzle you can logically confirm it's the maximum coverage. That's why I constructed it this way. It's more interesting this way. You just have to understand how to guarantee a maximum coverage.

  3. What about online solving

    1. I don't know any programming, so I don't think that will ever happen on my page.

  4. Visionary Tapa is constructed very neatly, though struggled a bit in the starting it is not too hard. The solving path is very nice making the black clues dependent on grey ones and vice-versa.


  5. the MADMAX is the only one that i can't check on my own, so can i make sure with you that it has 61 squares in the solution?