Saturday 30 June 2012

Puzzle #119: Magnets; Construction

I've said before I liked Magnets puzzles. So I've tried to experiment with them a bit. The Tapa inclusion worked really nicely. For this one I went another way.
I came across the Tateyoko puzzle on Naoki Inaba's website. Here the goal is to divide the grid into Domino regions. An O on a border indicates that the lengths of the sides touching there are the same length. An X on a border indicates that the lengths of the sides touching there are of a different length. I then realised, basically you are building Magnets puzzle grids. So I figured it would be worth trying to combine them.
I first started with a 10x10 grid and found a bit of a start. But I realised this way it would turn out far too hard. So I scaled it down to an 8x8 puzzle. It's still not particularly easy, but it's more doable than the 10x10 opening. I'd advice getting some practise with the Tateyoko part of the puzzle by going to the link given above.

Rules for Magnets

Follow normal Magnets rules. Additionally in this puzzle, the domino regions in which the magnets go aren't given yet. Instead you have to construct them. Some borders between domino regions are already given. If there is an O on a border, it indicates the lengths of the sides touching there are of equal length. If there's an X on a border, it indicates the lengths of the sides touching there are of unequal length.

Rules: Magnets

The grid is divided into domino regions. Place some magnets into these regions. Each magnet consists of a + pole and a - pole. Equal poles aren't allowed to touch by a side. The numbers on the outside indicate how many of each symbol are located in that row or column.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Puzzle #118: Pentopia

This is the first 12x12 Pentopia puzzle I've made that only has 10 clues. Most of my puzzles have 12 given clues. That just seems the total that's mostly needed to make the puzzle unique. Just like that most my 10x10 Yajilin puzzles use 10 clues. The opening to this puzzle is tricky, but after that it shouldn't cause too many problems.

Rules for Pentopia

Click to enlarge

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Puzzle #117: Masyu; In and Out

There's been a few Masyu variants done with optional Black and White circles. Here's another one, with a extra twist. The twist is taken from the Castle Wall genre. I think the puzzle worked out nicely. The optional quality makes the puzzle a bit trickier. Maybe the next time I'd make the puzzle a bit bigger, to make the twist play out more.
I know I've been making more variants the last few weeks. That's why I've added an extra tag for all puzzle variants and hybrids to find them easier on the blog. I've left the variant tag off the Sudokus as every Sudoku is a Sudoku variant. If people think I should also add it to them, I will.

Rules for Masyu

Follow normal Masyu rules. Additionally, not every black and white circle has to be visited by the loop. If a black circle isn't visited, it will be located outside the loop. If a white circle isn't visited, it will be located inside the loop.

Rules: Masyu

This genre was developed by Nikoli.

Draw a single closed loop connecting the centres of cells horizontally and vertically. The loop
doesn't touch or cross itself anywhere. The loop runs through all black and white circles. The loop
turns in every black circle and goes straight through both adjacent squares. The loop goes straight
through every white circle and turns in at least one of both adjacent squares.

Saturday 23 June 2012

Puzzle #116: Tapa; Borderline

This a variant I thought of myself. I checked the TVC booklet and it didn't appear in it. So as far as I know it's original. It is a simple variant that I had attempted before. I couldn't make it work then. I think I wanted to make it too difficult then and couldn't get it to work. This one worked out. It's still tricky though. This one has all clues on a border between 2 cells. I do think it's just as easily possible to put the clues on nodes between four cells. I figured having to choose between 2 cells for the first one is difficult enough.

Rules for Tapa

Use standard Tapa rules. Additionally, each Tapa clue is located on a border between multiple cells. This Tapa clue belongs in one of these cells. Determine which cell the clue belongs in and solve the puzzle.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Puzzle #115: Regional Akari

I've never really been a fan of Akari puzzles. The easy ones I find just go too quickly to really enjoy. The harder ones I feel like I'm just using trial and error. That's mostly why I haven't really made many of them. When I saw the regional variant on Naoki Inaba's site, I figured I'd give this a try in construction. I think it turned out okay. Nothing too difficult.

Rules for Regional Akari

Rules: Regional Akari

This genre was developed by Naoki Inaba.

Place one lightbulb in each blackbordered region, so that every cell in the grid is illuminated by at least one lightbulb. Lightbulbs illuminate all cells they can see in a horizontal and vertical direction. Black cells block their sight. No two lightbulbs can illuminate eachother.

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Double Trouble #7: Liar Loop and Maxi Loop

I guess this twin isn't very surprising. I did create the Liar Loop genre from the Maxi Loop genre. It has been the hardest one to acchieve so far though. I had attempted this a few times already, but it always lead nowhere. For this one I finally found a solid opening, that lead to good progress in both genres. Finishing it succesfully took some effort though. The puzzles both turned out well and I like the way clues keep helping in both genres.

Rules for Liar Loop

Rules for Maxi Loop

This puzzle can be solve as a Liar Loop puzzle. This one is the harder of the two puzzles. But that's mostly because Liar Loop is inheritently hard. It's a bit of a challenge to create really easy ones.
This puzzle can also be solved as a Maxi Loop puzzle. It's a bit easier than the Liar Loop puzzle. Main reason for this, is that I couldn't avoid using 1 clues for the Liar Loop puzzle.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Puzzle #114: Corral; Crates

I liked the Crates variation when I first saw it on Palmer's blog. I didn't like the red numbers so much though. That's why I preferred the one puzzle without red numbers. Last year's USPC also featured a Corral Crates puzzle without red numbers. So my puzzle also doesn't contain any red numbers.
This puzzle originally didn't start out as a crates puzzle, except the five 17s and the antisymmetric pairs of 7's and 10's on the outside made a valid corral loop very difficutl to acchieve. I constantly ran into the problem of having no possible valid loop when designing. So I tried to switch to a Corral Crates design instead. It did make the opening a bit harder. I edited out a harder spot in the middle, but kept the opening in as I had already found it a nice way to make the five 17s work in earlier design attempts.

Rules for Corral

In this puzzle there can be isolated loops on the inside the bigger loop. These isolated sections always form a 1x1 square. Different loops don't touch eachother, not ever by a corner. These isolated loops block the sight of the numbers.

Click to enlarge

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Puzzle #113: Easy as Japanese Sums

I encountered this puzzle type the first time when test solving Serkan Yurekli's puzzle set for last year's 24 hour puzzle championship. I really liked them, although they caused more trouble than you'd expect for their size. Even though the puzzle idea is very similar to Japanese Sums puzzles, the Latin Square component in this genre makes solving a lot different though. Only later I found that the genre also existed on Naoki Inaba's website.
This is the first time I tried to create one myself. I like how it turned out. It's moderately difficult.

Rules for Easy as Japanese Sums

This puzzle uses the digits 1-5.

Rules: Easy as Japanese Sums

This genre was invented by Naoki Inaba

Place the digits in the given range once in every row and column. The numbers on the outside indicate the sum of the first digits seen from that side till encountering an empty square.
The example uses the digits 1-3.

Friday 8 June 2012

European Championship Football

A while back at a Dutch championship we had a round inspired by the World Football Championship that had started that weekend, so I've written a few puzzles using the teams in each group. They're not very hard. One of them is a simple score deduction puzzle. The standings are purely fictional, nothing intended. The second is a logic puzzle, which includes the game scores. I hope you like my awesome drawing. The third is a path puzzle using the country names. The fourth is a Four Snails puzzle using the country names.

Group A: Final standings

Part of the final standings of group A are given. Fill out the rest and deduce the match results. For those not knowledgable of football, a win gives you 3 points, a tie gives you 1 point, a loss gives you 0 points.
G = Matches played, W = Matches won, T = Matches tied, L = Matches lost, P = points score, GF = Goals scored, GA = Goals conceded.

Click to enlarge
Group B: Logiquiz

Sunday 17th of June, 20:45. A Dutchman, German, Portugese and Dane have come together to watch their group's final matches. They're each wearing their countries shirt with a different number. They also brought another item to dress themselves up. Figure out who sat where, what number they had and what item they brought.
All clues are given in chronological order.

Click to enlarge

Group C: Country path

Draw a path from the first letter to the last letter of each country in order. The path doesn't rouch or cross itself. Different paths can't touch or cross eachother, except in a cell with a letter. If two paths both go through a cell with a letter they have to both go straight through it.

Click to enlarge
Group D: Four Snails

Write all countries in one of the four spirals. Write the letters in order from the opening inwards. No letter may repeat in any row or column.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Puzzle #112: LITS; Inversed

Today's puzzle is a variant on the LITS genre. I don't remember seeing it before. Constructing it went smoothly, although there were some points at the end where it caused trouble to keep it unique. Hope you all like it.

Rules for LITS

Colour some squares to form a single contiguous wall. The wall has no 2x2 coloured areas anywhere. In each blackbordered region a shape of 4 orthogonally connected squares remains empty. Identical shapes in different regions can't touch eachother by a side. Rotations and reflections are considered the same shape.

Wednesday 6 June 2012

Croatian Puzzle Set

I had been asked to write a puzzle set for a competition in Zagreb last weekend. I wrote a set of puzzles which was a mix of Dutch and Japanese, familiar and unfamiliar, classic and simple variations. There's a lot of puzzle types in here that I havent actually posted on my blog before. The timing of the set was set at 75 minutes, which was longer than the fastest testing. But I have learned from earlier experiences that testing times don't always measure up to the actual test solving. I've added the scores for each puzzle, which equal to 2 points per minute. I think it worked out well, with a mix of easier and harder puzzles. If anyone actually solved them in copetition, I'd love to hear about it.

So here's 14 puzzles in a single post, the most I have done so far. I hope this makes up a bit for the hiatus of a month before. It would of course be easiest to just upload the PDF, but blogspot doesn't seem to offer that option. So instead this post will have all puzzles below.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Puzzle #111: Tapa; Magnetic

This variant was my favourite in constructing during the whole TVC practise series. This was because I was able to do the most with it. I have always loved Magnets puzzles. The first time I encountered them in the Dutch magazine Breinbrekers, I instantly liked how the logic worked. Somehow it just clicked for me. I always have fun constructing them as well. You can have fun with them, especially if you leave out clues like in these puzzles I put on PuzzlePicnic: #1242 and #2160. The combination with Tapa makes for a whole different way of construction. But I liked them best where the Magnets clues lead to the most deductions, instead of the Tapa part.
I think the puzzle worked out well. I wanted to make a 111 themed puzzle and I think it worked out well. It's made in a 11x11 grid. There is one single 111 Tapa clues. It is almost perfectly themed with the magnets clues as well. Each side has 6 1 clues. Just couldn't get the columns set as a three 1 clues for both plus and minus. But I like how it turned out in the end.

Rules for Tapa

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally the grid is made up of magnetic and non-magnetic plates. The Tapa wall is made up of non-magnetic plates. Each magnetic plate has a positive (+) and negative (-) side. Sides with the same symbol can't be orthogonally adjacent. The numbers outside the grid indicate how many of the indicated symbol appears in that row or column.

Click to enlarge

Saturday 2 June 2012

Puzzle #110: Star Battle; Clone

This week's puzzle making has been one big stretch of it-just-will-not-work. About every puzzle I tried to make, wouldn't work the way I wanted. When you add to that a bit (or a lot) of stubbornness and I end up restarting a lot of designs and constantly coming to the same conclusion and having to restart.
This puzzle hasn't been any different. I had a certain idea but every time I tried to execute it, I would be forced to break the opening and thus had to restart. So eventually I made it slightly different and an easier version of it. This is the result. I like the opening. I haven't fully checked if there are other ways to open it up, but I like where the intended one is located and how it runs the rest of the puzzle. The puzzle isn't easy, but I wouldn't say overly challenging. Just keep track well in all grids and you should be able to solve it.


Place 3 stars in every row, column and boldly marked area. All grids have the same solution. You'll need to use all grids to get to the solution.

Click to enlarge