Tuesday 30 October 2012

Puzzle #135: Turning Fences

From 9-11 November the 13th 24 Hour puzzle championship will be held in Budapest. As always the championship will feature fourteen 100 minute puzzle sets, of which each competitor has to solve 13 sets consecutively. This is because part of the competitors have provided a puzzle set and thus can't solve their own set. Competitors who haven't provided a set will be matched to a constructor and they will not solve that set. Just like last year, I have provided a set for the championship. Last year's set was a bit difficult and this year I think I have provided a more balanced set.
This puzzle is one of the puzzles I had written that didn't end up going into the set. It seemed like a good puzzle type to let go a 24 and 13 theme on as adjacent digits 2 apart provide a good opening. The puzzle still tested somewhat too hard than what I had hoped for and was replaced by another puzzle. I still think it worked out welland is nicely solvable.

Rules for Turning Fences

Thursday 25 October 2012

Puzzle #134: Fillomino; Liar

This weekend is the Fillomino Filia 2 test on Logic Masters India. The test is written by Grant Fikes and Palmer Mebane. It's a repeat of last year's Fillomino Filia test and will feature 4 classic Fillomino puzzles, 2 variants from last year's test and 2 puzzles each of 6 new variants. There are preview puzzles posted of the different types on their blogs.
I like Fillomino puzzles. I haven't always liked them though. The first time I came across them I had a lot of trouble with them. It was because I then solved it purely by filling in numbers. Now I mostly go by dividing the grid along the grid lines, which makes it much easier for me to see everything.
I hadn't previously posted any fillomino puzzles. It was mostly because I couldn't get any of the variants to work nicely. For this test I figured I'd give it another go. I constructed a Liar Fillomino as that was the variant I suspect would cause me the most trouble in solving as the interaction was more tricky than in Slitherlink because of the bigger number set. This puzzle is tricky. There's a point after the opening where there's a tricky step to make progress. For overall difficulty it's leaning towards the hard puzzle in the test, which is rated at 16 points/minutes.
I made a new template for this puzzle type with dashed lines. You can still colour the cells in paint as the white in the dashed lines differs slightly from the background of the squares.

Rules for Fillomino

Follow regular Fillomino rules. Additionally, in each row and column exactly one of the clues is wrong.

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Rules: Fillomino

Divide the grid into different regions along the gridlines. No two regions of the same size can touch eachother by a side. Numbers in the grid indicate that this cell is part of a region of that size. A region can contain more than one given number. There can be regions without any given numbers.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Puzzle #133: Magnets

I've taken a short break from blog posts since the World Puzzle Championships. But I figured the 40 WPC puzzles make up for that. This is mainly caused by me working on a 24 Hour Puzzle Championship set. Creating these sets always takes up more time for me than I expect. In the upcoming weeks I'll be posting some remnants from constructing that didn't end up going into the test.
Today I'll be posting some puzzles that I made for Akil Oyunlari Issue 78. This issue featured two Dominoes puzzles and two Magnets puzzle by my hand. The two Dominoes puzzles were the same variation I had made for the Zagreb Open. The two Magnets puzzles were both puzzles with missing information, like I've constructed before on puzzle picnic, here and here. I also sent some regular magnets puzzles to go along with them, but they weren't published. So I'm posting them here.
There's one medium difficulty 10x10 magnets puzzle and two very hard 12x12 puzzles. The 10x10 puzzle has one of those standard openings I really like to put in Magnets puzzles. It's pretty easy to find, if you understand how to work this part of Magnets logic. The two 12x12 puzzles were my attempt to introduce some trickier openings into Magnets puzzles that I haven't seen before. The first 12x12 puzzle is actually the second I made. It's an easier version of the opening in the second puzzle, because I basically knew the first one would never be published in Akil Oyunlari.. Both puzzles use multiple rows and columns to force the first placements. You have to really understand how different rows and columns can influence eachother to get started. Both openings are perfectly logically deducable, but you do need to work a bit more for it than usual.
I hope you all enjoy the puzzles and the challenge.

Ruels for Magnets

Medium Puzzle

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Very Hard Puzzle 1

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Very Hard Puzzle 2

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Friday 5 October 2012

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 12 Half Dominoes

This round contains a single puzzle for which we have 50 minutes to solve. This seems like a considerable time, but we'll see how it works out. It seems finishable.
The puzzle is a Samurai Half Dominoes, where the rows and columns are counted as a whole. So if it's on the same height but different 9x9 grids, they still cant repeat. It's an interesting variation and funnily enough it doesn't even mean you need a lot more clues than normal. Just as a note, the Half Dominoes are a seperate image as that was easier.

12 Half Dominoes:

Place the given Half Dominoes in each 3x3 square so that each of the five 9x9 grids contains each half domino once. No Half Domino can be repeated in any row, column or main diagonal, even if they are in seperate 9x9 grids. Numbers on the outside indicate the amount of dots in that complete row, column or diagonal. Arrows with numbers indicate the direction of possibly ambiguous clues.

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World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 11 Something Newish

The round name says it all. There's some new puzzles or variations. We have an hour to solve 9 puzzles. This leaves chances for bonuses.
My favourite are the Domino Arrows and Fishermen, although they both would be nicer by removing one of the clue types. I didn't do that in my puzzles though. I figured I'd stick as close to the instructions as possible.
The Domino Arrows puzzle is a challenging puzzle. This is partly caused by its size. The logic isn't overly difficult, but you have to understand some of the tricks. This can be hard as it's a new genre. The Fishermen puzzle isn't too hard. It's basically an Anglers puzzle, with size 2 fishermen. The third puzzle I made was a Rural Tourism. I mainly made that one to completely understand the rules. It has a complex rules set. But once you figure it out, the puzzle solves nicely, although a bit challenging.
There's one more puzzle to come later today. Enjoy.

Puzzles can be found below.

World Puzzle Championships 2012: Round 10 Anthology

This round seems to be a dedication to previous championships. There's no actual explanation given, but it seems to be the fairest guess. You can see a bit of development in the type of puzzles over the years. From more observation and word types to the now more common logic types. I'm not exactly sure on why certain types were chosen.Types like Yajilin and Corral can't be that specific to a championship. A few of the ones from championships I've been to are easier to understand. The round will last 90 minutes for 20 puzzles, which is a pretty high average per puzzle.
I've only made 3 puzzles because many of the puzzle types I either don't really find interesting to construct or too hard to construct. The first puzzle I made is a Hiroimono. It's nothing new and many people will have come across it a few times. I'd just never tried it and wondered how it's done. I haven't really figured out how to best make them and I don't think it's too hard. At least I learned a bit about some of the tricks of the genre with it though. The Jumping Crossword I wanted to try to make for a while but I never find my results at all interesting. I don't really think this one is anything special either. I'm not sure how to make them turn out great but that's a general problem with word puzzles for me. The last one is a Tetrascope. I like polyomino genres, so I figured I'd give it a try. It's not really hard but then again I don't really think they can be.

Puzzles can be found below.

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 9 Metropolis

This round features seven Skyscrapers puzzles. One standard and six variants. A few new variants and a few more common variants. I think this puzzle should be fun. I think I can do well in it.
This was my favourite round to design. That's why I designed an example of each variant. At first I was planning to do only 3, but I couldn't really choose which ones. So in the end I ended up making one of each. The Dubai puzzle is medium to hard. The normal way of thinking is changed a bit by the extra number. New York makes this even a little harder, because one cell remains empty. This increases the amount of possibilities for each clue. This puzzle is my favourite in the set. Toronto isn't that hard a puzzle. It's the most common variant in the bunch. The Sydney puzzle has very little clues and I think it worked out really nicely. Tokyo I thought would be hardest to design, but it actually went pretty well. The first try ended up correct and I think the puzzle is fun. Sao Paulo isn't too hard. I like how the idea works as it's different from other variants seen before.
Hope you enjoy them as much as I did making them.

Puzzles can be found below.

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 8 Assorted Puzzles

This round lasts one hour and features mostly new puzzle types. Most are small variations or hybrids on known puzzle types. It's hard to judge how this round will go. We will see in about an hour.
The puzzles I made an example of were Pipeline, which is a U-bähn variant, Russian Field, which is a simple division puzzle, Coded Tetramino, a tetramino division variant and Squares, a possibly annoying squares placement puzzle. I chose these ones, because I had some idea of what to put in these puzzles. Another possibly challenging one was Dominoes in the Water, but I had no real idea how this would look and thus how to construct an example.
The Pipeline puzzle is pretty simple once you get the basics. The Russian Field is relatively tricky as it features a silly trick. But the small size should compensate. The Coded Tetramino should be somewhat challenging. I employed one possible opening in the puzzle. Also the easiest to build in. The Squares puzzle is pretty easy. I am not that handy in constructing this type.
Have fun with them.

Puzzles can be found below.

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 7 Lines and Arrows

The first round this morning is based around, well, lines and arrows. Drawing loops, lines and placing and following arrows. It will bean hour long round with a considerable amount of puzzles. From the values of the puzzles, there don't seem to be any really hard puzzles. There's two higher scoring puzzles but other rounds have had far bigger values puzzles.
As practise puzzles I made an example of each of the types: one loop puzzle, one line puzzle, one arrow placing puzzle and one arrow following puzzle. For the Loop puzzle I chose one of the easy types: Looking for the Loop. It doesn't leave very much room for freedom as the clues are not very restricting. So to make it unique, you basically end up with an easy puzzle. For the Line puzzle I chose Pipes, which is basically an Anglers puzzle, except multiple fishermen can catch the same fish. It's not very challenging. I think they can become difficult in a larger size with higher numbers, just like with Anglers. The Arrow placement puzzle is Pointing at the Treasure. It's a twist on Marbles puzzles where you place marbles, so that each marble is pointed at by one arrow and each arrow points at one marble. Except now the Marbles are placed and you have to place the arrows. This is my favourite puzzle in this set of four. I really like how it worked out. Lastly there's an Arrow Maze puzzle, which is more often known as 1~36(or whatever the end number is). I think my puzzle is relatively tricky. I like the end result as it has very few given numbers and is far more path based than number based.
Hope this second day is as enjoyable as the first day.

Puzzles can be found below.

Thursday 4 October 2012

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 5 Black and White

This is the last individual round of the day, which is 90 minute round. The round is based around binary determination. A cell is either coloured or empty, a cell is either black or white. There's a few common puzzle types, a few new ideas and a few small variants on common puzzle types. I'm not really sure how this round will go for me as there are many types where the contrustion of the puzzle can really make a difference.
I prepared 3 new types and 2 more common types as practise puzzles. The White Pentamino puzzle is nothing spectacular but I think it's a fun solve. The no mirroring rule is not technically necessary for my puzzle. It still has the standard somewhat innate difficulty pentomino puzzles generally have. The Paint-by variants worked out really nicely in my opinion. It helped me a lot in seeing how these types work. The Tapa and Corral aren't anything spectacular. They were being very stubborn in construction and in the end I decided to just go for something simple.
Hope they are enjoyable.

Puzzles can befound below.

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 4 Easy as ABC

Here we start with the round of the first day that I expect is best suited for me. I never used to consider myself particularly strong in Easy as ABC puzzles, but the longer I've been solving online, the more I see that years of Breinbrekers practise has made me much stronger than I thought. I guess that's understandable, considering the amount of exposure I've had. The same goes for Nikoli subscribers with Nikoli genres.
This round won't feature any standard Easy as ABC puzzles though. There will be three Easy as ABC Crosswords, three Easy as ABC Snakes and three Hexagonal Easy as ABC puzzles in three different styles.
I will have an example of each of the three types. The Crossword is not difficult but pretty fun. The Snake I find the trickiest of the three genres and had some trouble constructing. The Hexagonal puzzle is my favourite of the three. Hexagonal Easy as ABC's always have far fewer clues than you'd expect. This is caused because the outside rows contain most the letters and thus there are far less solutions than a normal grid. I think these three puzzles should be fun.

Puzzles can be found below.

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 3 Twisted Puzzles

The third round of the WPC feature a number of classic puzzle type, with a slight twist. This slight twist usually means one of the main rules of the genre is broken and can't be applied while solving till you've fixed the twist. The twists in the puzzles not featured in this post are are an Easy as ABC clue in a Skyscraper puzzle, extra numbers in a Domino puzzle, empty cells in Kakuro and Arrows puzzles, 2 touching ships in a Battleships puzzle and an incorrect clue in a Four Winds puzzle.
I opted to design a Worms, Star Battle, Ariadne's Thread, Tents and Trees and Magnets variant. These were chosen for different reasons. Worms and Ariadne's thread I had never made myself and wanted to see how they are constructed and what the impact of the extra rule was. Star Battle I saw as the most dangerous twist to make a mistake in and construction clearly showed I was right as my first 2 attempts were broken as I had messed up with the twist somewhere. The Tents and Trees isn't so much different, but it was important to get one automatic solving technique out. the Magnets was just because I like designing Magnets and that was all for my own constructing pleasure.
I hope they are enjoyable, I surely enjoyed constructing them.

Puzzles can be found below.

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 2 Blackjack

The second round we are facing consists of twenty-one puzzles around a twenty-one theme as it is the twenty-first World Puzzle Championship. This is one of the larger mixed rounds, lasting 2 hours, which generally means far too many puzzles for the amount of time. So, a lot of options to choose from and hopefully make the right choices in which puzzles to start with, getting all the big pointers done in the middle and finishing on some quick low pointers to get those last extra points in and not end up leaving 25 points out by just running 30 seconds short on solving the puzzle. Usually my timing and puzzle choices are pretty good. This was shown best at the 2010 WSC, where I managed to put the last digit in exactly when the timer ran out. I was sitting near the spectators, who could see me solving and got a congratulatory pat on the back for finishing so nicely within the time limit.
This post will feature five puzzles from the twenty-one genres featured in this round.

Puzzles can be found below.

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Round 1 Domino Hunt

Good morning everyone. Here is the first "live" post from the WPC. The first round of the WPC will feature eight Domino puzzles. Except in the puzzles some of the numbers are missing. You'll have to restore them and fix the puzzle. It doesn't make a whole lot difference in the solving process, except that you have to watch out that you don't think a domino has only one place to go.
At the release of this post all WPC-participants should be bent over a booklet solving these puzzles if everything runs smoothly. This post contains only a single puzzle for you to solve. Enjoy!


A complete 0-6 set of dominoes has been placed in the grid. Then all the borders were removed. accidentally also some of the numbers were removed. Restore the numbers and the borders of the dominoes.

Monday 1 October 2012

World Puzzle Championship 2012: Live Puzzle Release

I will be traveling with many others to Croatia today for the World Sudoku and World Puzzle Championships in Kraljevica. I will be aiming to repeat last year's performance by qualifying for the playoffs in the WPC and finishing on the first page of the WSC.
Last year this meant a hiatus of puzzles on my blog. This year this means the opposite. I wrote a big set of practise puzzles for the WPC for my Dutch compatriots this year. I will be sharing these puzzles on my blog during the championship. The puzzles will be posted while the WPC is going on. All puzzles will be posted "live" on my site. This means that every set of puzzles from a particular round will be posted at the time the round begins at the championship, so you can solve the same types of puzzles at the same time as the WPC competitors. Each puzzle in a round will be accompanied with the number it has in the round. If you would like to see an example of a puzzle before attempting it, you can easily check it in the instruction booklet.
Over Thursday and Friday everyone can thus get a taste of the puzzle types featured at the World Puzzle Championships. There will be 40 puzzles released from the 11 individual rounds at the WPC. Hope you all will enjoy them.