Thursday, 29 August 2013

TVC XIV Practise: Part 1

I was hoping to post these a little bit earlier, but construction of a few puzzles caused more trouble than planned. I tried to make a puzzle for all types not provided in the introduction, except I couldn't get the Cyclic Tapa to go. I tried to make it 10x10, except I might go for a smaller size to at least have something out. So instead I added a Tapa Turns to this part. The remaining five types will hopefully be out tonight or Friday morning Canberra time.

The first puzzle is a Tapa Clones. This variant allows you to only use five different clues, three of which obey this rule under normal Tapa conditions. So the influence doesn't seem to be very great, but I think it worked out okay in this puzzle.
The second puzzle is a Tapa Turns. I think it worked out pretty well. You can make the "turns" clues be very influential as the no 2x2 squares rule restricts how the clues can work.
The third puzzle is a Wordic Tapa. It's a bit of a tricky puzzle to make. The fact that 4 can be a 0 always is annoying and made the construction tricky. There were a number of times where I had to scrap a puzzle because I had missed alternate solutions where a 4 would turn into a 0 instead of 4 or 5. It could be that the actual TVC puzzle uses a different language and thus the clues don't correspond to the same digits.
The fourth puzzle is a Tapa or not Tapa. A lot of the clues end up having to be coloured. Probably possible to make a puzzle where every clue ends up getting coloured. I think it might sometimes be too easy that a clue can just get coloured as colouring wouldn't do anything to make the solution invalid, instead of having to deduce why it can't be valid. I think it worked out okay, even though I had to sacrifice symmetry for uniqueness.
The fifth puzzle is a Tapa in the Cave. The variant doesn't allow for clues over 3 and 3 clues are a bit more restrictive than normal. The variant seems pretty fun, even though I didn't particularly like the idea at the start. But that seems to more often happen with Zoltan's variant ideas. I had tried a similar idea too before, but couldn't get it out in an interesting way so never posted the puzzle. The puzzle has clue that ruins symmetry, but it was necessary for uniqueness. I couldn't add a clue symmetrically as that would be a valid clue if one was placed there.

Puzzles can be found below.

Rules for Tapa

2. Tapa Clones

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, numbers provide clues for white cell blocks as well.

3. Tapa Turns

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, some nodes have clues. These clues represent the number of cells that have at least one turn of the Tapa wall. A turn means that if the wall was drawn as a line, the line turns 90 degrees in some cells.

6. Wordic Tapa

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, the clues give the number of letters in the actual Tapa clues.


8. Tapa or not Tapa

Paint over some (or all) of the Tapa clues and solve the puzzle following regular Tapa rules. Blackened clues have no meaning.

9. Tapa in the Cave

Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, all clues not only function as Tapa clues but are also part of the Tapa wall and the sum of the clues represent the number of blackened cells that can be seen horizontally and vertically from that clues cell, excluding the cell itself. Empty cell blocks block the view.

[Edit: 29/08 12:09 blog time: Uniqueness issue fixed]



  1. Turns and Cave especially helped me learn about the variant workings and how they influence certain clues. Tapa or Not Tapa where all the clues get shaded is an interesting thought. It doesn't have to be really easy to get there either.

  2. I dont like the genre tapa in cave for more reasons than one. I keep thinking that I couldnt get a single wall despite coloring the clue cells.Its not easy getting out of the tapa mindset. From this post,tapa clones has to be the best construction for me. Clean and beautiful. I expected more from your attempt on wordic. I found it quite plain.

  3. Nice Puzzles. Helped me to get few tricks which i can use it in actual test. Still have to 8th and 9th which i am stuck with :)