I provided one of the rounds for the puzzle championships. I've kept the same structure that I've used for the last two year with a smaller, easier and a larger harder puzzle of each type. I think it works well for these championships. I've been trying to run through different genres each year. So this year I again used nine different genres. I think it resulted in a good mix of different types.

Puzzles can be found below.

**1. Snake (14 + 45 points)**

I've been having fun writing these low clue snake puzzles. It generally leads to more logical solves. For competition I generally keep them a bit easier as otherwise the solving times differ much more as people will just try to fit the snake in and can get lucky. With easier puzzles the difference between luck and logic is a bit smaller.

*Rules:*

Draw a one cell wide snake in the grid. The snake is not allowed to touch itself, not even diagonally. The head and tail of the snake have been given. Numbers on the outside indicate how many cells are occupied by the snake in that row or column.

*Puzzle 1*

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**2. Dominion (18 + 30 points)**

This was the first time writing this type for me. I haven't really figured out yet how to make them harder. Most harder puzzle have been larger in size though. I tried to keep the amount of letters fairly minimal instead of going for a symmetrical layout as that seemed to suit my logic construction a bit better for this type.

*Rules:*

Colour some cells to divide the grid into a number of orthogonally white areas. Each coloured cell must share an edge with exactly one cell. Each white area must contain exactly one type of given letter and it must contain all instances of this letter in the grid.

*Puzzle 1*

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**3. Cave (20 + 100 points)**

I enjoy writing these puzzles. Once I figured out how to solve them, I got the logic to employ in them. The small one is just a quick easy opening puzzle. The large puzzle is actually one of my favourite constructions of this genre. All clues being either 4, 5 or 7 and the layout of the clues were very pleasing for me.

*Rules:*

Shade some cells to form a single connected shape with no enclosed white cells. In other words, all white cells must be connected to the edge through other white cells. Numbers in the grid indicate how many cells of the shape can be seen from that cell, including the cell itself. Numbers can't see past white cells. All numbers must be part of the shape.

*Puzzle 1*

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**4. Yajilin (31 + 85 points)**

I think the small puzzle for this type is actually the hardest logically. But as the genre is a familiar one, it scores a bit lower as people will be more familiar with how to solve it. The larger puzzle is very typical of my Yajilin style. Tricky opening with a tight solving path.

*Rules:*

Colour some cells so that you can draw a single closed loop through the remaining white cells. Colour cells are not allowed to share an edge. Grey cells can't be coloured and are not part of the loop. Clues in the grid indicate the number of coloured cells in the direction of the arrow.

*Puzzle 1*

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**5. Greater Wall (33 + 93 points)**

This type is my own invention. I had written some for the WCPN website and I wanted to include it in a set. I figured the Polish Championship was a good place to do that. The idea is pretty simple and I like how the puzzles I have written so far have worked out. The small puzzle is a good introduction to the genre and should help to tackle the larger one that is definitely harder.

*Rules:*

Colour some cells to form a single orthogonally connected wall. The wall can't cover a 2x2 area anywhere. Symbols on the outside indicate the relations in length of the different sections of coloured areas in that row or column from left to right or from top to bottom. Sections are sets of connected squares separated by at least one empty cell. A question mark indicates an unknown symbol. Rows and columns without symbols give no information that row or column.

*Puzzle 1*

Click to enlarge |

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**6. Penta Blokus (40 + 60 points)**

I like writing pentomino puzzles and this is a fun genre to write. As this type normally have a full set of pentominos, I thought it would be easiest to have a smaller set for the easier puzzle. I don't think both puzzles differ much in difficulty though.

*Rules:*

Place the given pentominos in the grid so they don't touch each other by a side. Everywhere two pentominos touch by a corner have been marked with a dot. Pentominos may be rotated and reflected.

*Puzzle 1*

Click to enlarge |

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**7. Light And Shadow (42 + 80 points)**

This is again a type I had never written before. I played around a bit trying to find openings in this genre. I solved a few puzzles first to see what other people did. I had a few goes at it and found two interesting openings. The small puzzle has an easy opening with one tricky step at the end of it. The large puzzle has a really nice opening, if I say so myself. I really like how it works. It's a bit tricky to find and can probably be avoided, but if you find it you find a really nice logical path through the puzzle.

*Rules:*

Divide the grid in white and grey regions. Each region contains one number of the same colour that indicates the size of that region. Regions of the same colour are not allowed to share an edge.

*Puzzle 1*

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**8. Sukoro (35 + 110 points)**

This is the third type I had never written before. I test-solved it for the UKPA Open and thought it was a fun solve. So I decided to include them in this set. I don't know if there's very much variety in the genre, but I think both puzzles turned out okay. I had a bit of trouble of keeping the small one easy and not trivial.

*Rules:*

Place digits from 1-4 in some cells. All digits must be orthogonally connected to each other. A digit indicates the number of digits it shares an edge with. Equal digits are not allowed to share an edge.

*Puzzle 1*

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

**9. Doppelblock (34 + 130 points)**

I always enjoy writing these puzzles. For this set I gave writing a 9 by 9 puzzle a go. I hadn't successfully written one before. It took a while to get right. I went to a whole lot of bad puzzles for this one to work out. I had to keep track properly of which number range each clue could be so that the black square deductions would still be valid. The larger digit set makes these ranges a bit different and I was too regularly making bad deductions because I forgot the 7.

*Rules:*

Blacken two cells in every row and column. Fill the remaining white cells with digits so that each digits appears once in every row and column. The small puzzle uses digits 1~5; the large puzzle uses digits 1~7. Clues on the outside indicate the sum of the digits between the two black cells in that row or column. If there are no digits between the two black cells, the sum will be 0.

*Puzzle 1*

*Puzzle 2*

Click to enlarge |

Thanks, lovely set, not surprising it gave me some trouble.

ReplyDeleteFor Greater Wall, I would like to recommend a clue presentation with some visible placeholders for the missing numbers (e.g. dots or circles). Even being aware of the trap after solving one puzzle from WCPN and the example, this puzzle had me stumped (for days) because I read the 4 question marks as four groups of black cells. I hear I'm not the only one who had such trouble.

Bram, thanks for such a nice of puzzles. I enjoyed Sukoro the most, both of them were really funny.

DeleteAs Rob said, the Greater Wall question marks were confusing. I made single cell mistake in both of the grids and stupidly lost 126 points...

Matus

I had looked for different layouts. It all looked kind of weird to me. Two options I tried were underscores and extending the grid for cells. I hadn't heard anything about it from test-solvers, both WCPN and this set, so I figured it was okay.

DeleteHow about something like:

ReplyDelete·?·?·<·?·

or

␣?␣>␣<␣

Search unicode tables is too much fun...

Delete▢<▢>▢

Progressing through the set, just finished and very much enjoyed the 2nd Cave puzzle - what a pretty grid, and a nice varied solving path.

ReplyDeleteMade it through them all, a really nice varied set of puzzles, thanks again for sharing them! Greater Wall was new to me and a promising type, feel-wise it reminded me a lot of Cross the Streams, which I like a lot as well..

DeleteSnake : 2:00 , 10:32

ReplyDeleteLight and Shadow : 4:12 , 7:55

Great fun puzzles !

..7:24 & 14:35.. on sukoro puzzles. Very nice

ReplyDelete