Last weekend, the 2012 Indian Puzzle Championship was held at LMI. Like last year, I provided some of the puzzles for it, alongside Deb Mohanty, Serkan Yurekli, and Thomas Snyder. Six out of the 30 puzzles were mine; I’ve reproduced them in this post for anyone who hasn’t seen that championship. Enjoy.
They also held a guess the author contest (see here), where I got a glimpse at what people thought of my construction style. The only thought there that I’ll make public is that I think the image format of the Tapa Borders in the puzzle booklet is probably what gave the Tapa constructor away, since the image used was exactly the one my program generated, and people who recognize my program’s drawing would have realized right away who made it.
One requested type was an easier Slitherlink. It took several tries to actually do this; the first attempt ended up becoming Puzzle 401 on here. This is actually a pattern when I make the puzzle packs. I start by trying to make an easy puzzle, and by the time I succeed, I have sometimes made enough puzzles of all the difficulties I need.
B2: Liar Slitherlink
Also wanted was a Slitherlink variation on the easy/medium end, and Liar Slitherlink is the variant I do best. That said, getting the difficulty right was no small feat since the Liar variation is inherently tough. My first attempt was – you guessed it – Puzzle 403 on this blog. So where other people saw me posting practice material for the test, that really happened by accident. I just wanted to do something with the puzzles I made that couldn’t be fit into the contest itself.
Here a medium/hard Masyu was asked for. I found this a challenging request to meet as a Masyu in a small size are usually simple. While I wouldn’t call the one I made hard, I did manage to stick some nontrivial thinking in there, and it can’t be called easy.
F2: Masyu No-touch
An easier Masyu variant was also asked for, and Deb mentioned that he liked and wanted the no-touch variation I had done recently. I decided to use this chance to do a theme that doesn’t work quite as well in standard Masyu: no white circles.
Tapa is probably the type I enjoy constructing the most. There’s so much that can be done, and it’s much easier to avoid getting stuck with a mostly made puzzle that there’s no way to finish, which is a problem I have with types like Statue Park or Remembered Length. So when this type was the on the list of available ones to do, I jumped for it immediately.
I mentioned above that I thought the puzzle booklet image format was one reason people pegged the Tapa puzzles as mine instead of Serkan’s, but another part of it may have been the theme with the clues in this puzzle. It’s a kind of theme I do quite often, for better or for worse.
G2: Tapa Borders
Of course, I also needed to construct a Tapa variant, and Borders (1, 2) is probably the one I am best with. I used the chance to do something quite new here, where the borders constraints allow two very distant Tapa clues to interact. Not a hard puzzle, but it wasn’t supposed to be.