Archive for the ‘Special Puzzles’ Category

Puzzle 389 (Tapa) [Regional]

February 22, 2012

This is a Tapa puzzle, with a twist. Each clue functions not only as a normal Tapa clue but also serves as a clue for the region it is contained in, giving the size of each contiguous block of black cells in the region. Each region contains at most one clue, and there are no constraints on regions without a clue.

Puzzle 389

Puzzle 389

I’ve been surrounded by so much Tapa lately that I can’t help but think of more ideas for it…

Puzzle 388 (Tapa) [Borders]

February 15, 2012

This is a Tapa puzzle, with a twist. The borders between some cells may be either thick or nonexistent. A thick border separating two cells means one is shaded and the other is not. A lack of a border means the two cells are both shaded or both unshaded.

Puzzle 388

Puzzle 388

The borders idea seems close to being able to stand on its own without any Tapa clues. I’m sure such puzzles can be made, but I don’t think it would have the kind of depth I want in a type.

Puzzle 384 (Nurikabe) [Pairs]

January 18, 2012

This is a Nurikabe puzzle, with a twist. Every region of unfilled cells must contain exactly two numbers (instead of one) and have total size equal to the sum of the two numbers.

Puzzle 384

Puzzle 384

I had to cheat symmetry a little bit on this one. Oh well; this was hard enough to construct as it is.

Many of you may be aware that my team (Manic Sages) won the MIT Mystery Hunt this past weekend. I’m hoping to contribute quite a bit to next year’s hunt, both logic puzzles and non-logic puzzles. I don’t anticipate any delays in my blog posting (whether the Wednesday puzzles or packs); the most likely compensation is that I’m probably not going to be writing as many LMI tests this year as I hoped I would.

Puzzle 382 (Tapa) [Borders]

January 4, 2012

This is a Tapa puzzle, with a twist. The borders between some cells may be either thick or nonexistent. A thick border separating two cells means one is shaded and the other is not. A lack of a border means the two cells are both shaded or both unshaded.

Puzzle 382

Puzzle 382

Puzzle 381 (Nurikabe/Tapa) [Mastermind]

October 30, 2011

This is a Nurikabe / Tapa Mastermind puzzle. Solve the left grid as a Nurikabe and the right grid as a Tapa. The gray numbers between corresponding rows represent Mastermind clues. If one were to superimpose the two solutions (without rotation or reflection), the gray number in a row tells exactly how many squares are shaded in both grids.

Puzzle 381

Puzzle 381


(Click for larger size)

Puzzle 373 (Masyu) [Optional Blacks]

October 16, 2011

This is a Masyu puzzle, with a twist. The loop is not required to pass through black circles. But if a black circle is passed through, it still functions like it would in ordinary Masyu.

Puzzle 373

Puzzle 373


(Click for larger size)

The gimmick in this puzzle means that trial and error strategies are likely to get you the solution in short order. So I did my best to make the logical path as clean as possible, and I mostly succeeded. For maximum enjoyment and challenge, avoid any if-then sequences of significant depth.

Puzzle 372 (Sudoku) [Star]

October 14, 2011

This is a Sudoku puzzle, with a twist. Only the numbers 1 to 7 are used in this puzzle, and two spaces in each row, column, and box will not have numbers. Those spaces contain stars instead. Two cells containing stars may not be adjacent, not even diagonally.

Puzzle 372

Puzzle 372


(Click for larger size)

If I ever do this variation again I’ll probably do irregular regions and maybe add an extra row or column. A 9 by 9 star battle with those regions just doesn’t have enough solutions for these to stay interesting.

Puzzle 365 (Castle Wall) [Anti-symmetric]

October 2, 2011

This is a Castle Wall puzzle, with a twist. None of the clue colors are given initially. For each symmetric pair of clues, exactly one is inside the loop (white) and exactly one is outside the loop (black).

Puzzle 365

Puzzle 365


(Click for larger size)

Unrelated to this puzzle: if you’re a Fillomino fan, you will enjoy this puzzle from Anderson Wang, a regular USPC/LMI competitor and someone I’ve met in real life through math contests. His other content is worth doing too, but that one stands out.

Puzzle 364 (Masyu) [Optional Blacks]

September 30, 2011

This is a Masyu puzzle, with a twist. The loop is not required to pass through black circles. But if a black circle is passed through, it still functions like it would in ordinary Masyu.

Puzzle 364

Puzzle 364


(Click for larger size)

Unrelated to this puzzle: it occurred to me recently that it’s been over a year since the Numberlink solving primer went up, and I haven’t really done any sort of solving guides since then. It’s not for lack of time or desire, but mostly because I have no idea what to write for and what people might want to see. The Numberlink guide itself had been directly inspired from some comments on a recent (at the time) puzzle of mine.

If there’s a type or anything solving-related that you’d like to see a guide for, I’d be happy to hear the request. While there are some things, particularly Latin Square based puzzles, that I have no authority to write on, I think there’s a fair amount I could do.

Puzzle 351 (Tapa) [Invertible]

August 31, 2011

This is a Tapa puzzle, with a twist. The restriction that clues must be unshaded is lifted. Unshaded clues function like normal Tapa clues. But if a clue is shaded, then those numbers tell the length of each consecutive white cell block in the surrounding squares (possibly including unshaded clues), with each block separated by at least one black cell (possibly a shaded clue).

Puzzle 351

Puzzle 351


(Click for larger size)


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