Puzzle 21 (Country Road)

This is a Country Road puzzle.

Puzzle 21

Puzzle 21

I’m very proud of this one, and a look at the puzzle will probably tell you why. That said, it is also very challenging. Getting started is one of the rougher parts; look for some suspiciously shaped rooms.

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8 Responses to “Puzzle 21 (Country Road)”

  1. Alan Curry Says:

    Are you sure this has a unique solution? I got 4 of them. If they’re not all
    correct, which rule have I violated?

    [links now removed by owner]

    • mellowmelon Says:

      My apologies; all 4 of those are correct and the mistake is mine. The room on the edge with 7 cells was a change to fix another error and I neglected to realize that made two ways to go through it. The puzzle has now been corrected, hopefully.

      Good job, by the way. This might be the hardest puzzle on the blog.

  2. rob Says:

    Beautiful puzzle. I didn’t find it that difficult, but then your comment was from quite a while ago. I guess the trickiest single step for me was near halfway, deciding that the path in the outer room couldn’t pass the middle on the bottom, by counting how often the path passes between the left and right halves. Is that a deduction you wanted us to make?

  3. David Says:

    Nice. The outer room is definitely the key to getting all the way through the puzzle, and I liked how after you figured out which way the path had to go (which tricked me, since I was figuring you’d either make it go only a couple of cells or almost the whole way around), it cut the rest into two easily manageable sections. Well done.

  4. Andy Says:

    Near the date of publication, I carried a printout of this around in my pocket for a week or two, solving in small chunks whenever I had a few spare minutes. It was the first Country Road I had ever attempted, making for a tough but really rewarding introduction to the puzzle rules.. (I think it was also one of your first puzzles I tried)

    This slow pace allowed for a nice buildup of drama regarding the outside ring – I realized its importance early but kept wondering how it would settle, and I still remember the nervous feeling when the path finally forced itself into it. (Solving in pen raised the stakes) I’m having trouble thinking of many other solving experiences I’ve remembered this vividly, a year and a half later I had the strong deja vu I mentioned in my recent solving of Puzzle 55..

    So now my resolve pile consists of 200, 300, and this one. I’m hoping with all my CR/DB experience since then, I’ll plow through it much more easily this time!

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Wow, resolving 300 already?

      Being someone that never solves in pen or anything irreversible since I tend to make lots of errors, I can’t say I’m familiar with that kind of nervousness you described. But it’s also true that there’s very few puzzles by other authors I’ve done which have such an immediately visible and ominous element, like the outside room here or the skull in 300.

      As I recall this one was published way before I had (known) regular readership or even the blog’s first comment. How close to the date of publication are we talking? I recall wondering back then if there were any frequent lurkers.

      • Andy Says:

        Well, 300 is on that short list, but will need to wait for a while until I’ve forgotten enough of it.. 200 and 21 are ripe for the retry at this point, I think.

        The pen thing started mostly for fun, because it made the completed puzzles look so sexy, and only on easy nikoli puzzles. I eventually got used to it and overcame the fear and triple-checking that came with each line segment, now it’s pen for everything (except Numberlink, yeesh) and the acceptance of occasional ugly scratchouts for errors.

        I remembered that I scanned my in-progress solve of this one just after I broke into the outer ring, in fear that I had just made a mistake, or would soon.. After some searching, I found the file, dated Oct. 30, 2009 – I would say this was close to publication, until realizing there were 50+ puzzles released in that time.. I probably discovered this blog (via a random check of nikoli.com self-intro) a couple weeks before that, and my fawning comments likely started soon after.

  5. xevs Says:

    Uh,,, It was tough. I searched around for the first step for about 5 minutes, and each step was not too light and especially the step determines the way how the outside country is gone through.
    I enjoyed very much.

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