Puzzle 23 (Double Back)

This is a Double Back puzzle.

Puzzle 23

Puzzle 23

It occurred to me today that this puzzle lends itself well to making designs out of the clues. I’ll leave up the first puzzle and the example for posterity’s sake, but from now on all of these puzzles will contain pictures. The 2 is for a couple reasons: the number 2 is central to the rules (and thus the name), and it’s my second puzzle of this type. I also tried to make this one much easier than the previous; there’s still a couple of tricky deductions needed though. I probably could have eliminated them, but I didn’t want to completely overload on rooms with two cells. There’s already a lot of them.

Since I’ve began making these, and especially since my insight today, I’ve started to understand why nikoli and other reputable puzzle makers have the symmetrical clue restriction and often make designs out of the clues. There are some puzzles where something like this is infrequent (and celebrated when it’s done), like Yajilin and Hotaru Beam. I’ve found this is likely because there isn’t a lot of freedom in putting clues down; every numbered square in Yajilin and circle in Hotaru Beam places several unrelated restrictions on the puzzle’s solution. But in puzzles like Slitherlink and this one, as an author I’ve often felt overwhelmed by how many ways I can fill up an unfinished part of a puzzle. I think making designs out of the clues isn’t just for the solver’s enjoyment; it makes it easier for the author to decide how to lead the solver next. Of course it’s frustrating when you’ve only got a small block left to fill and the clue configuration you’ve restricted yourself to just can’t do what you want, but who said making puzzles was easy?

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One Response to “Puzzle 23 (Double Back)”

  1. xevs Says:

    Maybe the difficulty of the previous doubleback is twice of twice of twice of twice of the difficulty of this second doubleback 😉

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