Puzzle Pack Vol. I: Slitherlink

Happy 2012 from the Eastern US timezone. Expect Puzzle 382 to be posted on the 4th.

Download the pack (PDF; 1.27 MB)

This pack contains

  • A Slitherlink primer for novice solvers
  • 15 classic Slitherlinks, mostly on the easier side
  • 5 variations with 3 puzzles each: All Threes, Interior Path, Domino, Relation, Liar
  • 3 chimeras each combining two of the above variations
  • 2 larger puzzles
  • Hints and solutions for each puzzle

Version 2 uploaded on 1/3/2012 10:12 AM ET. Fixed multiple solution errors in I.12 and I.23.

Version 3 uploaded on 1/8/2012 12:28 AM ET. Fixed a major uniqueness error in I.35.

There is a nontrivial possibility of a broken puzzle somewhere. If you think you’ve found one, you may either comment here or email me at palmermebane -at- gmail -dot- com. Any updates to the pack will be announced in this post, so be sure to check here first before reporting an error.

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36 Responses to “Puzzle Pack Vol. I: Slitherlink”

  1. Elolo Gargounsky Says:

    just did the first couple so far and they have some awesome (but easy) themes. Just wondering though, did you borrow the name “chimera” from the Monthly Puzzle Zach-Pack #1? If so, then I am honored to have influenced you. If not, then great minds think alike..

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Chimera is a term I borrowed from Mutant Sudoku actually.

      The beginning ones are indeed quite easy. I would think veterans need to wait until the 10s before things get interesting.

  2. nehsb Says:

    Just finished all the classics. Really nice puzzles, especially 8,10, and 12-15. Is there an easier way to do 15 than figuring out than (rot13’d) nyy gur cbffvoyr jnlf gb qenj gur 2f?

    This seems like a really nice way to introduce someone to a puzzle type.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      No, the intent of the puzzle was to force you to figure out the only ways. If you found this difficult to do (not surprising), see the Hints section for an idea about a fairly direct method.

      Hopefully you enjoy the variations even more. I’m not a great classic Slitherlink constructor.

    • Bram Says:

      I.15 didn’t feel like the hardest to me. It is possible to figure out enough of the sections with 2s through a single pattern to reach the other numbers (you’re basically left with 2 options and they resolve in the end). I thought that was going to be the hint for that puzzle.

      ROT13’d: Ybbx ng jung yvarf naq pebffrf sbhe gjbf va n gjb ol gjb fdhner va n pbeare bs gur tevq tvirf lbh.

      By figuring out this smaller pattern and applying it multiple times you can resolve most of those areas. I hope it makes sense. Easier to show in picture format.

      • MellowMelon Says:

        The last sentence of the hint is the easiest way I found to derive the logic you mention, which to me makes it more applicable than just stating the results. What are you expecting of someone who doesn’t know that pattern in advance?

      • Bram Says:

        I guess it’s a matter of what you think is easier. I think colouring the inside and outside of a loop in slitherlink is the hardest way of making deductions as the mechanics of that feel completely foreign to me. I am hardly ever able to use it in a satisfactory way.
        I think it’s easier to figure out how the numbers interact and learn what they give you.

  3. prasannaseshadri Says:

    Good to see that you’re back. I’ve gone through 12 of the classics, favorite’s been No.8 so far. I like this puzzle pack idea. There’s enough in there once you get to the hard ones(had a glance 😛 ) to keep you occupied for a week just like the previous daily puzzles.

  4. thesubro Says:

    You da man. Thanks for the Puzzle Pack. I look forward to all of its fun.

    I will admit to the fact though that I always welcomed knowing that there would be a present waiting for me at your blog site every couple of days. I will miss that, but will look elsewhere for that now, and look forward to the next pack somewhere down the road.

    You da man, MellowMelon.

    TheSubro

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Yeah, I realize that there were some benefits to the semi-daily posting. But on the flipside others have expressed the opinion that it can be hard to follow a blog with a schedule like that, and of course I can’t sustain that many puzzles a week if I want to do these packs.

      Also, with puzzle blogging the way it is now, there pretty much still is a puzzle waiting every couple of days: mathgrant every Monday, me every Wednesday, and two Toms every Friday, in addition to others like Para with less regular (although not less prolific) schedules.

  5. Elolo Gargounsky Says:

    Whoah! I almost fell out of my chair at I.35 …. until i realized it wasn’t just a sltiherlink

  6. Nix Says:

    I’ve had the pleasure to work through the classics so far. For me the first 9 are too trivial for anything but speed practice, but the rest are really nice. Especially enjoyed 13 and 14, though the latter was quite quick to get through.

    There are two solutions in the 2×2 (squares, 3×3 vertices) top right corner of #12, but it’s a spot that doesn’t do much to spoil the experience.

    I’m enjoying the pack format so far with the progression of difficulty. Just worried that it’s too tempting to blaze through without stopping, and then there’s a long wait.

    Oh, and belated congratulations on the WPC! I was rooting for you. Keep up the good work on both sides!

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Oh, good point about #12; it is a bit broken. Thanks for mentioning that. That’s a pretty easy fix (add 2s on R3C10 and R8C1). I’ll probably wait a little bit in case more goofs are spotted before uploading a new version.

    • Rob Says:

      Another bug (maybe?): In puzzle 23, I seem to get two solutions, by switching the 12 and 21 dominos and flipping 13.

      • MellowMelon Says:

        Yeah, that’s also a goof. I somehow missed the possibility of the 31 getting flipped. Good timing because I was going to upload a new version just this morning.

  7. hagriddler Says:

    Thanx for this nice new years present.
    I love the puzzle pack idea !
    My favorite so far is I.5 : a lot of slitherlinks are 0/3 based, nice to see a pretty puzzle based on 1’s and 2’s !

  8. Linus Says:

    Is I.35 a (rot 13’d) qrzbafgengvba gung Fyvgureyvax vf AC-Pbzcyrgr? Very elegant.

    • MellowMelon Says:

      That’s one way of seeing it, although properly speaking it is just one specific case that shows how to make all the needed elements. I’m sure there are many other ways to pull it off.

  9. y Says:

    Could you also publish the puzzles from the puzzle packs in the regular png image format you use for the other puzzles?

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Maybe. Not sure what the best way to distribute it would be as WordPress does not allow uploading of zips or anything, and it’s obviously a bunch of different files. Is there some reason that a PrintScreen in the PDF is not enough?

      • Tom.C Says:

        pdf’s seem fine to me, and you don’t even need to print screen, you can individually select the image files in the file and do a copy/paste job into paint or whatever. This is equally as bothersome as selecting the image file on a webpage and doing a copy/paste job into paint…

        With regards to previous discussions that I’ve seen in various places, the rule regarding adjacent 3’s is not *strictly* accurate 100% of the time 😉

      • MellowMelon Says:

        I wasn’t able to select the images in this PDF with any reader I used, since they’re vector graphics instead of raster.

        I realize the 33 rule is not quite correct as stated, and older drafts of the pack described the exception. It got edited out later since one of the main goals of that primer was not to complicate things more than they needed to be.

      • Tom.C Says:

        Ah – I see what you mean about the vector format. Preview lets me select the object, and suggests that it can indeed copy them, but nothing seems to find its way onto the clipboard. Perhaps I should have checked that before posting, but then again I have a track record for that sort of thing too.

        Having now actually taken a dive into some of these, I must say I thought #14 is one of the nicer slitherlinks I can ever remember doing. A nice trick requiring a bit of head-scratching, and then repeating til you’re done. Very elegant – if that had appeared on nikoli.com I’d be voting that as a pick straight away!

        And whilst I’m here posting, I think I agree with Bram re the discussion of colouring in and out of the loop. I struggle to recall a time where I’ve needed to use it rather than figure out something equivalent. That said, there are plenty of examples on kwontomloop that still leave me guessing, so I’ve far from figured out all the tricky techniques slitherlink has to offer…

        And whilst I’m on

  10. y Says:

    The easiest way would probably be to put multiple images in a post like mathgrant does with his contests.

    Depending on the settings of the pdf and how the printscreen is
    done, the image doesn’t come out clean, and filling or color filtering doesn’t work as expected.

    If the issue is hosting a few zip files, I can probably host them.

  11. thesubro Says:

    In Adobe Reader 9.4.3 (free), under Tools / Select&Zoom is a tool called “Snapshot Tool”. Just select and copy any individual puzzle with that tool, and you can paste it into Paint or Word, or whatever.

    TheSubro

  12. q Says:

    I may have messed up, but I think there are multiple (4) solutions to I.17, the ambiguity being in the top right corner.

  13. thesubro Says:

    May I say that I-29 was brilliantly designed. Made for one of the most enjoyable 30 minute bathroom breaks in a long time. :0)

    TheSubro

  14. thesubro Says:

    Last comment before I actually go be productive for the day … I really feel that I30 is greatly over-rated as to complexity … as I think that the breakins develop much more openly and natural than in I29 for example. Just sayin …

    Thanks for some great LIARS..

    TheSubro

    • MellowMelon Says:

      I believe you’ve done Puzzle 261 on this blog, correct? (the one with diamonds of 3s) I.30 follows an extremely similar break-in pattern, so you may have caught on quicker due to familiarity. I don’t think it’s that easy to spot the first time. This is assuming I.30 doesn’t have a sequence break that you found.

      Glad you enjoyed the liars; like all the variations I thought they came out pretty well. You might like the two from the Chimera section as well.

  15. Jürgen Says:

    I.35 is a adder, great work!

  16. Tyler Says:

    Could be wrong, but I’m seeing two solutions in the upper right of #34. Haven’t finished the puzzle, so I may have broken it.

  17. equivocal.pessimist Says:

    Wonderful! I especially loved 1.15.

  18. equivocal.pessimist Says:

    Can we expect more puzzle packs ?
    I woujld really appreciate them.

  19. equivocal.pessimist Says:

    Hello. I’m trying your puzzle pack and am currently stuck at understanding the rules of Variation 2 : Interior Path. Please refer to the example you have provided. In R2C1, what if instead of the bottow and right sides, the top and left are darkened. Why is this not a solution ?

    Awaiting your reply.

  20. equivocal.pessimist Says:

    Hello. It’s me once again. Hope it’s not bothering you that I’m basically spamming here 🙂

    I got a solution for 1.28 liar slitherlink that is different from yours. All the ‘liar’ squares are the same but the solution is different.

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