Some puzzles and some random updates

I see that July 5th was the last time I posted. A lot’s happened since then. I stopped my ridiculously bad run of errors in the LMI Copy Paste test, had a more than decent performance in Fred’s novel Heads or Tails tournament, but still managed to have a bad bad day in the competition that mattered most this month – the Times Sudoku Championship.

The finals are this Sunday, and I’m quite disappointed to say I didn’t make it. The Mumbai rounds were highly competitive, and since the sudokus were mostly easy, one mistake cost a lot as there were numerous people finishing them before time and getting bonus points. As it so happens, I ended up making not one mistake but 3. The first round consisted of 6x6s, and anyone who finished 7 out of the 8 in the given 15 minutes would advance to the next round. And thus, 1500-2000 participants got cut down to 108. The next 2 rounds consisted of first 4 classics and then 4 variants in 30 minutes each. In the classics round, I finished 3 of them in 6 minutes, and was looking at a hefty bonus. But the remaining one turned out to be pretty tough, and I must have kept repeating a mistake somewhere because thrice I thought I’d finished it, and found a repeat somewhere.

This meant  I knew I had to go for broke in the variants round. The variants consisted of Trio, Odd Even, Alphabet, Diagonal. I made a mistake in Trio and thought I’d corrected it, so went on to finish the round in 11 minutes, 2 minutes slower than Rohan Rao’s 9 minutes which was the fastest time for the round. I had a projected score at 71 points. It turns out this would’ve been enough to take me to the finals, but due to a silly mistake in the Trio(For some inexplicable reason I’d changed a correct solution into a wrong one thinking the other way round) and 2 unfilled cells in the Alphabet, I lost those points and my bonus, which kicked me all the way down to 14th. So.. I’ll have to wait for next year to be on the Indian Sudoku team again. Good thing I’m at least on the Puzzle team.

Now to the present. This blog hasn’t had an update in a while. This is because I’ve been preparing puzzles for something else which has also gotten delayed due to the above. But anyway, I had a bet with a friend recently, and made some quick easy Tapas to win it. The bet should vaguely become apparent looking at the puzzles. Just thought I’d while away a day or two more by uploading these, since I didn’t know exactly what else to do with them. These are below.

Moving on, there’s an LMI monthly puzzle test this weekend. Logirace features known and new loop-types. All loop fans should enjoy this one.

Also, I’m not numbering these, not sure why. Maybe because most of them are really easy. They’re in the order in which I made them, if that is of any interest. Enjoy!


Puzzle No. 181 : Tapa [Clueless Clusters]

Sudoclones is over, but my bad run isn’t. The grids of Sudoclones were very enjoyable, with a difficult theme carried out quite impressively. My favorite was the Little Killer, though I wasn’t able to solve during the contest.

Now, the next LMI monthly test is this weekend itself, and it is a similar theme, as it coincidentally happens that two authors thought of it simultaneously. Richard Stolk’s Copy-Paste features pairs of grids with the same givens that solve differently. So, if you missed Sudoclones but really would’ve enjoyed such a theme, this is for you. If you played Sudoclones and inevitably liked it, this is for you.

Today’s puzzle is a Tapa variant. I have once again successfully made a variant I don’t really know what to name and therefore called it the third name I came up with O.o

Follow Tapa Rules. Additionally, the cells that are not part of the wall, and not clue cells, must have at least one other such cell horizontally or vertically adjacent to them. i.e. there can be no isolated non-wall+non-clue cell.

Rated : Medium.


Puzzle No. 181


Puzzle No. 180 : Yajilin/Battleships

First of all I shall bore you with all the contests that are happening/coming soon.

1. Sudoclones on LMI : Going on now. Authored by Sylvain Caudmont.  A bunch of sudokus where the givens are cloned but the solves shall be different. Fun eh? This marks the first time I haven’t given a contest the minute its been there to give. There is in fact one more day remaining, so like me, if anyone hasn’t found time till now, go on and compete 😉

2.  Times Sudoku Championship : Shall go on over the month of July, for all Indians, with regional rounds in 4 cities in India, except the Bangalore one got over today. But since it came on the TOI, you don’t need my blog telling you that hopefully. I’m not sure yet about the finals, but the Mumbai round shall be very interesting and competitive, and I hope I can get through it to the finals.

3. ??? : Coming later this year. You know nothing about it. You shall know nothing more about it. Except that it is one of the reasons I haven’t been able to post as regularly here(with due apologies again).

Today’s puzzle was made 2-3 days back but I never got time to get it tested and posted. Its a good thing I did wait to get it tested, as it had a slight uniqueness issue I had missed.

Rules for Yajilin. Instead of just filling in isolated cells according to the clues, there’s a fleet of ships given(well, more like a shape bank here since I don’t think you’ve seen some of these ships in regular Battleships) which have to be placed in the grid to form the cells the loop does not pass through.  These shapes cannot touch each other even diagonally, but can be rotated/reflected before being used in the grid.

Rated : Hard due to the start, almost easy after that though.


Puzzle No. 180