ChipIn for Children’s Charities

The title isn’t the only content here, but it is definitely the most important. This is a contest started by mathgrant on his blog here. Quite simply, it is an innovative contest where you can donate to 3 particular charities Grant has partnered with, and your donations will earn you a given number of entries into a prize raffle of the particular charity you donate to. There is also the matter of Grant offering to upload huge puzzles each time the donation amount crosses a landmark. Hopefully he is forced to write big puzzles up to 606 😉

Ok, so the secondary stuff –

1. My Croatian visa is done and it has finally sunk in that… I don’t know what to expect!

2. I won’t be making any blog posts till I return from the WPC. That’ll be around the 11th of October. I thought I could simultaneously manage the blog and practice for WPC, but turns out I can’t. I can’t make any promises but I’ll mostly be uploading multiple puzzles upon my return, around 11th October.




Puzzle 212-215 : Hungarian Championship Bosnian Roads

Firstly, Borders & Beyond is now over. You can find a Solutions booklet with my thoughts on the puzzles linked to in the forum here.

The coming weekend sees a short-duration test authored by Rohan Rao called 123GO, and yea, it is nice to have 2 Indians (well 2 guys from the same building, for anyone who doesn’t know yet!) authoring LMI tests in consecutive weekends. The test itself has 19 puzzles and is an 80-minute test so I suppose the puzzles will be of an easier difficulty than the ones in Borders & Beyond 😛 It looks to be a fun test and even though the WSC-WPC IBs are out, I think sparing 80 minutes on this one will be some good practice for the short-time rounds that will be there in the WCs.

So anyway, my break from creating is now over, but I first needed to get my 10 newspaper puzzles done today. I planned to do some more, including 1-2 for the blog, but I couldn’t get time as there is a festival going on here in India. Anyway, what I can do is display the puzzles I contributed to the Hungarian Championships on Zoltán Horváth‘s request. He has told me Zoltán Gyimesi has won both Hungarian Championships so Congrats to him and I look forward to meeting both Zoltáns and the rest of the Hungarian team in Croatia 🙂

Anyway, my mind’s wandering. He asked me if I could send 4 Bosnian Roads, and I was quite fine with that since I really like creating this genre.

Rules for Bosnian Road – Draw a continuous snake-like loop of one-cell width, that does not touch itself, even diagonally. It does not go through clue cells. The clues indicate how many of the 8(or less for edges and corners) cells around the clue cell the loop passes through. This does not necessarily imply that all these cells have to be passed through at once, they can be broken up too(I guess you can think of them as Minesweeper-like clues).

So here they are –

Puzzle Related Announcements – Borders & Beyond has started!

Well, this post is a bit more than just that announcement. But anyway, I’ll link you to that first, and then move on to other things. I’ve scheduled this to be posted around the time the test starts but its the first time I’m scheduling a post so, if there’s a mismatch, blame it on wordpress. 😛

Submission link (with IB download link on the page).

Discussion thread.

All the best to all, and hope you all enjoy the puzzles.

Now to the other things. Nothing major, just a basic summary of the year. I’m pretty certain I won’t have time to stop and reflect later on as I create puzzles far too frequently to allow for thinking time (Just ask the people who test my puzzles so efficiently Murat, Bram, and at times Tom. Well, mainly Murat coz he’s the fellow who solves all the easy newspaper puzzles quickly, he’s kinda online a lot 😛 ). I have the newspaper puzzles due every 10 days(I batch together my 1 puzzle per day agreement) so I thought I’d sneak in a week of inactivity in the lead up to my test, with the promise of course that you shall anyway be treated to 20 of my puzzles over the weekend. While inactive, I want to summarize the last year, because, well, even the folks who generally don’t have decided to open up recently and I’m supposed to be an open book anyway!

Lets start all the way back in November. I personally think I got lucky, since a few top players didn’t participate in the Indian Sudoku Championship, and then another 2 sat out, and my 6th place was enough to get me into the team to go to the World Championships. Only after I was in Eger was I truly exposed to the different variants, Sudoku and puzzles (I used to think the “new types” of the ISC/IPC itself were beyond me and restrict myself to the known types, and that was somehow enough).

So anyway, that experience in Eger (including all the friends I made there 😉 ) was a kind of wake up call that hey, I got so far knowing such a small number of puzzles, maybe I can really improve. So the one major goal from then on was to get to Croatia 2012(I’ve covered the fact that I’ve achieved that extensively here already, so not focusing on that), and from then on started a crazy rush of puzzle solving through all the popular blogs out there. Whether that saturation of puzzles was it or whether I was just lucky, I basically started creating out of nowhere. I never thought of creating up until that Heyawacky popped into my head, and no matter how easy that puzzle was, from then on it just followed one after the other. So I decided to start a blog, and wanted to challenge myself to be like Palmer (quantity-wise) when he first started blogging. And for a long time I did manage that daily update, no matter what. In fact, with 21 puzzles posted on my birthday, I shot ahead of that target.

When I started the blog, and set this target, I had no idea that my puzzles would be of a satisfying quality. To be very honest, the blog was just started to put my puzzles up, however crap, with the main aim being that this creating thing helps my solving side a bit. But with all the things happening this year, I can certainly say that I have indeed achieved a satisfactory level of quality as well. I first got that newspaper deal, and then a few other things, one after the other. As all of these came, it became more and more difficult to maintain this blog, and I think that is obvious from my recent frequency.

Now, the posting dates are really random. And I want to rectify that. I look to those other puzzle blogs again for a good idea. I’ll update on certain days of the week so you all know when to visit. For this however, I need to wait for a little more time and see how a few other puzzle related endeavors go.  I’ll be able to settle on something by November I think. Until then the posts here may continue to be random, and I can’t help that.

Authoring an LMI test, is something that I have greatly anticipated. I asked for a September slot really early in the year, just to give me a good amount of time to get myself well versed with creating puzzles in a competition format. I’d like to think that that was a good decision and I really hope it shows in the test. I find it fitting that I write this year’s summary on the day that Borders & Beyond starts.

There is 4 more days left in my break, so there will be no posts until the test gets over when I might write a summary.

Puzzle No. 211 : Tapa/Yajilin, and Announcement – Borders & Beyond!

Firstly, I can now announce that I will be authoring an LMI puzzle test for the first time. The contest, called Borders & Beyond, features puzzle types where the grid is divided by borders in some way. I could just call it Regional variations but then I think the borders tag is more apt for puzzles like Parquet, etc. Anyway, this test will be held from September 15th-17th. The link for discussion is here. The test page is here. I encourage all puzzle enthusiasts to participate, especially if you’ve taken a liking to the puzzles on this blog.

Coming to today’s puzzle, this was also done on the week’s trip like the previous 3, I’m just posting it separately because its a first time hybrid and I wanted it to have its own space. So anyway, I was thinking about Mad Max Tapa in a TVC this year and I thought, why not a Yajilin mix. I’m sure people must have thought this before, and maybe even tried it, and maybe even been successful. But if they have I haven’t seen that and I’d love to see any existent work. It seems an interesting combination.

Below, there are 2 puzzles. They both have very similar solutions. The 2nd one below is actually the original. I then decided to modify it to exclude the red clues part. The resultant puzzle is the first one. The first one is rated easy. The 2nd one is rated hard. To really make it challenging, try to just consider red clues as clues without the anti-tapa restriction given below. i.e. they only function in the yajilin part and nothing else.

Rules – Shade in some cells to form a continuous wall. Unshaded cells cannot be orthogonally adjacent(an unshaded cell can be adjacent to a clue cell, even though a clue cell can’t be shaded). No 2×2 group of cells can be fully shaded. The clues have a double function. The Yajilin part, which gives number of unshaded cells in the direction of the arrow. And the Tapa/anti-Tapa part – The black clues mean that there is at least one block of cells of that number around that clue cell(there can be other blocks of different numbers too. e.g. a “3” clue can function as a 3-2 or a 3-1-1 or a 3-3 of regular Tapa). The red clues mean that that a block of that number of cells cannot exist around that clue cell.

If you do not like the grey clue layout, you can use a white fill clue layout here and here.


Puzzle No. 211 V-1

Puzzle No. 211 V-2

Puzzle 208-210 – Bosnian Road, Diagonal Neighbors Tapa, Domino Loop

Update – The Tapa Diagonal Neighbors has now been fixed. Thanks to Para for pointing out the error. Apologies to anyone who began to solve it. 

I’m back home after a week away in South India, where I got burnt alive 80 % of the time. The other 20 % of the time, I tried to create a few puzzles. The majority of these have gone towards my newspaper employers, and another percentage will be held back for future tests, etc. But a few have nowhere to go and shall therefore be here for all to see, and hopefully enjoy. The first of these, I actually made just before my trip. I had to create a few Bosnian Roads for a competition, and I ended up wanting to do one more. The second one, Is a failed attempt at trying something with my Diagonal Neighbors Tapa variant. Its still alright to solve though. The last one, I again forgot that my favorite dimensions of 13×13 are not suitable for a domino-based puzzle. So the little cross mark, but I was just about able to shift it right to the corner for what its worth. This puzzle has some very tricky starting steps, but goes smoothly towards the end once you get through them. In any case, I do believe its a better “introduction puzzle” than the marathon I threw at you puzzle lovers as my 200th.

On a side note, the September Edition of LMI Beginners’ Sudoku Contests has begun and as organizer, I invite and encourage all Sudoku enthusiasts  (beginners/newcomers especially) to participate.

All puzzles below rated Medium to Hard.

Rules for Bosnian Road – Draw a continuous snake-like loop of one-cell width, that does not touch itself, even diagonally. It does not go through clue cells. The clues indicate how many of the 8(or less for edges and corners) cells around the clue cell the loop passes through. This does not necessarily imply that all these cells have to be passed through at once, they can be broken up too(I guess you can think of them as Minesweeper-like clues).

Rules for Diagonal Neighbors Tapa – Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, every shaded cell must have at least one diagonally adjacent shaded cell. A “?” clue functions as any other non-zero numeric clue, you just need to determine what the number is.

Rules for Domino Loop – Shade in some cells such that every region has 2 shaded cells and every shaded cell has exactly one shaded cell orthogonally adjacent to it. Additionally, draw a loop passing through all the remaining cells and passing through every region exactly once. Cells marked with “X” contain neither domino cells nor loop segments.

Puzzle No. 208 : Bosnian Road

Puzzle No. 209 : Tapa Diagonal Neighbors

Puzzle No. 210 : Domino Loop