Puzzle No. 230 : Tapa [Sharks!]

Firstly, this weekend LMI hosts Fillomino Filia 2. This is a sequel to a contest that took place over a year ago (when I was still a crappy solver) and is once again co-written by Mathgrant and Mellow Melon. With the preview puzzles they and some others have posted on the various blogs (links listed on the LMI forum here), its shaping up to be a highly anticipated set of puzzles.

Over the past few months, I’ve been writing puzzles for various different places. These include competition puzzles, practice puzzles, newspaper puzzles. I also recently worked with Deb Mohanty on a set for the 24 Hours Puzzle Championship which will be held in Hungary on 9th-10th November. Good luck to all the people participating there.

Anyway, the common thing about all the above categories of puzzles is that I am restricted to do what is required. Sure, I can put in some new variants, or change up the rules a little, but the difficulty, the base categories, etc. is all a little restricted. This is probably why, when it comes to my blog I like to just have fun. This is one of those times.

The rules of this Tapa variant may be very similar to the Sheeps and Wolves variant of Slitherlink, but I decide to go with Sharks and Humans as the only reason I thought of this is that I saw a Shark drawn by Tom C on his Battleships puzzle during the WPC, after which the judge checking his paper had promptly drawn a man with a word bubble that said “help!”.  I know Tom was fed up after the WPC Tapa, so maybe this isn’t the best type to use for it, but it is one of my favorite types, and I also solve and create them really quickly and easily, so…

I created the first one, and then I realized it may not use the Shark-Human logic as much, so I tweaked it up a bit to create the second one. They are almost the same, but the 2nd might use the interactions just a little more. I’ve decided to leave the choice up to you solvers.

Anyway, follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, the sharks cannot reach humans, and humans must be able to reach other humans. Humans and Sharks can both travel through “cracks in the wall”, i.e. they can travel diagonally. Neither can travel around the limitations of the grid. Both humans and sharks can travel through clue cells.

Rated – Around Medium.


Version 1












Version 2

Puzzle No. 228-229 : I’m just a Perennial Passenger

Firstly, I’ve forgotten to share the link to the Beginners’ Contest October, which has some big format changes. We have introduced an extended time feature that allows submissions until 17th October even if the test is started now! Note though, that after the 40 minutes, submissions will get 50 % of the points per grid. There’s also Instant Grading, and all the changes are announced in detail in the forum. The  test page can be found here.

Now back to a week ago. This isn’t much of a write up as much as “I have 2 Passenger Battleships and had to use them in these linking write-ups somehow”

Anyway, after the WPC there were the departures. I had one companion, Indian teammate, Rakesh Rai, following the same route back home. We had a one day stay in Zagreb first. Newcastle United vs Manchester United was scheduled later in the day, so after some sight seeing, we found a random bar where the match was being screened, and I saw it with some random British fans on a random visit, which was fun. Then I joined in some random party early in the morning for a while, and thats about all that happened in Zagreb. The flight back, like the flight to, stopped for an hour at Budapest, and then only did we go to Doha.

Doha was just a place to relax all day, as the climate wouldn’t suit me and the hotel, food, etc. was great. A day there and we finally made it back to India. Next time in Beijing will be a lot more easier in terms of travel at least. 😛

The 2 Passenger Battleships are below. The first one is far too big a grid, the 2nd  one should be alright. While creating these I found 0 an annoying and unnecessary ship,  as you can’t use the sums to get it, you either have to pack it in and force it or put in a given 0. I chose the latter as I don’t have much idea about packing. Thats why I got the first grid’s size wrong too. Anyway ,

Rules – Locate 12 passenger ships(rectangles of size 1×3 cells) horizontally or vertically in the grid. Ships cannot touch each other, not even diagonally. There is a different number of passengers on each ship, from 0 to 11. Numbers outside the grid indicate the sum of passengers on the ships in the corresponding row/column. Numbers given in the grid represent the number of passengers on the ship occupying the corresponding cell.


Puzzle No. 227 : Various paths meeting to share a common interest…

The WPC was over for me with just the play-offs the next day, and it was time to have a go at puzzle-racing again! And so, team Super-Awesome was born. Elena(Greece), Tom(Bar) and me teamed up against the less glamorous teams of Tiit(Estonia)-Fred(Switzerland)-Gregory(Greece), Vasso(Universal)-Jason(Nomad)-Antony(Greece) and the 4th team made up of Anderson Wang and the rest of the US B Team. We had 2 puzzle books and were to pick a wide variety of  puzzles to then race with. Our team strategy was obvious. Elena is the correct solver, I’m the guy who breaks puzzles and then gets them right the 2nd time, and Tom’s the guy who trash talks everyone, including me! We won the 1st round, and the rest of the rounds weren’t as important 😛 Other significant points include Tom beating Jason on a Kakuro, and me breaking 2 Killers in a row, and then still getting them out at a decent overall time 😛

Around the 3rd round of these races, we were interrupted by Jakub Caban of Poland, who said he’d invented a puzzle. Full details of the family version of this puzzle are available here on Tom C’s blog, and I’ll refrain from saying much more. So after this a bunch of us stayed with the Polish team for the rest of the night. Only those who have actually been with the Polish team will find the next bit normal.

First, we danced to an Indian song choreographed by Vasso(and yes, I’m from India and I still had to learn from the talented Greek!). We then had a few games, where in one I was a fish, and in the other (a mild kissing game), the undeniable winner as I was the only guy who found himself sitting between 2 girls 😛 We were then singing a few songs and discussing about jumping into the sea, but then we decided against it, I think because we didn’t have paper, but I can’t remember. I remember Jakub C telling me I’m a sick guy for posting a puzzle everyday, and I’ll take that as a twisted compliment and continue doing it 😛

Anyway, we went to sleep pretty late, and I think some stayed up all night. I woke up barely in time for the play-offs, and missed Ulrich vs Nikola. I’ve already said I won’t cover the play-offs, so congrats to Ulrich, Thomas and Palmer again.

Moving on, we then had the football match. I had a pulled muscle from something I’d done the other night, and I was also not seeing properly, but I can’t miss football for such small reasons can I? Unlike last year, the game was played outdoors in a regular ground with the full teams. We were taken there by little buses that had to make double trips to get us all there.

I lined up in defense in a team that featured the likes of Tom, Bram and Jaanus(who is immense in defense). The starting exchanges both resulted in goals, and TBH, I was missing pretty much everything I kicked, due to the partial blindness already mentioned! But at least the rest of my team were doing well, and we were just about managing in defense enough that we took a lead around halfway into the first half and started to pull away for most of the game. It was 6-4 with not a lot of time to go, when we changed up the formation and I and another defender switched positions with 2 midfielders. At this point all hell broke loose and The opposition scored 3 goals one after the other until we had to draw level with 2 minutes to go. A bunch of mis-communications later(I confess I was at fault in one of those), we ended up being on the wrong end of a big comeback triumph.

A while after this, we were at the closing ceremony, which was fun. They gave the prizes for the Crossword competition, the WPC, and to Vasso and the Slovakian team. I was a bit disappointed not to get a prize for my Sudoku team round exploits but I’ll put it down to Goran’s laziness 😛 Anyway, I was just roaming around after the dinner, talking to different people. I think my best moment was when I showed potential to be a great interviewer when I asked Michael Ley “Last year you won a big tub of beer, and this year you just won a trophy. Which feels better?” and he said in proper diplomatic fashion “Last year I had many friends, this year no one cares, so I’m definitely gonna have to do something about that”.

A few other good moments were going around to the UK Table and getting all their names right, having a photo taken with Kota Morinishi, and joking around with the Hungarian team who had adopted Elena from Greece for the night. It was after all this that I got to the Slovakian team, where I know many people online, but I’d never really gone over and said hi. So I said hi. I had an interesting discussion with Matej Uher about our 2 recent LMI tests Logirace and Borders & Beyond and creating puzzles in general.

After the crowd thinned, I was left with Tiit, Jakub Ondrousek(Czech Republic) and Zuzka and Miska from Slovakia. They were playing a game in which a two person team alternates between each other entering one digit at a time into a Sudoku grid. I joined in, and the first one was Tiit and me teaming up. A little bit into it, Tiit made a mistake(ya, really, not me, Tiit!) and Jakub reset and stopped the timer. We realized the mistake, went on solving, and got a legendary 0.00 time for a sudoku! My only other feature in this was teaming with Jakub to destroy a Frame(did I mention the no pencil marks rule?) in 3 and a half minutes or something, even though I made a slight mistake that I quickly corrected.

After that, while the others were racing, and Bram and Fred had joined in, I was having a fun conversation with Miska. By the end of the conversation we’d agreed that I’d have to visit her in Slovakia in the future, and that she’d have a Killer Sudoku created by her waiting for me at WSC-WPC London in 2014. Quite a productive conversation if I may say so. After this, poor Zuzka had to erase all our work as the books were to be returned to Matúš. Me and Tiit walked over to the party going on just outside the restaurant, where there was a couple singing and playing the guitar.

After a while it was Vasso’s turn to play and sing. At this point I was sitting there, near her, Michael Ley, and some of the Croatian Organizers, later on going over to the Polish team table and then to the table with Goran, Elena and some other Croatian Organizers. There’s a few very important points about this night to be noted here –

1. Vasso Kalaitzidou is probably the most multi-talented person I’ve met, and I’ve met many multi-talented people.

2. Michael Ley did do something about it, referring to his earlier segment in this write-up.

3. Goran is an alien who never speaks the truth and never does anything :p

4. The Polish team shall always be the best company at any random time.

After this, I said my goodbyes, and prepared for the long, and I mean loooooong trip back home. Today’s puzzle is a single Pipes puzzle. I again had to use the silly crosses in my hurry.

Rules – Connect each number in the grid with one gray circle, with a line that connects horizontally and vertically neighbouring cells. The lines cannot cross or overlap. Each number indicates the length of the line that connects that number with a circle. More than one number can be connected to the same circle. A line cannot pass through a cell with another number. All cells have to be used, except cells marked with X.

Puzzle No. 225-226 : I’m seasick!

The WPC starts, and I fall sick. This happened last year too. Last year I was unofficial and it didn’t matter much so I’ve forbidden myself from looking for patterns. But this time it did matter, and I’m pretty annoyed with it. But anyway, its no excuse in the first round where I botched up a Domino hunt puzzle by drawing a horizontal line where a vertical should be and stuff like that.

The 2nd round was a 21 themed big round. It was during this round that I started having a sneezing fit. I coughed or sneezed every time I was about to enter a 3! It took me about 40 minutes to enter all the digits into the X-Kakuro, which I was solving much faster than that. Bram says I should’ve thought I was entering 4 while entering 3 or something, which I may need to use in future. I’m gonna learn mind tricks in preparation for WPC 2013. Anyway, the round went ok apart from that, except that I got out some 6 tentacles of the Giant Octopus, and got no points at all because I couldn’t finish off the other 2. This felt a little bad but I put it down to my own inexperience of going for a big puzzle at the end.

The 3rd round was twisted puzzles. I got stuck on about 3 of these, forgetting the twisted part in one and almost reaching a solution anyway! The next round, the ABC variants, went well, until I ended up making one of the ABC Snakes bite itself. I’m happy I got out all 3 ABC Crosswords though, as that was seemingly a weak point before the Championships. I maybe should’ve tried Hexa, but I’m prone to errors in that so did the other two variations instead.

The 5th round was the Black and White round, which had a series of painting puzzles and I considered this to be my scoring round. I rushed the big point Tapa out in 3 minutes like I said in an earlier post, and then the Battleships in 2 minutes and the Nurikabe in 2 minutes. I was going really strong and had attempted upto 66 points at the halfway point. After this began a series of broken puzzles. I think I attempted every puzzle in there, and broke every one of them. White Pentomino is one I broke thrice. I ended up having attempted 66 points, and later found I’d left all of 1 cell unshaded in the Paint by Sequence puzzle and so got just 59 points from my “strong” round.

Things weren’t going great and there was the Team round to come. The Marina round was an optimizer round. We had to place boats along the harbor following plenty of rules so that they all get out safely. We among Team India basically divided the big chart into our own separate quarters. We glanced at each other’s to check from time to time, but mainly concentrated within our own areas. At the end we hurriedly placed a few boats touching the harbor just partially. Once the results were out we saw we were last. We’d missed that the partial touching won’t get us points, so all those last minute boats didn’t give us points. Also, in one quarter, the turning constraint wasn’t followed and this was the biggest area of lost points. It could happen to anyone, but I’m thankful it didn’t happen in my quarter, as that’d have put me in an even worse mood for the next day.

So coming to the next day, I was still sick. I started the 7th round, Lines and Arrows, at a slower pace than the previous day’s rounds. The key for me was to try not to have a repeat of Round 5, as that could get ugly if it happened in the other rounds. The 7th, 8th (Assorted puzzles) both went alright. Slow, but I wasn’t extensively stuck at points. I maybe started to fall behind Amit and Rohan at this stage, or maybe that started in Round 5 itself. Rohan had a particularly great Round 8.

Round 9 to Round 11 were, I think, my best rounds in the entire WPC. Which is weird since at this point I had a headache too added to the list. I seemingly do better with headaches. In the Metropolis round, I squeezed out the Tokyo variant at the last minute. This gave me a grand total of 4 small pointers and that was alright. Round 10 was the one where I was most methodical. No errors, barring a 1 point error in the Picture puzzle. I finished with 99 points which was pretty much the highest gain I’d had the entire tournament. Round 11 was a tricky one. There was a 28 point Easy as ABC Skyscrapers Sudoku, which was really difficult. Many people got stuck in this for a long time, a lucky few left it and concentrated on other puzzles and an even luckier few saw the solve path and finished it in around 30 minutes. Rohan was in the 3rd category. I was part of the first group. I wasted the first 15 minutes on it, and saw I wasn’t making much progress so moved to the others. I finished quite a few of the others, and amounted to 41 points which was a good showing. But, typically, I’d made an error in the easiest 4 point Farms puzzle, having a 11-9 combination of region sizes in one place, instead of all 10s.

The last individual round was Half Dominos, and I think it was a very enjoyable WPC till this point. At this point, it was a bit crazy. The Half Dominos round featured one puzzle, with a difficult break-in, but once you got it it was easy. Half the people were left staring, and half of them were screaming finished all over the place. Amit finished from India and scored 101 but he admitted later it was mostly luck. Rohan had a big dip in this one getting just 12 points. I got 32, and Rakesh 42. Really poor round for all Indians except Amit. This round had way too much variance compared to the other rounds, just like the TNT round in the WSC.

The only one left after this was the team round with linked instructionless puzzles. We did pretty well in this round. I got out a Coded Tetromino pretty quickly, but we had to slightly change the solution later based on the linked part. Other than that it was mostly helping each other and discussing the links. At the end, I got out the Icebreaker, but then realized that its non-unique so I must have missed an instruction. I had, and I think I had missed 2 instructions. This cost the Indian team technically one rank, and I’ve been kicking myself about it since.

So thats all for today, and I won’t be covering the play-offs extensively. I with Palmer and some of the US Team during the play-offs, so I don’t think I’d have seen anything he’s missed in his own play-off write up. Tomorrow will mainly be about “the good times” after the Championship. 😛

Todays puzzles are 2 Fishermen puzzles. The need was for quick puzzles, so forgive the X marks here and there. These are dead cells where the fishing lines and boats cannot go.

Rules – Place boats (rectangles of size 1×2 cells) in the grid so that no two boats touch each other, not even diagonally. Each boat has to contain a number which represents a fisherman(all numbers are already written). Draw a line starting from each fisherman so that each fisherman catches a different fish with a line whose length is indicated by the fisherman’s number. The lines cannot cross boats and they cannot cross or overlap each other. Numbers outside the grid indicate how many cells are occupied by boats in the corresponding row/column. Every cell in the grid has to be used, except cells marked with X. (Careful : Xs are a bit light in the 1st puzzle)

Puzzle No. 222-224 : The question is, does it all even out?

After the WSC, we had a night of mild puzzle-racing, I say mild because I wasn’t participating of course 😛 We had a team of Vasso(Greece), Kamer(Turkey) and Jason(USA) vs Tom(UK), Gaurav(India) and Bram(The Netherlands) battling it out on connected Sudokus from a book given by Yuhei(Japan).

The next day, in the play-offs part, I don’t think I can add anything to motris’ post, so I’ll just say, I felt really sorry for Jakub’s plight, and I then had a feeling of “what the hell is happening” as the top two battled it out for 15-18 minutes on an Irregular Diagonal grid. I think a lot’s been said about that too on Melon’s post, so I’ll just leave these things, Congratulate Jan, Kota and Hideaki again, and move to the  recreation day after the playoffs.

The first thing we had was a tour to Rijeka with a tour guide who had a really nice accent, and was definitely more religious than the other tour guides, going by the extended time we spent in the Church and all compared to the other groups. Apparently there was a monk in one of them, just to my right, and I missed that, instead talking to Jason Z about how temples are slightly different. It was a day for discussions.

I then had a long and interesting talk with Richard Stolk from the Netherlands about authoring in general, authoring an LMI test, and other things. It was nice to talk to someone whose puzzles I really enjoy solving, and also whose two LMI tests were probably among my favorites in this year.

After this, and a brief bragging session of my Team round exploits to a lovely audience, I met Nikola Z from Serbia, and had an interesting talk with him about puzzles and sudokus and the WSC-WPC in general. I was a bit sad Branko C couldn’t come with the Serbian team too, as I wanted to meet people I’d corresponded with in the past. This was all going on as the tour drew to a close.

While walking back to the bus I found myself in the midst of 2 Englishmen and an American discussing the two kinds of footballs and I joined in as I at least follow one “football” being a big fan of Manchester United. After a little discussion about this and that in the Premier League, we were in the bus to Jelačić Square where we would be left to wander along and find our own way for some time. It was here that I had the longest discussion of the day with Thomas S (motris).

The discussion was 10 % about how drunk Tom C can get and how useless Jason Z is, but the other 90% of the time we were discussing play-offs and WPF and organization of the Championships. He’s been pretty outspoken about his views, and I must say I agree with a lot of them. A few points I agreed on were that the playoffs this time didn’t give enough advantage to the top solvers, and also the Sudoku part was a bit mismanaged(as the WPC was yet to come, this was the only evidence we had) and that the play-offs can be kept as a separate attraction(he gave me an example of Antalya where something like this happened). If not as a separate thing, maybe you can keep it as a Round 14 for example, this time, where it just added to the existing points. You have your audience attraction but you’re also not telling someone who’s solved 100s of puzzles that he could get knocked out based on 1 puzzle instead. The Play-offs as an aspect of puzzling sound better than a final judge for puzzling.

So anyway, after all this we went for dinner, where I sat around the huge middle table with the US team and Tom. The experience was really interesting as we ended up solving some Count the Triangles puzzle among other things. It was nice to meet Anderson who I later practically commanded to upload a puzzle upon his return. I’m glad he has, and he better keep things slightly active now 😛 At dinner, my main conversation was with Todd G about general stuff, and with Jason Z about women in India (yea, that was interesting).

During dessert, and after the Sudoku prizes were handed out, 2 Greeks, Iliana G and Antony F, joined our table, and started solving some classic puzzles. Well, mainly Iliana was solving,  Antony was coaching. I joined in the coaching, while getting another chance to brag about my Team exploits, as these were 2 members of Greek B, the team that I beat single handedly. But after introducing myself to them, Iliana practically did all my bragging for me! At this point Thomas was to my right explaining to two people how to create a Sudoku. I think he’s had a blog post for that too. So I had 1 eye on Iliana and her puzzles, the other eye on dessert, and the other eye on Thomas creating and explaining a Sudoku. No wait.. thats not right.

After dinner, the bus back was spent solving Frame Sudokus in an Akil Oyunlari with Joshua Z from USA, and that was quite nice, as Frame Sudoku is one of the variants I like. I’d like to think I helped him a lot with them 😛  We then had the WPC Doubts session where I was half asleep, but managed to listen to all the doubts somehow. Vasso asked an interesting question about offsides in the football puzzle. We should have a Referee in that thing.

Thats all for the 3rd day. My Puzzle link to this is the Even variation Tapa. Most of the day went in discussing the formats, and fairness, and all that, so I thought its apt. If it isn’t, sue me. I have all of no money at all. When the WPC had a Tapa variant that was obviously my first choice to go for. I was doubtful about the Even variation but after creating the 3 puzzles I realized that a lot of fun can be had here. Unfortunately, I think the WPC Puzzle didn’t use the variation enough. It was a nice puzzle, don’t get me wrong, but it was just kind of a huge sized easy puzzle that I finished in under 3 minutes, and you’re expecting more for a really high weight-age puzzle.

Anyway, this one is a PDF Link, as I don’t have it in PNG format. The link is below. I think I should clarify that the ?s can’t be zero, as that was asked by one of the people who tested these.

Tapa variants, with rules.


Puzzle No. 219-221 : I go where I’m pointed to, not sure whether the pointer’s true.

Continuing from yesterday, exhausted already, I started the WSC participating as an unofficial (the sole member of Team India-B). The Indian team was Rohan Rao, Gaurav Korde, Sumit Bothra, Rakesh Rai. After the first liar round, 2nd to 4th rounds were all connected/relay type, and there was a need to be really careful in all of these, as one mistake spells trouble in many different places.

Round 1 – Pinocchio –

This was a bit of a disastrous start. I did 5 out of the 7 grids here. There was an easy Diagonal where I reached a contradiction 4 times, and never got a solution out(realized later I’d misplaced a digit at the start and never erased it). Then there was a Classic that I just about saw the break-in to as the timer ran out. So 5 it was, and I later got to know that I’d switched the Liar for one of them, which led to a mistake-filled grid.

Round 2 – Smurfs –

Here there were 3 grids connected by a two digit number, in 2 adjacent circled cells. I did the first 4 sets alright, but made mistakes in one-two of the grids in the 5th and 6th set. So I was never sure till I saw the results whether the grids I actually solved from those 2 sets were correct. Fortunately, it turned out they were.

Round 3 – Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – 

This round had a somewhat pointless carry over of one digit from each grid, and a characterization of the dwarves so that we could substitute their digits in the final hugely weighted grid. I say pointless because almost everyone got the numbers of the dwarves immediately. I think such a round should be progressive, and then once you get all numbers, the last grid should solve at somewhat medium level. Instead, the entire Indian team and many others, got all the numbers almost immediately, jumped to the last grid to grab some good points and got utterly stuck. For good measure, I did this too, made some progress and then got a contradiction. I then went back to the other grids and solved them all except the Halved Squares with these same digits, so while it all went smoothly, since the big grid went wrong I was always fearful here. Fortunately, I again had got the digits right and just made a mistake in the final grid’s solve.

Round 4 – Muppets –

This was a horrible round. It took about 7-8 minutes for me to get all the muppets, after some really annoying constant turning of the papers to check through each grid(not sure if there was a better way to go about it). Once I did get the Muppets, the expectation was again that it’d all be pretty much medium difficulty and I could rush through them. As it happens, they were extremely difficult grids even after this. I solved 5 grids, and I think there were 30? At least 15. And just as I was down in the dumps and talking to others while leaving the room, I found out that 5 is actually pretty good.

Round 5 – Professor Balthazar –

Before the WSC I’d singled this round out as my round. But typically, I botched it up the most. I was expecting a score of 64, after just about not being able to get out a high pointer that’d put me in the late 70s. This went from bad to worse as I had 2 unfilled cells in 2 grids in the same round. 64 became 45. I should mention, this and the next round were the only ones where I really enjoyed solving the grids.

Round 6 – Disneyland –

This was a bunch of random variants. At this point I was battling complete mental exhaustion. I battled out the grids and put up a really low score. Even in this low score there turned out to be errors and it became a lower score. Not one to talk about.

Round 7 – TnT –

I hated this round. There was too much variance. Since there were 3 overlapping grids, if you had all of them solved, you could yell finished, or there might be few seconds to go and you are staring at a 0 score with few digits left in all 3 grids. Again, typically I was of the latter category. I just about dug out the big middle grid for 12 points. 1 more minute in, I’d probably have finished it as well. Some top solvers did really badly in this round, and with all the bonuses, there was a lot of change in the rankings.

Now we come to the team rounds. Caution – there may be bragging.

So a brief intro – As mentioned I was the sole member of Team B. And there happened to be 25 Unofficials I think, who had to go around talking to each other to form their teams of 4. I hadn’t really done that, so I was the one left with no team. So I did the obvious thing and went to Goran and asked him if I could do the team rounds alone. The organizers were kind enough to let me do so, and to everyone’s amusement, they got me a little table with one chair in the middle of a bunch of teams who all wished me luck as obviously I would need it.

Round 8 – Cinderella’s diamond –

We were given a big bunch of grids to interlink by the corners and form a big diamond, and then solve the last Sudoku in between formed by the diamond. I solved 3 grids here which amounted to 45 points. Team India A got 105 points. Including me there were 38 teams and I beat 9 of them in this round.

Round 9 – Three Little Pigs –

This was a somewhat painful round for everyone. We were to place 3 pieces into each of 6 grids, and solve each grid. The problem here was, sometimes you’d get 3 pieces fitting, and even a solution, but if you considered all 6 grids, the use of these particular pieces here would leave those grids without a solution and you got a cruel 0 points for solving that grid. Anyway, I did 2 grids fine and then had the pieces fitting, but got a mistake right at the end somewhere, after a smooth solve till then. No one was sure of their points for this round due to the above mentioned difficulties. Team India A solved 4 but got just 2 right. I got both of mine right. So in this round, I tied with team India A with 50 points. I also tied with 7 other teams and beat 12 teams in this round.

The entire team results consider each of the 4 members’ individual scores as well in the total, and as I had just one individual score to get added, I finished far below what my Team showings indicated. I still managed to beat all of one team, i.e. Greek B. This was quite an accomplishment and I’m happy with it.

By the time all of this got over, it was dinner time! A full day of Sudokus. The exhaustion carried on.

So anyway, coming to today’s puzzles, its a weak relative to the Relay Rounds, (well any WSC connection was bound to be weak as I create just puzzles) 3 puzzles based on Arrows pointing to things.

The first is an Arrow Maze, the 2nd a Domino Arrows puzzle and the 3rd is a Domino Arrows puzzle without the domino sums. So just tile in shaded 1×2 cells without writing numbers in them. I created this during practice as I wanted to see just how much the arrows can influence things without the sums.


Arrow Maze – Find a path through the maze by visiting every cell of the grid exactly once. Start with the cell with number 1, then right numbers in order in each cell you visit and finish in cell with number 36. You can jump from one cell to another(not necessarily neighbouring cell) horizontally or vertically but only in the direction of the arrow. Some numbers are already given.

Domino Arrows – Place a complete Domino set (1-1 to 5-5 in the first one, and just 15 numberless dominos in the second one) in the grid so that no two dominos touch each other, not even diagonally. Each arrow in the grid points at exactly 3 different dominos and each domino tile in the grid is pointed at by only one arrow. Numbers above and to the left indicate how many cells are occupied by dominos in the corresponding row/column. Numbers below and to the right indicate the sum of the numbers in the corresponding row/column(not applicable for 2nd one)

Arrow Maze










Domino Arrows 2

Domino Arrows 1

[First write-up post-WPC] Puzzle No. 216-218 : Water water everywhere but nowhere near my house!

Ok that heading’s probably meh. Anyway, I have finally (and I mean finally!) reached back home. I thought I’ll take some rest and then start the bunch of write-ups but I’m feeling wide awake and there’s no reason to delay. I should say that a lot of these write-ups will be based, whether deliberately or not, on comparisons with last year since that is the only year I have participated in these events before this.

For Team India’s practice, I made some puzzles. Now a lot of these were from the newer types, and I needed practice myself in creating them. One of these was Rural Tourism. The ruleset here was so long that I ended up missing a sentence in creating the first puzzle. So the first puzzle doesn’t need to have houses adjacent to wells at all. In the second puzzle I missed that the adjacency rule has to be within the same farm. So this one has a house adjacent to each cell but not necessarily in the same farm. I finally got everything working right in the 3rd one.

This, and the title, are just a vague linking to one of the problems I had at the WSC WPCs. Upon arrival, it was apparent that there was a real limit on places that had water. It was then apparent that, during the breaks between rounds, was the only time water was freely available. During meals, there were some meals where there were juices, but otherwise, all drinks had to be paid for.

Now lets continue this vague write-up(how typical of me) on to some other little things, before I get to the main competition stuff. So anyway, the trip there was long and painful just like last year’s trip to Eger, but thats obviously just my own flaw of not being able to sleep on planes. One thing that was irritating was a 1 hour stop in Budapest where we just sat in the plane as it emptied and all of 1-2 persons got in to go to Zagreb. So when we arrive, with me at least feeling tired already, we then have a 3+ hour bus ride to Kraljevica from Zagreb, and then almost immediately after we get shown the rooms(which, compared to Eger at least, were pretty far away from the competition or restaurant or anything), there was an opening ceremony, dinner and a doubts session that went on till 11 or so. I remembered Tiit Vunk from Estonia telling me that his team was stuck in Trieste(I think this was a problem for many people) and missed the doubts session. He was pretty upset about this, as he should be. I hate how these things are on such a tight schedule.

After this exhausting opening, and many people arriving late, there was the WSC the very next day scheduled to start in the morning and go on till the late evening. There’s a whole rushed feeling to the tournament which I didn’t feel as much last year. This is all for now. I should say though, that there were many things I enjoyed on this trip too. All shall come in due time, with a write-up on the WSC tomorrow. For now, here are the above mentioned Rural Tourism puzzles. Please do pay attention to the rule changes.

Rules, as taken from WPC IB(with the necessary part omitted to make the first puzzle work) – There are 10 farms (areas with thick borders) in the grid. Locate 2 houses, 1 well and 1 farmer(some symbols are already given) on each farm so that there are also 2 houses, 1 well and 1 farmer in each column. Two houses from different farms cannot touch, not even diagonally. The same goes for two wells and for two farmers. Two houses on the same farm can be adjacent. Numbers on the right indicate the number of houses in the corresponding row while numbers on the left indicate the combined number of wells and farmers in the corresponding row.

Notations – Again as taken from the IB, the grey circle is a well and the other figure is a farmer.

RT 1











Added rule for the 2nd one – Each well must have a house adjacent to it. The house need not be on the same farm.












Added rule for 3rd one – Each well must have a house adjacent to it on the same farm.