Earlier this year, there was a contest on Tawan’s blog called Nikoli Hurdles. There were 8 Nikoli puzzles placed as hurdles for the participants, with the entrants who submitted all answers correctly then participating in an online randomized rock, paper, scissors game. The results of that are here. I received my prize a week ago now I think, and there’s 2 new-ish (I’d seen a few before the book, but not that many) genres on here, both of which I like. One of these is Kurotto. So I thought I’d create a Kurotto for the blog. I’ll let you be the judge of how good it is. On a difficulty scale here, it’d be a medium, but on Nikoli’s difficulty scale I see it being rated with a crying face.
Rules for Kurotto – Shade in some cells in the grid. Circled cells cannot be shaded. The number in a circle is the total number of shaded cells in the shaded cell groups that are orthogonally touching the circled cell. In other words, traveling through only shaded cells orthogonally, the circled cell must be able to reach as many shaded cells as its number indicates. Other instances of this puzzle have cells with blank circles too, which play no part except for being cells that can’t be shaded.
If that wasn’t clear or you want to see an example, here is the Nikoli version of the rules.