Puzzle No. 500 – 9 Shady Masterminds [Special] [Marathon]

I thought quite a bit about what I wanted for my 500th puzzle here. There was a stage when I thought I’d just ignore the milestone and post something normal. Then I got a bit of an idea of a simple theme which might still give out a nice solve path with different logical deductions combining.

The puzzle that resulted from this idea is pretty narrow and quite difficult, according to my and Swaroop‘s test solving experiences. Still, I think its ended up being quite varied in the thinking required and I like how it turned out.

Unlike my usual approach of posting a single image, for this puzzle I am attaching a PDF instead. This PDF has 4 pages. The first page contains the puzzle. The 2nd and 3rd pages contain the rules (The length is just because there are 9 different puzzles to cover, but most of them are familiar and should just be a quick read-through). There are two newer puzzle types, and one variant which I couldn’t immediately find an example for, so I have added 6×6 examples for these three rule-sets. The remaining are all classics, so I’ve just linked to the respective page where I got the rules from, and you can visit these links if you want an example. If you are new here and haven’t seen those sites before, I suggest visiting them anyway for more great puzzles.

Here’s the PDF:

9 Shady Masterminds

Please let me know in the comments or by mail (prasanna16391@gmail.com) if you have any queries regarding the rules or any other issues.

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7 comments on “Puzzle No. 500 – 9 Shady Masterminds [Special] [Marathon]

  1. Pingback: Puzzle No. 501 & 502 – Killer Sudoku & Extra Region Sudoku [Daily League] | PS's puzzles +

  2. What a great puzzle. Thank you, and congratulations on 500!

    After initial progress, I had this waiting for quite a bit, with two steps I had particular trouble with (one just seeing the easy argument, the second a more complex argument).

    • Thanks 🙂
      I was actually on your blog solving your latest nice Symmetric LITS puzzle just as you posted this comment…
      I think most of the complexity is around the middle row of grids, would be interested to know if there’s another way out other than working the LITS and Chocona especially.

      • LITS and Chocona and that 5-row were definitely part of the trickiest step for me, though I seem to remember I had to involve the 5-column in the LITS, too. The place I was stuck earlier was when I missed the global argument in the battleships, though right now I’m not sure to what extent figuring that out was required to make it through the LITS.

  3. Excellent work Prasanna!
    My solve seems to match Rob’s, I got small starts on all of them, was pleased to spot the Battleships logic then disappointed when it didn’t break the whole puzzle open!
    Came back to it today, found the two LITS 5s were the keys, and finished it off from there.

    James

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