Puzzle No. 517-519: Nikoli! (Tribute to Maki Kaji)

I haven’t posted in a while. There are a bunch of reasons for this, including travel and a bad reaction to my first vaccine dose.

Anyway, today’s post is a tribute to Maki Kaji, who passed away last week from cancer. I was going to elaborate on my thoughts more, but honestly this post by Thomas pretty much says exactly what I wanted to, perhaps in a better way.

I got into Nikoli.com pretty late, and just had a year of solving before the online solving portion had to close. I do purchase their books from time to time and I absolutely love the giants series.

Like Thomas, my note of thanks will be for his broader contribution to the puzzle community via Nikoli, influencing me and so many other puzzlers positively.

As a tribute, I have written 3 Nikoli style puzzles, and by that I mean ‘Nikoli style’ – I’ve tried to keep look, difficulty and dimensions as I remember them from Nikoli.com.



  1. Place light bulbs (circles) according to the following rules.
  2. Light bulbs may be placed in any of the white squares, the number in the square shows how many light bulbs are next to it, vertically and horizontally.
  3. Each light bulb illuminates from bulb to black square or outer frame in its row and column.
  4. Every white square must be illuminated and a light bulb can not illuminate another light bulb.


  1. Place black “triangles in squares” (see 2) in the grid under the following rules.
  2. There are four kinds of black triangles you can put in the squares (shown below)
    . You cannot place black triangles in the black squares.
  3. The parts of the grid that remain white (uncovered by black triangles) always form a rectangle or a square.
  4. The numbers indicate how many black triangles are around it, vertically and horizontally.


  1. A rectangle, bordered by bold lines, is called a “room”. Fill in cells under the following rules.
  2. The numbers indicate how many painted cells there are in a room. Rooms with no number may have any number of painted cells.
  3. White cells cannot stretch across more than two rooms in a straight line.
  4. Painted cells cannot be connected horizontally or vertically. White cells must not be separated by painted cells.

Rule credits: https://www.nikoli.co.jp/en/puzzles/index.html

Penpa links

P517: https://git.io/J0aKg

P518: https://git.io/J0aP0

P519: https://git.io/J0a1f


Puzzle No. 382-396 : Czech Puzzle Championship Puzzles

I think this was a set I wrote when I wasn’t that well. That’s not meant as an excuse, but as a warning – I tend to make things harder when I’m ill. However, some of these are also rejects from newspaper bunches for being not-too-easy (Heyawake for example) which means there’s some easy in there too. Unlike my previous puzzle set posts, I decided to find out a bit more this time, which basically means that I can add the points that were assigned to each puzzle. The Skyscrapers Pentomino was not used, but since it was not used for being too hard, I’ve simply valued it at points higher than any of the others.

The Championship had 5 rounds and then a playoff at the end. The first round had the largest time slot and so two of the hardest puzzles of my set, the Yajisan Kazusan and the Shakashaka were moved into that round. Two others, Heyawake and Multiplicative Corral were moved to the Playoff/Final. There’s no point valuing for these, but I’d put their difficulty around the LITS or the Country Road, something of a medium difficulty.

There were 25 participants, and Jan Novotný emerged as the winner, mainly by having a good playoff, as Matej Uher was ahead after the first 5 rounds (377.8 – 299.2). In fact, Jan was 4th before the playoffs, behind Jana Vodičková (332.5) and Jakub Hrazdira (306). Congrats to him, and the other qualifiers. For my round (the 4th round, valued at 110 points), the top scorers were Matej Uher (85), Jakub Ondroušek (77) and Jakub Hrazdira (62). I’m posting only my own puzzles but as a test solver for the event in general, I did have access to the other puzzles too, and the quality is quite high throughout. If you’re interested in knowing more, or you are a Czech/Slovakian interested in becoming a member of the HALAS Association (where I think you will gain access to all these puzzles), I’d suggest you contact Jiří Hrdina, who co-ordinated/organized this Championship.

Rules/links and points –

P382 : Bosnian Road (8 points).

P383 : Country Road (12 points).

P384 : Easy As Tapa (14 points) – Follow regular Tapa rules. Clues outside must be placed in the first unshaded cell in that row or column.

P385 : Fillomino (7 points).

P386 : Heyawake (Playoff puzzle).

P387 : LITS (12 points).

P388 : Masyu [Alternative] (4 points) – Follow regular Masyu rules. Additionally, the loop cannot pass two circles of the same colour continuously.

P389 : Multiplicative Corral (Playoff Puzzle) – Draw a single closed loop along the grid lines that contains all the numbered squares and does not touch itself, not even at a point. Each given number is the product of two numbers: the number of interior squares that are directly in line vertically with that number’s square (including the square itself) times the number of interior squares that are directly in line horizontally with that number’s square (again, including that square itself).

P390 : Nanro (14 points).

P391 : Norinori (5 points).

P392 : Product Heyawacky (25 points). Follow regular Heyawacky rules. Additionally, the number at the top left of a cage is the product of shaded cells in each different region, only pertaining to its area within the cage.

P393 : Shakashaka (40 points).

P394 : Skyscraper Pentomino (60 points?). (Edit – It should be noted that the puzzle in the link has “X” marks where pentominos can’t be placed, whereas the puzzle below has black cells denoting that)

P395 : Sum Skyscraper (9 points). Follow regular Skyscrapers rules. This skyscraper uses the digits 1~7. The numbers outside indicate the sum of the visible digits.

P396 : Yajisan Kazusan (40 points).

Now, the puzzles! Enjoy!































Puzzle No. 351 – 366 : Zagreb Open puzzles

I managed to somehow squeeze this set out in one day just before my exams started, right in the middle of the hectic submissions time in college. After that, Vladimir managed to squeeze in some time on that day itself to test these puzzles, so many thanks to him for that.

Rules all placed at the start of the post with the puzzles coming later (Trying a new format for posting, simply because its more convenient for me. The puzzle captions should aid you in knowing which rule is for what puzzle, but the ordering is the same as well, so it shouldn’t be much hassle either way.

Rules –

351 – Akari.

352 – Fillomino.

353 – Graffiti Snake.

354 – Heyawake.

355 – Japanese Sums – Place the digits 1-6 in some of the squares, so that no digit is repeated in any row or column. Sums on the outside indicate the sums of consecutive digits in that row or column, in order. Each sum is seperated by at least one empty square.

356 – LITS.

357 – Nanro – Write numbers in some cells of the diagram. All numbers in a region must be equal. The given number in a region denotes how many cells in this region contain a number (at least one). Same numbers must not be orthogonally adjacent across region boundaries. Numbered cells must not cover an area of size 2×2 or larger. All numbered cells must form a single orthogonally continuous area..

358 – Odd Even Skyscraper – In addition to Skyscraper rules linked to below, all outside clues that are shaded are odd. The rest are even. Range 1-6.

359 – Pentopia.

360 – Regional Yajilin.

361 – Shakashaka.

362 – Skyscrapers. Range 1-6.

363 – Tapa.

364 – Tents – Place a tent ortogonally next to each tree so that no two tents touch eachother, not even diagonally. Numbers on the outside indicate the amount of tents that are in that row or column.

365 – Walls Fillomino – Some region borders are given; i.e. the numbers on both sides must be different.

366 – Yajisan Kazusan.










Japanese Sums
























Puzzle No. 114 : Revenge of the Heyasleep

See regular Heyawake rules.

Rules for this : The numbers show the different blocks of connected unshaded groups within the region. The numbers are all wrong. The number of numbers that there should be are also wrong. e.g. a 14-18 clue means there won’t be any unshaded group of 14 cells, or of 18 cells, and there cannot be exactly 2 groups of unshaded cells in that region.

Rated : Hard due to unfamiliarity, and general confusion.

Solution here. Password – RH


Puzzle No. 114

Puzzle No. 107 : Heyasleep

Yes, week title, I know thats not even how Heyawake is pronounced. Its probably a week continuation of the inversion series too. The title, because I can’t think of anything else except sleep right now. The week<actually non-existent> idea, because I’m utterly disconnected in everything after something thats occurred today. Apologies.

Anyhow, I still think its a pretty good puzzle.

Follow Heyawake rules.

Clues show number of cells in the region that are NOT shaded. (was thinking of making it unshaded groups, you know like 1-3-1 means 3 separated unshaded regions within a room of those lengths, but as said above, I don’t feel up to it. Will probably try it later if people think thats a good idea though)

Rated : Medium.

Solution here. Password – HF


Puzzle No. 107

Puzzle No. 95 : Heyawake

Let me just say, that if yesterday’s was meh, this might be something worse unless its to your taste. Messed up the symmetry too for good measure. My defense? Apart from the usual exams thing, TVC XI is coming up and I’ve been trying to make head and tail of the variations put up this time. It seems to have more mathematics in it than my school years combined. While I’ve managed to do the first batch of Bram’s practice puzzles, I have a feeling the ones in the test may be a lot harder. I just hope they’re not fidgety.

Anyway, TVC XI test page can be found here. Its this weekend. I doubt I’ll be able to keep my run of best Indian going here :-s

Back to the puzzle now. Whatever be its shortcomings, I’m quite happy everything came to in different multiples of 3 😛

Rules for Heyawake.

Rated : Hard. Enjoy!

Solution here. Password – TM

Puzzle No. 95

Puzzle No. 62-82 : My birthday puzzles!

Because, even though I’m gonna be stuck in college on my birthday, doesn’t mean all of you shouldn’t enjoy yourselves. The regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve been struggling to even put up a single puzzle on most days. So in preparing this, obviously most would be easy, and some of them may even fall under the category of “Evil Zingers”. However, I do think quite a few of them are fun, and the last one is probably one of my best. Heh, anyway, you decide.

This set features my first attempt at a Liar Loop, and a non-variant Slalom. 🙂

Birthday Puzzles

Birthday Puzzles Solutions

That should do for today’s puzzle post I suppose. Enjoy!

Update : Apparently the PDF is crashing for some people. The error is for some reason that it requires a Japanese Fonts plug in. For what its worth, I downloaded the same and its completely fine. But of course, you may want an alternative, so I’m uploading just the PNG formats of all puzzles in the rar file, with a txt file for the rules and descriptions. The solutions PDF is fine I suppose.


Hope that fixes any issues. 🙂

Puzzle No. 43 : Heyawake

Enjoyment wise, best weekend ever. Health wise, the weekend’s been meh. Another mad headache right now, so you can maybe forgive me for taking a few shortcuts with this one.

Rated : Hard, I suppose.  I don’t think I’ve used this many one-cell rooms at all since my numberless Heyawake!

Rules for Heyawake (under the name Room and Reason).

Solution and tips here. Password – WW.


Puzzle No. 43