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Oct. 4th, 2013

Puzzle 16: BACA

Been a while.  This one's pretty easy, but I was inspired by a puzzle on GM Puzzles yesterday.

Rules (as swiped from GM Puzzles): Either shade or add a single letter (A,B, or C) to each square so that each row and column contains exactly one A, one B, one C, and the rest shaded squares. Cells in the grid already marked with a letter can be shaded or remain unchanged.

Letters outside the grid indicate the first letter seen from that direction.

Numbers outside the grid describe the size of groups of consecutive shaded squares in that row or column in order. There must be at least one unshaded square between groups.


Mar. 19th, 2013

Puzzle 15: Yajilin

I'm teaching a problem solving class, and I showed my students how to solve Yajilin puzzles, and then thought I would try my hand at creating one to give to them as a challenge.  This one is also Southwest themed; the given squares make an S and a W (well, they *sorta* do.  I could have added more clues to make better looking letters but Yajilin tends to fill up with superfluous clues pretty fast. As it is, a lot of these squares could have zero numbers and the puzzle would solve the same.)


Mar. 5th, 2013

Puzzle 14: Sudoku

You're not going to see a lot of Sudoku from me. I'm not great at solving them, and definitely not an expert at making them.  But the phrase I wanted to work with seemed like it would make a good puzzle base, so I figured, what the heck.

Southwest Sudoku

Go Silverhawks!
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Mar. 4th, 2013

Puzzle 13: Sudoku Slitherlink

Possibly the hardest puzzle I've ever written.

Sudoku Slitherlink 2

I'm still kinda shocked that the middle just kinda "works". 

Mar. 3rd, 2013

Puzzle 12: Sudoku Slitherlink

Only a year between posts. Eh, I've been busy. Having a baby tends to cause other things to fall by the wayside.

Here's another Slitherlink variation that I've been toying with. Not sure if it's an original one, but I can't find one through a cursory Google search, so I'll claim it until someone tells me different.

Rules: Regular Slitherlink rules apply: create a continuous loop where the numbers tell you how many sides of that cell are used by the loop.  Additionally, the green cells must be filled with additional Slitherlink clues so that the numbers 0-3 appear once in those cells in every row and column.

I guess that technically would make it a Latin Squares Slitherlink, but Sudoku Slitherlink is alliterative and more recognizable.

Sudoku Slitherlink

Feb. 6th, 2012

Puzzle 11: Masyu

There is sometimes a puzzle writing contest at the Grey Labyrinth message boards, and one of the challenges was to write a puzzle that was not language dependent, meaning your ability to solve the puzzle was not hampered by not knowing a specific language, or even how to read or write.  Since I'm a logic puzzle person, I thought "Yay! Freebie!"  *All* logic puzzles are language dependent, which is why I'm able to go to, say, a German website and solve a logic puzzle with little difficulty.  If you know the rules of the puzzle, then you're good to go. It's part of the reason why I love math; it's a universal language. 

Of course, I had to be a bit cheeky and include letters in my design as if to say "Yeah, I know we're not allowed to use letters...anything you see must be your mind forming things that aren't there!"  The GL stands for "Grey Labyrinth."

Rules of Masyu (stolen from nikoli.com)
  1. Make a single loop with lines passing through the centers of cells, horizontally or vertically. The loop never crosses itself, branches off, or goes through the same cell twice.

  2. Lines must pass through all cells with black and white circles.

  3. Lines passing through white circles must pass straight through its cell, and make a right-angled turn in the cell next to the white circle (left or right).

  4. Lines passing through black circles must make a right-angled turn in its cell, then it must go straight through the next cell (till the middle of the second cell) on both sides.

The puzzle itself is on the easy side as Masyu puzzles go.  It's probably more interesting for the letters gimmick than for the logic.
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Feb. 3rd, 2012

Puzzle 10: Different Neighbors Slitherlink

Yeah, I know, I've been posting a lot of these.  But I posted these elsewhere, and someone enjoyed the puzzle enough to actually construct one of his own, which I was honored by. And on top of that, he went and made his rotationally symmetrical too, so I had to go and do the same, because I will *not* be upstaged, darnit! :)

The solution is a bit more symmetrical than I'd like (the goal is for the clues to be symmetrical but different parts of the puzzle should solve differently) and I think that's mostly because the symmetrical cluing in the center painted me into a corner.

(Edited image due to non-uniqueness)

I promise the next puzzle will not be a Slitherlink...or at least not of this variety.

Puzzle 9: Different Neighbors Slitherlink (small)

Got bored yesterday, and a good way to kill time is to make a tiny puzzle. It doesn't require as much time as a regular size like a 10x10, but you still get to play with new tricks.  I was hoping I could finagle this one to be vertically symmetrical, and I probably could have if I didn't stick to my guns with the question marks, but I'd rather not have extra information if possible.

Jan. 29th, 2012

Puzzle 8: Nurikabe

This puzzle falls under the cateogory of "puzzles I wrote a while ago."  I think I originally wrote it for a Grey Labyrinth puzzle writing competition maybe a year and a half ago...I'm not quite sure.  My idea was to write a logic puzzle based off of the mysterious numbers from the TV show Lost (4,8,15,16,23,42).  There is also a Hunt-esque thematic final answer to the puzzle if you're into that sort of thing; solve the Nurikabe and then see if you can glean a one-word solution from the word grid below.

The Nurikabe rules are completely standard, and can be found here.

I guess it's worth noting that, unlike similar puzzle bloggers like motris, mathgrant, or mellowmelon, I am probably just as much a word puzzle guy as I am a logic puzzle guy. I mention this so that you don't seem surprised if you see, for example, a crossword suddenly appear on the website.

Also, my name doesn't start with "M" so I guess I have that going for me too.

Jan. 27th, 2012

Puzzle 7: Different Neighbors Slitherlink (small)

So I posted my Slitherlink variation elsewhere, and someone said he didn't quite understand the instructions, but told me not to re-explain them lest his brain explode (his words, not mine).  So I said I would compromise and whip up a 5x5 trial version of the puzzle type with a solution.  But damned if I'm not actually pretty stoked about how this teensy version came out.  I was happy with the corner logic in the first one I posted, but I'm even happier with the corner logic here at the very end.  It almost makes up for the two hours I spent on trying to make a symmetric puzzle which resulted in horrible failure.

Anyway, here's the example I whipped up.  It's definitely non-trivial and worth solving, even in its tiny size.

Different Neighbors SlitherlinkAll regular Slitherlink rules apply. Additionally, for every given clue (including question marks which can be any number), the surrounding squares must each touch a different number of segments. For example, if a clue borders four squares, then one square must touch 0 segments, one must touch 1, one must touch 2, and one must touch 3.

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