anderson's Puzzle Blog

Archive for the ‘Variations’ Category

Puzzle 23: Black Hole Tapa

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Rules (copied from the TVC instruction book): Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, each row/column must contain N Black Holes. Black Holes must be placed on the Tapa wall. For the purposes of surrounding clues, a cell with a Black Hole counts as M consecutive shaded cells instead of 1. Black Holes may touch each other. N and M will be given in Puzzle Booklet.

Also, in this puzzle, one of the clues has a 0 in it. I think the meaning of this should be natural, but just to be precise, the 0 must correspond to a non-empty group of black cells whose total length (adjusted for black holes) is 0.

Edited to add one more clarification: Even though the black holes count as 0 for clue purposes, they still count as black squares for everything else (black holes count for connectivity, you can’t have a 2×2 square of black holes, etc.)


Notes: Well, I suppose I’m still alive. 😛

After going to the WPC (I’m currently writing a recap and hope to have it finished at some point), I’ve been motivated to get back into making puzzles after I basically had no time at all the past year due to school/burnout. So, have some TVC practice! Although I’m not sure whether this puzzle is representative of a typical Black Hole Tapa, as M=0 is a little unusual heh.

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December 1, 2016 at 11:51 pm

Posted in Puzzles!, Tapa, Variations

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Puzzle 22: Nurikabe (pairs)

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Rules from MellowMelon’s blog: This is a Nurikabe puzzle, with a twist. Every region of unfilled cells must contain exactly two numbers (instead of one) and have total size equal to the sum of the two numbers.


Notes: After a 3 month break, and thanks to a 2-hour long physics class, we’re back. 😀 Also, there’s no hidden valentine’s day theme or anything (I didn’t even know that it was valentine’s day until I saw students carrying around flowers today, heh). The 2s are, well, for puzzle 22, and feel free to count how many 2s there are.

On another note, I might post a more detailed mystery hunt recap sometime. Out of the logic puzzles I remember, Portals was amazing, Agricultural Operations was cool, A Regular Crossword was cute, and Random Walk was okay but had lots of trial and error. Palindrome was an awesome team to solve with, as usual!

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February 15, 2013 at 2:35 am

Puzzle 21: Skyscrapers Fillomino

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Rules (from the Fillomino-Fillia 2 booklet): In addition to the usual rules, the numbers in the grid should be treated as building heights. Numbers on the outside of the grid tell how many buildings are visible when looking from that direction. A building obscures all buildings behind it whose height is equal to or smaller than itself.

Notes: This puzzle is brought to you by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

If you haven’t done Fillomino-Fillia 2 yet, there’s still time! You can still start the test any time in the next 3 hours or so. And even if you don’t plan on competing, you should definitely do the puzzles afterwards, because they are amazing.

Written by qzqxq

October 29, 2012 at 9:16 pm

Posted in Fillomino, Puzzles!, Variations

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Puzzle 20: Fillomino (no row/column repeats)

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This is a Fillomino, with the added rule that in any row or column, all cells with the same number must be part of the same region. In other words, no two regions of the same size can share any row or column.

Notes: With three puzzles in three weeks, it seems like this blog might actually be revived after all. 😀

Also, in case you haven’t heard, Fillomino Fillia 2 will be held at LMI this weekend, and it’s definitely going to be awesome, so everyone reading this should do it! I might create and post some practice puzzles this week if I have the time.

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October 23, 2012 at 6:10 am

Posted in Fillomino, Puzzles!, Variations

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Puzzle 16: Tapa-Like Loop

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Some preparation for the upcoming Tapa Variations contest at LMI.

Rules (copied from instruction manual): Tapa wall is in the form of a continuous loop. Clues inside the grid represent the number of neighbouring cells visited by the loop. If there is more than one number in a cell, each number should be represented with a separate loop segment. In this puzzle, no 2×2 rule of Tapa does not hold.

Notes: I really should start posting on a regular schedule. Again, I’ll say that if anyone has any requests for puzzles they want to see on this blog, just leave a comment and I’ll try my best.

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March 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Posted in Puzzles!, Tapa, Variations

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Puzzle 15: Shortest Segment Tapa

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Rules, from the Tapa Variations Contest X booklet: “Follow regular Tapa rules. Additionally, clues outside the grid indicate the length of the shortest blackened block lying towards that direction.”

EDIT: As pointed out by Bram, the recently released errata on the LMI site means that this puzzle has different rules from the one on the test. For this puzzle, if a number appears on the side, then at least one segment of that length must appear in that row or column.

Notes: I’ll probably make some more tapa variations by Saturday. Don’t forget about this if you want practice for braille tapa!

I’ve also pretty much given up on sticking to any sort of puzzle creation schedule. Maybe I just need more motivation, though, so I will now be taking puzzle requests :P: if anyone wants me to try creating any kind of puzzle, say so in the comments and I’ll get to it.

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February 22, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Posted in Puzzles!, Tapa, Variations

Puzzle 13: Prime/Composite Fillomino

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This is a fillomino with the extra restriction that all prime-sized regions are contiguous and all composite-sized regions are contiguous (1s don’t matter).

Notes: Thanks to Cy Reb, Jr. for the original concept.

I think many more cool things can be done with this kind of variation (several groups of polyominoes needing to be contiguous), and this puzzle isn’t very interesting when it comes to creatively using the condition, but I hope you all enjoy it anyways.

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November 8, 2011 at 5:04 am

Puzzle 12: Total Yajilin

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This is a Yajilin puzzle with a small twist. Each clue number is now equal the total number of black squares in the same row and column as that clue number (this means I don’t have to draw any arrows, yay!).

Notes: This is pretty much MellowMelon’s Indirect Yajilin, but I figured that it wouldn’t exactly be accurate to call this puzzle Indirect when it only uses clues of this one type. And, of course, putting grey plus signs in the cells would be a very difficult task for me.

Also, on a more personal note, I haven’t constructed anything in the past month mainly because of college apps. However, I submitted my early action applications to MIT and Caltech yesterday, which means more time for puzzles! 😀 Though I suppose it would be a good idea to force myself to construct at a rate of two puzzles per week or something so there aren’t any huge time gaps between postings.

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November 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Puzzle 11: Fillomino (no rectangles)

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This is a Fillomino puzzle, with the additional rule that no region can be a rectangle.

Notes: Original variation idea by mathgrant.

I also wish I could create puzzles more frequently, but this past week has been hell studying for the SATs. Oh well.

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September 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm

Puzzle 10: Line Nurikabe

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This is a Nurikabe puzzle with a twist. You are now allowed to have 2×2 squares of black cells, but you may not have 5 consecutive black cells in a row or column. Credits to MellowMelon for creating this variation (or, at least, for posting the first line Nurikabes I’ve ever seen).

Notes: Yeah, so I haven’t posted a puzzle in a week or so. This was mainly due to participating in the Microsoft Puzzle Hunt last weekend, and then having my parents yell at me for not getting as enough essays done as they want me to, and then just losing my motivation (college applications…darjn). Anyways, I hope you like this despite it being non-symmetric.

By the way, if you haven’t seen the Microsoft puzzles, they’re here. It was awesome, as pretty much all of the individual puzzles were very nice and elegant, and some just blew me away (such as The Social Network and Codebooks). The “meta”s were kind of disappointing, in that they didn’t actually use any of the puzzle answers, but that didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment.

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September 19, 2011 at 8:36 pm