### The Doctor is Out

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No real news this week. I’m moving away from San Francisco, so this week and next will be pretty brief Doctor’s Note-wise.

This coming week contains Tapa and Sudo-Kurve puzzles. As I’ve never posted a *classic* Tapa puzzle despite writing several, I needed to make a new example worthy for posting tomorrow on the Rules page. This example (about Wednesday difficulty) is a bonus puzzle for today, and there will be three more Tapa puzzles throughout the week.

PDF

Rules: Shade some squares black to create a single connected wall. Numbers in a cell indicate the length of consecutive shaded blocks in the neighboring cells. If there is more than one number in a cell, then there must be at least one white (unshaded) cell between the black cell groups. Cells with numbers cannot be shaded, and the shaded cells cannot form a 2×2 square anywhere in the grid.

Answer String: Enter the length of shaded segments, from left-to-right, in each of the indicated rows. Separate each row’s entry with a comma.

Time Standard: Tapa Grandmaster = 1:00, Master = 2:00, Expert = 4:00

• Scott Handelman says:

Yay bonus puzzle. Wasn’t timing myself, but I think it was about two minutes. Good introduction-level logic.

• chaotic_iak says:

1:34 solving, 0:16 writing down the answer key. Blah.

Nice Tapa puzzle. Yes, it’s about Wednesday difficulty; not utterly trivial but not hellishly difficult either.

• Vraal says:

First time seeing a Tapa, got it right the first time. Settled around Expert level and I am so not a logic master. Very nice puzzle concept!

• skynet says:

Going straight to Nikoli.com for introduction demo.
Though i have seen this TAPA puzzles before i dont have any idea of what to do or what is to be done for that matter .:)

• Jack Bross says:

Well, I assume Nikoli was no help for this puzzle type. Note that the solution (but no walkthrough) for this puzzle is now up at the Tapa rules page on this site. Look at it if you aren’t sure what the rules even mean.

I can offer a few broad generalities, but you pretty much have to develop a feel for the genre yourself on this one, I think.

1) Some clues are so full that they very restrictive. For example, a “2 4″ in the middle of the puzzle somewhere means that there can only be one blank space between each string of shaded squares. Squares on the edges/corners tend to be particularly tightly constrained. For example, there’s only one way to fulfill a “2 2″ along an edge. Or, for example, we know that for the “4″ near the lower left corner of the puzzle above, the three cells next to it in column 2 must all be shaded (plus one more either above or below).

2) Lightly filled clues can also be restrictive because of connectivity issues. Look at the “1″ near the top left. The very top left square can’t be the “1″, since it could not connect to the rest of the puzzle. The next square to the right also can’t be the “1″, since it would have to continue to the right, and then get stuck on the “1 1″.

3) In many puzzles, you find yourself looking for ways for pieces of the wall to “escape” from their region of the puzzle and connect to everything else.

• skynet says:

Hi!!!Thnks for the beautiful tips.Will try to start using the above tips and complete the puzzle.
You are right.There is no introductory demo for TAPA in nikoli

• ksun48 says:

Nice puzzle! (2:02 for me)

• Ravi says:

Nice puzzle just Master level

• Anuraag Sahay says:

Pretty clean solve.1:20 on this one.Did puzzle 37 in grandmaster time.

• Francis says:

Nice variety of types of deduction in this one. Fun theme, too.

• skynet says:

11:09