Araf by Serkan Yürekli

Araf by Serkan Yürekli

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: 2021

Author/Opus: This is the 312th puzzle from our managing editor Serkan Yürekli.

Rules: Standard Araf rules.

Difficulty: 3 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 3:30, Master = 5:00, Expert = 10:00

Solution: To be posted by next Sunday (January 17th).

Note: Follow this link for more Araf puzzles on this website. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Araf Puzzles to get started on.

TomTom by Thomas Snyder

TomTom by Thomas Snyder

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: 2021

Author/Opus: This is the 370th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard TomTom rules, using the integers 1-7.

Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 3:00, Master = 4:15, Expert = 8:30

Solution: To be posted by next Sunday (January 17th).

Note: Follow this link for classic TomTom and this link for TomTom variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest TomTom to get started on. More TomTom puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles, and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

Battleships by Ashish Kumar

Battleships by Ashish Kumar

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: 2020 2021

Author/Opus: This is the 58th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Ashish Kumar.

Rules: Standard Battleships rules. Use the indicated fleet.

Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 2:15, Master = 3:15, Expert = 6:30

Solution: To be posted by next Sunday (January 17th).

Note: Follow this link for classic Battleships and this link for Battleships variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Battleships to get started on. More Battleships puzzles can be found in Battleships and Variations, in The Art of Puzzles, and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

Nanro by John Bulten

Nanro by John Bulten

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: Year of Outreach

Author/Opus: This is the 71st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: Standard Nanro rules.

Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 1:45, Master = 3:00, Expert = 6:00

Solution: To be posted by next Sunday (January 17th).

Note: Follow this link for Nanro puzzles on this website and this link for variations on Nanro puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Nanro Puzzles to get started on. More Nanro puzzles can be found in A Number o’ Nanro by Prasanna Seshadri.

Yajilin by Prasanna Seshadri

Yajilin by Prasanna Seshadri

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: 2020 2021

Author/Opus: This is the 195th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri.

Rules: Standard Yajilin rules.

Difficulty: 1.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 1:00, Master = 1:30, Expert = 3:00

Solution: To be posted by next Sunday (January 17th).

Note: Follow this link for classic Yajilin and this link for Yajilin variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Yajilin to get started on. More Yajilin puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles 2, and in our beginner-friendly book Logic Puzzles 101.

Looking forward to 2021

Dear solvers,

I hope you all enjoyed the “Best of 2020”. The collected PDFs are in all the web posts and also on our all weekly PDFs page.

Our “Best of …” selection process tried to be as consistent as possible with prior years, but some technical issues with the solving/fave widget meant we did add in web comments and tester feedback as additional signal for the best puzzles. If you think we missed a particularly awesome puzzle, please tell us (and in 2021 keep commenting on the posts when you like something as that is the most direct way for authors to see your feedback).

One small update on the solving widget: there are still users with login issues and the necessary fix requires a larger lift-over of the tool and database to our servers; we’ve contracted for this project so hope it returns to its old form in the next couple months.

One big update for 2021 is that we are going to include a digital solving option with automated solution checking for all puzzles.* We have set up Penpa-Edit on our site, and will be using it in a kind of “beta” mode as we find the best ways to present a variety of puzzles (with good documentation/instructions) including making some style changes over the coming months to integrate the current version more with the site. At the start, a lot of the help may be missing so if you aren’t already an experienced Penpa user, please look for some of our first solving videos to help a bit.

One last update for now is that in 2021 we will have a few “Sunday Stumpers” that are very, very hard puzzles. Seeing how difficult puzzles can seem fair to post if there are solving walkthroughs eventually connected to show the logical route, we will try to post a Sunday Stumper once a month including next Sunday at the end of our “Welcome to 2021” week. New puzzles, including the first with penpa-edit, will start tomorrow.

Best wishes for a great 2021,
Thomas (aka. Dr. Sudoku)

(*One impressive thing about Penpa-Edit as it has grown is that we can cover 99+% of the puzzles we’ve posted in the past — there is only one puzzle in our initial weeks of 2021 where a slight modification will be required to present the puzzle in a solvable form.)

Best of 2020: Sudoku

Here are our best Sudoku puzzles of 2020, in chronological order, selected from the 32 web posts in this category based on FAVE votes, web comments, and tester comments. All of these puzzles are gathered in this PDF file.

With 1 day left before our official reopen, Dr. Sudoku shared this minimal clue “countdown” Consecutive Pairs Sudoku puzzle that got a good number of FAVE votes.

Consecutive Pairs Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

A few months later, guest contributor Bryce Herdt’s Thermo-Sudoku ran “hot” with our solvers, with a nice visual theme and fun solving path to the answer.

Thermo-Sudoku by Bryce Herdt

While on the easier side, this “Big X” Consecutive Pairs Sudoku from Thomas Snyder was another favorite sudoku puzzle from the year.

Consecutive Pairs Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

A few classic sudoku got strong reviews through the year, but none more so than this excellent Sudoku by Swaroop Guggilam which was clearly one of our Best 2020 Sudoku.

Sudoku by Swaroop Guggilam

Our final best of 2020 Sudoku comes from Ashish Kumar who made an XV Sudoku with a theme referring to the letters, and a pretty minimal path taking advantage of the “XV rules” throughout.

XV Sudoku by Ashish Kumar