Dr. Sudoku Prescribes #64 – Tourney TomTom

TomTom by Thomas Snyder


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

Theme: Bracket Buster. Our 64th prescription is the perfect cure for anyone concerned with their logical decision making after the last 48(+4*) basketball games.

Rules: Standard TomTom rules, including the possibility for multi-cell subtraction or division by starting from the largest number.

Answer String: Enter the 2nd row from left to right, followed by a comma, followed by the 3rd row from left to right.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 1:15, Master = 1:45, Expert = 3:30

Solution: PDF

*Editorial Note: That the NCAA basketball tournament now starts with 68 teams is an accident of greed that I try not to think about too much. Like those two unclued cells in this grid that just don’t seem to fit in completely.

  • hagriddler says:

    Didn’t get the basketball reference but hey I guess that’s just me…

    I was a bit confused by the explicit reminder for multi-cell subtraction or division.
    I guess simply stating “Standard TomTom rules” would be enough.

    Also I failed to see why the ? was needed.
    Say a “2” clue instead would not have much influence on difficulty or solving path.

    But still a very nice and easy puzzle !

    • Jack Bross says:

      I think having every power of two exactly once with a single ? is aesthetically better than doubling up on the two.

      The basic model here is a single-elimination tournament that a lot of folks obsess over this time of year, going from 64 teams to 32 to the “sweet 16”, to the “elite 8”, to the “final 4”, to the finals to the champion.

      • hagriddler says:

        Thanx Jack & Thomas for clarifying.
        As you might have guessed I’m not into basketball. Makes the puzzle much better once you get the theme reference !

  • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

    I include the extra rule description to be sure people do not confuse this with other puzzles close in style to TomTom. Admittedly the “1” cage would cause problems in those rules, but drawing direct attention to it seemed a good choice on a Monday.

    In the US, there is a tradition of “March Madness” when college basketball holds its annual tournament. Many Americans pick brackets to try to select all the winners — even those who do not follow the sport at all. When your picks lose, we say your bracket is busted.

  • skynet says:

    3’18” .Nice puzzle!

  • mokrton says:


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