From the Foxger’s Den #29: Battlestar

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Battlestar by Grant Fikes


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

This is a “Twisted Tuesday” puzzle variation.

Theme: None

Rules: Variation of Star Battle. There are still two stars per row and column, but instead of regions there is an irregular grid. Stars cannot be placed in adjacent cells that share an edge or corner.

Answer String: For each row from top to bottom, enter the number of the first column from the left where a star appears (gray numbers at the top of the puzzle here are given to help). Enter these numbers as a single string with no separators.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 1:30, Master = 2:30, Expert = 5:00

Solution: PDF

  • Ravi says:

    Nice one, direct solve with no much deductions.
    Took ~ 3.5 minutes to solve.


  • James McGowan says:

    I was looking through Zoltán Horváth’s blog last week (after Roland Voigt highlighted it) and found 4 of these Battlestars in a pdf on this page:
    Apparently an unused idea for the WPC. They’re a little more challenging (deductions are required Ravi!). He says the author is Gyula Slenker.

  • chaotic_iak says:

    01:00, and that’s after I spent about 5 seconds for a mistake at the end.

    I certainly don’t get why this has such a long target times; I expected the Grandmaster time to be 40 seconds or something. Or otherwise I’m just too used to marking empty cells near paths of many stars.

    I also don’t get why this can be interesting. It’s pretty much Star Battle with each region being one row, and there are several black cells in (and regions can span over black cells). But that severely limits the deductions that can be used. As a one-off variation, this is nice, but I don’t think much can be developed from this. So, sorry Foxger, but not one of your best puzzles 🙁

    • drsudoku says:

      This one tested very poorly with our solvers for an unknown reason. [I normally interpret this to mean there are some harder deductions in there that my experience has simply gotten me to see automatically but this will not be the case for everyone.] So I adjusted my own time up a little bit to best capture the range I expected to see from solvers. That an experienced star battler could be quite fast is not a surprise. Here I bet solving on computer is even faster than paper too.

      I view this as mostly a one-off variation, but as a simplification of the Star Battle rules I think it has a place for more beginner solvers who only have to focus on row/column and no-touching constraints. I don’t fault Grant for experimenting with this variation, and I actually found it to be a pretty well-designed Battlestar as these puzzles go from my experience.

    • Grant Fikes says:

      Considering that I’ve had 30 puzzles on this site so far, I can’t expect all of my puzzles to be among my best. Still, I think even a one-off variation without much staying power on its own can be a fun change of pace if done right. Like Dr. Sudoku mentions above, this variant has appeared in Akil Oyunlari, which is where I first saw it; I figured I could try my paw at constructing one. That said, I’ll probably construct more Fillomino puzzles in any given month than Battlestars in my lifetime! 🙂

      I have some other regionless Star Battle variants under my belt, but perhaps it’s best to start solvers off easy. . . .

  • skynet says:

    3:17!Very Enjoyable solve

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