Sunday Surprise #8 – Mystery Tapa

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Today’s surprise originally comes from Hans van Stippent, with some edits by me (Thomas Snyder) to increase the challenge and rewards of the solve. Together, we present this creative “Mystery Tapa” where all the clues (any value from 1-8) have been replaced with ?’s.

Tapa by Hans van Stippent and Thomas Snyder


Theme: Clueless?

Rules: Variation of Tapa rules. All clue numbers (1 and above) have been replaced with question marks.

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the shaded segments from left to right for the marked rows, starting at the top. Separate each row entry from the next with a comma. A double-digit number should have both digits entered.

  • James McGowan says:

    Lots of interesting deductions, thanks Hans!

    • hagriddler says:

      I have to admit, only the puzzle idea, the layout and the bottom left corner and the center patterns came from me.
      Originally the other corners were mirror images of the bottom left, leaving essentially a puzzle 1/4 its size.
      Thomas came up with the remaining corner patterns, hence more interesting deductions !

  • Azakura says:

    Cool. I will never see Tapa the same way again after this solve.

    • TheSubro says:

      I agree.

      Having journeyed through the recent CTC contest on Logic Masters India with such mediocrity, I have come to fully appreciate that I must be attacking these puzzles with half the arsenal of others (in addition to my own personal mental limitations). The simple logic of these combinations without any numbers showed me even more than ever that there are more generic deductions to be made than I am making now.

      Every failure in life is a learning moment. Oops, there went another.



  • ArDeeJ says:

    Gur fbyhgvba naq gur fbyivat cebprff ghearq bhg gb or n ovg gbb flzzrgevp sbe zl gnfgrf, but I liked it regardless.

    Sorry for the shameless self-insert, but if you liked this puzzle, you might like my puzzle too. It features similar logic. I might add that I made it before knowing about this puzzle.

    I understand if you want to delete this comment, though.

    • hagriddler says:

      Very nice puzzle ArDeej !

      At first glance I thought that the asterisks were merely ‘fillers’, only stating that those cells cannot be filled (and that at least 1 neighbour should be filled), but they play (of course) play a much bigger role.

      Those asterisks combined with the unique clue rule set up a lot of interesting deductions !

  • Nikolai says:

    Great puzzle, thanks 🙂

  • Figonometry says:

    This is the kind of puzzle that makes me think I’d do better if I wasn’t trying so hard. Once I started just colouring it in, the answer kind of popped out.

  • Francis says:

    Terrific puzzle, and definitely one that gives a gut feeling of “There’s no way this can possibly be solvable” at first glance, which is always fun.

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