This is a Melon puzzle. (17 – Nurikabe Scrabble)

Nurikabe Scrabble by Palmer Mebane

(View image directly for larger form.)


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use Tab to alternate between number entry and shading)

Theme: String Lengths

Rules: Variation of Nurikabe and Scrabble/Criss-Cross puzzles.

Place the 12 number strings into the grid, reading from left to right or from top to bottom, so they are all connected criss-cross style and also form a valid Nurikabe ocean. No unlisted string can appear anywhere, not even two-character ones, and the strings do not occupy any 2×2 area. The remaining white cells are part of islands as in a Nurikabe puzzle. Each island is represented by one number in the grid which equals its size in cells.

Or see this example from the 22nd WPC instruction booklet.

Answer String: For each column from left to right, enter the total count of zeroes from the entered strings. Enter the result as a single string (eg “401120…”)

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 7:00, Master = 15:00, Expert = 30:00

Solution: PDF

  • Aaron Chan says:

    This one was so much harder than the one on the WPC, and I ended up doing it partially by feel.

  • hagriddler says:

    Very nice variant !

  • FoxFireX says:

    Cool puzzle, but man… These last two have really kicked my tail. Tough week.

  • James McGowan says:

    I miss seeing the How-to-solve posts from earlier days (one of the highlights of this blog, given the caliber of the creators), and the last couple might make good candidates?

  • Vraal says:

    Really nice puzzle. Minor note, since I know you strive for accuracy: would it be best to change the instructions on the PDF & here with the word “characters” instead of “letters”, since you actually used numbers for this particular Scrabble puzzle?

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      Updated. I thought I had removed those in adapting the instructions but I see that the old “two-letter ones” part was imprecise.

      My favorite moment with this puzzle type at the WPC was with the playoffs form which ended up having a planets theme. I’d made a convincing arrangement of possible word locations that fulfilled all the island sizes, but in counting my entries I found I had 9 planets. Looking closely at the word list, I saw that I’d need to do some quick downsizing to get that puzzle done.

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