Sunday Surprise #11 – Basement Skyscraper Sudoku

I’m sure many of you were expecting ANOTHER version of the Christmas Tree puzzle from the last two weeks. I mean, I did get a very nice Double Back from Robert Vollmert (which cannot be confused as a Star Battle or a LITS). But posting such a puzzle wouldn’t be a surprise.

No, today’s Sunday Surprise comes from the pile of submissions I’ve received over the year from Hans van Stippent, who played with the usual rules of Skyscrapers a bit by hiding some of the cells from consideration. It yielded a very interesting puzzle which is Hans’ gift to you this Sunday.

Basement Skyscraper Sudoku by Hans van Stippent


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

Theme: New Variation/Logic

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Also, standard Skyscrapers rules. Additionally, the cells in gray are “underground” and cannot be seen for any of the outside skyscraper clues (think of them as starting with a negative sign if necessary). As an example, the 4 in row 2 refers only to seeing four buildings in columns 3 through 7, even if there is a 9 in column 1 or column 2 as that 9 cannot be seen.

Answer String: Enter the 1st row from left to right, followed by a comma, followed by the 9th row from left to right.

Solution: PDF

  • hagriddler says:

    The inspiration for this variant came from the idea that skyscraper grids are usually limited to squares but real city maps tend not to follow such limitations.

  • Scott Handelman says:

    Of course, if we assumed that you wouldn’t have posted the Double Back because it wouldn’t have been a surprise, and you did anyway, then it *would* have been a surprise.

    Unless you had foreseen that outcome. In that case…

  • Deanna says:

    I am catching up on some puzzles during a lazy Christmas afternoon and just did this one and it took me several hours overall (there were some other things going on) but I really enjoyed it. Was there supposed to be a time scale in mind for this?

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      I don’t have the Sunday Surprises tested by as many people (I like surprising them too!) but I would predict our rating at 9/15/30 so certainly on the higher end for us. The path is narrow but quite solid throughout, particularly if you are good at skyscrapers and catch some of the sudoku number eliminations the boxes cause.

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