Nurikabe (Word) by Thomas Snyder

Word Nurikabe by Thomas Snyder


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

Theme: Indian States (contributed by GMPuzzles to the Indian Puzzle Championship)

Author/Opus: This is the 180th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Variation of Nurikabe rules. Here, the islands are made up of words given in the list below the grid. The words must appear “snake-like” without forming 2×2 white squares or branching. Each given letter belongs to a separate word from the list. This example from the IPC instructions may be helpful:

Word Nurikabe Example by Prasanna Seshadri

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the black segments (the unnumbered, connected “ocean”) from left to right for the marked rows, starting at the top. Separate each row’s entry from the next with a comma.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:00, Master = 5:30, Expert = 11:00

Solution: PDF; a solution video is available here.

Note: Follow this link for classic Nurikabe puzzles on this website and this link for other variations on Nurikabe puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Nurikabe puzzles to get started on.

  • Para says:

    I was wondering why I had trouble solving it, but this variant has an extra rule than the ones I have seen before, in that all island have to be snake like and can’t have 2×2 white squares (as opposed to for example this:

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      I’ve been working a lot with Nurikabe loops which are also like snakes, so I liked using that particular rule here even though the snake part is the islands, not the ocean. I’ve actually seen 3 different rules for Word Nurikabe islands now. One just requires letters in left-to-right, top-to-bottom order with any shape, one that requires a path, one that requires a path that doesn’t loop back on itself (this one). Separately, Serkan has a version where there can be more than one letter in an island, but that also used snake-like paths.

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