### Easy as Skyscrapers by Dan Katz

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Theme: Logical (inspired by a 2015 USPC puzzle by Craig Kasper)

Author/Opus: This is the 2nd puzzle from guest contributor Dan Katz.

Rules: Enter the digits 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 into the grid so that each digit (and one empty square) appears exactly once in each row and column. Numbers outside the grid are either Easy as ABC or Skyscraper clues: either the clue is the first digit that appears in the corresponding row or column from the direction of the clue, or it is the number of digits in the corresponding row or column that can be “seen” from that direction (higher digits block the view of lower digits).

Answer String: Enter the letters in the marked rows in order from left to right, separating each row’s entry with a comma. Use a capital X for empty cells.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 5:00, Master = 8:45, Expert = 17:30

Solution: PDF

Note 1: This puzzle is much harder than a usual Tuesday puzzle.

Note 2: Follow this link for other classic Skyscrapers and this link for variations on Skyscrapers puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Skyscrapers to get started on.

• Jack Bross says:

This one was quite a bit easier* than the one on the USPC, but I really liked the clever design. I was glad that the use of 13579 was intact, as I thought that gave a good mix of some clue digits that are ambiguous about skyscraper vs. “easy as”, and other digits that are clear from the start.

There were a number of creative hybrids on the USPC this year — I also enjoyed the Nurikabe/Simple Loop hybrid and the Crossword/Masyu.

*Yeah, tougher than a usual Tuesday, but not more than say a typical Thursday/Friday.

• skynet says:

8:18 .The start took me some time.Once I got the start,the rest flowed smoothly.

• Francis says:

I actually found this harder than the one on the WPC test. (Kept making dumb errors and needing to restart — I think the way I was taking notes was prone to later misinterpretation.)

• Dan Katz says:

I wrote this the night before the USPC, hoping that the act of constructing a sample would give me insight in how to solve (a tactic I learned from the founder of this website). My construction goal was to make all of the clues ambiguous, but I had to sneak that 4 in.

AS it turns out, during the test I missed a key step on Craig’s puzzle, got stuck, and had to abandon ship for zero points. You win some, you lose some.

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