### Star Battle (Builder) by Thomas Snyder

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Theme: Broken Frame

Author/Opus: This is the 374th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Star Battle rules. Also, some region boundaries are missing, but all given borders must separate cells in different regions.

Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 5:00, Master = 7:45, Expert = 15:30

Solution: PDF; a solution video is also available here.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Star Battles and this link for Star Battle variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Star Battles to get started on. More Star Battle puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles, in the books Star Battle by JinHoo Ahn and Star Battle 2 by JinHoo Ahn and Murat Can Tonta, and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

• Chandrachud says:

Tough one … but managed to crack it after a long time. Excellent puzzle …

• Roger Strain says:

I’m always amazed by puzzles like this, where it feels like there couldn’t possibly be enough to go on, but bit by bit it unwinds, and makes me wonder how you possibly could construct something like that in the first place.

• drsudoku says:

Thanks Roger. As I mention in Puzzlecraft and other places, my construction style is to write a puzzle as if I was solving it. I just don’t have the clues at the start to know what a solution will be and have to try look ahead of the puzzle in some ways to set the path.

In this Star Battle (Builder) that started by drawing the big middle box (my only goal theme item) and painting myself into a corner with no obvious way out. So I’d wonder how to get out of the corner, and then a little further out, and then around the grid, and so on. Sometimes after minutes of not seeing an out, I’d find a line or two that added a convincing next step. Or I’d get into a situation I couldn’t resolve and would walk back two steps. But eventually my toil was a single solution and the path I found to get myself out is probably the path you found while solving the puzzle too.

• Christopher Smith says:

Enjoyed finding this one in the archives. Took me quite a few restarts to get! Also fun to realize it was originally posted on my birthday 🙂

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