Sunday Stumper: Hungarian Tapa by Palmer Mebane

This year, we started posting some extra difficult Sunday Stumpers, about once a month. These will be quite tough puzzles, but with a logical path to be found (and solution videos to help). This eighth Sunday Stumper is a Hungarian Tapa from puzzlemaster Palmer Mebane.

Hungarian Tapa by Palmer Mebane

(view directly for a larger image)


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

Theme: Four Corners of Four

Author/Opus: This is the 52nd puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Palmer Mebane.

Rules: Variation of Tapa. Shade some empty cells black to create a single connected wall. Cells with numbers cannot be shaded, and the shaded cells cannot form a 2×2 square anywhere in the grid. Each row and column must contain eight shaded cells (four for the example). Place a number from 1 to 8 (1-4 for the example) into each shaded cell so that each number appears once in each row and column.

Numbers in a cell indicate the sums of the numbers of consecutive shaded blocks in the neighboring cells. If there is more than one number in a cell, then there must be at least one white (unshaded) cell between the black cell groups. Numbers on the shaded cells can repeat in a sum.

See also this example:

Hungarian Tapa example by Serkan Yürekli

Difficulty: 5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 35:00, Master = 1:05:00, Expert = 2:10:00

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

Note: Follow this link for classic Tapa and this link for Tapa variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Tapa puzzles to get started on. More Tapa puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles, in Tapa and Variations, and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles, all by Serkan Yürekli.

  • David Altizio says:

    Brutal (didn’t even get close to expert time!), but very nice. Really impressive construction given how constrained the final solution grid has to be to make it unique. 🙂

  • Ronan says:

    Lovely puzzle, tough but fair.

    I haven’t encountered this tapa variation before, are there many like it out there? Google tells me Serkan set one for the 2011 U.S. puzzle championship, but that’s all I can find… Unless it’s known by another name or something?

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      This is the standard name. There are some others if you search for Tapa Variations Contest VII and XX for example. Probably some from other puzzle blogs in early 2010s but you’ll need to look further into google results.

  • Ronan says:

    Neat, I’ll check those out–thanks Tom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.