Sunday Update and Solutions

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Our past week with Kuromasu and Snake Pit puzzles is collected in this PDF and the solutions are in this PDF.

The daily solution videos are on the posts and linked below:

This next week will feature Tapa-Like Loop puzzles. Also, we have added Penpa solving links to old posts for every Snake Pit, Kuromasu, and Tapa-Like Loop puzzle recently. You can see all the fully digitized genres on our Penpa Notes page.

As an extra bonus for this week, I’m sharing a YouTube link to a recent puzzle constructors panel that Prasanna Seshadri and I were part of for the World Sudoku + Puzzle Convention. If you are interested in different stories about how we got into puzzle construction, things we keep in mind when writing puzzles, even knowing who some of our favorite constructors are, please check out the video.

Tied to this event, I’ve been wondering if there are other kinds of videos (besides solving videos) to add to our YouTube channel. If you think an “Ask Dr. Sudoku” vlog, construction or competition stories, or anything else might be interesting for our open Monday slots, we may try to make them in 2022.

  • Competition stories could definitely be interesting, especially if it’s not just GMP contributors and opened up to guest speakers. And I don’t just mean high level solvers (myself included), these stories and experiences are interesting from every level.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      We would likely start with interviews from GMPuzzles authors / guest contributors (as a lot of the solvers I know well interact with the site already), but eventually we might have a good puzzler conversation forum where a guest would come from outside our group. I’ve had a few people over the last year share stories of how they got into puzzles, even started some social groups to share puzzles, and so that would be an angle from more of the beginners’ side if I reached back out to those audience members.

  • Michael says:

    If you are interested in brainstorming, I have some ideas for alternative content (videos or articles):

    1. The “checkerboard anti-pattern” you mentioned in some Cave solve videos – I had never noticed that pattern, and I don’t think I would have ever derived it, either. I used it to solve some particularly hard Cave puzzles on Logic Masters Germany, and they would have been nearly impossible if I hadn’t heard of the pattern. I’ve also noticed that puzzles featuring objects inside and outside of drawn edge loops have the same anti-pattern. I wonder if that extends to other puzzle types.

    2. You could do a series about basic or advanced strategies for different puzzle types. Content could include ideas that stem directly from the standard rules of a type of puzzle (e.g. how objects or edges will be placed around 0-2 in relevant puzzle types), how to start filling in a puzzle (e.g. for Cave or Kuromasu, large numbers or medium sized numbers that are “crowded” by smaller numbers), how breaking in might require looking at all of the space and options left in a harder puzzle, etc.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      1) There are a few web posts from long ago where I try to document the intuition behind that rule but it is one of the few examples of a very “global” constraint that until you learn it will be hard to utilize in puzzles but once you have it it simplifies things a bunch. Some other ones that come to mind are around loop/path puzzles where topology around the grid forces certain loop directions and excludes others, or parity of cells in Slitherlink. I’m less good at those than other constructors we have on the site, but there could be a series of tutorials for some of these big puzzle concepts that demonstrate an interesting concept in math.

      2) I eventually still intend to make two tutorial videos for each of our puzzle styles when we relaunch some of our web experience — one like you mention about how to solve basic steps, and another about some good ways to use the Penpa interface to solve that style (or other notation if in pencil).

  • Tony says:

    I try to say this every time, but want to continue voicing thanks and appreciation for the Penpa archive efforts. As someone who came to the blog just last year, it’s awesome to be able to more easily access the old puzzles.

    Continue to love the solve videos.

    I’m going on my first vacation in a long time next week, and will be taking multiple books I’ve bought from the site. Looking forward to bringing gmpuzzles with me to the beach–thanks for all the great content!

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      Thanks Tony for your repeated comments like this. We know it is a big project to digitize our backlog but we’re making headway through this year and expect it will help us relaunch some of these puzzle styles with a new web experience in 2022.

  • Teddy Tan says:

    Wonderful idea. Few content is present about puzzle construction. I know you have some of this in the book Puzzlecraft but I think videos about puzzle construction would be much better.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      We will think about how to make more videos from the constructor’s vantage point. I’ve done a few blog posts and written articles like this as you mention. Probably for a few special puzzles, we are able to tell the story and capture some of the steps that went into a grid. I’m not sure it would work to just livestream someone starting from scratch in writing a new puzzle, but maybe we could think about how to do that too.

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