Sunday Update, Solutions, and New Starter Pack book

We just released our latest Starter Pack book, Starter Pack 4: Slitherlink by Takeya Saikachi. Like our other Starter Packs, this book contains a great set of elegantly hand-crafted easy-to-medium difficulty puzzles to get started with some of our different puzzle genres. Slitherlink is a loop puzzle style with a lot of depth of logic stemming from its very simple rules, and we’ve featured it a lot on this site. Like our other Starter Packs, all of the puzzles in this book also have a penpa link for digital solving. This book is also the first time we have saved penpa “solving animations” for each puzzle, so you can watch step-by-step how someone can go through the puzzle to get to the final answer which may help solvers know where to look when they get stuck. We are planning to bring Penpa solving tools and these solution animations to more of our upcoming titles, so please share your feedback here.

The new Starter Pack book connects to our most recent “Starter Pack” variety mix week of puzzles which included a Slitherlink by Takeya. Those puzzles are is gathered in this PDF and the solutions are in this PDF.

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

In the background we’ve been continuing our project to digitize our full puzzle archive for Penpa solution modes. All Sudoku puzzles of any type as well as all Skyscrapers puzzles have now been covered. This week we expect to finish Minesweeper and Battleships too. This will leave us with only a couple main genres and five “Other” categories to go to get nearly every puzzle in our soon-to-be ten year history available for solving in this mode.

This coming week features two different Number Placement styles that I often connect with the World Puzzle Championship: Smashed Sums (aka Doppelblock) and Terra X (which I first saw in 2019 at the last live WPC).

  • Kyle says:

    I’m thrilled to see continued support for penpa integration on your books. I would love to support the site more, but I ended up only doing 10% of the puzzles in the one book I got due to the lack of a solving utility. The solution path animation sounds pretty great, too!

    If you continue to support these two features, I will buy nearly every future book that contains some 4.5/5 star difficulty puzzles (except for slitherlink and tomtom, yuck).

    I’ve never commented, so here’s the best chance to say thanks so much to everybody who keeps gmpuzzles going.

  • Chandrachud says:

    I feel every book should have the solution path links irrespective of whether solving links are there or not …. good work there!

  • LorenR says:

    I really like the idea of a penpa “solving animations”. Will it be possible to single step from the beginning to the end? Bonus points, if one can configure it to show the next position to be filled as one step and the actual value for that location as another step. Rationale: Sometimes I get stuck and want to see the next logic place that could be filled by an expert without knowing the exact value that the expert would have filled there.

    • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

      Here’s an example for the Slitherlink puzzle from this week. It can be played back in one of two modes: “Solve Path” which is step-by-step (either at a slow pace or with every click), or “Live Replay” which at 1x or another multiple of speed shows the fast/slow parts of the solve matched to how long it took the solver to actually complete it. Anyone can save this kind of link when they solve (under Share and then Replay URL) if you play in Penpa.

      • Avatar photo drsudoku says:

        In terms of making the animations look more like “hints” and not just give away things, I could imagine taking a solution of a puzzle and then using say, the shading mode at a hard Aha step to highlight 4-9 squares, and then undoing the shading and going back to the solving path. It records any marks that the solver makes. So as long as the person making the animation is trying to highlight a particular thing, it should work. I do not expect that when I make these I would highlight every single move before it gets filled, just maybe some of the much harder ones.

        Here is a second version of the same Slitherlink walkthrough where at two places (one about parity, and one about having one full loop), I color the grid to highlight what to think about. It’s a little different but maybe it goes along with what you are asking for?

  • I prepared this 1-minute visual shorts video on how to share your solve path with others.

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