Aqre by Ashish Kumar

Update: 2023/07/09 – This fun and interesting puzzle by Ashish Kumar was the favorite “warm-up” track puzzle in our first subscription week on the site and we’re releasing it for everyone to get a tease for the new subscriptions. We also put out a YouTube video focusing on the special puzzle style of Aqre originally designed by Eric Fox.

No, this is not secretly a Sudoku! But Ashish Kumar has somehow managed to make a mostly easy and fully logical Aqre puzzle with this impressive grid shape.

Aqre by Ashish Kumar


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to shift between shading mode and the composite Yajilin mode where left click marks cells, right click marks dots in cells or X’s on edges, left click+drag draws lines.)

Theme: 3×3 Boxes

Author/Opus: This is the 104th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Ashish Kumar.

Rules: Standard Aqre rules: Shade some cells so that all shaded cells form one connected group. Regions with numbers must contain the indicated count of shaded cells, and it is allowed to shade over the numbered cells. There may not exist a run of four or more consecutive shaded or unshaded cells horizontally or vertically anywhere in the grid.

Aqre Example by Serkan Yürekli

Difficulty: 1.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 0:50, Master = 1:45, Expert = 3:30

Solution: PDF and solving animation. It is also featured in this “Better Know a Puzzle: Aqre” video.

Note: Follow this link for more Aqre puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Aqre to get started on. More Aqre puzzles can be found in these books in our e-store.

  • Alan Baljeu says:

    Thank you for your enthusiasm over Aqre. I really enjoyed discovering the genre in response to this post, and even pulled together some hard Sudoku-Aqre puzzles using “sum of shaded cells” to drive the shading and sudoku logic. I’m pleased how they turned and am thankful for your inspiration!

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