Welcome to Grandmaster Puzzles, a puzzle blog started by Thomas Snyder, aka “Dr. Sudoku”, 3-time world sudoku champion and author of many books of puzzles including “The Art of Sudoku”. We now have several contributing authors providing some of the best logic puzzles around. Here you will find a range of logic puzzle styles including number placement puzzles (such as Sudoku and TomTom), object placement (such as Battleships and Star Battle), region division (such as Fillomino and Cave), shading (such as Nurikabe and Tapa), path/loop (such as Slitherlink and Masyu) and many more.
Puzzles get progressively harder throughout the week, so there will be easier puzzles for beginners on Monday and Tuesday to start the week and much harder puzzles by Friday and Saturday. If you are new to a puzzle type, it is definitely recommended that you start on some of the easier entries to start. Besides the day of the week, one indication of difficulty is the time of the puzzle. There are three values: the “Grandmaster” time, which is set based on how our best test-solvers do (and as world puzzle champions, they can be quite fast). The “Master” time is a target for very experienced puzzlers who might be around 10th place on the US Sudoku/Puzzle Championship each year. The “Expert” time is a target for good puzzlers and is always twice the Master time. If you are just getting started with these puzzle styles, all of these times will be particularly challenging to reach. Don’t fret. Just solve for fun as you get started. As you gradually improve, see if you can start to reach Expert more frequently and then possibly even Master or better. The relative times are a close proxy to the difficulty of the puzzle within its style. A particularly high number for the time should be a warning that you might need to block out a lot more time to get through what will be an unusual, and unusually difficult, puzzle.
There are also sometimes tutorials for how to solve the puzzles in the “Ask Dr. Sudoku” series. Look for these posts for both general and specific tips about puzzle solving. And if you have any recommendations for new puzzle styles, or want to make your own puzzle contributions here, just email me to start a dialogue.