### Arrow Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

In Arrow Sudoku, it is often a good approach to focus on possible combinations of numbers in arrows pointing in just one direction; this warm-up puzzle by Thomas Snyder is full of such arrows, all going to the right.

PDF

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

Theme: Right Way of Thinking

Author/Opus: This is the 476th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Arrow Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 1:05, Master = 2:05, Expert = 4:10

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

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

Note 2: Comments on the blog are great! For a more interactive discussion, please also consider using our week-0-discussion thread on the GMPuzzles Discord. If you are not yet part of this Discord community, use this link.

### Star Battle by Thomas Snyder

LinkedIn recently launched some daily games including Queens, a simplified version of Star Battle with puzzles with just one “crown” per row/column/region. Thomas Snyder has been providing the initial puzzles for that game which you can catch on this LinkedIn Queens page, with puzzles similar to today’s warm-up puzzle in difficulty.

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; in composite Star Battle mode a left click places a star, right click in a cell marks off the cell, and a right click on an edge or corner marks in a dot as a placement note.)

Theme: Tetrominoes

Author/Opus: This is the 475th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Star Battle rules. One star per row, column, and region.

Difficulty: 1 star

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 0:20, Master = 0:50, Expert = 1:40

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Star Battles and this link for Star Battle variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Star Battles to get started on. More Star Battle puzzles can be found in these books in our e-store.

Note 2: Comments on the blog are great! For a more interactive discussion, please also consider using our week-0-discussion thread on the GMPuzzles Discord. If you are not yet part of this Discord community, use this link.

### Season 3 – Free Preview Week

After two successful puzzle seasons in late 2023 and early 2024, we’re back to kick off our third subscription season. This next week will again be a free preview of what a subscription week is like. From Monday to Saturday there will be 2 daily puzzles, starting with a warm-up puzzle on the easier end and then a regular puzzle (scaling difficulty through the week). We’ll also have something different for you each Sunday, either a larger or harder puzzle, some experiments with new genres, contests, and other things like you’ll see this week. All puzzles have digital solving options and PDF files, as well as solution animations to help you understand steps where you might get stuck.

The schedule for the free preview week is:
Monday: Masyu
Tuesday: LITS
Wednesday: Fillomino
Thursday: Star Battle
Friday: Arrow Sudoku
Saturday: Skyscrapers (Sum)
Sunday: Instructionless Puzzle

Starting the following Monday, we will have 12 more weeks of puzzles for our Season 3 subscribers, running through late August. Subscriptions to Season 3 are \$12 (only \$4 per month) for over 150 puzzles.

We also have a special deal for people who purchase before the end of June 15th: Get (a maximum of) \$4 off any other book/subscription on the GMPuzzles store by adding that item to the same cart when you purchase Season 3. This is a great way to pick up another GMPuzzles book, or to catch up on prior subscriptions where you’ll be able to get access to all puzzles and blog posts right away.

### Season 2 – Free Preview Week

We’re kicking off 2024 with the start of Season 2 of our subscription blog releases. This next week will be a free preview of what a subscription week is like. From Monday to Saturday there are 2 daily puzzles, starting with a warm-up puzzle on the easier end and then a regular puzzle (scaling difficulty through the week). We’ll also have something different for you each Sunday, either a larger or harder puzzle, experiments with new genres, and other things. All puzzles have digital solving options and PDF files, as well as solution animations to help you understand steps where you might get stuck.

The schedule for the free preview week is:
Monday: TomTom
Tuesday: LITS
Thursday: Star Battle (Hidden Double)
Friday: Consecutive Pairs Sudoku
Saturday: Araf
Sunday: Rossini Sudoku

Starting next Monday, we will have 12 more weeks of puzzles for our Season 2 subscribers, running from February through to the end of April. Subscriptions to Season 2 will be \$12 (only \$4 per month) for over 150 puzzles.

Also, Season 1 is still available for \$10 for people who missed our first exciting season. New subscribers to Season 1 will immediately be able to get access to the 175+ puzzles, but without the same active discussion that happened when the puzzles first posted.

### GMPuzzles plan for (early) 2024

2023 was a busy year for us at GMPuzzles, even if it didn’t always seem obvious from our publishing schedule. Setting up a new method to have a blog subscription service took some time, and we had a successful first season of web content and a good response to our new Discord platform for puzzle discussion for subscribers. We exceeded our first goal for subscriber numbers, but still need many more to make this a self-sustaining product. We also put together the World Sudoku and Puzzle Championships, which was a very rewarding experience although it took a lot of energy that we’re just now slowly getting back.

In 2024, we are going to continue the focus on subscription seasons as our main effort. This week we’re posting the last (delayed) week of Season 1 for subscribers; if you don’t see those puzzles but expect you should, please login again to the site using the subscriber login link at the top.

Then later in January when we have some site updates ready, we will have a preview week for the start of Season 2, free for everyone on the blog, which will show how we’re using warm-up puzzles, regular puzzles, hints and walkthroughs, new Sunday content, and Discord to make an interesting subscriber experience. After that Season 2 will begin and we’ll see how the 2024 plan evolves from there with the current goal for Season 3 to start two weeks after the end of Season 2. This allows us a break after 12 weeks of puzzles for some improvements to be implemented.

—–

In more personal news, many of you know that 2023 was a year I took off from working in science (and having cell phones interrupt me and other things) as I was focusing on my mental health and recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. While I’ve learned a lot by reading textbooks about mental illness or memoirs written by people with mental illness, I’ve also learned that I can’t outthink my bipolar disorder and need to be diligent in watching my sleep, stress levels, and taking medication to stay healthy. My focus in 2024 is going to continue to be on my health and on reconnecting with science/bigger mission. So this year I’m going to be having a much diminished role in puzzles, including here. The GMPuzzles team led by Serkan has already started to take over web-posting and other tasks that I had done for 11+ years, and I am very happy to have their support so that we can continue to deliver great puzzles to you without any change in quality.

### WSC/WPC puzzles – now available for purchase

We hope you enjoyed our two weeks covering the playoff puzzles from the 16th World Sudoku Championship and 30th World Puzzle Championship. Click these links for a single file PDF of the WSC playoff and WPC playoff.

These puzzles are just a small part of the championship though and those PDF file sets can now be purchased on our e-store. Check out the 30th WPC (November, 2023) and
61. 16th WSC puzzle sets in our store.

### WPC Region Division Mini-Playoff 1/3: Cave by Thomas Snyder

The 30th World Puzzle Championship had five “mini-playoffs” to determine the top solvers in five different genres. Today we’ll be releasing the Region Division puzzles starting with this Cave Puzzle by Thomas Snyder with theme involving many ascending series.

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to shift between shading mode and the linex mode where left click+drag draws lines and right click marks X’s)

Author/Opus: This is the 460th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Cave rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all Region Division playoff puzzles.

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

### WPC Object Placement Mini-Playoff 2/3: Battleships by Thomas Snyder

The Object Placement playoffs continued with this Battleships puzzle by Thomas Snyder with a symmetric pattern of sea clues.

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between ship placement and shading modes. In ship placement mode, right click gives sea, left click gives circle/square, left click and drag for rounded ships.)

Author/Opus: This is the 459th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Battleships rules. Use the indicated fleet.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF for all Object Placement playoff puzzles.

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

### WPC Number Placement Mini-Playoff 1/3: TomTom by Thomas Snyder

The 30th World Puzzle Championship had five “mini-playoffs” to determine the top solvers in five different genres. The puzzles were designed to be on the easier side, able to be solved in marker on an easel, and sometimes themed with “trophy” shapes or important championship numbers like 30 and 23. Today we’ll be releasing the Number Placement puzzles starting with this TomTom puzzle by Thomas Snyder.

PDF

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

Author/Opus: This is the 458th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard TomTom rules, using the integers 1-6.

Estimated Difficulty: 2-2.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all Number Placement playoff puzzles.

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

### WSC Playoff Puzzle 10/10: Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

The final puzzle for the World Sudoku Championship playoffs is a tricky classic Sudoku with a trophy theme by Thomas Snyder. It was designed to have a narrow solving path at the sticking point, although speed solvers might choose to “bifurcate” to go faster as happened in the competition.

PDF

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

Theme: Trophy

Author/Opus: This is the 457th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More Sudoku including variations can be found in these books in our e-store.