End of Season 2 Preview Week

We hope that you enjoyed the week-long preview of our Season 2 Subscription offering, with thirteen puzzles, digital solving options and solving animations for all puzzles, and more.

Click here for a PDF of all the preview (week 0) puzzles.
Click here for a PDF of all the solutions.

Tomorrow starts the first week of the official season, another variety mix of puzzles like the preview week. There is still time to purchase a subscription and not miss any of the new puzzles. Until the end of February, Season 2 will be discounted to $10 (the $2 discount taken automatically in the cart).

And if you missed it, we are also discounting Season 1 to just $8 (from $10). New subscribers to Season 1 will get immediate access to the 175+ puzzles, but without the same active blog and Discord discussion that happened when the puzzles first posted.

Consecutive Pairs Sudoku by Akash Doulani

In puzzles where the clue distributions are symmetric, a general concept is that you can often use an approximation for one portion of the puzzle’s symmetry if you have one for the other side. Will this thinking apply to Akash Doulani’s puzzle here?

Consectuive Pairs Sudoku by Akash Doulani

PDF

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

Author/Opus: This is the 16th puzzle from guest contributor Akash Doulani.

Rules: Standard Consecutive Pairs Sudoku rules. (If a gray circle is given between two adjacent cells, then the two numbers in those cells must be consecutive. Note not all gray circles are given; adjacent cells without a circle may contain either consecutive numbers or nonconsecutive numbers.)

Estimated Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 5:30, Master = 7:30, Expert = 15:00

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for Consecutive Pairs Sudoku puzzles on this website. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Consecutive Pairs Sudoku to get started on. More Consecutive Pairs 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 Season 2 Preview Week Discussion post on the GMPuzzles Discord. Not a member of the Discord? Click this link for basic access and check subscriber instructions for role-related access.

WPC Loop/Path Mini-Playoff 3/3: Cross Border Parity Loop by Craig Kasper

The last Loop/Path puzzle is one of the “new” styles that debuted in the Breadth of America loop variety round, a Cross Border Parity Loop by Craig Kasper. (We expect this puzzle to be much harder for those who didn’t solve the three competition puzzles that preceded it.)

Cross Border Parity Loop by Craig Kasper

PDF

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

Author/Opus: This is the 9th puzzle from guest contributor Craig Kasper.

Rules: Draw a single, non-intersecting loop that has two states, which are white and black. The puzzle grid has heavily shaded borders, which define areas in the grid. Whenever the loop crosses a border (including borders inside an area), it changes state from white to black or from black to white. A black circled clue provides the number of cells in each area that the loop traverses in the black state, and a white circled clue provides the number of cells in each area that the loop traverses in the white state. Each “?” represents an unknown integer, zero or larger.

See also this example:

Cross Border Parity Loop by Craig Kasper

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5-3 stars

Solution: PDF for all Loop/Path playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for other uncommon Loop/Path puzzles.

WPC Loop/Path Mini-Playoff 1/3: Castle Wall by David Altizio

The 30th World Puzzle Championship had five “mini-playoffs” to determine the top solvers in five different genres. Today we’ll be releasing the Loop/Path puzzles starting with this Castle Wall puzzle by David Altizio with a theme involving many ascending series.

Castle Wall by David Altizio

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools in linex mode where left click+drag draws lines and right click marks X’s)

Author/Opus: This is the 16th puzzle from guest contributor David Altizio.

Rules: Standard Castle Wall rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2-2.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all Loop/Path playoff puzzles.

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

WPC Shading Mini-Playoff 3/3: LITS by Zoltán Horváth

The final shading mini-playoff puzzle is a LITS with a 30 theme by Zoltán Horváth.

LITS by Zoltán Horváth

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between a shading mode and a mode to mark edges with an X.)

Author/Opus: This is the 21st puzzle from guest contributor Zoltán Horváth.

Rules: Standard LITS rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF for all Shading playoff puzzles.

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

WPC Shading Mini-Playoff 2/3: Tapa by Zoltán Horváth

The second shading mini-playoff puzzle features a “star”, part of the logo for the 30th World Puzzle Championship. How long will it take you to solve this puzzle by Zoltán Horváth?

Tapa by Zoltán Horváth

PDF

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.)

Author/Opus: This is the 20th puzzle from guest contributor Zoltán Horváth.

Rules: Standard Tapa rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF for all Shading playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for classic Tapa and this link for Tapa variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Tapa puzzles to get started on. More Tapa puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles, in Tapa and Variations 1, 2, and 3, and in our beginner-friendly books Intro to GMPuzzles and Starter Pack 2: Tapa, all by Serkan Yürekli.

WPC Shading Mini-Playoff 1/3: Aqre by Jamie Hargrove

The 30th World Puzzle Championship had five “mini-playoffs” to determine the top solvers in five different genres. Today we’ll be releasing the Shading puzzles starting with this Aqre puzzle by Jamie Hargrove with a “Trophy” theme in the region shapes.

Aqre by Jamie Hargrove

PDF

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.)

Author/Opus: This is the 8th puzzle from guest contributor Jamie Hargrove.

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

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF for all Shading playoff puzzles.

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.

WPC Object Placement Mini-Playoff 3/3: Statue Park by Jamie Hargrove

The final Object Placement puzzle in the mini-playoff was this antisymmetric Statue Park puzzle by Jamie Hargrove.

Statue Park by Jamie Hargrove

PDF

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

Author/Opus: This is the 7th puzzle from guest contributor Jamie Hargrove.

Rules: Standard Statue Park rules. This puzzle uses a double tetromino set.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF for all Object Placement playoff puzzles.

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

WPC Number Placement Mini-Playoff 3/3: Skyscrapers (Gap) by David Altizio

The last Number Placement playoff puzzle from the World Puzzle Championship was a Skyscrapers (Gap) puzzle with an empty cell in each row and column. How long will it take you to solve David Altizio’s puzzle?

Skyscrapers (Gap) by David Altizio

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between number entry modes and a shading mode to mark the unused cells.)

Author/Opus: This is the 15th puzzle from guest contributor David Altizio.

Rules: Variation of Skyscrapers rules. Insert numbers into some cells of the grid so that each row and column of the grid contains the numbers from 1 to 5 once each and one gap. Each number in the grid represents the height of a building and the clues on the outside of the grid indicate how many buildings can be “seen” when looking from that direction. Taller buildings block the view of smaller buildings.

Estimated Difficulty: 1.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all Number Placement playoff puzzles.

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

WSC Playoff Puzzle 9/10: Clone Shape Sudoku by Joseph Howard

The last two closing puzzles of the World Sudoku Championship playoffs were very tricky, starting with this hybrid of Clone and Shape Sudoku by Joseph Howard.

Clone Shape Sudoku by Joseph Howard

PDF

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

Theme: 8 Rings

Author/Opus: This is the 33rd puzzle from guest contributor Joseph Howard.

Rules: Combination of Shape and Clone Sudoku rules. Insert a number from 1 to 9 into each cell so that no number repeats in any row, column, or bold region. Also, there are some numbered shapes that must be put into the grid. Shapes can be rotated, but cannot be reflected. Each shape outside the grid must appear exactly once inside the grid. Also, all remaining shaded regions of the same shape (“clones”) must be able to be paired together to include the same numbers in the same positions.

Estimated Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for more variations of Sudoku.