Cross the Caves by John Bulten

Cave by John Bulten

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Theme: Sunken Lake

Author/Opus: This is the 54th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: This puzzle is a combination of Cross the Streams and Cave rules (with the exception of having multiple “caves” that all connect to the edge of the grid).

Shade some empty cells black to create a single group of black cells that are all connected to each other through their edges. No 2×2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. Numbers to the left/top of the grid represent the groups of consecutive black cells which are in that row/column in order, either from left to right or from top to bottom. A question mark (?) represents a group of consecutive black cells whose size is unknown; an asterisk (*) represents any number of unknown groups of black cells, including none at all.

All white cells must be connected via other white cells to an edge of the grid. All numbered cells inside the grid must be white and each number in these cells indicates the total count of white cells connected vertically and horizontally to the numbered cell including the cell itself.

See also this example:

Cave by Thomas Snyder

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the (white) cave segments from left to right for the marked rows, starting at the top. Separate each row’s entry with a comma.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 3:30, Master = 4:30, Expert = 9:00

Note: Follow this link for other Cross the Streams. Follow this link for other Cave variations and this link for other classic Caves. If you are new to Cave puzzles, here are our easiest Cave Puzzles to get started on. More Cave puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles and in Roger Barkan’s Colossal Cave Collection.

Thermo-Sudoku by John Bulten

Thermo-Sudoku by John Bulten

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Theme: Candlepower

Author/Opus: This is the 53rd puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: Standard Thermo-Sudoku rules.

Answer String: Enter the 1st row from left to right, followed by a comma, followed by the 9th row from left to right.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 5:30, Master = 11:00, Expert = 22:00

Note: Follow this link for more Thermo-Sudoku puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Thermo-Sudoku to get started on.

Litro by John Bulten

Litro by John Bulten

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Theme: Pocket Puzzle

Author/Opus: This is the 52nd puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: Variation of standard Nanro rules. Besides the cells numbered 4, identical numbers in differing regions cannot touch along common borders. All “4” clues have been replaced by tetromino letters, and must be connected to form a valid LITS solution (that is, identical shapes cannot touch along common borders). In other words: the final solution, including all numbered cells and tetrominoes, is a valid Nanro solution, and just the regions with tetrominoes form a valid LITS solution.

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the segments labeled with numbers from left to right for the marked rows, starting at the top. Separate each row’s entry from the next with a comma.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 5:15, Master = 8:00, Expert = 16:00

Note: Follow this link for Nanro puzzles on this website and this link for variations on Nanro puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Nanro Puzzles to get started on. More Nanro puzzles can be found in A Number o’ Nanro by Prasanna Seshadri.

Skyscrapers by John Bulten

Skyscrapers by John Bulten

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Theme: 45454…

Author/Opus: This is the 51st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: Standard Skyscrapers rules.

Answer String: Enter the 3rd row from left to right, followed by a comma, followed by the 7th row from left to right.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:00, Master = 7:00, Expert = 14:00

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.

Pentominous by John Bulten

Pentominous by John Bulten

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Theme: Five Chapters

Author/Opus: This is the 50th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: Standard Pentominous rules.

Answer String: Enter the letter associated with the pentomino occupying each cell in the marked rows from left to right, separating the groups with a comma. Use CAPITAL LETTERS!

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 5:30, Master = 9:15, Expert = 18:30

Note: Follow this link for other Pentominous puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Pentominous to get started on. More Pentominous puzzles can be found in Plenty o’ Pentominous by Grant Fikes and Murat Can Tonta.

Tapa by John Bulten [bonus]

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Tapa by John Bulten

Theme: Almost Antisymmetric

Author/Opus: This is the 49th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: Standard Tapa rules.

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the shaded segments from left to right for the marked rows, starting at the top. Separate each row’s entry from the next with a comma.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 2:45, Master = 4:30, Expert = 9:00

Note: Follow this link for other Tapa variations and this link for classic Tapa. 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 and in Tapa and Variations, both by Serkan Yürekli.

Minesweeper 3-D by John Bulten

Minesweeper by John Bulten

(view directly for a larger image)

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Theme: Four Depths of Mines

Author/Opus: This is the 48th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster John Bulten.

Rules: Standard Minesweeper rules. Also, every coordinate should contain exactly one mine across all the grids.

Answer String: For each cell in the marked rows, enter a 1 if it contains a mine and a 0 if the cell is empty (or a clue cell). Separate each row’s entry from the next with a comma. The format will resemble “0010101000,1110010101,1000011011”.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 13:30, Master = 17:30, Expert = 35:00

Note: Follow this link for classic Minesweeper puzzles on this website and this link for variations on Minesweeper puzzles. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Minesweeper Puzzles to get started on. More Minesweeper puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles 2.