Archive for the ‘Best Of …’ Category:

Best of 2017: Sudoku and “Extra” Puzzles

Here are the two best Sudoku puzzles of 2017, as well as our best “Extra” puzzles. We only had 13 Sudoku posted this past year but will have many more in 2018.

One of our patrons requested this unique combination of Arrow, Shape, and Thermo-Sudoku by Prasanna Seshadri, and it was a fantastic puzzle.

Arrow Thermo-Sudoku by Prasanna Seshadri

The highest-rated Sudoku for 2017 was this challenging Killer Sudoku by Serkan Yürekli.

Killer Sudoku by Serkan Yürekli

In addition to our usual puzzles, we sometimes had larger combinations, hidden puzzles, or puzzle hunt style puzzles. Both of the below “extras” got top marks from our fans.

Prasanna returned for his usual “Birthday Surprise” on March 2nd with this combination of Yajisan-Kazusan and Tapa.

Birthday Surprise by Prasanna Seshadri

Our other best Extra puzzle was “Border Patrol” by Thomas Snyder, a puzzle hunt puzzle without any instructions.

Border Patrol by Thomas Snyder

With that, we’re done with the Best of 2017, and you can find all of the puzzles in this PDF.

Best of 2017: Object Placement Puzzles

Here are our best Object Placement puzzles of 2017, selected from the 17 posts over the year. While this style did not feature as often as others in 2017, it includes our runaway vote winner for Puzzle of the Year.

One of the best object placement puzzles of this year was a gem that only our patrons got to see. Murat Can Tonta, practicing the art of Statue Park, made a memorable antisymmetric puzzle. If you want to see all our web puzzles, subscribe to GMPuzzles.

This Battleships by Thomas Snyder was not necessarily meant to have a long shelf life — it was constructed for one specific day — but our solvers enjoyed it and gave it several FAVEs to make the top list.

Battleships by Thomas Snyder

The best Object Placement puzzle of the year, and also the overall Best Puzzle of the year, goes to this Star Battle by Thomas Snyder, originally for the US Puzzle Grand Prix that Dr. Sudoku authored. The frame in the grid leads to a fun logical solving path in a medium-difficulty puzzle.

Star Battle by Thomas Snyder

Best of 2017: Loop/Path Puzzles

Here are our best Loop/Path puzzles of 2016, a style which was featured in 30 posts in 2017.

Puzzlemaster Murat Can Tonta brought us our first top loop puzzle, a Yajlin, with a fun logical solving path.

Yajilin by Murat Can Tonta

Guest contributor Walker Anderson picked up his third “best of…” award with this easy and elegant Slitherlink.

Slitherlink by Walker Anderson

The best “Loop” puzzle of 2017 pulled out a lot of the stops, as a super-sized combination of four different styles. Those solvers who were able to find their way to the final solution of this 4-Way Loop by Serkan Yürekli surely felt rewarded for the experience.

Four-Way Loop by Serkan Yürekli

Best of 2017: Shading Puzzles

Here are our best Shading puzzles of 2017, our most frequent category with 60 posts this past year so we’ve selected five total “Best of…” winners here.

Leading off our winners is this classic Tapa by Murat Can Tonta with a Four Squares theme.

Tapa by Murat Can Tonta

Murat brought another highly rated puzzle with this classic LITS with a patterned center.

LITS by Murat Can Tonta

However, our top three puzzles (all very close in votes) were minor variations on shading styles. Thomas Snyder brought us this Tapa (Different) puzzle that uses 15 different 2×2 blocks in different parts of the solve.

Tapa (Different) by Thomas Snyder

Tying for the best shading puzzle of 2017 is another Tapa variation, Visionary, from Tapa creator Serkan Yürekli that makes you look beyond the normal box to make progress.

Tapa (Visionary) by Serkan Yürekli

The other puzzle tied for Best Shading Puzzle was a challenging Nurikabe by John Bulten where instead of the usual 2×2 rule in a lot of our shading puzzles, there was a no five in a line rule.

Nurikabe (Line) by John Bulten

Best of 2017: Number Placement Puzzles

Here are our best Number Placement puzzles of 2017 (excluding Sudoku which is treated as its own category). We posted 22 Number Placement puzzles on the web throughout the year.

Two of our best puzzles in 2017, including this Kakuro (Touchy) by Grant Fikes, were exclusive for our patrons. If you want to see all of our puzzles, please subscribe to our site and you’ll get these bonus puzzles and other rewards.

Another Kakuro, this one from guest contributor Walker Anderson, got incredible reviews.

Kakuro by Walker Anderson

The top-rated Number Placement puzzle of 2017 came from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku, with this TomTom puzzle called Half and Half.

TomTom by Thomas Snyder

Best of 2017: Region Division Puzzles

Here are our best Region Division puzzles of 2017, selected from the 42 web posts in this category (our second most frequent class of puzzle).

One of our theme weeks in 2017 was “Just One” with lots of puzzles using just the clue number 1. This Pentominous puzzle from Carl Worth was a very creative use of the just one rule, featuring the Roman numeral I, and was voted one of our best puzzles.

Pentominous by Carl Worth

Another of the top puzzles was this Fillomino variation by Murat Can Tonta that required symmetric regions.

Fillomino by Murat Can Tonta

Our best Region Division puzzle of 2017 came from a guest constructor who is now a regular US puzzle team member: Walker Anderson (link to his blog). Walker cracks the “best of” listings a few times this year for his contributions, and this Cave puzzle had a really incredible logical flow.

Cave by Walker Anderson

Best of 2016

All of the puzzles selected by our solvers as the “Best of 2016” are gathered in this PDF. You can read more about them in our other “Best of” posts.