Archive for the ‘Best Of …’ Category:

Best of 2020: Sudoku

Here are our best Sudoku puzzles of 2020, in chronological order, selected from the 32 web posts in this category based on FAVE votes, web comments, and tester comments. All of these puzzles are gathered in this PDF file.

With 1 day left before our official reopen, Dr. Sudoku shared this minimal clue “countdown” Consecutive Pairs Sudoku puzzle that got a good number of FAVE votes.

Consecutive Pairs Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

A few months later, guest contributor Bryce Herdt’s Thermo-Sudoku ran “hot” with our solvers, with a nice visual theme and fun solving path to the answer.

Thermo-Sudoku by Bryce Herdt

While on the easier side, this “Big X” Consecutive Pairs Sudoku from Thomas Snyder was another favorite sudoku puzzle from the year.

Consecutive Pairs Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

A few classic sudoku got strong reviews through the year, but none more so than this excellent Sudoku by Swaroop Guggilam which was clearly one of our Best 2020 Sudoku.

Sudoku by Swaroop Guggilam

Our final best of 2020 Sudoku comes from Ashish Kumar who made an XV Sudoku with a theme referring to the letters, and a pretty minimal path taking advantage of the “XV rules” throughout.

XV Sudoku by Ashish Kumar

Best of 2020: Object Placement Puzzles

Here are our best Object Placement puzzles of 2020, in chronological order, selected from the 33 web posts in this category based on FAVE votes, web comments, and tester comments. All of these puzzles are gathered in this PDF file.

This Star Battle puzzle from Thomas Snyder (our first in many months that announced we were coming back) got the most FAVE votes for the year, but probably as much for the news as for the puzzle itself, with 22 stars to be placed with 22 days before re-launch.

Star Battle by Thomas Snyder

Serkan Yürekli wrote this favorite Battleships with a slightly unusual solving path that solvers enjoyed.

Battleships by Serkan Yürekli

Guest contributor JinHoo Ahn wrote another of our Best of 2020 puzzles with this “Double Numbers” Battleships with a very elegant theme and solving path.

Battleships by JinHoo Ahn

2020 featured a lot of Star Battle puzzles on the site and in our store; this Star Battle from Ashish Kumar with a nice symmetric set of regions got a good response from our solvers.

Star Battle by Ashish Kumar

Our final best of 2020 in object placement came in October from Murat Can Tonta, with a Statue Park themed around the corner placements.

Statue Park by Murat Can Tonta

Best of 2020: Number Placement Puzzles

Here are our best Number Placement puzzles of 2020, in chronological order, selected from the 32 web posts in this category based on FAVE votes, web comments, and tester comments. All of these puzzles are gathered in this PDF file.

Our reopening announcement puzzles got a lot of attention and Thomas Snyder’s TomTom puzzle with two spirals counting down 15 days to go was a favorite Number Placement puzzle of 2020.

TomTom by Thomas Snyder

John Bulten constructed another great TomTom variation, TomTom (Cipher), where solvers appreciated the different logical steps to get to the one solution.

TomTom by John Bulten

Blending the “thermometer” constraint with standard Skyscraper rules led to this clueless Thermo-Skyscrapers puzzle from Serkan Yürekli that got favorable feedback.

Skyscrapers by Serkan Yürekli

Another Skyscrapers puzzle that was well liked was this challenging 6×6 puzzle by Ashish Kumar with a fairly narrow logical path.

Skyscrapers by Ashish Kumar

Our final Best of 2020 in Number Placement came from Prasanna Seshadri: this
Kakuro puzzle with a fun (but hard) solving path.

Kakuro by Prasanna Seshadri

Best of 2020: Shading Puzzles

Here are our best Shading puzzles of 2020, in chronological order, selected from the 32 web posts in this category based on FAVE votes, web comments, and tester comments. All of these puzzles are gathered in this PDF file.

A few of our best Shading puzzles were “Skyscrapers” variations with outside clues driving the solve. The first of these comes from guest contributor Freddie Hand: Tapa (Skyscrapers).

Tapa by Freddie Hand

More shading + skyscrapers came soon thereafter from Prasanna Seshadri with this great Kurotto (Skyscrapers) puzzle.

Kurotto by Prasanna Seshadri

Many April Fool’s Days ago I made an audiobook TomTom set of puzzles (that was not just a set of fools) which was followed a few years later by a Cross the Streams (audiobook) by Grant Fikes. Grant revisited this clever idea in 2020 with a new Cross the Streams (audiobook) that was a favorite shading puzzle.

Cross The Streams by Grant Fikes

December brought two great LITS puzzles, starting with this LITS by JinHoo Ahn with an elegant theme (and quite approachable difficulty).

LITS by JinHoo Ahn

Our last best shading puzzle of 2020 is this more challenging LITS by wormsofcan that asked solvers to think outside the box.

LITS by wormsofcan

Best of 2020: Region Division Puzzles

Here are our best Region Division puzzles of 2020, in chronological order, selected from the 31 web posts in this category based on FAVE votes, web comments, and tester comments. All of these puzzles are gathered in this PDF file.

The Saturday challenge from our first week of web puzzles was a delightful Fillomino puzzle from guest contributor Elyot Grant.

Fillomino by Elyot Grant

As we reached the end of June, we posted what was one of the highest rated (and also fairly hard) puzzles of the whole year: a Pentominous by JinHoo Ahn, another guest contributor who surprised us with a lot of great submissions this year.

Pentominous by JinHoo Ahn

Puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri shared an Araf puzzle with different clusters of small and big numbers and a very elegant logical solving path.

Araf by Prasanna Seshadri

November included a really great Cave puzzle from William Hu, with a beautiful all odd theme and clever logic to be found on the solving path.

Cave by William Hu

And our last post of 2020 also got a good response from our solvers and closes out this Best of set: this Fillomino (Checkered) variation by Jonas Gleim.

Fillomino by Jonas Gleim

Best of 2020: Loop/Path Puzzles

Here are our best Loop/Path puzzles of 2020, in chronological order, selected from the 26 web posts in this category based on FAVE votes, web comments, and tester comments. All of these puzzles are gathered in this PDF file.

A lot of our early puzzles as we were relaunching the website got a good number of FAVE votes. And we seemed to start out strong with this first regular post: an antisymmetric no-numbers Balance Loop by Murat Can Tonta.

Balance Loop by Murat Can Tonta

Murat had another favorite puzzle with this “Parallel Universes” Slitherlink with an interesting logical path around the grid.

Slitherlink by Murat Can Tonta

Serkan Yürekli put a little uncertainty into this Slitherlink variation with several missing numbers that must fulfill Sudoku-like constraints. The logical challenge got a lot of favorable comments.

Slitherlink by Serkan Yürekli

Serkan delighted us again in September with a visually beautiful Snake (Cipher) puzzle that announces itself on the outside of the grid.

Snake (Cipher) by Serkan Yürekli

Our final best Loop/Path puzzle of 2020 comes from this November post from Tom Collyer, who focused on some less common patterns to give us a really challenging Slitherlink.

Slitherlink by Tom Collyer

Best of 2019: Loop/Path Puzzles

Here are our best Loop/Path puzzles of 2019, selected from the 42 web posts in this category based on your FAVE votes:

A couple of our “Best of” in this category are variety puzzles, starting with this loop + word puzzle combination O’utcast from Serkan Yürekli.

O'utcast by Serkan Yürekli

Guest contributor Bryce Herdt created a quite unusual Castle Wall puzzle that got a fair number of FAVE votes.

Castle Wall by Bryce Herdt

Another guest contributor, Joseph Howard, put together this challenging Yajilin variation with some “false” clues that might be covered up. The solvers who found their way to end enjoyed the journey.

Yajilin by Joseph Howard

Another Castle Wall, this one by Murat Can Tonta, was our second best in this category, with a noteworthy solving path if you can find it.

Castle Wall by Murat Can Tonta

The best Loop/Path puzzle of 2019, and also the top vote getter across all categories as the best puzzle of 2019, is an absolutely crazy variation by Yuki Kawabe. It combines some shading, object placement, and snake path genres into a hybrid called SSS (Sundoku Snake Shape).

SSS by Yuki Kawabe

All of these best Loop/Path puzzles are collected in this PDF file.