Archive for the ‘News’ Category:

All Kurotto on Penpa-Edit, and Solutions / Tracker Update

Throughout 2021, we are working to have our older catalog of puzzles updated to have digital solving options and to also have solution PDFs everywhere.

On the PDF front, we have recently added another 18 months of solutions to the site and currently have answers for all puzzles posted going backwards to February 2016.

We are also now taking individual puzzle types and putting them all into Penpa-Edit to enable digital solving. The first puzzle style we have completed is Kurotto and all 27 of our prior Kurotto have digital versions with automatic solution checking online. We will eventually “reintroduce” these puzzles with a better set of “How To” videos, a curation of our favorites, and a better web-flow than just blog pages for solvers who want to binge on one of our styles. For now, if you want to try more of this shading puzzle style please click through the Kurotto archives.

Finally, a lot of people have been asking about our solving widget (i.e., FAVE/SOLVE button) that has had login issues for several months due to browser security updates as it was hosted externally. We are nearing completion of an update to host this ourselves, and will share another update here at the end of the month. With the solving tracking, online solving, and other solutions coming together we hope that the solving experience for GMPuzzles in 2021 is greatly improved. Please share your feedback with us on how we can do even better.

Penpa Update, and one Star Battle video revisited

Thanks to the great support of Swaroop Guggilam, we have already updated our Penpa-Edit beta to have new solving functionality for Star Battle. In addition to the left click on a cell to place a star, and right click (or right click and drag) to mark X’s, you can now right click on an edge or corner of a cell to place a dot clue. Putting in a star in a cell touching a dot will make the dot go away so your notes clean up after themselves. You may need to clear downloaded files from your browser cache to get the latest version of the solving interface to show up, but we hope you enjoy this improvement as much as we do.

While there was nothing “wrong” with our first solving video for the Pinwheel puzzle, it used some trickier steps than it needed to. So we made a new YouTube video to highlight the new solving interface tool for Star Battle, as well as a simpler path to get around the Pinwheel:

New e-book: Araf by Serkan Yürekli

Our plan is to release at least 1 new e-book each month in 2021. Our first release is a really great title: Araf by Serkan Yürekli, with more region division puzzles like we just posted this past week on the site.

This book is a full exploration of Araf from Serkan, with lots of clever puzzles and Aha moments. There are a total of 50 hand-crafted puzzles, including 12 puzzles across three variations and a giant Araf at the end. Check it out now in our e-store.

New e-book: Star Battle by JinHoo Ahn

JinHoo Ahn has shared a lot of great web puzzles this year (some that will likely be very competitive for Best of 2020), so I’m quite excited to announce the release of our first book of puzzles from this talented designer, Star Battle.

This book is a collection of 50 Star Battle puzzles, including 15 variations, that have some very nice visual themes and interesting logic. The difficulty ranges from easy to hard, and includes ten 3-star 15×15 puzzles (two of which are variations) and a massive 6-star 30×30 puzzle to finish. Check it out now in our e-store.

New E-Book: Plenty O’ Pentominous 3 by Grant Fikes and Murat Can Tonta

Our solvers have found Pentominous to be a really great region division puzzle, so we are excited to announce the third volume in our e-book series, Plenty O’ Pentominous 3, has just been released on our e-store. Grant Fikes and Murat Can Tonta are back with another incredible set of Pentominous puzzles, including 8 Pentominous (Borders) variations.

If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Pentominous to get try out.

Video update + 20% discount on e-books

Sunday is going to be a day when we feature solution videos to our puzzles. Today we’re pleased to have a video for this morning’s Consecutive Pairs Sudoku from Cracking the Cryptic / Simon Anthony.

Also, we have just relaunched a new version of our e-store for our puzzle PDF books, which should be much easier to use with more payment options, cart functionality, search functionality for authors and genres, notifications when PDFs are updated, …. Note that the old accounts / passwords will not work here but we can share prior purchases with you if you need to grab the downloads again.

We’re still doing some visual improvements as many of our books never had covers or online examples. We will likely highlight one old title each week with sample puzzles while we update the catalog.

For the whole month of June, we will have a 20% discount on all titles in the shop (automatically applied at checkout). So this is a great time to catch up on any past collections from GMPuzzles that you may have missed. And please tell us if you run into any issues with the new store.

Pentominous ebook and another update

Dear solvers,

We just added the Plenty o’ Pentominous 2 ebook from Grant Fikes and Murat Can Tonta to our web store. These two fantastic authors have constructed 53 more creative Pentominous puzzles including some new highly original themes. So if you enjoyed their first Pentominous collection (or even, on the other extreme, if you’ve never solved a Pentominous before) you may want to check out this new book.

While I don’t have another update on when GMPuzzles will begin posting web puzzles again, that is in part because of a different, non-puzzle update from me. After almost five years at Verily Life Sciences (formerly Google), most recently as the Head of Computational Biology, I just left that job. I will be returning to Adaptive Biotechnologies as VP/science lead for their immunosequencing diagnostics program in early March. I’ll be splitting time in Seattle and San Francisco for this new role, and it will be the main focus of my time for the next several years. (I’m still hopeful that if I can successfully hand off most GMPuzzles responsibilities to others in the coming months, this should not have too large an effect on this site going forward; thanks again for your patience as I work through this life transition.)