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Art of Puzzlecrafting 2 video: 400 posts

As promised, I’ve now finished making a video describing all the steps that went on before, during, and after constructing my milestone 400th post. For those looking for something different on our YouTube channel, check out the video there.

PS: I make a “promise” in the video that if we get to 1,000 YouTube subscribers this year, I’ll make a new milestone puzzle around that idea. Do with this info what you will.

PPS: We are continuing to explore different kinds of YouTube content this year, so feel free to comment on more things you’d be interested in seeing besides daily solution videos.

New e-book: Shading Variety Collection by Prasanna Seshadri

We’ve just published our next e-book, the Shading Variety Collection by Prasanna Seshadri. In this book, the five shading puzzle styles Canal View, Nurimeizu, Heyawake, Aqre, and Yajisan Kazusan receive the Grandmaster Puzzles treatment with elegant, hand-crafted puzzles by Prasanna. There are a total of 54 puzzles, with 10 or 11 in each of the styles; you’ll surely get a workout in shading cells as you learn how to advance from the easy beginning grids to the very hard and large concluding puzzles.

This upcoming week of puzzles will feature original puzzles (not from the book) across these five puzzle styles.

More Penpa-Edit updates

We’re starting the year with even more updates to improve Penpa-Edit (and a mid-week update because of our excitement for them).

First, outside of the tools themselves, we’ve finished digitizing and adding links to all the Tapa puzzles on the site. We are now about 70% done with digitizing the full backlog of puzzles, and will be handling Masyu next. Thanks to Murat, Prasanna, and Grant who have been working with me on this project for the last several months. The current list of genres with complete backlog support is listed on our Penpa-Edit notes page.

Second, as suggested in this last post (Penpa-Edit updates), we’re starting to add more answer checking and solver support tools to different puzzle types. In that post, we asked for interested people to start to contribute to Penpa and improve the site. I’m excited to say that kieranclancy has joined the effort and already contributed initial tools for Star Battle and TomTom checking that we just uploaded this morning. The Star Battle tools check for row/region and adjacent touching aspects and highlights them for the solver if breaking the rules. The TomTom tools check for Latin Square constraints and in many puzzles for valid cage mathematical sets. In collaboration with swaroopg92, they’ve also added options to turn on/off the answer checking as we expect some solvers in competition mode may not want to be given these automatic reminders. This is available from the Settings menu under “Conflict Detection” which can be turned on or off (for a single puzzle or all puzzles).

Note that these updates are still in beta mode, and there are probably a few puzzles where they may not work or cause issues. So please tell us if you run into unexpected behavior.

New e-book: Grandmaster Puzzles Quarterly: Volume 2

Coming in just before the end of 2021, we’re releasing our second quarterly mix of puzzles. Grandmaster Puzzles Quarterly: Volume 2 comes in at over 150% the size of the first volume, with a total of ninety-six puzzles across six genres:

– 12 Isodoku and 4 Isodoku (Consecutive Pairs)
– 12 Kakuro and 4 Kakuro (Hex)
– 12 Statue Park and 4 Statue Park (Half and Half)
– 12 LITS and 4 Easy as LITS
– 12 Cave and 4 Cave (Product)
– 12 Slitherlink and 4 Slitherlink (Sheep and Wolves)

As you’d expect from us, this collection includes a set of really elegant puzzles from twenty-one of the world’s best authors. We’re already working on volumes 3 and 4 (planned for publication in March and June of 2022) and will have more info on 2022 book plans and possible subscription options in the coming weeks for all of our 2022+ books. For now, we wish you a Happy New Year and hope you consider purchasing this excellent collection of logic puzzles as a way to start 2022 off in a great way.

Cyber Monday Sale and two new Masterpiece Sudoku Mixes

We’re excited to announce that from now through the end of next Monday, December 6th, any order of $25 or more will get a 20% discount automatically taken off at our web store.

We’re also excited to share the two latest books in our Masterpiece Sudoku Mix series, Arrow Sudoku and Outside Sudoku, each with 25 elegant hand-crafted grids from some of the world’s best Sudoku constructors. If you are not using the above Cyber Monday discount, note that buying any two MSM books and adding the code MASTERPIECE will result in a 10% discount.