LITS by Prasanna Seshadri

Worms that move from one diagonal to the next appear to split the grid in Prasanna Seshadri’s design.

LITS by Prasanna Seshadri

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between a shading mode and a mode to mark edges with an X.)

Theme: Worms

Author/Opus: This is the 271st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri.

Rules: Standard LITS rules.

Difficulty: 1.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 0:30, Master = 1:15, Expert = 2:30

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for more variations of LITS and this link for classic LITS. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest LITS to get started on. More LITS puzzles can be found in these books in our e-store.

Note 2: Comments on the blog are great! For a more interactive discussion, please also consider using our Season 2 Preview Week Discussion post on the GMPuzzles Discord. Not a member of the Discord? Click this link for basic access and check subscriber instructions for role-related access.

LITS by Serkan Yürekli

Might there be another S tetromino beyond the ones given in the final solution in Serkan Yürekli’s LITS grid?

LITS by Serkan Yürekli

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between a shading mode and a mode to mark edges with an X.)

Theme: All Givens

Author/Opus: This is the 420th puzzle from our managing editor Serkan Yürekli.

Rules: Standard LITS rules.

Difficulty: 1 star

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 0:15, Master = 0:50, Expert = 1:40

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for more variations of LITS and this link for classic LITS. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest LITS to get started on. More LITS puzzles can be found in these books in our e-store.

Note 2: Comments on the blog are great! For a more interactive discussion, please also consider using our Season 2 Preview Week Discussion post on the GMPuzzles Discord. Not a member of the Discord? Click this link for basic access and check subscriber instructions for role-related access.

TomTom by Murat Can Tonta

Symmetrical regions with all even numbers are settled around the plus-formed empty space.

TomTom by Murat Can Tonta

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: Easy Evens

Author/Opus: This is the 255th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Murat Can Tonta.

Rules: Standard TomTom rules, using the integers 1-5.

Difficulty: 1.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 0:45, Master = 1:00, Expert = 2:00

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for classic TomTom and this link for TomTom variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest TomTom to get started on. More TomTom puzzles can be found in these books in our e-store.

Note 2: Comments on the blog are great! For a more interactive discussion, please also consider using our Season 2 Preview Week Discussion post on the GMPuzzles Discord. Not a member of the Discord? Click this link for basic access and check subscriber instructions for role-related access.

TomTom by Serkan Yürekli

Four corner cages and only one mathematical operation—which would be the best to start with?

TomTom by Serkan Yürekli

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: Multiple Corners

Author/Opus: This is the 419th puzzle from our managing editor Serkan Yürekli.

Rules: Standard TomTom rules, using the integers 1-5.

Difficulty: 1 star

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 0:30, Master = 0:45, Expert = 1:30

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for classic TomTom and this link for TomTom variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest TomTom to get started on. More TomTom puzzles can be found in these books in our e-store.

Note 2: Comments on the blog are great! For a more interactive discussion, please also consider using our Season 2 Preview Week Discussion post on the GMPuzzles Discord. Not a member of the Discord? Click this link for basic access and check subscriber instructions for role-related access.

Season 2 – Free Preview Week

We’re kicking off 2024 with the start of Season 2 of our subscription blog releases. This next week will be a free preview of what a subscription week is like. From Monday to Saturday there are 2 daily puzzles, starting with a warm-up puzzle on the easier end and then a regular puzzle (scaling difficulty through the week). We’ll also have something different for you each Sunday, either a larger or harder puzzle, experiments with new genres, and other things. All puzzles have digital solving options and PDF files, as well as solution animations to help you understand steps where you might get stuck.

The schedule for the free preview week is:
Monday: TomTom
Tuesday: LITS
Wednesday: Numberlink
Thursday: Star Battle (Hidden Double)
Friday: Consecutive Pairs Sudoku
Saturday: Araf
Sunday: Rossini Sudoku

Starting next Monday, we will have 12 more weeks of puzzles for our Season 2 subscribers, running from February through to the end of April. We encourage you to sign up early, as subscriptions to Season 2 will be discounted to $10 through the end of February (the $2 discount taken automatically in the cart).

Also, we’re discounting the original Season 1 to just $8 (from $10) for people who missed our first exciting season. New subscribers to Season 1 will immediately be able to get access to the 175+ puzzles, but without the same active discussion that happened when the puzzles first posted.

GMPuzzles plan for (early) 2024

2023 was a busy year for us at GMPuzzles, even if it didn’t always seem obvious from our publishing schedule. Setting up a new method to have a blog subscription service took some time, and we had a successful first season of web content and a good response to our new Discord platform for puzzle discussion for subscribers. We exceeded our first goal for subscriber numbers, but still need many more to make this a self-sustaining product. We also put together the World Sudoku and Puzzle Championships, which was a very rewarding experience although it took a lot of energy that we’re just now slowly getting back.

In 2024, we are going to continue the focus on subscription seasons as our main effort. This week we’re posting the last (delayed) week of Season 1 for subscribers; if you don’t see those puzzles but expect you should, please login again to the site using the subscriber login link at the top.

Then later in January when we have some site updates ready, we will have a preview week for the start of Season 2, free for everyone on the blog, which will show how we’re using warm-up puzzles, regular puzzles, hints and walkthroughs, new Sunday content, and Discord to make an interesting subscriber experience. After that Season 2 will begin and we’ll see how the 2024 plan evolves from there with the current goal for Season 3 to start two weeks after the end of Season 2. This allows us a break after 12 weeks of puzzles for some improvements to be implemented.

—–

In more personal news, many of you know that 2023 was a year I took off from working in science (and having cell phones interrupt me and other things) as I was focusing on my mental health and recent diagnosis of bipolar disorder. While I’ve learned a lot by reading textbooks about mental illness or memoirs written by people with mental illness, I’ve also learned that I can’t outthink my bipolar disorder and need to be diligent in watching my sleep, stress levels, and taking medication to stay healthy. My focus in 2024 is going to continue to be on my health and on reconnecting with science/bigger mission. So this year I’m going to be having a much diminished role in puzzles, including here. The GMPuzzles team led by Serkan has already started to take over web-posting and other tasks that I had done for 11+ years, and I am very happy to have their support so that we can continue to deliver great puzzles to you without any change in quality.

WSC/WPC puzzles – now available for purchase

We hope you enjoyed our two weeks covering the playoff puzzles from the 16th World Sudoku Championship and 30th World Puzzle Championship. Click these links for a single file PDF of the WSC playoff and WPC playoff.

These puzzles are just a small part of the championship though and those PDF file sets can now be purchased on our e-store. Check out the 30th WPC (November, 2023) and
61. 16th WSC puzzle sets in our store.

WPC Region Division Mini-Playoff 3/3: Pentominous by Grant Fikes

The final Region Division puzzle is a Pentominous puzzle by Grant Fikes, who wrote a very creative Pentominous+ hybrids round in the World Puzzle Championship main competition. Can you figure out this “classic” Pentominous?

Pentominous by Grant Fikes

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between a composite mode for line/edge drawing, a letter entry mode, and a shading mode.)

Author/Opus: This is the 421st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Grant Fikes.

Rules: Standard Pentominous rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 1.5-2 stars

Solution: PDF for all Region Division playoff puzzles.

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 these books in our e-store.

WPC Region Division Mini-Playoff 2/3: Araf by Serkan Yürekli

The next Region Division puzzle is a crowded Araf puzzle by Serkan Yürekli that emphasizes the two key numbers for the 30th WPC and 16th WSC. Can you fit all the regions into this grid?

Araf by Serkan Yürekli

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to alternate between a composite mode for line/edge drawing and a shading mode.)

Author/Opus: This is the 416th puzzle from our managing editor Serkan Yürekli.

Rules: Standard Araf rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all Region Division playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for more Araf puzzles on this website. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Araf Puzzles to get started on. More Araf puzzles can be found in the ebook Araf by Serkan Yürekli.

WPC Region Division Mini-Playoff 1/3: Cave by Thomas Snyder

The 30th World Puzzle Championship had five “mini-playoffs” to determine the top solvers in five different genres. Today we’ll be releasing the Region Division puzzles starting with this Cave Puzzle by Thomas Snyder with theme involving many ascending series.

Cave by Thomas Snyder

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to shift between shading mode and the linex mode where left click+drag draws lines and right click marks X’s)

Author/Opus: This is the 460th puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Cave rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all Region Division playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for classic Caves and this link for Cave variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Cave Puzzles to get started on. More Cave puzzles can be found in these books in our e-store.