Update: 2023/07/09 – This fun and interesting puzzle by Ashish Kumar was the favorite “warm-up” track puzzle in our first subscription week on the site and we’re releasing it for everyone to get a tease for the new subscriptions. We also put out a YouTube video focusing on the special puzzle style of Aqre originally designed by Eric Fox.
No, this is not secretly a Sudoku! But Ashish Kumar has somehow managed to make a mostly easy and fully logical Aqre puzzle with this impressive grid shape.
or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; use tab to shift between shading mode and the composite Yajilin mode where left click marks cells, right click marks dots in cells or X’s on edges, left click+drag draws lines.)
Theme: 3×3 Boxes
Author/Opus: This is the 104th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Ashish Kumar.
Rules: Standard Aqre rules: Shade some cells so that all shaded cells form one connected group. Regions with numbers must contain the indicated count of shaded cells, and it is allowed to shade over the numbered cells. There may not exist a run of four or more consecutive shaded or unshaded cells horizontally or vertically anywhere in the grid.
Difficulty: 1.5 stars
Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 0:50, Master = 1:45, Expert = 3:30