Theme: Mix and Match (Each set of row clues is also a set of column clues)
Author/Opus: This is the 8th puzzle from guest contributor Chris Green.
Shade some empty cells black to create a single group of black cells that are all connected to each other through their edges. No 2×2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells.
Numbers and symbols to the left/top of the grid represent all unshaded cells in the grid in that row/column in order, either from left to right or from top to bottom. The numbers and symbols represent the value of Tapa-style clues inside the grid, specifically the length of consecutive shaded blocks in the neighboring cells. If there is more than one number in a cell, then there must be at least one white (unshaded) cell between shaded groups.
The three symbols indicate different kinds of missing information.
– A question mark (?) represents a single missing positive integer as part of a clue (either alone or in combination with other numbers/question marks).
– An octothorpe (#) represents a single white clue cell which may have any combination of values including a single number or multiple numbers.
– An asterisk (*) represents an unknown number of white clue cells, including one, multiple, or no clue cells at all. Any clue cells indicated by an asterisk can have any combination of values including a single number or multiple numbers.
Also see this example by Thomas Snyder:
Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the black segments from top to bottom for the marked columns, going in order from A to B to C to D and separating each entry with a comma.
Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 7:00, Master = 12:00, Expert = 24:00.