Sunday Stumper: “Have a Cracking New Year!” by Thomas Snyder

This year, we are going to have some extra difficult Sunday Stumpers, about once a month. These will be quite tough puzzles, but with a logical path to be found (and solution videos to help). This first Sunday Stumper is a challenging Sudoku variation in the style of some of the unusual rule mash-ups and difficulty seen on the Cracking the Cryptic channel.

Thermo-Sudoku by Thomas Snyder

PDF

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

Theme: Have a Cracking New Year!

Author/Opus: This is the 371st puzzle from Thomas Snyder, aka Dr. Sudoku.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Some arrow shapes are in the grid; the sum of the digits along the path of each arrow must equal the digit in the circled cell (digits can repeat on an arrow). Some thermometer shapes are in the grid; the digits along the thermometer must be strictly increasing from the round bulb to the flat end. Some rectangular cages are in the grid marked by dashed lines; the sum or product of the digits in these cages must be either 20 or 21. Finally, some arrows are given outside the grid; the sum or product of the digits along these marked diagonals must be either 20 or 21 (digits can repeat on a diagonal).

Difficulty: 5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 15:00, Master = 30:00, Expert = 60:00

Solution: PDF; a solution video from Cracking the Cryptic is here.

Note: Follow this link for other variations on Sudoku.

E-book teaser: Killer Sudoku by Serkan Yürekli

Here is a (very hard) sample puzzle from the Killer Sudoku puzzle pack by Serkan Yürekli, which was just added to our e-store.

Killer Sudoku by Serkan Yürekli

PDF

Theme: Time Killer

Author/Opus: This puzzle comes from our managing editor Serkan Yürekli as part of his new e-book.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Also, the sum of the digits in each cage must equal the value given in the upper-left corner of that cage. Digits cannot repeat inside a cage.

Difficulty: 4.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 11:00, Master = 24:00, Expert = 48:00

Solution: PDF; a solution video from Cracking the Cryptic will be available here.

Note: Follow this link for other variations of Sudoku and this link for classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on.

XV Sudoku by Ashish Kumar

XV Sudoku by Ashish Kumar

PDF

Theme: XV

Author/Opus: This is the 56th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Ashish Kumar.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Also, whenever the digits in two adjacent cells sum to exactly 10 or 5, an X or V is placed on the edge between cells reflecting the roman numerals for 10 or 5. All adjacent cells not marked with an X or V cannot add up to 10 or 5.

Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:00, Master = 7:00, Expert = 14:00

Solution: PDF; a solution video is also available here.

Note: Follow this link for other variations of Sudoku and this link for classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on.

Killer Sudoku by Grant Fikes

Killer Sudoku by Grant Fikes

PDF

Theme: Initial Impressions

Author/Opus: This is the 331st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Grant Fikes.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Also, the sum of the digits in each cage must equal the value given in the upper-left corner of that cage. Digits cannot repeat inside a cage.

Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:45, Master = 7:30, Expert = 15:00

Solution: PDF; a solution video is also available here.

Note: Follow this link for other variations of Sudoku and this link for classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on.

Wordoku by Grant Fikes

Wordoku by Grant Fikes

PDF

Theme: RHYTHM HEAVEN

Author/Opus: This is the 325th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Grant Fikes.

Rules: Variation of Sudoku rules. Instead of the digits 1-9, use the letters in “RYTM HEAVN”

Difficulty: 3 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:30, Master = 6:15, Expert = 12:30

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on. More classic Sudoku puzzles can be found in The Art of Sudoku and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

Killer Sudoku by Grant Fikes

Killer Sudoku by Grant Fikes

PDF

Theme: Stuck Z

Author/Opus: This is the 319th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Grant Fikes.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Also, the sum of the digits in each cage must equal the value given in the upper-left corner of that cage. Digits cannot repeat inside a cage.

Difficulty: 3.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:00, Master = 6:15, Expert = 12:30

Solution: PDF; a solution video is also available here.

Note: Follow this link for other variations of Sudoku and this link for classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on.

Frameless Sudoku by Prasanna Seshadri

Frameless Sudoku by Prasanna Seshadri

PDF

Theme: Empty Inside

Author/Opus: This is the 179th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Prasanna Seshadri.

Rules: Standard Sudoku rules. Additionally, the numbers outside the grid indicate the sum of the first N cells in that row/column from that direction, for some value of N from 1 to 9.

Answer String: Enter the 8th row from left to right, followed by a comma, followed by the 5th column from top to bottom.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 12:00, Master = 18:00, Expert = 36:00

Solution: PDF

Note: Follow this link for other variations of Sudoku and this link for classic Sudoku. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Sudoku to get started on.