### Star Battle by JinHoo Ahn

As suggested by the title, JinHoo Ahn’s T-region-dominated grid is important to think about to make progress.

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools; in composite Star Battle mode a left click places a star, right click in a cell marks off the cell, and a right click on an edge or corner marks in a dot as a placement note.)

Theme: T It Up

Author/Opus: This is the 101st puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster JinHoo Ahn.

Rules: Standard Star Battle rules. Two stars per row, column, and region.

Difficulty: 3 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 3:15, Master = 4:30, Expert = 9:00

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Star Battles and this link for Star Battle variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Star Battles to get started on. More Star Battle 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 week-0-discussion thread on the GMPuzzles Discord. If you are not yet part of this Discord community, use this link.

### Fillomino by Murat Can Tonta

With a total of 32 clues, all 1 to 6, this “dice” theme from Murat Can Tonta hides a few logical entry points in the regions created by the clues.

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 number entry mode.)

Theme: 32 Dice

Author/Opus: This is the 273rd puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Murat Can Tonta.

Rules: Standard Fillomino rules.

Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 1:30, Master = 3:45, Expert = 7:30

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for classic Fillomino and this link for Fillomino variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Fillomino puzzles to get started on. More Fillomino 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 week-0-discussion thread on the GMPuzzles Discord. If you are not yet part of this Discord community, use this link.

### Star Battle (Hidden Double) by Takeya Saikachi

It seems amazing that Sagittarius A, a black hole, lies at the center of our galaxy, so one may wonder where Takeya Saikachi’s design breaks apart from other unusual stellar possibilities.

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools with Double Minesweeper mines standing for stars. Left clicking a cell places a star, left clicking a cell again places a second star. Right clicking a cell marks it empty with a cross, right clicking between cells places a dot for notation.)

Author/Opus: This is the 36th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Takeya Saikachi.

Rules: Variation of Star Battle rules. There are three stars per row, column, and region. Cells with stars can contain either 1 or 2 stars, but stars can still not be placed in adjacent cells that share an edge or corner.

Difficulty: 3 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 4:15, Master = 5:15, Expert = 10:30

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Star Battles and this link for Star Battle variations. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Star Battles to get started on. More Star Battle puzzles can be found in The Art of Puzzles, in the books Star Battle by JinHoo Ahn and Star Battle 2 by JinHoo Ahn and Murat Can Tonta, and in our beginner-friendly collection Intro to GMPuzzles by Serkan Yürekli.

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.

Grant Fikes created his Numberlink art with a lyre, just like ancient people did.

(view directly for a larger image)

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools in linex mode where left click+drag draws lines and right click marks X’s)

Theme: Lyre

Author/Opus: This is the 425th puzzle from our contributing puzzlemaster Grant Fikes.

Rules: Connect each pair of identical numbers with a path passing through edge-adjacent cells. No cell may be used on more than one path.

Difficulty: 2.5 stars

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 1:15, Master = 3:40, Expert = 7:20

Solution: PDF and solving animation.

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.

### 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?

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?

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.

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.

### WPC Loop/Path Mini-Playoff 3/3: Cross Border Parity Loop by Craig Kasper

The last Loop/Path puzzle is one of the “new” styles that debuted in the Breadth of America loop variety round, a Cross Border Parity Loop by Craig Kasper. (We expect this puzzle to be much harder for those who didn’t solve the three competition puzzles that preceded it.)

PDF

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

Author/Opus: This is the 9th puzzle from guest contributor Craig Kasper.

Rules: Draw a single, non-intersecting loop that has two states, which are white and black. The puzzle grid has heavily shaded borders, which define areas in the grid. Whenever the loop crosses a border (including borders inside an area), it changes state from white to black or from black to white. A black circled clue provides the number of cells in each area that the loop traverses in the black state, and a white circled clue provides the number of cells in each area that the loop traverses in the white state. Each “?” represents an unknown integer, zero or larger.

Estimated Difficulty: 2.5-3 stars

Solution: PDF for all Loop/Path playoff puzzles.

### WPC Loop/Path Mini-Playoff 2/3: Slitherlink by Serkan Yürekli

The next Loop/Path puzzle, reflecting an unusual grid geometry round, is this “Trophy” Slitherlink by Serkan Yürekli. Can you figure out how all the unusual parts of the grid will mark the 30th World Puzzle Championship.

PDF

Author/Opus: This is the 415th puzzle from our managing editor Serkan Yürekli.

Rules: Variation of Slitherlink rules. Draw a single, non-intersecting loop on an irregular grid that can only follow the lines between the dots. Numbers inside a cell indicate how many of the edges of that cell are part of the loop.

Estimated Difficulty: 2 stars

Solution: PDF for all Loop/Path playoff puzzles.

Note: Follow this link for other classic Slitherlink. If you are new to this puzzle type, here are our easiest Slitherlink puzzles to get started on. More Slitherlink puzzles can be found in our books The Art of Puzzles and Slitherlink and Variations.

### WPC Loop/Path Mini-Playoff 1/3: Castle Wall by David Altizio

The 30th World Puzzle Championship had five “mini-playoffs” to determine the top solvers in five different genres. Today we’ll be releasing the Loop/Path puzzles starting with this Castle Wall puzzle by David Altizio with a theme involving many ascending series.

PDF

or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools in linex mode where left click+drag draws lines and right click marks X’s)

Author/Opus: This is the 16th puzzle from guest contributor David Altizio.

Rules: Standard Castle Wall rules.

Estimated Difficulty: 2-2.5 stars

Solution: PDF for all Loop/Path playoff puzzles.

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