All 124 entries tagged Friday Puzzles

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September 16, 2011

Friday Puzzles #122

Wow – an entry on time? Who’d have thought it?

This Sudoku puzzle felt like more of a medium last night, but I think it’s probably like most of my other Sudoku puzzles, disappointingly easy. Anyway, I think this is a great grid pattern and it solves very cleanly indeed.

Good luck to anyone coming down to London tomorrow for the Times “Su Doku” championship – I shall be doing my best to not make any stupid mistakes, again.

There are also a multitude of other competitions going on this weekend too, this time on the interwebs. Maybe I’ll be able to squeeze some time in this weekend to replace my printer cartridge? Maybe I’ll be sick of the sight of any sort of 9×9 grid. Anyhow, keep tabs on all things competitive puzzling via this link: http://forum.ukpuzzles.org/viewforum.php?f=5

All that remains to say is enjoy – and if you are feeling competitive, try for a sub 3 minute solve. If you are feeling really competitive, below 2 should also be doable.

#152 Sudoku – rated easy

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All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


September 14, 2011

Friday Puzzles #121

Again, I can only apologise for the lateness of this post. Rest assured I’ll be in the country both on Thursday evening, and on Friday, so the next post will be on time.

This Heyawake is the the culmination of a few ideas I incoherently put together at quarter to one this morning. With a larger size, I reckon this could be developed into a more “complete” puzzle, but hopefully there are a couple of interesting quirks with this one. Enjoy!

#151 Heyawake – rated medium

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All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


September 07, 2011

Friday Puzzles #120

Apologies all, I was away on conference last Friday, and I’ve still not got around to putting up a puzzle. Hopefully you can expect last week’s puzzle up here later on today!

EDIT (Thursday): Well what a surprise, turns out I did have a semi-decent Masyu lying deep in the pile. For tomorrow’s puzzle I had planned to do a Suraromu again, but I’m not sure I will have time as I’ll be back on the road. Maybe expect something that next Monday, or else I guess it’ll be something a little more tame if I can get something done today. Enjoy!

#150 Masyu – rated easy

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All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


August 26, 2011

Friday Puzzles #119

I’m not sure what to say this week. I wrote this puzzle on a bit of a downer last weekend, and it seems nice enough looking back on it now. When test-solving I used what I thought was a “medium” technique (whatever that means) to get it done, but I suppose it’s more than possible it’s easier than that.

Good luck to anyone doing the USPC this weekend. I suspect one fellow blogger, Thomas Snyder is hungrier than ever to secure yet another consecutive title (and I thoroughly recommend anyone interested in doing the test to check out his “better know the USPC puzzle series”), but he should probably keep an eye open for another fellow blogger, Palmer Mebane. This particular blogger will be hoping to keep mistakes down to a minimum!

#149 Yajilin – rated medium

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August 19, 2011

Friday Puzzles #118

So I’m very glad to be able to say that once more I’m a contributor to Gareth Moore’s Sudoku Xtra magazine! If you aren;t aware of this little gem, then permit me a moment to tell you all about it! The Sudoku part of the title should tell you that a lot of the puzzles are indeed Sudoku related, but there are plenty of Sudoku variants included to keep every enthusiast’s appetite satisfied. A personal favourite of mine is odd-pair Sudoku, which I believe is Gareth’s own invention.

However, those who are underwhelmed by the whole Sudoku craze should still pay attention as the Xtra part of the title holds equal prominence. There are several nikoli-style puzzles in each issue, along with some other WPC favourites. And not to forget arguably the most interesting bit, the community section. (Of course I can’t claim to be totally impartial here!) This features a really rich and diverse collection of logic puzzles sourced from professionals, amateurs and experts alike.

OK, that’s quite enough plugging for now! This week’s puzzle is another Suraromu, inspired the puzzle that appeared in the latest issue of Sudoku Xtra, which was about as much fun I’ve had with any logic puzzle I’ve done in a while. I’m not sure this one rises to those standards, but It’s certainly non-trivial. Actually, Suraromu as a puzzle type intrigues me somewhat because much like Numberlink, as the difficulty of a given puzzle rises, so does that puzzle’s susceptibility to uniqueness strategies. This is certainly true of this puzzle, but unlike with numberlink I think I’d suggest to the puzzler wanting most satisfaction out of the puzzle to resist temptation this time around. And I think I’ve babbled on for long enough now, so all that remains to be said is, Enjoy!

#148 Suraromu – rated medium

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P.S. I should remark that I’m not entirely happy with the presentation of this puzzle. There are some squares which share gates, and I thought that during the test solving this might be a little misleading, even if it is at least implicit that every numbered gate has both of its “posts” labelled. My solution previously had always been to employ a convention that there should be no squares sharing gates, but I suppose I got a bit lazy this week. I’d be interested to know people’s thoughts on this one…


August 12, 2011

Friday Puzzles #117

I’m feeling a little below par and not really up to making up the usual half-arsed spiel for a Friday entry. So I’ll let this little Nurikabe speak for itself – I’m quite pleased with the claustrophobic sort of logic you’ll need with this one. Enjoy!

#147 Nurikabe – rated medium

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EDIT: Fully interactive version of this puzzle, as kindly powered by Otto Janko’s Java web application can be found here.

All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


August 05, 2011

Friday Puzzles #116

So thanks to everyone who gave feedback re the javascript akari – it’s clearly not quite ready for the big bad world, but hopefully firefox users at least managed to glimpse the potential there. Rest assured all comments and criticisms will be passed on!

And so most dearest of readers, on to this week. This puzzle started life almost as something of an exercise, but I think it’s turned out reasonably well, all things considered. Maybe that’s just the claret speaking though. I think there’s just about enough bite there to this to warrant the medium tag, although that too you might attribute to the good claret. Anyway, there are too many other things to be worrying about, alors, c’est tout. S’amuser!

#146 Slitherlink – rated medium

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All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


July 29, 2011

Friday Puzzles #115

Permit me, dearest reader, another week lingering over my LMI test from a couple of weeks back. The Suraromu puzzle I put together was one of the puzzles that was most well-received, which is nice because I put it together very quickly one dark March evening just before bed after seeing this MellowMelon puzzle that I thought was really cool. My puzzle definitely has a pleasing logical path in solving it, but I hoped the fact that I paired this puzzle on the same page as the Numberlink puzzle was not lost by LMI solvers! Sadly, with that constructor’s note I should probably label this only medium, but I hope that you, dearest reader, appreciate the novelty with this one!

#144 Suraromu – rated medium

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Now onto this week’s puzzle. Whilst I have been fully aware of a set of wonderful java based applets from long time friends of this blog, the Jankos for a long time now, I have always been a little reluctant to add an interactive side to the blog so far. This has partly been because I don’t really have that much control over the bare-bones coding of the Warwick blogs system (for example, my recent gripes with the blockquote marking apparently no longer working), partly because of the fiddling around needed with input strings and so on, and partly because I like to have some control over how the puzzles look. A puzzle is still a puzzle even if it has a bit of a facelift, but I’d prefer it if my puzzles retained as homogeneous a look as possible.

Which is why I was rather excited when fellow maths Ph.D student here at Warwick, Rupert Swarbrick, approached me with a little toy Akari web script that he was inspired to write after seeing my puzzle a couple of weeks back.

The script itself is wonderful in that it is very clever, very simple, is fully customisable with its appearance via CSS, and generally makes me very happy! So with all that said and done, how could I not write another lame 10×10 Akari this week? I’d almost say this one was hard, and certainly the configuration here probably deserves to be sent to 11 some time, but as with 10×10 Masyu, I have big reservations about calling any Akari this size hard. So medium it is – enjoy!

#145 Akari – rated medium

NEW! – play a fully interactive web version of the puzzle here!

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All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


July 22, 2011

Friday Puzzles #114

So I’m going to dwell a little on the recent LMI puzzle test I put together. Whilst I had always meant to try and set the record straight after the last disastrous puzzle test I had authored for LMI, I only really started getting the impetus to put together a set of puzzles whilst idly sketching out this puzzle. I was very pleased with what was firstly a very pretty design, but also the very hard nature of the logic involved in solving it. There is definitely a solving theme, one slightly expanded upon from this entry – which is hardly surprising as this puzzle was written very soon after I’d done this one.

#142 Masyu – rated hard

Funnily enough, all the puzzles were near enough done in no more than 2-3 weeks after this, and actually what was causing the delays were all the boring bits associated with putting a puzzle test together – answer keys, formatting and so on.

Anyway, I was on the train coming back to Coventry with a couple of hours to kill on Monday, and I found myself putting together a few Masyu ideas. Ideas which I couldn’t quite perfect in terms of cool new tricks – but the upshot was this puzzle, which again looks nice and pretty, and actually solves in a rather pleasing (albeit not so challenging) way too. Enjoy!

#143 Masyu – rated easy

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All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


July 15, 2011

Friday Puzzles #113

So I’m a little bit of a rush writing this entry, but let me make a couple of brief comments about how my Nikoli Selection LMI puzzle contest went last weekend. Firstly, I was very pleased to see lots of participation (even with a clash with a German competition) and that nothing went wrong. Reception to the puzzles seemed very warm and I’m glad that there was something in it for everyone.

Special mention has to go to the winner of the contest, Hideaki Jo, who had the main set of 16 puzzles solved in little over half the allotted time, before proceeding to destroy the 3 bonus “marathon” puzzles. I was expecting what with the puzzles being fairly tricky, answer entry and everything else that there was really only a possibility that 2 of these 3 puzzles could be gotten out in time, but Hideaki pulled off a stunning performance to get out all 3. Commiserations should also be offered to Dr. Snyder, who actually had the main 16 out faster than Hideaki (and actually slightly faster than my own test-solving times, which don’t take into account answer entry, and obviously aren’t the first times I’ve seen the puzzles), but tripped up on the larger yajilin puzzle, and could only manage a “mere” 2 marathons in time.

Anyhow, thanks for participating and making the whole thing a great success if you did, and if you didn’t, the puzzles are still up at LMI if you want to try them out. Like I say, if you enjoy the puzzles on this blog, you’ll love the test :-).

Onto this week’s puzzle. A 10×10 akari. Must be rubbish then eh? Enjoy!

#141 Akari – rated medium

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All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-11


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Welcome to the blog of current UKPA sudoku champion, two-time Times national sudoku champion and general logic puzzle fan Tom Collyer.



Home of the original Friday Puzzles, each Friday I publish a 100% original and handmade logic puzzle, inspired by the world-famous Nikoli company.


How to play:
AkariFillominoHashiHeyawakeHitoriKakuroLITSMasyuNumberlinkNurikabeRipple EffectShikakuSlitherlinkSudokuSuraromuYajilin.

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Latest comments

  • I like the appearance of the solution. :P Nice one. by Prasanna Seshadri on this entry
  • I think I've seen something vaguely similar in some of Palmer's puzzles as well. To be honest I've a… by on this entry
  • That's two puzzles in a row where I find something I had used before. I know, not plagiarism; just g… by Bram on this entry
  • Kota, that's not really true. I had made my puzzle before going to the WPC already. Also I don't hav… by Bram on this entry
  • About 20 minutes, after restarting from a mistaken conclusion. by Bryce Herdt on this entry

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