Thursday, 13 May 2010

Friday Puzzles #44

One of the comments about some of my Friday Puzzles that I hear from seasoned puzzlers is that they are a touch on the easy side. I have said before part of my aim is to put out puzzles that are primarily friendly to a more general audience. This softly softly approach has the advantage of letting me put out more polished puzzles – the thinking being that as a puzzle writer the time to master quick and easy techniques onto my puzzles is quicker than trying to do a juno.

On the other hand, it has been tempting to flex my muscles a bit, and there have been a couple of puzzles I have released together with a comment along the lines of “expect a similar puzzle in a bigger and better format later”; only for that puzzle never to materialise.

Well, this changes this week – regular readers will no doubt spot the similarities with a previously released puzzle. Here is a nikoli large sized masyu puzzle. Apart from the end being a bit fiddly, I think this is as good a puzzle as I’ve ever written, and I hope you – most dearest of readers – think the same. Enjoy!
    #054 Masyu – rated hard
All puzzles © Tom Collyer 2009-10


  1. Nice puzzle. The four-pearl blocks make an interesting theme, not only visually but logically. The black ones are a nice easy entry at the beginning, but the white ones need to be carefully socketed into the loop at the end.

  2. Thanks for the comment! Yeah, you’re exactly right with the blacks being gimmes and the whites giving you something to think about. I sort of stumbled upon it a while back when making a puzzle with rotational symmetry, only with the image of a white being black and vice versa. In fact, I sneaked in large elements of that smaller puzzle into this one.

  3. Alan O'Donnell17 May 2010 at 20:54

    Lovely puzzle! You might claim the large puzzles teach you less about speed, but they certainly help with technique. I’ve acquired a couple of shortcuts for future masyu from doing this one.

  4. Certainly harder than it looked like it might be at one stage, but not so hard that it wasn’t enjoyable. Nice puzzle. Good to see something other than sudoku and kakuro. Of course, the next challenge is to make a puzzle with symmetric givens. And then maybe some more heyawakes and some yajilin. Am I too greedy? ;-)

  5. Hmm…we’ll have to see what sort of a mood I’m in this coming week…

    I’ve done symmetric givens for Masyu. Well, nearly symmetric. The problem is, symmetry in the givens tends to homogenise the solve somewhat – you end up doing the same thing twice, or even four times.

  6. Yes, I completely agree that solving pleasure is far more important than beauty of puzzle, but when the two combine, some incredible puzzles can be achieved (as is demonstrated by someone of the puzzlesmiths linked to on the lhs of the page). At one stage I thought this masyu was going to force me to use the same logic repeatedly (where the squares of 4 whites are), but you ensured that each set required a different thought process, so good job.


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