An interesting idea. Someone asked if the mirror squares were always given in the monster maze puzzles.

I wonder if it’s still possible to get a unique solution even in small cases with only knowing the number of mirrors and their direction.

[…]

Interesting idea could be figuring out when the mirrors don’t have to be given.

Our discussion turned to the types of clues that would allow for satisfying break-ins for the puzzles: singular 0 clues that indicate no path would be monster-less, or perhaps some ‘superlative’ clues where the line of sight contains nearly every monster.

Given this set of constraints, we both tried creating some small sample puzzles. One point which we had not agreed on was whether to enumerate the direction of the mirrors. It was interesting to see how the added constraint of specifying mirror direction could lead to uniquely solvable puzzles that would not be uniquely solvable otherwise.

With David’s permission, I’m happy to share some of our sample puzzles from our ‘puzzle jam session’ below.

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I’ll be posting my puzzles mainly there from now on, but I might post one here every now and then.

Also, thank you Dave Miller for letting me in here in the first place.

See you!

]]>Every day, The League of Extraordinary Ladies and Gentlemen features a sudoku variant from one of a wide variety of talented sudoku authors around the world. Variants include simple changes to shapes and groups, non-standard clue types, and the occasional mathematics concept thrown into the mix.

Unable to leave well enough alone, my last puzzle for the group included a wide variety of clue types. Shaded cells are even digits, plain cells are odd digits. Circle cells are the sum of the digits along their arrows. Numbers outside the grid are skyscraper clues.

Word has it you can solve it without the skyscraper clues, but they certainly make it easier.

]]>Rules:

- Unlike in regular Nurikabe, the clue numbers have been placed outside the grid.
- A clue will appear in the first unshaded cell in its row/column, counting from the clue’s direction.
- Standard Nurikabe rules then apply:
- Shade some cells to form a continuous wall that contains no 2×2 squares of shaded cells.
- The clue numbers hint at connected groups of unshaded cells.
- Every group has exactly one clue, which tells the group’s size.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this variant already has a name, if so please tell me in the comments.

Rules:

- Divide the grid into pentominoes (continuous shapes made out of five cells).
- No two pentominoes of the same shape may share an edge (even if they’re mirrored copies of each other), but touching by corners is allowed.
- Every pentomino must contain exactly one pearl.

Rules:

- Draw a loop passing through some of the cells, and shade the unvisited cells. The loop passes through the centers of cells, and makes right-angled turns.
- Two shaded cells may not share an edge, but touching by corners is allowed.
- A clue tells the total amount of consecutive horizontally or vertically connected unshaded cells (visited by the loop) connecting to the clue, counting the clue cell as well. Clue cells may not be shaded.

Put more concisely, it’s a Yajilin with Kuromasu clues (but the loop must visit all clue cells as well). This picture should clarify the cell counting rule:

EDIT: Clarified the rules. Unlike in Yajilin, the loop must visit all the clue cells as well, they may not be shaded.

]]>Rules:

- Fill the grid with numbers from 1 to 6 such that no number repeats within a row or column.
- The grid represents a top-down view of a city. A number in a cell represents a skyscraper of that height.
- A skyscraper blocks view of any shorter skyscrapers behind it.
- Looking from the clue’s direction, a clue tells the number of visible skyscrapers on its row/column.

As you may guess, it’s a hybrid of Statue Park and Creek.

(click for full size)

Rules:

- Shade some cells (60, to be exact) to form the 12 given pentominoes, rotations and reflections allowed.
- No two pentominoes may share an edge, but touching by corners is allowed.
- The unshaded cells must form a single, connected region.
- A clue tells how many of the four cells around it are shaded.

Here’s a LITS variant: every region has two tetrominoes, instead of one. Other puzzles of this type seem to not allow tetrominoes in the same region to touch each other, but that restriction isn’t at play here.

(click for full size)

Rules:

- Shade some cells to form two tetrominoes in each region.
- Two tetrominoes of the same shape may not share an edge.
- The shaded cells must also form a connected wall that contains no 2×2 squares of shaded cells.

Rules:

- Draw a single non-self-intersecting loop that runs through the centers of the cells and visits all pearls.
- On black pearls the loop must make a right turn, and the loop must go straight through the cells before and after the pearl.
- On white pearls the loop goes straight through, and the loop must make a right turn on at least one of the cells before and after the pearl.
- Additionally, every other pearl the loop passes through is a liar: that is, a white liar pearl acts as a black pearl, and vice versa.