Holiday Quiz Deadline Extension

The SOTR Holiday Quiz deadline is extended for another 48 hours. Submissions can be made until 11th January, no matter where you are in the world. So you have until it is 12th of January in Kiribati to submit or edit your answers.

After which, we will crown our first winner of the year.

Good luck!

SOTR Holiday Quiz 2020-21

Merry Christmas everyone!

Someone told me that the older you get, the faster the times goes. I certainly feel it this year. While everyone can agree that 2020 has been a horrific year, let us hope the sky clears up to usher in a brighter 2021. It feels great to have some content on this blog again. For every puzzle you see, there is about four or five puzzles that did not surface. I should start going easy on myself and steer clear from the crippling compulsion to have everything perfect. Wish you all a safe and happy new year!

Here is a tradition that is near and dear to SOTR. The Holiday Quiz!

[Errata: New image uploaded for question 5 on 29/12/20 – 10:00 GMT]. Sorry to those who have spent time with the original image.

Instructions: Answer as many questions as you can. You do not have to answer all the questions. Submit your entry using the entry form below. The highest scorer will receive a copy of Nikoli no Penpa 2021 published by Nikoli. You can submit multiple times but only your latest submission will count – so you can change your answers until the deadline on Saturday 9th January. Questions can be made by commenting on this post or by e-mail to roygbivpuzzles (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tie-Breaks: If the highest score is achieved by multiple entrants, the entry that scored the highest in Pine Jigsaw (question 4) wins. If the tie remains unbroken; the entry that scored the highest in Obsolete (question 7) wins. Rock-Paper-Scissors will decide any further ties.

Happy Quizzing!

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Pass the Hat

Hello Readers

Puzzle Lounge’s Session 3 will consist of weeks 15 to 21. All the puzzles have been written except for week 19, which is purposely left blank. That week will feature “Pass the Hat”. Imagine a busking street performer where passersby throw donations into a hat. Except this time, the performer is me and instead of donations, you throw in puzzles.

I am not exactly after complete grids, just the specific genre you wish to see on week 19. You are not limited to logic puzzles, if you can point out or provide an example or source, I am keen on making it. You might be confused as to why this is happening, but you will have to wait until week 19 to find out. Chip in. Please give me something.

[Submission to Pass the Hat now closed]

Next Friday is Christmas and we will run the traditional Holiday Quiz. Puzzle Lounge will resume during the Quiz or shortly after.

See you next week!

Results of Puzzle Lounge Session 2

Results time!
We are now half way through Puzzle Lounge! During the on-season, I was conditioned to not go to bed on Friday nights until some correct entries trickle in. Only minutes separate the fastest solvers, so they were unknowingly my quality control checkers. I sleep easy when their answers match.

There were a lot more of points up for grabs this session, owing to there being more than one puzzle per week. The puzzles were generally more difficult as well, which raised even more points. Before we jump into detailed answers I would like to thank everyone for participating, for the lively discussions, feedbacks, and most importantly the kind words in the inbox I could not individually reply to. Here, I try to include some snippets of your comments along with each week’s puzzles.

You can grab the full solutions of Session 2 here.

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Puzzle Lounge Week 14: Night at the Bongard Museum

Session 2: Week 14

Bonjour curator!
I see you’re here to examine the 6 exhibitions we are showcasing next week. This is a very important art symposium for our young Bongard Museum. Bah oui. I can feel our fame soaring already. Let’s work together to ensure nothing goes wrong, oui?

Allow me to show you our 6 exhibitions. Right this way, monsieur. See here, each exhibit consist of 7 paintings. As you can see, currently they only have 6 artworks in them. The 7th piece of each exhibit are mixed up in the storage room somewhere. Mais Enfin! And time is running out!

Mon ami Tawan promised to help me but he had to leave for an emergency. Ouf, at least he summoned you here. He had some nice words to say about you. I sense the same reliable air from you, monsieur. I entrust you help locate the 7th painting of each exhibit by next week? You will?

Merci beaucoup!

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Puzzle Lounge Week 13: Outis

Session 2: Week 13
Name a puzzle beginning with O. You could’ve start with “odd” for puzzles like OEBS sudoku, (or just Odd Sudoku). A few seconds later you might’ve been able to come up with Oases or more recently in Jonas Gleim’s Alphabet test, Offspring. A few will be aware of this weeks’ puzzle.

I first saw this in a Bram de Laat’s 24HPC set and the large 10×10 Outis that I solved during the event left a good impression. I haven’t seen Outis anywhere before or since. Two puzzles this week.


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Puzzle Lounge Week 12: Pentomino Areas

Session 2: Week 12
Pentominoes are always reliable as a go-to ticket when one hits a puzzle writer’s block. There are so many object placement puzzles that use them and improving solvers should practice keeping mental track of pentomino sets. Frequently playing the boardgame Blokus can also help. My favourite pentomino genre is Statue Park but that’s not what we’re solving today.

Inspired by Vladimir Portugalov’s 12th Forsmarts anniversary event, where every puzzle played out on 12×12 grids, here is a 12×12 Pentomino Areas I saved especially for week 12.

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Puzzle Lounge Week 11: Match Boxes

Session 2: Week 11
A word puzzle this week. In 2009, during a trip to Singapore’s Vivo City, I was awestruck by three large shelves of puzzle books in Page One. That was the day I discovered Games magazine (my first issue was May 2009) and, with it, American style crosswords. Woefully, two years later, the shop had ceased to exist and I was later forced to rely on overpriced international shipping.

Matchboxes, a rare type in Games, has a very simple rule. You come up with entries in a given category and the more answers you fill in, the more clues you get for other answers. A wide range of themes had been adopted before; such as trees, boats, shades of red and baseball teams. I try not to Google when solving, and for maximum enjoyment I recommend you do the same for the puzzles below.

Below are six interconnected sets of Matchboxes. The category and an example entry are given with each puzzle. In an attempt to make things more challenging, even with Google, the category will be given for only the first three puzzles and no example entry will be given for the last puzzle.

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Puzzle Lounge Week 10: Sweeper Tapa

Session 2: Week 10
Tapa is the proud brainchild of the puzzle-cranking machine Serkan Yurekli. He ran 20 (!) Tapa Variation Contests (TVC) from 2010 to 2016. You know a puzzle is successful when hundreds of variations can be spun from it. And no. I don’t consider one-off “puzzles”, slapped with some whimsical name, found by the bucketloads in some creative individual’s blog to be a valid variation. Aside from Sudoku, I can’t think of another type that has such a rich and vast array of variations. Battleships maybe? Or perhaps Snakes might be a closer competition.

I wrote a round of Tapa puzzles for an offline event in Serbia last year, and in research for that I consulted the 20 TVC’s. Clearly entranced by the cute symbols, I was lured by the Sweeper Tapa which debuted in the 12th TVC (March 2012). Practice puzzles by Palmer Mebane, Bram de Laat and the example in the instructions all used dull letters instead of the wacky symbols seen in the actual test.

In search for the original Sweeper Tapa, I discovered that the idea was credited to, check this out, Anurag Sahay. Below are two Sweeper Tapas where I aim to balance both the classical Tapa element with the variation’s constraint. Credits to Freepik, whose work I frequently use to spice up presentation, for providing the cute symbols.


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