PDF booklet of July Giants
I was solving Akil Oyunlari issue 72 and a few pages from that issue were devoted to puzzles from the first Tapa Variations Contest. One of them was Mastermind Tapa which used 4 small classic Tapas. I didn’t finish the puzzle, but it was enough to get me thinking about the idea of this Hydra puzzle.
Hydra had 9 heads so I quickly settled on having 9 puzzles. I quickly decided that the centre would be the last puzzle to be solved and it should be a classic Tapa. I had 8 choices to make regarding the surrounding Tapas so I referred to the Tapa Variants list that Serkan compiled a year ago.
I jotted down a few appropriate variants and started from there. A big puzzle like this one would inevitably have several starting points but my original path started at Compass Tapa and Alternative Tapa. I’m sure everyone else’s experiences will vary.
Personally this was my favourite puzzle as I thought all the grids worked out really well. I hoped Hydra wasn’t a walk-over and Thomas Powell concurs: I’m very slow at Tapa. That was 90 mins for me.
This was the first giant Masyu I’ve made. I consulted some examples of giant puzzles to see what sizes were optimal. Most were 20×36 so I just went with that. I didn’t have any ruler on me so I dot the corners in my grid book and splashed in a few circles.
I tried to include as many patterns as I can; there’s a flower on the top left, next to it is a question mark, a wave of circles in the middle, a spiral, four random plus signs and an X down at the bottom right. When everything on paper was done, it was straight to the computer to draw up the grid. I entered the 20×36 dimension, started plugging in circles and… hold on. Why is there room left?
I looked down at my notebook and slapped my forehead. I left out 5 whole rows!
Well, I’m not going to dismantle the whole puzzle. You’ll just have to make do with a 20×31 Masyu instead.
The puzzle was represented by Argus Panoptes, a 100-eyed monster, so it was thematical to drop a trivia question about that. This was where my laziness to triple check came back to haunt me. The original question read, “In what part of your body is the choroid?”
I originally had conjunctiva or sclera in mind but there were too many/not enough space so I had to find a 7-letter part of the eye. And yes, the answer is EYE. The choroid is a thin layer between the retina and sclera. It turned out within one hour of posting, a few solvers pointed out extra letters in the string. Doh!
The puzzle was tweaked and the new question read, “In what part of your body is the optic disc?”
Introducing language into a logic puzzle will unsettle some solvers. I also learnt that the Russian translation of optic disc is…
Andrey Bogdanov: I didn’t know what “Optic Disc” is. The Russian name of the same item can be translated as “Blind spot” – nothing in common.
Edison He was one of few who enjoyed the puzzle and noticed…
Now, if only there had been 99 clues in the grid, so that we would have pierced each and every one of them exactly. But as it stands, we seem to have blinded a number of innocent bystanders.