The menu is taken down, the puzzles are available in PDF attached in the previous post.
Picking up from the last post after the giant Masyu:
Following such a complex Mastermind Tapa was a tall order. The giant Masyu was met with so much criticism that I had to rethink what I should post for the upcoming Medusa. Most were quick to point out that the giant puzzle was too simple and a lot less exciting that the Tapa they solved a few days earlier.
Originally planned for Medusa was a giant word search. However after receiving mails about how dull the Masyu was, one had to be arrogantly audacious to post a simple word search. I returned to the drawing board and whipped up Medusa’s Snake Pit. It took exactly 60 minutes to draft the whole puzzle.
I looked at the Snake Variation Contest authored by Serkan Yurekli to see which types were suitable in a giant grid. Snake puzzles usually involve clues outside the grid so my choices were rather limited. Masyu Snake was a no-go since Argus was already on the list of giants. I settled on the 5 variants and the puzzle was born.
My intended break-in was in the left-hand portion of the Schlange. I wanted solvers to start off linking BB and JE to get their first toehold of the puzzle. The puzzle gods (Medusa?) didn’t agree with me and the obvious “3” of Slitherlink Snake at the bottom left hand corner was definitely a buzzkill. When I was test-solving the puzzle, almost none of my planned deductions were required at all. I imagine this happen all too often in giant puzzles. Life goes on.
I feared it might be too easy because of the heavily-constrained nature of Snake puzzles. So it was a relief to still see so many compliments. Antonis Lalatsas observed that this very quickly degenerated into a length constrained Arukone. Which is good because I like Arukone but suck at Snake puzzles.
Similarly Stefan Tomlins noted: It’s very clear there’s only one answer once you’ve got it (except for the remaining sliver of paranoia).
However the medal of courage has to go to Prasanna Seshadri who created extra work for himself: I solved on paint, and its a bit messy now.
Yuhei Kusui disagrees since: This is the most beautiful Medusa I have ever seen.
The final puzzle was Cerberus. The monster concept came before the puzzle so I thought about something with 3 heads. Maybe three overlapping Fillominos?
I had a brief look at the two Fillomino Fillia tests and scouted the 3 variants that were used. The idea of having a matchmaker-type of puzzle quickly worked itself out. No Rectangles was the first to be constructed and due to its nature, 1-cell and 2-cell regions were not allowed. I then realize how difficult it will be for the remaining puzzles. In order to mask early matching deductions, I was prohibited from using any 1 and 2 as clues in the other Fillominos!
Ouch. Otherwise, oh this puzzle has a 1 (or 2); therefore it cannot be the No Rectangles.
Depriving a Fillomino author from using 1 and 2 will make his life very difficult. I learnt this the hard way when Star Battle keeps getting broken. I ended up with that ugly clunk of 7s in the middle.
Star Battle Fillomino
After the 3 puzzles were made, I originally had in mind 3 more classics mixed in. Then after unsuccessfully attempting to write the first classic without the use of 1 and 2, I just gave up.
Odd Even Fillomino
There were many different approaches to Cerberus.
Antonis Lalatsas shared his: I excluded grid 5 due to the interplay between clue 22 and the 563 triplet. This left only grid 6 respecting the Yin-Yangish border constraint of Odd-Even, which then solved quickly. Grid 2 was out next due to top 3 being forced straight and a single 2×2 remaining space for two stars on the top two rows. And that’s all I did logically.
The bottom right quarter of grid 1 looked woefully underconstrained unless I could force the middle 5s into different polyominos by bringing down the 4, and this quickly gave me a working Star Fillomino.
Emboldened, I randomly tried grid 3 as No Rectangles, working ccw from the 10 and failing in the three 3s to the left. I used the same failing logic to working effect this time on the remaining grid, which solved pleasantly.
Was there an obvious logical step (or three) I missed?
Short answer: to be honest I can’t remember. During test solving I remembered disproving all 3 fakes before solving each variants. I recalled solving all 6 grids under every rule to make sure they had one unique solution. Odd-Even was first if I remembered correctly and there was a toss-up between Star Battle and No-Rectangles. I didn’t check to see if a puzzle also work under another rule but apparently [Matej Uher] found that grid 1 has multiple solution in no rectangular, so i try other possibility (star battle)
Edison He mentioned I was stk (sic) for a while on the Star Fillomino. Was there any better way to get it besides assuming that the top right square is not filled by a star?
I agree that Star Battle was the hardest of the lot. I remembered the puzzle started from the bottom left and worked its way up. The last bit I recalled using guess-and-check to prove uniqueness so it was probably a similar method everyone used.
And lastly Ivan Koswara pointed out that people are used with Star Fillomino with two stars
Oops I forgot.
I finish this post with a funny comment from James McGowan who promptly finished all four giant puzzles.
With the body of the final monster at his feet, Jameus wiped the gore from his face and looked around. The sun shone through a gap in the clouds, somewhere a bird burst into song. Local villagers were weeping with joy, busty maidens swooned and flirted. “Now we feast!” he bellowed, and the crowd roared back its approval. It was a good day to be a puzzler…
I feel everyday’s a good day to be a puzzler.
With all the solutions posted, July Giants has now come to a close. My next event is in the works and originally planned for October. However, I have a hunch that it might be held near the end of this month if things continue to go smoothly.
Thanks for dropping by.
See you next time!