Puzzle 3: LITS
You may or may not notice the four crosses I laid near the centre of the grid as a start when making this LITS. It is similar to the idea of the Country Road in the last Nikoli Hurdles. There are a few five-cell regions in this puzzle which should give solvers sufficient toeholds to complete the puzzle.
I wanted to make a 10×10 grid but it didn’t work out. I caught a lucky break when the 11-cell region at the upper right had only one possible solution. After tweaking the puzzle for a few minutes, I called it a day and immediately wall off the right hand side of the grid. The result was not too bad right?
Puzzle 4: Slitherlink
The other winner at the Reader’s Choice poll was Slitherlink. Among the most-common puzzle types, this type has to be my worst. I can’t solve Slitherlink, or any variants of Fences for that matter, even if my life depended on it. I tried practicing, I purchased a whole book of Slitherlink, I timed myself and I just never seem to enjoy Slitherlink. This applies to Turning Fences, Polygraph and any other variants (Liar, Pentomino etcetera) that originate from it. I choke when I see dotty grids in any instruction booklets. European puzzle makers are notorious for making Slitherlinks.
No matter how much I dislike it, if the readers prefer so, I shall deliver. My Slitherlink has very little obvious steps; there are no 3s next to 0s, no adjacent 3s, no two 1s in a corner and so forth. The borders should solve quite easily and linking the middle portion of the grid was all there was to the puzzle. Quick intuition is always faster than solving Slitherlink logically anyway, so I suspect most of you did that. A flick through my puzzle shed revealed that this was my very first (!) classic Slitherlink. This puzzle won’t be seeing any of its relative for a while.
Puzzles from Nikoli Hurdles 2 can be found here.