Puzzle 6: Five Cells
From the inclusion of Five Cells, I learnt that the world needs more of them. I have been solving a lot of Five Cells in Nikoli magazines so I took it for granted that it was a well-known type. Imagine my surprise when I was showered with praise for this puzzle!
Adam Dewberry: Particularly enjoyed number 6 🙂
Rakesh Rai: I liked the sixth puzzle (five cells) the most, perhaps because it was new for me.
John Reid: Five Cells was also very entertaining for me as I don’t think I’ve seen that type before.
In a usual Nikoli magazine, Five Cells are scattered with 0’s. Even the hard ones are littered with 0’s. That’s an instant X-pentomino wherever you see a 0. If that’s not easy enough; how about a generous amount of 3s all around the perimeter?
So I came up with one without 0s and a lot less clues around the border. The middle of the puzzle is where all the challenge is at. Although, I don’t think it was that tough given how quickly you can try twisting the pieces in your head and fixing trial and errors.
Puzzle 7: Kurodoko
This puzzle was written in a hotel way back in March, I remember this because it was written in my grid-squared diary. When I came round to edit the puzzle it broke no less than three times. According to my own test solving, this was the hardest puzzle in Nikoli Hurdles 2. The theme I was trying to work on was that each trio of clues sums up to 10. We have 8+2=10, 7+3=10, 6+4=10 and a scattered 5+5=10.
The puzzle revolves around the centre’s 10 diagonally adjacent to the 2. There are two possible configurations but one will only work when you consider the 5s at the bottom. I felt that during a timed competition, guess-and-check beats logic in this particular puzzle.