Flashback #16 – Akasuke

The last puzzle in this series of Flashbacks is the hardest of the lot. Only 1 solver (Thomas Snyder) managed to solve it. Nowadays I use a computer when writing a difficult puzzle with many deduction-paths, but back then it was all grid paper and a lot of erasing. Because of the very-restricting nature of the type, I don’t think Akasuke will see any of its siblings soon.

So here is the devil that hardly anyone solved. Have another go at this in an untimed environment.

Akasuke: Fill in the grid of shaded cells with the listed numbers. Afterwards, the numbers become Akari clues, which are used to solve Akari in the usual manner.


Flashback #15 – Searchdoku

Searchdoku is credited to Dave Tuller in his AARP Wordsearches book. The back story of this puzzle was shared in the LMI forum. The original puzzle had a Maori-birds theme and because of the Maori language’s vowel-heavy nature, it ended up being difficult and too guess-y. This last-minute product below, finished just hours before the test was to start, was a gem.

When a puzzle is garnished with compliments, including one from logic puzzle-jesus Thomas Snyder, it means a lot to any puzzle constructor. But what excited me the most was that it got me writing for Akil Oyunlari for the next 4 years. That morning is vividly etched into my mind; I woke up late in the morning to read my e-mails. One of which was from Serkan Yurekli, who invited me to write a Searchdoku for issue 72 – which also had a similar concept.

Here is the puzzle below, can you see the break-in?

Searchdoku: Find the listed word in the grid going in any straight direction. Some words may be found in, or going through, the blank 9×9 grid. After several letters are filled in, the empty 9×9 grid becomes a Sudoku puzzle using 9 different letters.


Flashback #14 – LITS2

LITS^2 is possibly my only creation that has caught on. There aren’t many LITS variations, let alone five years ago. The idea of cramming two pieces in each region proved to be a success as several other authors are now writing their own LITS^2.

The puzzle in the online test had a simple LMI theme. I recall tweaking for hours to get rid of that notch on the “M” – but gave up when the deadline was approaching.

LITS^2: Shade in two tetromino pieces in each bolded region. The two pieces in the same bolded region may not be adjacent to each other. Otherwise, standard LITS rules apply.