Puzzledo closing in 2 days

PuzzleDo will be closed in just over 48 hours from now.

If you’re still lost in Tudor Mansion, I highly recommend submitting partial entries. You can still win the Pick a Room prize without qualifying for the main tournament, providing you scored at least 100 points. You can also guess the final mystery and hopefully have a few correct guesses in there.
Anything to increase your odds!

Results will be announced shortly after the contest closes.
Good luck everyone!

Somewhere in Tudor Mansion…

We have about 12 days left of PuzzleDo.

The tournament bracket is still filling up. However, as of now, Wild Card spots have not yet been taken. If there are no wild cards by the end of the event, the two spots will be left empty. This means the solver that takes positions 1 and 2 in the main tournament will automatically qualify to the semi-finals.

How to get those Wild Cards, you say?
Well, Tudor Mansion is very big. You might stumble across one if you’re vigilant enough… or perhaps listened carefully to what someone said in the video footages…

You could always qualify for the main tournament by scoring in the top 4. Right now, there are less than 4 perfect scores so it will be close.

Happy solving!

Crack on!

cluebanner1And we’re off!

Important political figures and billionaires gathered at Tudor Mansion celebrating entrepreneur Dr. Black’s winning of the prestigious Holmstrom-Hart Award. As the party die down and guests trickle out the door – the adventure in the after hours begin.

By dawn, Dr. Black’s lifeless body was found outside the mansion’s gates. Detectives concluded that the murder actually took place somewhere inside.

Who killed Dr. Black?

With what?

And where?

Truth will only be revealed with the help of 9 video tapes, each located in different rooms. The video cameras are encrypted and can only be opened with the correct passwords. Unfortunately, only Dr. Black knows what the passwords are. However, you can too, by solving the puzzles in each room.

Enter each room at the menu above and submit your answers at the CELLAR. Partial entries are accepted and only the latest entry from each person counts. Further details can be found at the HOW TO PLAY PUZZLEDO.

Here’s a checklist to keep track of your progress: Checklist

 

Good luck and stay alive!

March is Detective Month

pzdobanner
Greetings!
Coming up is SOTR’s first long narrative event. It will based on the classic board game Cluedo (or just Clue for American readers).

clue-boxA prize-winning economist Dr. Black was murdered inside his own Tudor Mansion. Your job is to use a series of whodunit-style clues to solve the mystery (which VIP guest killed the doctor, with what weapon and where). Clues are presented in the form of video footages within each room. To unlock each VDO camera you must solve the puzzles in each room.

Solving puzzles and the final mystery earns you points, (maximum is 200). However, the highest scorer isn’t necessarily the winner. You are competing to earn one of 8 spots in the Main Tournament; 4 spots for the highest scorers, 2 wild card spots and 2 spots for early birds (1 for the first person to reach 100 points and 1 for the first person to solve the mystery).

maintournamentcluedo

Therefore it is a race to secure one of these 8 spots. If you’re aiming to be the early bird, you are advised to submit partial entries to secure those spots as quickly as you can. You can then later re-submit for more points.

The doors will open on 1st March and will last one month. Take this time to carefully read HOW TO PLAY PUZZLEDO on the menu above for all the details in this event.
See you at Tudor Mansion!

cluebanner1

Results of SOTR Quiz

sotrquiz2016

And we are ready to announce this year’s first winner!
But first, let’s look at the answers.

Q1: Inklings
Can you figure out what other puzzles have been solved based only on their inklings?quizinklingsA is Yajilin,
B is Sudo-kurve,
Most of you said Classic Sudoku for B which I decided to not accept. It is too unnatural for a sudoku to have all corner 3×3 boxes already filled in, which would make a very lousy puzzle. The geometry seen here was a typical layout of Sudo-kurve. Only Manea got this one right.
C is Tents,
D is Tight-Fit Sudoku, note how some numbers are larger than others.
E is Different Neighbours. Note how dots are marked where all four vertices meet.

Q2: Architect
What is this construction?quizfeatThis is the 17x17x17 Rubik’s Cube – which is the largest dimension ever built that can actually work. The man is Oskar van Deventer, a Dutch puzzle maker.

Q3: Secret Santa
Who is this person dressed up as Santa Claus?

santawho Only two people identified Wayne Gould. In 2004, this New Zealand-born Hong Kong judge walked into the London Times office and got them to publish Sudoku in their newspapers. This created the worldwide Sudoku boom.
Thanks Wayne!

38901-nzh

Q4: Instructionless
Tell me what this puzzle type is.

christmaswhatIf you tried solving this as a Ripple Effect, it will have a unique solution. Boy, this puzzle was frustrating to make. Took me almost two hours.

Q5: Art Gallery
What puzzle type is this?

quizart

Japanese solvers would recognize the kanji above as Akari. Here’s a picture from the latest Nikoli Puzzle Box. I wonder why the romanji for ‘museum’ wasn’t used as the name instead.

15970372_1426119720734255_910806476_n

Q6: Turkish Art Gallery
Turkish Art Paint is better known in the puzzle community as what?
According to its inventor Serkan Yurekli, Tapa is actually an acronym and is short for Turkish Art Paint. I can’t help but smile when I received an entry from Serkan himself!

Q7: Christmas Trees


Can you figure out which two trees (out of the given choices) would belong to Swaroop and Grant?

quiztreesquizztrees2No maths is involved here, the stars simply resemble to the first letters of the tree owners’ names. Swaroop’s tree would be number 1 (S) and Grant’s (G) would be number 2.

Q8: Transformations 
Can you figure out what these puzzles have become?

8a) Masyu rules apply; however all cells must be visited. There is no requirement of having to go straight after turning at a black circle. You can also go through white circles without having to turn immediately before or after each white circle.
8b) Nurikabe rules apply; however shaded cells do not have to be connected. You may have 2×2 areas of shaded cells.
8c) Spiral Galaxies rules apply; however some circles are black. Once you have completed the puzzle, shade in regions with black circles.
8d) Slitherlink rules apply; however clue numbers outside the loop represents the number of its edges that are not used by the loop.

Tough set of questions here.
In 8a, Masyu turns into Dutch Loop.
8b, Nurikabe turns into Lakes.
8c, Spiral Galaxies becomes Tentai Show. Also acceptable is Sym-a-Pix (Conceptis).
8d, Slitherlink becomes Polygraph. Some of you had In-Out Slitherlink which was unacceptable because the clues outside the loop had to increase by 1 to represent the unused edges.

Q9: Sudoku
Below is a sudoku, what is so significant about this particular puzzle?

quizsudoFinnish mathematician Arto Inkala came up with this puzzle in 2012. He claimed, by using some algorithms and advanced programming, that this is the world’s hardest Sudoku ever. I’m not going to solve it and you shouldn’t either.

10 solvers submitted answers. Edison and Antonis were set to tie for first with 44/60 (with Edison having the better tie-break). Then Alan scored 43/60, which had me re-verifying and triple checking everyones’ answers. Then out of nowhere on the last day, James blasted the field with 54/60!
sotrquiz1617resCongratulations to James McGowan from New Zealand!

He wins the Toteoki Fillomino to keep him busy throughout the entire year. As the only person to score full marks in the Transformations section, I can’t help but think that he just reeled off all the answers from the top of his head without any research.
James becomes the second double-winner at SOTR. Long time readers would remember who the first double-winner was… woah… that was a long time ago.

Thank you to all those who took part, it is great to see fellow puzzle fans showing their puzzle knowledge and experience here.
By the way, the next event is happening shortly.
It is another boardgame-inspired one.

See you there!

Last day of SOTR Quiz

sotrquiz2016Last chance to enter the SOTR Holiday Quiz, submissions will close one day from now and results will follow.
It’s coming down to the wire this year, with some very close scores!

Those who have entered, now’s the final chance if you want to edit your answers.
Good Luck!

The quiz can be found in the post below, submission form is at the menu tab above.

SOTR Christmas Quiz 2016-17

sotrquiz2016Ho! Ho! Ho!
SOTR is running a Holiday Quiz. Below are some fiendish questions about the world of puzzling.

Instructions:

Answer as many questions as you can. You don’t have to answer all the questions. Submit your entry at the ENTRY FORM tab above. The highest scorer will receive a copy of Toteoki Specially Selected Fillomino published by Nikoli. Tie-break details at the submission page. You can ask questions by commenting on this post.

Let’s get the quiz started!

Q1: Inklings [2,2,2,4,6 points]
Imagine solving puzzles on transparent paper. Once completed, imagine the transparent paper being removed. You will be left with just the solution and some possible notations. An example showing a solved Heyawake is shown below.

quizinkegCan you figure out what other puzzles have been solved based only on their inklings?

quizinklings

Q2: Architect [3 points]
This record-breaking feat of construction (in front of this man) was unveiled in 2011. What is it?quizfeat

Q3: Secret Santa [4 points]
Ho! Ho! Ho! Have you been good? Who is this person dressed up as Santa Claus?

santawho

Q4: Instructionless [4 points]
Solve this puzzle…oh… I seem to have lost the instructions. Ok then, at least tell me what this puzzle type is.

christmaswhatQ5: Art Gallery [4 points]
This is the Japanese name of a puzzle type; its literal translation is “Art Gallery”. What puzzle type is this?

quizartQ6: Turkish Art Gallery [2 points]
Speaking of art, Turkish Art Paint is better known in the puzzle community as what?

Q7: Christmas Trees [4 points]
Andrew, Tom, James, Ivan and Michael are having a Christmas party. They all decorated their trees. Swaroop and Grant arrived late – can you figure out which two trees (out of the given choices) would belong to Swaroop and Grant?

quiztreesquizztrees2Q8: Transformations [4,5,4,5 points]
Some puzzles are more complicated than others. With a small tweak, certain puzzle types can become another type. Below is a list of well-known puzzle instructions being slightly altered.
For example: Fillomino rules apply; however each region must be rectangular (or square). All regions can only contain one given number and no regions can be formed if no given numbers are in it. Also, identical-sized regions can be adjacent to each other.

In this example, the Fillomino essentially becomes a Shikaku.
Can you figure out what these puzzles have become?

8a) Masyu rules apply; however all cells must be visited. There is no requirement of having to go straight after turning at a black circle. You can also go through white circles without having to turn immediately before or after each white circle.
8b) Nurikabe rules apply; however shaded cells do not have to be connected. You may have 2×2 areas of shaded cells.
8c) Spiral Galaxies rules apply; however some circles are black. Once you have completed the puzzle, shade in regions with black circles.
8d) Slitherlink rules apply; however clue numbers outside the loop represents the number of its edges that are not used by the loop.

Q9: Sudoku [5 points]
Below is a sudoku, what is so significant about this particular puzzle?

quizsudo

Submit your answers by 6th January at the ENTRY FORM tab above.

Mailbox + Vote for NH5

All the puzzles from Nikoli Hurdles 4 are now available at the PAST COMPETITIONS tab above. Before we move on, a proper send-off is suitable. I’ll share some thoughts and a few feedbacks from the solvers.

Also here’s a chance to see your favourite puzzle in NH5.
You can vote for up to 4 types. (voting closed)

 

Mail box:
Michael T: I’m a newcomer to logic puzzles so this introduced me to some nice new types like LITS and Masyu. I thought Masyu was the hardest by far, although probably someone more experienced would have a much easier time.

Masyu and LITS are as common as logic puzzles go, and I seem to have taken it for granted. I hope future events don’t scare away potential puzzle solvers. And to be fair, the Masyu was no-walkover, it was quite difficult.

The most talked about puzzle was Puzzle 8 (Tile Paint).
Here’s some selected comments.

Edison: I could see that it was a picture of junk food. I tried HAPPYMEAL before MCDONALD’S though
Prasanna:  The last answer could be HAPPYMEAL just as well as MCDONALDS 😉

Ahh.. I did not think of HAPPY MEAL (coincidentally also 9 letters long) at all. Even if I did, I’d still go with the more foreigner-friendly MCDONALDS as the answer.

Kishore: I had to seek help of someone else to complete it. I have never been to Mcdonalds nor seen their logo. Better to avoid puzzles of [this] sort.

Noted.
Apologies about my ignorance of McDonalds being unfamiliar to certain people, maybe because I’m just a fast food nut.

Nikola:  I almost gave up when my 5 years little girl recognized the final picture!

I like this story a lot. That last time you took her to McDonalds paid off!

I’m a sucker for colourful variety puzzles so the personal favourite puzzle award goes to Hamburgers. This type is a knock-off of Yosenabe. Instead of adding numbers, you had to make hamburgers. The idea came from Nikoli Puzzle Communication (issue 141) where the puzzle took the theme of making a hot-pot. I went with the more well-known burgers – also tying it with the McDonalds theme at the end.

Nikoli Communication 141

Nikoli Communication 141

Antonis: The Hamburgers thing was quite unexpected – the design may have legs.

The original version I wrote was a killer, easily a puzzle 8. But when I tested it, I thought I would make it easier by tweaking some of the regions. It turned out that the change allowed a crucial initial step to be bypassed – which made the puzzle tremendously easier.

You could start by guessing which dish belonged to the Filet-O-Fish and the puzzle pretty much solves itself. I was very annoyed at this point, but I had already spent 3-4 hours writing it and my roommate wasn’t happy with me staying up and using the light so I retired to bed 🙂

Thomas: Maze, Nansuke, Hamburgers and especially Block Party were excellent in both solving and bringing something a bit different from the usual types.
Ivan: Hamburgers (not sure the actual type) was too easy.
Giovanni: The Yosenabe gave me a bit of a problem too, but I found the logic and it solved nicely from there.

James: Also wondered if the “Menu” was a hyperlink clue, but couldn’t find anything smart to do with it.

And we have an easter-egg hunter!
There were 2 secret puzzles hidden in previous events. One, where a lot of people found, was in Manila. And one, where no one found, was in … oh… better keep it to myself for now since I might re-use it later. 😉

Bonus fact. Originally, I had 5 SOTR veterans as the names of the burgers, but dropped all of them for simple names instead. Somehow, [Nick] Brady’s BLT survived the cut.

That’s it for now, until next time!

Results of Nikoli Hurdles 4

36 people have made their trip over 8 hurdles during the past month. Among the finishers; we have 11 former prize winners and 6 newcomers. Welcome, welcome!

Let’s play Minority Decides!
Take note of your number and see how far you went. Numbers are assigned by order of submission:

  1. Edison He,
  2. Zach Polansky
  3. Grant Fikes
  4. Nick Brady
  5. Stefan Tomlins
  6. Ivan Koswara
  7. Ken Levine
  8. Antonis Lalatsas
  9. Robert Vollmert
  10. Michael Lasserre
  11. Walker Anderson
  12. Prasanna Seshadri
  13. Min-Young Joo
  14. Matej Uher
  15. Nikola Zivanovic
  16. Arturo Vial Arqueros
  17. James McGowan
  18. Kishore Kumar Sridharan
  19. Alan O’Donnell
  20. Tom Collyer
  21. Thomas Powell
  22. Jakub Hrazdira
  23. Swaroop Guggilam
  24. Gavriel Hirsch
  25. Liane Robinson
  26. Michael Mosshammer
  27. Franck Wallez
  28. Neil Brown
  29. Victor Larsen
  30. Michael Tang
  31. Grayson Holmes
  32. Fernando Almazan Gil
  33. Giovanni Pagano
  34. Andrew Brecher
  35. Sumet Juariyamark
  36. Moyd Farhan Bin Hassin

Here we go!

Question 1: Do you like hamburgers?
A: Love’ em!
B: I’m more of a salad person
nh4resa

16 people chose A
20 people chose B
Correct answer is A!
16 hamburger-eaters are moving on!

Question 2: You are in a shopping mall, where do you go to whet your appetite?
A: McDonalds
B: KFC
nh4resb

8 people chose A
8 people chose B
Draw!
No correct answer, we’ll move onto the next question.

Question 3: What sauce would you like that with?
A: Tomato sauce, please
B: Mustard, please
nh4resc5 people chose A
11 people chose B
Correct answer is A!
We’re down to just 5 people!

Question 4: And your choice of sides?
A: Crispy fries
B: Chicken nuggets
nh4resd1 person chose A
4 people chose B
Correct answer is A!

Congratulations to Ivan Koswara from Indonesia!
He wins the Nikoli Puzzle the Giants 2016 issue!

Warm applause to Michael, Min-Young, Andrew and Sumet for coming so close. Interestingly, the correct answers were all A’s. Ivan’s submission of AAAAAAAB won him the event outright. We had two submissions from Tom and Farhan who went with BBBBBBBB, right concept but wrong letter!

Ivan has been a long time veteran of this blog, submitting entries since Nikoli Hurdles 2 without missing a single event. I’m happy he is finally rewarded. As for everyone else, thank you all for participating and I hope to see you again next time. If you want a reminder to your inbox – hit the Subscribe button on the right and guarantee you’ll never miss an event.

Until next time…

Happy Halloween!