Category → puzzles

A Signature Puzzle

As usual, there had to be something here. In fact, this year, there are several somethings. Hype!

This is based on an idea by chaotic_iak. You can check your answers here. Text above this horizontal rule is not part of the puzzle.

ETA 11/17 16:15 UTC−5: Adjusted spacing between the bottom numbers after feedback. The puzzle is otherwise the same, and solving should not be significantly impacted.

Solvers (in my local UTC−5 because I’m lazy):

  1. Yoshiap @ 11-17 18:28:34

Puzzle 48 / Double Back

At least one person wants me to post. I’m not even going to try do a life summary. It’s too hard. Let’s just say:

  1. right now, my blog drafts contain a backlog of ~7500 words and counting;
  2. I was not accepted as an MIT Admissions blogger, which is bad because my blogging will continue to not reach a large audience, but good because my blogging will continue to not reach a large audience. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that, because the application form wouldn’t let me submit without any media, I panickedly cranked out the following puzzle in an hour or so to attach.

Throwback Thursday Puzzles!

Wow, there are so many cool things in my old folder. I could probably create and schedule enough filler posts to make my streak last through my week-long trip and back. I guess I won’t, though, because I don’t want to dilute my textwall-draft brand more than necessary and there are a few text posts that I fully intend to post before leaving. Or at least one. Although on second thought, it’s possible they might actually not be as interesting as posts like this one about the adorable me from the past. As Pablo Picasso once said, “Youth has no age.” (Yes, I totally just went on BrainyQuote and searched for “youth”. Forgive me, please.) Oh well.

Today’s throwback theme is old puzzles! Particularly picture ones! In reverse chronological order by last modified time, because I said so! All the image puzzles are puzzlehunty in the sense that you’re supposed to end up with a single word or short phrase as your final answer.

art/hidd3n/p06pre2.png (2010/10/31)

p06pre2 A straightforward one to start. I have no idea what’s with the filename, though.

haxxor/purity2/logic.html (2010/10/10?)

My file hierarchy is really weird. I don’t think this time stamp is when I wrote the puzzle because it was part of a silly static site setup I created (but never actually put anywhere), and I probably edited and regenerated stuff like the breadcrumbs many times, but it’ll have to do.

This is also funny because the title of the HTML file is “Logic Puzzles” and the description starts, “These puzzles were made when I was really bored…”, but there’s only one puzzle.

Well, it’s better than an under construction page, I guess.

I’ll quote the entirety of the old instructions as I wrote them, even though they’re really verbose, since it’s easy to scroll past them:

Puzzle 47 / Fillomino [LITS + Walls]

CLICKBAIT PERSONALITY TEST THAT YOU CAN DO WITHOUT SOLVING THE PUZZLE: What do you see in the puzzle image below? I have my own thoughts but I won’t bias you by posting them yet. Sound out your thoughts in the comments below! (I don’t expect this to work but I’d love to be proven wrong)

Okay so apparently how puzzles work is I go nearly a year without posting one and then when I post a terrible one, I feel guilty and obligated to post a legitimate one soon after. Testsolved by chaotic_iak.

This is a Fillomino (write a number in every empty cell so that every group of cells with the same number that is connected through its edges has that number of cells) where each tetromino has had their 4s replaced by one of L, I, T, or S describing their shape, and they obey the rules of LITS — they can touch if they are not congruent, they must all be connected, and their squares cannot form a 2×2 block. In addition, cells separated by a thick border may not contain the same number or letter.

Puzzle 46 / Fillomino [LITS + Extra Region + Walls + Anti-Walls + Inequality + Tapa + Masyu]

5:27 PM phenomist: do you use gridderface to make pretty puzzles?

5:52 PM phenomist: actually nvm excel is probably easier lol

Okay I’m sorry this is a horrible puzzle where the rules don’t make sense and I didn’t even get it testsolved. I just wanted an image to concisely demonstrate the capabilities of gridderface, my puzzle marking and creation program, for the project homepage, after somebody expressed interest in using the program to write a puzzle. Then I got tremendously carried away.

2015 MIT Mystery Hunt

Well, it’s been over a week, which is a long time for blog posts to be delayed after the event they’re documenting in probably all of the world except my blog. So.

I guess this post should start with a bit of background. I’ve been puzzlehunting for… wow, three and a half years now. I was introduced to puzzlehunts from AoPS, when some fellow members got together a team for CiSRA 2011, and I think I’ve participated to some degree in every known internet Australian puzzlehunt since.

But as for my experience with the MIT Mystery Hunt in particular, I sort of hunted with a decidedly uncompetitive AoPS team in 2012 (I think we solved one puzzle exactly), but my serious hunting career began when dzaefn recruited me into the Random team (then Random Thymes) for the 2013 hunt (and I did blog obliquely about it). We didn’t win (and I actually didn’t participate that much because I was traveling with family) but the next year (as One Fish Two Fish Random Fish Blue Fish (1f-2f-17f-255f (I am evidently in a parentheses mood today because as you’ve probably noticed, the amount and depth of parentheses in this sentence are positively alarming (lol)))) we won.

And I do have a half-written post about that which will never get posted (and I also didn’t participate that much, because my family was moving that weekend) but okay, let’s just drop any semblance of chronological coherence on this blog and dump a short version of the list of puzzles and parts towards which I contributed solving, as I wrote them down one year ago:

Commemorating Obvious Milestones Involving Chronological Sustenance

Well, there had to be something here.

Unfortunately I don’t have time for anything more complex, so here’s a low-effort illogical puzzle for the occasion. (It has been testsolved, at least. Thanks, Yoshiap.) It also features a brand new category, so as not to distract the people on LMI.

If you don’t already know what occasion it is, it’s easy to find out by looking through my archives or possibly anywhere else I’ve left a trail online. Or you could solve the puzzle! (Or you could scroll down to read the solution!) If this puzzle had an answer, it would be a nine-letter word, although like most of mathematics, it’s less about the answer than about the path you take to get there…

2017 edit: A warning that this has somewhat linkrotted and is harder to solve, but theoretically still possible.

Puzzle 45 / Fillomino [No-Path]

As requested, a puzzle post! Straight from the WTF-variant department. Quite hard.

This is a Fillomino, with the additional constraint that for each polyomino, there must not exist a path (i.e. a sequence of cells, each orthogonally adjacent to the next) that includes each of the polyomino’s cells exactly once (and does not include cells outside the polyomino).

As a degenerate case, 1-ominoes are banned as well.

Puzzle 44 / ???

Edit 11/19 7:23 AM UTC+8: Fixed some transcription errors on right: R4C17 is D instead of N, and R15C17 is G instead of E. Neither change should greatly impact solvability. Thanks to ksun for pointing out an error.

Logic puzzles are easy to construct if one doesn’t have some specific pattern or theme in mind. It’s just that, given the increasing number of constructors and puzzles with amazing themes, I don’t think it’s very meaningful for me to just construct more puzzles of the same genres by putting down clues randomly. That’s why, for my seventeenth birthday, I took the puzzlehunt route and made something without instructions that is not completely solved by logical deduction. Still, I’ve provided all the information needed to do this puzzle initially, so I hope my not getting the inductive bits test-solved can be excused.

Puzzle 43 / Fillomino [Nonrectangular + Walls]

I’m extremely satisfied — a little incredulous, in fact — with how this puzzle came out. chaotic_iak labels it the “most ridiculous fillomino ever in history”. Apparently, it’s rather tricky.

ETA: Journalistic responsibility compels me to mention that chaotic_iak also added, “might be beaten later”. Oops?

This is a Fillomino combining the Nonrectangular (polyominoes can’t be rectangles) and Walls (polyominoes can’t span thick lines) variant rules. I think the first variant first came from mathgrant; I’m not as sure about the second, but they both appeared in Fillomino-Fillia 2, at least.

Write a number in every empty cell so that every group of cells with the same number that is connected through its edges is a shape that’s not a rectangle with that number of cells. In addition, cells separated by a thick border may not contain the same number.