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21 March 2008 @ 10:33 pm
A Link To Sudoku's Future  
As I count down to Battleship Sudoku's official release on April 1 (even though Amazon.com is already shipping copies and they may already be popping up in stores), this week I am also celebrating the news that my second book idea has been approved and you will likely see at least one more title from Sterling containing my original puzzles in the future.

This week's new design - Linked Shape Sudoku - was an idea that arose while I was first brainstorming puzzles for a book of new sudoku variations. While it was ultimately a concept a bit too challenging to include in that project without further tweaking, it is still a puzzle that readers of this blog will hopefully enjoy. This variant features a concept that arises in Battleship Sudoku where linking sets of numbers (in the context of boats) make digit placements much more interesting than in the classic sudoku form as you must consider multiple columns/rows at a time. Here, that concept is jacked up to ~11 as you have to work through different contingencies of placements between shapes in two sudoku grids. The puzzle is difficult.

Linked Shape Sudoku:

Fill in the digits 1 to 9 a single time in each row, column, and 3x3 box in the two grids below. There are some shaded shapes in the two grids. There are no constraints on what digits can be used in each shape. However, the identity and location of digits in each shape must be the same for both two puzzles, allowing for ROTATION AND/OR REFLECTION of the shapes where possible. For example, if the long 4x1 tetromino is 5678 from left to right in the top grid, it can be 5678 or 8765 from left to right in the bottom grid as a result of rotation. There is one solution to this set of two grids which can be found by logic alone.

Forecast: Scorching Heat
zundevilzundevil on March 22nd, 2008 05:56 pm (UTC)
This looks terrific -- can't wait to give it a go. I'd do it now but my printer went on strike.

It's rather similar to "Figure Sudoku", no? Not that this is a bad thing. It's like a mishmash -- a "Twin Zero Figure Sudoku" with the additional constraint that the digits stay in their respective places in the figures. I like it.
thedan on March 22nd, 2008 08:46 pm (UTC)
Beautiful and elegant as always. (I took just under fifteen minutes.)

I hope you're saving some cool ideas for the Mystery Hunt...
stigant on March 23rd, 2008 11:54 pm (UTC)
Very nice. I didn't bother timing myself, but I was well over an hour, possibly two. You have to switch between boards frequently, and there were some nice deductions using the shapes. Slight Spoiler: I especially liked the 1/3/5 in/around the T shape (I don't think that gives too much away)
motrismotris on March 24th, 2008 04:31 am (UTC)
Re: Ugh
I did build this to require going back and forth, slowly deducing information in one grid you need to use in the other. I was surprised thedan was so fast as I resolved my own puzzle in about 20 minutes two days ago before posting.