There are many goals one should have in preparing puzzles for a championship.

For my upcoming Sudoku Cup, my goals are to achieve my trademark "cool" looking grids while also having fun, fair, logical solves for the purposes of a competition. Another goal organizers should have (but often fail with) is to provide example puzzles for all types, and ideally sample puzzles of similar difficulty. I've decided a reasonable way to achieve this is to make 2x the number of puzzles I need of a type, test them both, and pick the one that works best for the competition but use the other as an example. Both puzzles were constructed with the competition in mind, so they should be reasonably representative of each other, but may be slightly harder or easier and I won't say which.

This is the path I'm taking (so far) for January's Sudoku Cup. The next few Friday Puzzles will contain some of the "lesser" members of each constructed pair, and will eventually make up a sample test/instructions.

This week, I'm showing my favorite current sudoku variation, which I've made a few of for Sudoku Masterpieces. Its another Arrow Sudoku, as in Friday Puzzle #5. I hope this (and the examples to come) whet your appetite for the competition.

Rules: Fill in the cells with the digits 1 to 9 so that each digit appears exactly once in each row, column, and bold region. Digits in the circled cells represent the sum of all digits along the path that the arrow travels. Digits can repeat within a sum, but cannot otherwise violate the no repeat rules for a row/column/bold region.

For my upcoming Sudoku Cup, my goals are to achieve my trademark "cool" looking grids while also having fun, fair, logical solves for the purposes of a competition. Another goal organizers should have (but often fail with) is to provide example puzzles for all types, and ideally sample puzzles of similar difficulty. I've decided a reasonable way to achieve this is to make 2x the number of puzzles I need of a type, test them both, and pick the one that works best for the competition but use the other as an example. Both puzzles were constructed with the competition in mind, so they should be reasonably representative of each other, but may be slightly harder or easier and I won't say which.

This is the path I'm taking (so far) for January's Sudoku Cup. The next few Friday Puzzles will contain some of the "lesser" members of each constructed pair, and will eventually make up a sample test/instructions.

This week, I'm showing my favorite current sudoku variation, which I've made a few of for Sudoku Masterpieces. Its another Arrow Sudoku, as in Friday Puzzle #5. I hope this (and the examples to come) whet your appetite for the competition.

Rules: Fill in the cells with the digits 1 to 9 so that each digit appears exactly once in each row, column, and bold region. Digits in the circled cells represent the sum of all digits along the path that the arrow travels. Digits can repeat within a sum, but cannot otherwise violate the no repeat rules for a row/column/bold region.

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