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31 July 2009 @ 12:01 am
Friday Puzzle #8 - Color Nikoli Sampler  
Today is noteworthy in that Nikoli.com is running 3 contest puzzles at the same time, and even better, the contests are at 9 PM local time for me (not the usual 5 or 6 AM). So, given my lively Friday evenings, assuming I'm home from work, I'll be competing. In increasing likelihood, I'll start with Slitherlink << Shikaku < Nurikabe. It would be cool if the first to finish all three won something, where I might have my best shot as I'm fairly good but not the best in any of these disciplines, it should still be three fun "Extra"-level puzzles.

Given the contest, I decided to experiment today with an interlocked set of three puzzles. I've done this before with success for a set puzzle type (Color Sudoku) and have also experimented with this concept with other kinds of puzzles. I've found Four Winds/Eminent Domain is a particularly good choice of puzzle for interlocking given the incremental adjustment of digits, for example. For today's challenge, to show my pleasure to Nikoli for a different contest start time, I simply had to use the three contest puzzles.

Instructions: The numbers in the upper-left grid represent clues for the red (Slitherlink), blue (Nurikabe), and yellow (Shikaku) puzzles. Circles are present in all the cells that receive clues from the main grid. Red digits represent the exact clues for the slitherlink grid while the orange/green/purple clues represent the sum of the numbers in the two grids that make up that secondary color (orange = Slitherlink+Shikaku; green = Nurikabe+Shikaku; purple = Slitherlink+Nurikabe). Slitherlink clues, as usual, must be 0 to 3. All Nurikabe islands are represented by clues (one clue per island) and all clues are at least size 1. All Shikaku boxes are represented by clues (one clue per box) and all clues are at least size 1. Working between the grids and considering the shared clues is the only way to solve all three puzzles. Enjoy, and good luck to those who will also spend their Friday evening solving nikoli puzzles.

[Edit: I won the Nurikabe (and still have the fastest time there). Either my brain was spent, or the Shikaku and Slitherlink were pretty hard as I was fixing errors for 20 minutes on both. I'm guessing my brain was spent, after 10 hours of work and 15 minutes of islands.]
stigant on July 31st, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
Are we allowed to assume that the numbers in each grid generate a uniquely solvable puzzle of the appropriate type? (Note that this is slightly different than assuming that the puzzle as a whole has a unique solution)
motrismotris on July 31st, 2009 11:16 pm (UTC)
This has to be the case. There is nothing else constraining how you solve the individual puzzles so if you have the right numbers, those puzzles alone would solve completely.