Welcome to Follow-Up Friday!
By this time, you know the drill. Follow-Up Friday is a chance for us to revisit the subjects of previous posts and bring the PuzzleNation audience up to speed on all things puzzly.
And today, I’m returning to the subject of big international puzzle events!
A few weeks ago, the UK Puzzle Association hosted the 2016 UK Sudoku Championship. And this weekend, they’ve got another major puzzle event in store for puzzlers worldwide: The 2016 UK Puzzle Championship!
The event spans June 24 through June 27, and chairman Alan O’Donnell of the UK Puzzle Association sent out the Instruction Booklet for this year’s event a few days ago, continuing a string of major puzzle events in Europe and across the world.
Although the UK Puzzle Championship is only open to competitors from the UK — with the top two earning a place on the UK team for the 2016 World Puzzle Championship — international players are welcome to test their puzzly mettle as guest solvers.
But even if most PuzzleNationers aren’t eligible to compete, you can still enjoy the challenge of some topnotch puzzles. Let’s take a look at some of the diabolical puzzles they’ve cooked up for this year’s event!
This Banknotes puzzle sets the tone for much of the Instruction Booklet to come, offering a number-placement puzzle with clues outside the grid. In this case, you have different valued 3×1 “banknotes” to place in the grid, and their total values add up to the numbers outside a given row or column.
So this is a bit like the game Battleship, except with different valued ships instead of different sized ones.
Here we have a more traditional Fill-In puzzle, but with an nontraditional grid shape. This one is all about efficient word placement.
Instead of placing words into this grid, the Cloud puzzle asks you to fill in which squares are covered by “clouds,” based on the total number of cloud-covered cells given on the outside of the grid. This is essentially a small Logic Art puzzle.
This Hidoku turns the usual Sudoku-solving on its ear by requiring you to place the numbers 1 through 25 into the following grid so that they form an unbroken chain. Consecutive numbers must touch, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally.
For fans of Penny Dell Puzzles, this is like Sudoku and Word Maze had a diabolical little baby.
[I left the solution in with this one to help illustrate the solving style.]
Hashi is an intriguing deduction puzzle that follows the same cluing mentality as Blackout! or Minesweeper. Each circle contains a number indicating how many “bridges” connect that “island” to the other islands either vertical or horizontal to that island.
You’re essentially building your own Word Trails puzzle with Hashi, except you’re using numbers instead of the letters in a famous saying.
This is probably my favorite of the puzzles I’ve encountered in this Instruction Booklet, and I’m definitely looking forward to solving it this weekend.
These puzzles are just a sampling of the numerous puzzles you’ll tackle if you accept the UK Puzzle Championship challenge.
Not only are Kakuro and Sum-Doku (or Killer Sudoku) included, but also other twists on classic solving styles like Fill-Ins, Deduction puzzles, and Logic Problems.
You can check out the full Instruction Booklet here, and remember, you’ll have two and a half hours to solve as many of the 29 puzzles in the packet as possible, so good luck on June 24!
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