Hunt Puzzle #2: Deceptive Diagramless

This is not a logic puzzle. Yes, I've jumped the shark again (for another post).

Note: You will probably want some form of graph paper, square paper, crossword-constructing program, spreadsheet software, or some tool for inputting things into a grid to solve this. Some blank 25x25 grids are provided with the PDF download, but this does not imply that the size of the grid is 25x25; the size of the grid is for the solver to determine.

The final answer is a single word, thematic to the puzzle.

Difficulty: Hard

Theme: (To be discovered while solving.)

ERRATUM: At 19/04/2018, 08:33, the clues 17A, 34A and 1D were amended, as an earlier version of the puzzle was uploaded by accident. The PDF has been updated to match. Your progress should not have been affected.

PDF download here.

1 Make dark mountain hold deficiency
4 Environment Secretary meeting with nurse, or politician?
7 Save money for a radio
9 Papers for chart in steel amalgamate
10 I taunt lad; it breaks down, feeling related
11 Enrage badly, without end!
12 Boba to wiretap iocaine smuggler
14 Laved due, unfortunately, went down in price
15 Froth from sclera fluid
17 Poetry menace Cyril
18 Opening found in print roller
20 Reminder of right speed, in hindsight
22 Snitches, captured: point values?
24 Later, behind protections
26 Repairs what we hear mongrel destroys
27 Chaos from left changing direction, amidst yen collapse
29 Hero-destroyed clothing: wear it
30 For example, Snapchat collage? Ideal mosaic! (2 wds)
32 Incorrectly label ricin as "glitter"
34 Outlines of pruned shrubs
35 Repeating without one answering
36 Tool on German submarine? Silent? Worrisome

1 Two nibbles by the heartless
2 Speed up treacle ace? Difficult
3 Student ran tirelessly, hid contestant
4 Germanic people, rating, shot wildly
5 Unpredictably, Eric ate rodent companion
6 Circuit's gate with some data
7 King or Queen in mix-up, slain? That's murder, for one (2 wds)
8 Foreshadowed queen of the gods led five-hundred within
11 Newer hay, tossed around, is in every place
13 Phone a friend who's a clown, maybe?
14 Sensitive operator #99 had lunch, for example
16 Draws anti-tank plots
19 The Reverend reports a patchwork car near the pavement
21 Understands rises
23 Basically, the Spanish sent me all year
24 Chocolate bar's ultra-erotic contents
25 Large pipes swat airmen in battle (2 wds)
26 Comforted criminal put bottom on shoe
28 Cry loudly, "Why, behead the moral traitor!" (2 wds)
31 Length of weather office's reply
32 Radical type's second organization?
33 Prison square

Exams are coming up in a month (again), so expect what little output there is now to dwindle (again). Hopefully I can get back to making more puzzles afterwards (but don't count on it, again).

Yes, I just copy-pasted most of this from the previous Hunt Puzzle. :P

Puzzle #11

This is a Ciphered Clue Tapa puzzle, a variant of Tapa. In addition to the rules of Tapa, each clue has been replaced by a letter. Different letters refer to different clues, and the same letters refer to the same clues. (Note that a clue may be composed of multiple numbers, unlike in regular Cipher Tapa where each letter corresponds to a single number.)

Difficulty: Evil Zinger

Theme: The most X-hausting Ciphered Clue Tapa ever!

Puz-PRE link. (Note: Because Puz-PRE does not use letters in Tapa, all Xs in the puzzle have been replaced by question marks in the link. Puz-PRE interprets "?" as meaning "a single number", and does not have the "same letters refer to the same clues" constraint programmed in, so the solver may mark incorrect answers as correct and correct answers as incorrect.)

Because Puz-PRE does not use letters in Tapa, I had to manually go in and edit all the ?s into Xs. Bleugh.

Anyway, as with my previous Evil Zinger, I don't blame you if you've stopped trying after 10 seconds. Remember to prove uniqueness!

Rules of Tapa

Shade some empty cells (at least one) such that:

1. All shaded cells are orthogonally connected.
2. No 2x2 block of cells is entirely shaded.
3. Numbers indicate the length of consecutive shaded blocks in the 8 neighbouring cells. (For instance, a "2 2 1" clue indicates that in the 8 cells surrounding the clue, there is a block of 2 consecutive shaded cells, a block of 2 consecutive shaded cells, and a block of 1 consecutive shaded cell, with blocks being separated from each other by empty cells.)

Below is an example and its answer.

Puzzle #10

This is a Quadrant Clue Placement Masyu puzzle, a variant of Masyu. In addition to the rules of Masyu, within each quadrant, add the corresponding given 3x2 arrangement of clues, given at right. Blank squares within the arrangement must lie within the quadrant, and should be treated as "transparent" in that if they overlap an existing clue, the existing clue continues to exist. Arrangements may NOT be rotated.

Difficulty: Medium

Theme: Two by Two

Puz-PRE link. (Note that this is a link to the editor, not the solver. This is so that you can add the clues yourself.)

So... I dreamt that I was solving a puzzle of this genre. Then I woke up halfway through solving and got really pissed off that I couldn't finish the job. So I got up and constructed this puzzle. (Turns out the puzzle I was solving in my dream was either a Liar Quadrant Placement Masyu puzzle, or I'd made some really stupid false deductions in my dream. Funny how my subconscious was able to determine that we'd need a ton of black circles in the arrangements to force things, but wasn't able to make good deductions?

This one probably has a bit more case-bashing than my puzzles usually do.

Puzzle #9

This is a Masyu puzzle.

Difficulty: trivial

Theme: Diagonal... Symmetry?!

Alright, so I took my Shindanmaker result a little too literally with "must have one line of symmetry". But it never said the line of symmetry had to go through the centre!

An alternate theme name I could have gone with is "Mostly-White Spade". But I think this current theme stands out best. :P

Puzzle #8

This is a Masyu puzzle.

Difficulty: trivial

Theme: Diagonal Antisymmetry

What's this? A simple Masyu puzzle for my first post in ages? Yes.

On Twitter right now, a few Japanese puzzlemakers are using a Shindanmaker to decide what puzzles to create. My task was to create an 8-by-8 Masyu that had givens with linear symmetry. Naturally, I decided to make one with antisymmetry because antisymmetric Masyus are considered beautiful.

And of course, I forgot about the size of the grid when making it. And it also turned out way easier than I'd have liked it. Ugh.

Oh well, I'm still posting it here for content because I still think it's a nice theme. Thanks go to mathgrant for helping me place a pair of givens to give a unique solution when I thought I'd run into something unfixable.

Hmm, the word "run" in "I thought I'd run into" could be in either past perfect tense or present conditional tense. Interesting.

Anyway, I think I'll post the 8x8 Masyu if I construct it. Which I hopefully will.

Hunt Puzzle #1

This is not a logic puzzle. Yes, I've jumped the shark (just for this one post). The final answer is a single word.

Difficulty: Medium

Theme: Anything Puzzler Media can do, I can do better!

PDF download here.

  • A cure, mixed for a rocket
  • Accidental smart
  • Add two to ice container
  • Against a part of a poem
  • Aged eccentric's exclamation
  • An algebra falsehood
  • Attempt street meeting
  • Be angry with half of triangle
  • Be next to one; however...
  • Copper search going from 2 to 8
  • Crossdresser's "opposite part"
  • Detailed tree confusion
  • Endlessly diddled about!
  • Endlessly walk through water glob
  • Erodes alternative pass
  • Even Seymour's bird
  • Fail a second time? Careless!
  • Grace, confused, entering A&E area
  • Hash mag'd ENE e.g. KPvK
  • Healing and processing, I calmed
  • Hostile leaders of Iraq, Cambodia, and Yemen
  • Imaginary friend put Al in distress
  • Includes irritated dads
  • Lunatic's ole' cat
  • Make a mistake and boo Caesar
  • Middle-Eastern whaling ship captain switches out head of harpoon, for reals
  • Parasite digested leaf
  • Pee jumps back; strange
  • Planning and including partner
  • Pod #12 rots sandwich
  • Rear's after front part
  • Recited poetry overdue
  • Recruit's partially tan
  • River cove opens up beginnings
  • Ruth et al.'s sample letter
  • Scientist's endless test lab
  • Skins masks
  • Sledge-hammered windowsills
  • Soaked tweeds, ruined
  • Study at regional advisory headquarters
  • Uzi 'n' cannon to hide copper's partner for battery
  • Walked around setter in street
  • Weasley character goes back to a gate
  • Wheeze in big aspen 
  • Whole-some, I hear
  • Without sex, start to cum with speed
  • Wrecks head half and tail of common bird

Exams are coming up in a month, so expect what little output there is now to dwindle. Hopefully I can get back to making more puzzles afterwards (but don't count on it).

Puzzle #7

This is a Deformable Total Masyu puzzle, a variant of Masyu. In addition to the rules of Masyu, all possible circles have been given; i.e. it is not possible to add any more circles to the grid so that it is consistent with the solution. Further, any white circle may instead behave as a black circle.

Difficulty: Evil Zinger

Theme: The most evil Deformable Total Masyu ever!

Puz-PRE link. (Note: Puz-PRE has neither the "total" nor "deformable" constraints programmed in. The solver may incorrectly mark incorrect answers as correct, and may mark a valid answer as incorrect.)

This is truly the most evil puzzle on my blog so far. Expect to use every single constraint in the rules, along with a bunch of techniques you may have not encountered before. I honestly don't blame you if you stop trying after 10 seconds.

And remember, you have to prove uniqueness!

Puzzle #6

This is a Hashiwokakero puzzle.

Difficulty: medium

Theme: Clue overload and logic.

This puzzle is dedicated to my friend Akira, who hates Hashiwokakero puzzles after he was forced to speedsolve them in a ridiculously short amount of time.

How ridiculous? 100 puzzles in 20 minutes.

That equates to 12 seconds per puzzle. Maybe Ulrich Voigt might be able to do that on one puzzle or two. But I doubt even he could keep up that pace for a full 20 minutes.

Anyway, the 3-2-3-2 pattern in the centre is surprisingly common in Japanese-made Hashiwokakero puzzles. In any case, enjoy.

Rules of Hashiwokakero

Draw horizontal and vertical lines (bridges) connecting circles (islands) such that:

1. Between any two islands, there are at most two such bridges connecting them.
2. Bridges may not cross each other or pass over an island.
3. A number on an island indicates how many bridges connect it to some other island.
4. All islands are bridge-connected; i.e. it is possible to move from any island to any other island by only moving across bridges and islands.

Below is an example and its answer.