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Posted by Christine 
June 25, 2011 10:51PM
Just a quick one to say I've really enjoyed the tapas puzzles in the last two editions of Xtra and after a couple of false starts have managed to complete them all smiling smiley Now as for heyawake, I just can't get to grips with those at all. I understand the rules but just can't find any way in on the issue 15 puzzles. confused smiley. I think I will just have to accept that they are not 'my thing'. Plenty of other puzzles to go at.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/25/2011 10:52PM by Christine.
Re: Tapas
June 29, 2011 12:01PM
I'm glad you like the Tapas. I really enjoy this sort of area-shading puzzle, which reminds me a lot of Nurikabe. They're probably a little easier than some of my other puzzles because I'm not that familiar with them myself, so I don't yet have some really tough tactics to hide inside them. smiling smiley On the basis of your comment above, however, I've made a giant Tapa for the cover of issue 16, which hopefully won't be too much harder! winking smiley Finding the starting place will probably be the trickiest part of the challenge.

For the Heyawakes I probably need to include some much easier ones. smiling smiley The secret of the top puzzle is to bear in mind the "no more than 2 rooms in a row" restriction. If you mark the 0 in the middle as empty then consider the 2 to the left and the 1 to the right. There is something you can do here. You know that you can't run across these 3 rooms without a shaded area, so where must the shaded areas in the 2 and in the 1 be?

Is that helpful?!

In general if you have a 0 area then you MUST shade at least one of the two squares at either end of any row/column that crosses the room (this also applies to an empty stretch from one side to the other of a room). Sometimes this is enough to make progress. Other times, if there are touching rows/columns that this applies to, then you can often mark in that you know a shaded square must be "one of two" (one at each end of two parallel rows/columns), which can help allocate the total count to a room with a number in and let you mark other squares as definitely empty. Then those definitely empty squares can in turn help you solve elsewhere with similar logic, and so on. This technique, along with some relatively basic observations about what shaded squares can fit in a room without making any sealed-off areas, should be all you need to solve my puzzles.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2011 12:35AM by gareth.
Re: Tapas
July 01, 2011 10:22PM
I'm looking forward to the giant tapas - sounds very interesting. And as for them being easy, if they were any more difficult I don't think I personally would be able to do them - they were quite challenging enough for me.

Thanks for the tips on Heyawake. I will go back now and have another look at them and see how I get on - practice makes perfect and all that ...
Re: Tapas
July 05, 2011 06:01PM
Heyawake was a "slow burner" for me - when I first did them I found them quite tedious since I spent quite a bit of time doing the house keeping of looking for two rooms in a row, but once you get used to them you get more of a feel for how they flow. Now it's one of my absolute favourites. I personally try to avoid making puzzles where the aim is just not to miss obvious stuff, but rather to seek out some rather more hidden steps. smiling smiley I've already made some more for issue 16, but I might think about an extra page of just easy ones too.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/05/2011 06:02PM by gareth.
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