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Nikoli-Style/Grid Logic Puzzle List (May be updated in the future)

edited 2013-12-13 11:31:11 in Puzzlers Chat

arks mentioned last week that Nikoli-style puzzles weren't his forte, and I don't know how strong the rest of the team is on these puzzle types. I thought I'd put together a little list of "grid-style" logic puzzle links. At least a couple of these types of puzzles have shown up in previous years of the Mystery Hunt, and are likely to show up in other hunts, so it wouldn't hurt to recognize the different types.

First, the granddaddy of these sorts of puzzles, the Japanese company Nikoli: [Rules for many of the common nikoli types]  [Puzzle portal with free examples of several Nikoli types]

The company prides itself on offering "hand-made" puzzles, which means they are human constructed versus made by an algorithm. They tend to have a bit more intricate logic as a result, and a fair number of puzzlers and puzzlemakers swear by them. You can pay a monthly fee (about $7 US) to access new puzzles posted online, about 4-5 a day of different difficulties and sizes. There are free sites that offer these puzzle types as well, but this is a decent resource if you want access to a lot of quality puzzles, including Sudoku, which this company helped bring to the world (it's actually an American invention, but I digress).

Like I said, Nikoli has inspired a lot of good puzzlemakers and a lot of puzzle blogs featuring high-quality work from all over the world. In the Nikoli-style vein, we have the following blogs: [Grant Fikes, USA]

A proliferate and proficient puzzlemaker, his blog offers hundreds of hand-made, Nikoli-style puzzles of all sizes and difficulties. His puzzles tend to be on the easier side of things, so you can pick them up regardless of skill level. Currently, his main output is over at Grandmaster Puzzles (which I'll mention in a bit) [Palmer Mebane, USA]

A more recent puzzlemaker, he's already become the World Puzzle Champion and a fixture of the US puzzle sphere. Posts Nikoli-style puzzles, along with a few of his own inventions, including a couple that showed up last year in the Massive "Portals" puzzle. His puzzles do tend to be on the hard side, with some fairly difficult tricks at times, so you might want to avoid them if you're just starting out. I would recommend his "Puzzle Packs", booklets of specific puzzle types with tips and  common solving techniques. Also mainly posting over at Grandmaster Puzzles. [Serkan Yurekli, Turkey]

One of the driving forces behind the Turkish puzzle team, and a proficient puzzlemaker in his own right. Though he does post Nikoli-style puzzles, he's more known for his original creations, especially the wall-building puzzle Tapa (which appeared in the 2012 Mystery Hunt). He has single-handedly made puzzles for several online Tapa contests, and has constructed several more contests for the "Logic Masters India" website. His puzzles are usually very approachable, but they can get tricky at points. Still, you will likely find something that catches your eye. Also mainly posing at Grandmaster Puzzles. [Thomas Snyder, USA]

The man known as "Dr. Sudoku", whose blog got me deeper into the puzzling scene. Several-time winner of the US Puzzle Championship, and three-time World Sudoku champion, as well as a constructor for several Mystery Hunts (like in 2007 and 2009). Posts a variety of puzzle types, though his biggest contributions are the invention of several Sudoku variants (sometimes with his partner in crime, Wei-Hwa Huang) and a refinement of KenKen named TomTom (he mostly added visual and solving themes to the original concept) As a Veteran of the Mystery Hunt, he's also written several entries on it, including one about last year's Hunt which generated a lot of discussion. His puzzles cover several diffculties, and his Sudokus can be pretty interesting. I'm a big fan of his work, so I'm probably a bit biased, but his stuff (including the next site) is worth checking out. [Grandmaster Puzzles, Several authors, edited by Thomas Snyder]

Snyder's independent puzzle label, meant to be a gathering place for high-quality puzzlemakers and original puzzles from all around the world. Puzzles are posted six days a week, starting out easy and getting pretty difficult by Saturday. All of the authors I listed above are contributors, and more may be coming in the new year. Expect a variety of types, including both Nikoli and non-Nikoli puzzles, with the occasional variation. They also have a book coming out in the near future with more puzzles and contributors, if you're interested. Highly recommended.

There are plenty of other puzzle blogs like these, which I may list as I remember/find them. These are the ones I frequently visit, especially Grandmaster Puzzles, and together they make a good starting point for learning about these types of puzzles. You don't have to be proficient in them, but you might find something that you like out there.

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