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Puzzle 200: Straight and Arrow 11

TWO. HUNDRED. PUZZLES.

I am very proud of this milestone (although I honestly didn't expect to reach it so quickly), so I strove to make puzzle 200 as interesting and varied as possible. The experienced solver should be able to derive many hours of entertainment from this one puzzle. (The truly experienced solver will probably be able to derive a mere 45 or so minutes of entertainment, but if it takes you longer than that to complete the puzzle, don't sweat it. :) )

I would like to thank everyone who has ever sent me feedback or solutions regarding my puzzles; feedback helps encourage me to keep this blog running. I'd especially like to thank ralphmerridew; my blog wouldn't be the same without him (for starters, two of the published puzzles would still have mistakes in them that I didn't catch). I'd also like to thank Zotmeister for introducing me to Nikoli so many years ago via his own blog. Last but not least, I would like to thank God; without His grace, I'd've been dead long before this blog was ever started.
Rules of Straight and Arrow
(click to enlarge)

8 comments

Jim said...

This was a good puzzle. It took me somewhere around 3-4 hours to complete, but it was a lot of fun. I'd put it around a medium difficulty -- it wasn't as hard as some large puzzles tend to be, but there were enough tricky parts that took time to get through. I think I even figured out a new technique in the process. :) Thanks for the puzzles (I'm saving them for future solving), and congratulations on reaching 200 puzzles.

Grant Fikes said...

Thanks for the feedback, Jim! Glad you enjoyed it.

Gareth Moore said...

That was a brilliant puzzle - much better than the really boring large Yajilin at the back of the Nikoli books, which almost universally involve very few areas where you need to stop and think.

By contrast in your puzzle it was great how so many deductions were a result of stopping the loop from 'short-circuiting', or working out where it must come in/out of an area. I thought it was very clever. It took about 35 minutes to solve.

Grant Fikes said...

Gareth: Thanks for the feedback! I tried to make this puzzle varied and interesting, but brilliant is even better! Although I honestly don't find any of Nikoli's Yajilin puzzles to be boring; I think their puzzles are sometimes prettier to look at than this specimen (although I am still quite proud of it).

Puzzle the Giants volume 22 has four 31x45 puzzles and one 64x50 puzzle of Yajilin, if you think you're up to it. I've not solved any yet, but the expert times listed on them range from 25 to 62 minutes, so they should be harder than in the Pencil Puzzle Books. :)

Gareth Moore said...

Thanks for the hint about Puzzle the Giants - I've never got any of those, so will make sure I do!

I love Nikoli's puzzles, don't get me wrong, but I found with some of the large Yajilin in the pencil puzzle books that they seemed to have made them too easy and perhaps sacrificed the puzzle to the prettiness, if you see what I mean! :) (Actually, I don't think there are enough hard puzzles in most of the pencil puzzle books, so perhaps that's all I'm really saying :) )

Anyway, I just discovered that your 'Blackbarrier Jam' = Where is black cells = Kuromasu = Kurodoko (Nikoli's 3 names over 3 years!), which I wish they'd put out a second pencil puzzle book of, so I'm off to try those! :)

Grant Fikes said...

Gareth: For your information, I went ahead and solved the third Yajilin from Puzzle the Giants (expert time 58 minutes), and unless I was blind to something quite trivial, it definitely dwarfs this puzzle in difficulty. *laughs* I actually think my Straight and Arrow puzzles tend to be on the easy side, usually. :)

Anonymous said...

I look for puzzle like this to print and solve and by luck i found this blog.This is awesome blog,good work and keep on.I'll follow this blog for sure.{I know this post is one year later than the last one but i found this blog now,so i hope someone read this :)..}
Thank you guys for those puzzles!!

((George from Greece))

Grant Fikes said...

:) Thanks, George from Greece! I aim to please.

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