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Monday Mutant 2: Pearls of Wisdom (jigsaw)

Monday Mutants is a series in which I will attempt to experiment with "mutant" puzzles. These could be existing puzzle types with an unusual change in the rules, hybrids combining elements from multiple puzzle types, or puzzle types neither invented nor popularized by Nikoli.
In this Pearls of Wisdom puzzle, you must assemble the grid from the given pieces before you can solve the puzzle. None of the pieces may be rotated, and no two pieces may overlap; the pieces will fill the entire grid. The thick borders on the pieces must coincide with the perimeter of the grid. The rules are otherwise unchanged.


Blaine said...

Hey, that was fun! I thought it was going to be a simple "plug in the pieces, draw the loop". But you deliberately picked some similarly shaped pieces and made it a back and forth process.
As a check, the final loop has 44 right angles. Solving time: ~30 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Not nearly as hard as I feared (though I dread to imagine how hard they could get, at larger sizes), and definitely an interesting variation.

Grant Fikes said...

Blaine: I definitely wanted the puzzle to require going back and forth between placing pieces and finding the loop, so as to enhance the Masyu logic, rather than merely delay it. :) Thanks!

Tahnan: The gimmick was inspired by a relatively common Nikoli puzzle with similar rules, where you're tasked to assemble the given pieces to form a Japanese crossword in which no two black cells share an edge, and all of the white cells are connected. Some of the white cells contain Japanese katakana; the ones that don't must all be filled in with identical copies of some kana to form Japanese words across and down. (Obviously, you need to be fluent in Japanese to solve these. I'm not, so I skip them.) Additionally, Puzzle Communication Nikoli 127 has a puzzle in its color pages where instead of kana forming a crossword, you have colored pixels forming a 24x18 picture. The colored pixels serve no purpose except an aesthetic one, to provide a cute reward at the end. I was surprised by how doable the puzzle was, myself. :)

Chris said...

It's really hard! I keep thinking I've solved it, then finding out I've put something somewhere wrong.

I find it's worth filling the squares with small dots so you can track where you've put the pieces.

Marcin Mucha said...

Another very nice idea, the puzzle itself a little bit too easy though. Once I understood the rules and figured out a way to keep track of things, the actual solving process was really fast. I'd love to see a hard one of these!

Jack said...

I'd agree that this was relatively easy, and would enjoy seeing a tougher version. I definitely lightly shaded in the regions where I'd put in puzzle pieces to make it clear where I still needed to fill in. I did like the back and forth between Masyu and jigsaw placement, as well as the home stretch of placing the squares.

TheSubro said...

Fun stuff. Thx for a nice diversion.


Trayton said...

I bet this would be an interesting puzzle on a non-rectangular grid (say, a larger grid with a section missing in the middle), or with some other kind of restriction (colors/checkerboard pattern) come to mind. Keep up the good work. I look forward to the other MMs.

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