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Monday Mutant 20: Straight and Arrow / Battleships

Ten ships (as indicated below the grid: one four-cell ship, two three-cell ships, three two-cell ships, and four one-cell ships) are hidden in the grid. The ships may be rotated from the orientations shown, but may not overlap or occupy cells which share a corner or an edge. A cell containing a number and an arrow represents how many of the cells in the row or column pointed at by the arrow contain ships, but may not itself contain a ship. All cells which do not contain a numbered arrow clue or a ship must be connected in a single loop of horizontal and vertical lines which doesn't cross itself or branch off, as in a Straight and Arrow puzzle. Locate the ships and draw the loop.
To my knowledge, Thomas Snyder was the first puzzlesmith to combine these two puzzle types.

Evil Zinger 16: Process of Illumination (cipher)

In this Process of Illumination puzzle, the given numbers have been replaced by letters; all instances of a particular letter represent the same number, but two different letters must represent different numbers. The rules are otherwise unchanged.
(click to enlarge)
And that wraps up another batch of Evil Zingers (EZ's)! I decided to save the biggest and evilest one for last. I'd like to thank my readers for the astounding feedback they've given me, particularly on my Monday Mutant series; without you, these EZ's wouldn't exist. :)

Evil Zinger 15: Fencing Match (liars)

In this Fencing Match puzzle, exactly one number in each row and in each column is wrong. The rules are otherwise unchanged.When you can't even trust all of the clues in an Evil Zinger (EZ) to be correct, what can you trust?

Evil Zinger 14: Polyominous (cipher)

In this Polyominous puzzle, the given numbers have been replaced by letters; all instances of a particular letter represent the same number, but two different letters must represent different numbers. The rules are otherwise unchanged.
Where did all the numbers go? And why are there letters in this Evil Zinger (EZ)? Letters aren't numbers.

Evil Zinger 13: Pearls of Wisdom (total)

In this Pearls of Wisdom puzzle, black pearls and white pearls have been placed in every cell that could legally contain one. The rules are otherwise unchanged.
This Evil Zinger (EZ) features a mutation created by Thomas Snyder.

Evil Zinger 12: Blackbarrier Jam (domino)

In this Blackbarrier Jam puzzle, instead of no two black cells being allowed to share an edge, every black cell must share an edge with EXACTLY ONE other black cell. The rules are otherwise unchanged.Haven't I done this variant before? Yep. Expect more Evil Zinger (EZ) revisits of my previous ideas.

Evil Zinger 11: Polyominous (just one cell)

In this Polyominous puzzle, while multiple solutions for the whole grid exist, there is one empty cell (and only one) which can be solved with absolute certainty. Identify this one cell and the number that belongs there.
I'll let this Evil Zinger (EZ) speak for itself.

Evil Zinger 10: Crowd Nine (just one cell)

In this Crowd Nine puzzle, while multiple solutions for the whole grid exist, there is one empty cell (and only one) which can be solved with absolute certainty. Identify this one cell and the number that belongs there.
This Evil Zinger (EZ) mutation of the classic puzzle was inspired by veteran puzzlesmith Thomas Snyder.

Evil Zinger 9: Battleships

Ten ships (as indicated below the grid: one four-cell ship, two three-cell ships, three two-cell ships, and four one-cell ships) are hidden in the grid. The ships may be rotated from the orientations shown, but may not overlap or occupy cells which share a corner or an edge. A number to the right of a row or below a column indicates how many cells in that row or column are occupied by ships. Additionally, some segments of the ships are shown within the grid, and cells with wavy lines are "water" cells which cannot contain ships. Find the ships.
I turn 23 today! To celebrate, I'll be posting Monday Mutant-style Evil Zinger (EZ) puzzles throughout the day. Are you prepared for some very difficult and very mutant puzzles? Of course not! Nobody is! BWA HA HA HA! I am so evil!

My 23rd birthday cake!

Yes! Another success for the grocery store bakery!

Don't forget to visit my blog tomorrow, when I'll be posting a batch of eight special mutant puzzles for you, my readers. Be forewarned -- these puzzles are Evil Zingers (EZ's), as well! If you haven't already, take a look at the previous batch of Evil Zingers to get a feel for the difficulty.

Monday Mutant 19: Process of Illumination / Battleships

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.
Ten ships (as indicated below the grid: one four-cell ship, two three-cell ships, three two-cell ships, and four one-cell ships) are hidden in the grid. The ships may be rotated from the orientations shown (without changing the numbers), but may not overlap or occupy cells which share a corner or an edge. A number to the right of a row or below a column indicates how many cells in that row or column are occupied by ships. These ships also function as black cells in a Process of Illumination puzzle, and the numbers on some of the ship segments function as they normally would in such a puzzle. None of the black cells already present in the grid are part of the ships. Locate the ships and solve the Process of Illumination puzzle.
If none of the other puzzles on this blog can be considered "mutants", this one most definitely can be.

Speaking of mutants, the day after tomorrow is my birthday! To celebrate, I will be posting more Monday Mutant-style puzzles just for the solving pleasure of you, my dear readers. Of course, since they're going to be posted on a Wednesday, I won't be able to call them Monday Mutants. Nonetheless, I believe you'll enjoy them. :)

Monday Mutant 18: Battleships

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.
Ten ships (as indicated below the grid: one four-cell ship, two three-cell ships, three two-cell ships, and four one-cell ships) are hidden in the grid. The ships may be rotated from the orientations shown, but may not overlap or occupy cells which share a corner or an edge. A number to the right of a row or below a column indicates how many cells in that row or column are occupied by ships. Additionally, some segments of the ships are shown within the grid, and cells with wavy lines are "water" cells which cannot contain ships. Find the ships.
ERRATUM: I must not be cut out for logic puzzles any more. This puzzle marks my second erratum in a month. . . *sighs* Water has been added to make this puzzle have a number of solutions that is closer to 1 than before. I originally had water in this location (as well as a bunch of other locations that proved unnecessary), but somehow failed to notice that removing it created an ambiguity. I'm terribly sorry.

Monday Mutant 17: Battleships

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.
Ten ships (as indicated below the grid: one four-cell ship, two three-cell ships, three two-cell ships, and four one-cell ships) are hidden in the grid. The ships may be rotated from the orientations shown, but may not overlap or occupy cells which share a corner or an edge. A number to the right of a row or below a column indicates how many cells in that row or column are occupied by ships. Additionally, some segments of the ships are shown within the grid, and cells with wavy lines are "water" cells which cannot contain ships. Find the ships.
Some of you who are already familiar with the genre of Battleships may be wondering why such a puzzle has been posted as a Monday Mutant. My justification is that, prior to the introduction of the Monday Mutant series, I've stuck to Nikoli's precedents as much as possible (I don't publish any puzzle type they don't, the givens in a Fillomino, Slitherlink, or Sudoku are always symmetrical, a 9x11 Kakuro never has entries longer than 5 digits, a Slitherlink never has two 0's sharing a corner or an edge, etc.). In the Monday Mutants series, I strive to make puzzles that are entertaining and logical, but worry less about these precedents. Suddenly, the precedent that a Sudoku puzzle never has any indicator of which pairs of cells contain consecutive numbers, for example, can be thrown out the window, if the resulting puzzle can be solved via logic and is entertaining and different enough to justify its existence. Battleships is a puzzle type "neither invented nor popularized by Nikoli", and as such, the precedent is not to publish them. This Monday Mutant abandons that precedent completely.

Monday Mutant 16: Polyominous (cipher)

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 Polyominous puzzle, the given numbers have been replaced by letters or symbols; all instances of a particular letter or symbol represent the same number, but two different letters or symbols must represent different numbers. The rules are otherwise unchanged.

This puzzle is a tribute to two legends.

My 22nd birthday cake redux!

We got another bakery to tackle my 22nd birthday cake design, which the previous one wrecked. Here's the result!
Okay, so they kinda cheated by copying the printed design onto edible paper with edible ink. But they iced over the numbers and dots with non-cheating icing! And look, it's perfectly aligned and everything. From a visual perspective, I am much happier with this cake than the previous one. It smells delicious, too. :)

Edit: I forgot to mention that this cake was made by a grocery store bakery. Kinda sad that they did a better job than the real bakery. . .

Puzzle 404: Polyominous 39

Since they didn't get much front page time before being supplanted by the latest Monday Mutant, I'd like to remind everyone that I have recently posted three giant puzzles for your solving torture. To my chagrin, the last one had a mistake that I have since had to correct. To assuage my resulting lack of faith in my test-solving skills, I've had Joseph DeVincentis check this one beforehand; he assures me that an error was not found in the puzzle. Thanks, Joseph DeVincentis! :)

Puzzle 403: Process of Illumination 30

No comment.

Monday Mutant 15: Blackbarrier Jam (domino)

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 Blackbarrier Jam puzzle, instead of no two black cells being allowed to share an edge, every black cell must share an edge with EXACTLY ONE other black cell. The rules are otherwise unchanged.
It's déjà vu all over again. . .

Puzzle 400: Fencing Match 42

It's a 31x45 Fencing Match puzzle!

Longtime readers will no doubt be aware of my current tradition of posting a large 31x45 puzzle on every 25th puzzle. However, this first update of May 2010 represents a huge deviation from this tradition, because today, I give you, dear reader, three 31x45 giant puzzles. However, if these puzzles aren't your cup of tea, rest assured that I will resume posting more manageable-sized puzzles and puzzles in which you do something besides draw a loop soon enough. :)
ERRATUM: Well, my streak of over 200 puzzles without an erratum had to end sometime. This giant puzzle had one itty-bitty mistake that led to there being multiple solutions, as Kenneth Levine pointed out to me. The version below fixes this. I'm dreadfully sorry.
Rules of Fencing Match
(click to enlarge)

Puzzle 399: Straight and Arrow 28

It's a 31x45 Straight and Arrow puzzle!
Rules of Straight and Arrow
(click to enlarge)

Puzzle 398: Pearls of Wisdom 40

It's a 31x45 Pearls of Wisdom puzzle!
Rules of Pearls of Wisdom
(click to enlarge)

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