Contest 2: Attack of the Four Puzzles II!

Do you want to win high-quality logic puzzles imported from Japan? The Attack of the Four Puzzles II! contest might be your opportunity to do just that! The four short sections below explain all of the details.

How to enter:
This contest consists of a four-part logic puzzle (below). To participate in the contest, solve the puzzle, obtain the final answer from part iv, and e-mail the answer to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com. Only one entry is allowed per person; however, if you believe your answer is wrong, you may change it at any time before the deadline. The deadline is two weeks from the time the contest started (that is, February 8, 2010).

How to win:
After the deadline has passed, the winner will be randomly selected from all of the entrants with the correct answer. Therefore, to win, you must both be skilled enough to solve the puzzles before the deadline, and lucky enough to be picked. (But even if you're not lucky, hopefully you'll have had fun solving the puzzles, right? :) )

The winner will receive his or her choice of either 3 of Nikoli's Pencil Puzzle Books, or any 1 or 2 Nikoli books whose prices total at most 2100 yen (see this link for a list of all of the books Nikoli has available). Each Pencil Puzzle Book contains about 96 puzzles of one particular type, which is great if there's a certain puzzle type you particularly want to focus on; if you'd rather have a wider variety of puzzles available, books like the Penpas Mix series, the Puzzle Box series, and the Puzzle the Giants series will satisfy your needs perfectly. Either way, you win! :) When you win, provide me with your mailing address and which books you'd like; I'll pay Nikoli to have the books shipped directly to you.

By entering the contest, you agree to the following terms:
a) You are prepared and willing to provide me with a mailing address in the event that you win. (In return, I agree not to use your mailing address for any malicious purposes, such as sending junk mail or other undesired things.)
b) You are prepared and willing to wait several weeks for the books to arrive from Japan (this contest is mostly for fun, anyhow -- and high-quality puzzles are worth the wait, right? :) ).

Now that you're done reading all that, here is the four-part contest puzzle. Good luck! :)

Part i. Room and Reason

Solve the Room and Reason puzzle below (rules of Room and Reason), and then answer Question i:

Question i: How many of the puzzle's ten rows contain exactly 2 black cells?

Part ii. Pearls of Wisdom

Solve the Pearls of Wisdom puzzle below (rules of Pearls of Wisdom), and then answer Question ii:

Question ii: What is the total number of cells in the four indicated columns which are NOT passed through by the loop?

Part iii. Straight and Arrow

Divide the numerical answer to Question i by 2, and replace i in the Straight and Arrow puzzle below with the remainder.

Divide the numerical answer to Question ii by 4, and replace ii in the Straight and Arrow puzzle below with an arrow facing up if the remainder is 0, an arrow facing right if the remainder is 1, an arrow facing down if the remainder is 2, or an arrow facing left if the remainder is 3.

Solve the Straight and Arrow puzzle below (rules of Straight and Arrow), and then answer Question iii:

Question iii: What is the total number of black cells in the two indicated rows?

Part iv. Polyominous

Solve the Polyominous puzzle below (rules of Polyominous), replacing iii with the numerical answer to Question iii.

The four numbers in the lettered cells, taken in reading order (a, b, c, d), form the final answer. Send this final answer to glmathgrant[at]gmail[dot]com to enter the Attack of the Four Puzzles II! contest.

Puzzle 368: Block Band 3

Hooray for asymmetry!

Puzzle 367: Block Band 2

No comment.

Puzzle 366: Block Band 1

No comment.

Rules -- Block Band

Block Band was invented by the Japanese puzzle company Nikoli (under the name Mochikoro).

1. Determine whether each cell is white or black according to the following rules.
2. No 2x2 cell area within the grid may contain all black cells.
3. The white cells must all form rectangle-shaped "islands". No two islands may be adjacent horizontally or vertically; however, the islands must all be connected through their corners.
4. No cell with a number in it may be black. Every cell with a number in it must be part of an island containing that many white cells. Every island must contain at most one number (although an island may contain no numbers).

Puzzle 365: Polyominous 37

This puzzle is dedicated to Neil Zussman, who recently emailed me saying that he really enjoys the Polyominous puzzles on this blog, and explained why all of the Fillomino puzzles he'd encountered before this were a bit unsatisfactory. I hope he likes this one! :)

Logicsmith Exhibition 4: Circumnavi-Gates (RESULTS!)

Logicsmith Exhibition 4 is over now. I received 7 entries from 5 distinct people (not counting myself). As is the tradition, I will go alphabetically by submitter.

The first submission is from someone who goes by crab. Without a doubt, this puzzle is the most difficult one in the batch -- in fact, had I created the puzzle, I'd have no choice but to label it as an Evil Zinger (EZ). Good luck solving this one -- you'll need it for sure. This puzzle will attack your weak point for massive damage.

This puzzle is from groza528. I really can't think of anything to say about it, except that it's pretty, and it's on the tough side (but not nearly as tough as the puzzle above!).

mathgrant is next on my alphabetical list, so now I get to vainly flaunt my own puzzles! This 10x10 puzzle is. . . nondescript, I guess. And easy. I guess there really isn't much to vainly flaunt about it. . . :)

I also made this 14x24 puzzle, which is brought to you by the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. Counting to 8 plays a huge role in this puzzle, so if you can't count to 8, then please learn how to do so.

These next two puzzles were contributed by MellowMelon; he operates his own logic puzzle blog, and updates it more frequently than I do mine, so you should probably stop reading my boring blog that never gets updated, and follow his instead. :P [Edit 9/10/2010: it's updated very scarcely now.] But seriously, I think he's been doing a good job on his blog.
In this second puzzle, although I hadn't realized it at first, MellowMelon attempted to render a picture of a certain fictional character in the black cells. If you squint, you might be able to make it out. The 14x24 grid, among other restrictions, made it difficult to do; in particular, an arm seems to be absent. However, the character's eyebrows are very nicely rendered as a consummate V. While I'm not as crazy about this character as some people are (I didn't celebrate his January 13 birthday, for instance), I really, really loved seeing him being paid tribute to in this puzzle. (If you haven't figured out who the character is, I'll post another hint as a comment on this post.)
This next puzzle's from mikeamok. I don't have much to say about it. It's nice, though.

Our final puzzle is from Neil Zussman. He sent two puzzles, sadly, one of them was found to have 17 solutions, and could not be accepted for this Logicsmith Exhibition. This puzzle, however, was acceptable. It's on the easy side, I think -- easier, in fact, than my 10x10 puzzle above. Not that I'm complaining, of course! I like a variety of difficulties. I also like having no two black cells share an edge -- don't you? :)

Edit: While it's past the deadline, Neil Zussman has managed to fix his other puzzle, so I'm including it here, too. Just like the previous one, this puzzle has no two black cells sharing an edge; I don't know whether this was intentional or not, but none of the other constructors did this, so it's worth mentioning.

Enjoy the puzzles, and thanks to the people who submitted them!

Puzzle 364: Circumnavi-Gates 10

One of the puzzles I made for Logicsmith Exhibition 4.

Puzzle 363: Circumnavi-Gates 9

One of the puzzles I made for Logicsmith Exhibition 4.

Puzzle 361: Pearls of Wisdom 39

No comment.

Puzzle 360: Seek and Spell 8

The theme is characters from the webcomic Housepets! (including the stars, Peanut and Grape, and at least 11 cats named Mr. Bigglesworth). Consensus among fans of the comic seems to be that this puzzle is easier than this 20x36 Polyominous.

Puzzle 359: Tetra Firma 24

No comment.

Puzzle 358: Circumnavi-Gates 8

As a reminder, I am currently accepting entries for Logicsmith Exhibition 4, which will feature Circumnavi-Gates puzzles composed by you -- my readers. I know at least two people have expressed intent to enter, but so far, no actual entries have arrived. The deadline is January 21, in 15 days, so no rush, really. :) As a bonus, as in the previous Logicsmith Exhibitions (although I never said this on the blog), sending me a valid puzzle will give you a sneak peek at the puzzles I have made for it!

Also, this puzzle has 24 gates. *insert Jack Bauer joke here*

Puzzle 357: Tetra Firma 23

Warning: extremely easy content.

Puzzle 353: Pearls of Wisdom 38

Happy 2010! To celebrate a new year, I have composed this puzzle in which the givens are arranged with absolutely no rhyme or reason whatsoever! Also, I'm ending all of my sentences with exclamation points!

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