Puzzle Monday: The Art of Illumination | Catch My Job


between us Crosswords and other puzzlesWe are featuring logic challenges from Puzzle Contact Nikoli, A cult-favorite puzzle publication from Japan. A PDF of the puzzle, as well as the solution, can be downloaded below.

Puzzle Communication One of the biggest challenges in designing puzzles for Nikoli, Japan’s most influential puzzle magazine, is difficulty. All of Nicoli’s puzzles—many of which are designed and refined by the magazine’s dedicated readers—must be well scaled in difficulty. For a puzzle to gain popularity, a creator must come up with simple rules that can be used to create easy and difficult puzzles. This invites other readers to create examples, and soon a puzzle can become popular—and then become one of Nicoli’s standard puzzles.

Akari was created in 2001 by a reader known as Asaokitan. He had about 10 new puzzle ideas make it into the pages of Nicoli, and amassed enough fans to be considered for some promotion. One of them, Yajisan-Kajusan, asked readers to determine which numbers were true and which were false. But Akari will be his masterpiece.

Akari (light) was inspired by the museum. In fact, it is still called Bijutsukan (Museum) in Japan, making it the only Nicoli puzzle (along with classics like Sudoku) to have different names in Japan and abroad.

Lighting is important in museums and galleries—usually even, uniform lighting that shows off the best sculptures and artwork on the walls. And the goal is to illuminate the whole puzzle, just the right amount. Another reading of the puzzle could be as a dungeon – a maze that must be unraveled by an intrepid adventurer.

For Akari, Asaokitan first came up with the law of light—that light shines from the four cardinal directions and cannot shine on top of each other—and then created a puzzle concept around it. He realized he had a hit when he saw that one could create very simple and torturously difficult examples from a set of simple rules. He sent simple examples first. Then he turned to difficulties. Asaokitan’s technique extends beyond the puzzle grid—and how he markets the puzzle to Nikoli’s readers.

The goal of the puzzle is to place the light bulbs (or torches, if you prefer) represented by the large circles in the white cells of the grid to illuminate all open spaces.

A light bulb can be installed in any white room. The numbers in the black cells represent how many lights are adjacent to them vertically or horizontally. Each light bulb illuminates each cell in its row and column (left and right, top and bottom) until its light is blocked by a black square or edge of the grid. A light bulb cannot illuminate another light bulb and every white cell must be illuminated.

Stumped? Download the solution!


Source link