More wind for the mill

Unless I messed something up, this Witness-like puzzle should be quite tricky. In fact, it is so tricky that the solution checker often times out, though it does work fine for the intended solution.
If the meaning of these symbols is unknown to you and you have no desire to play The Witness, feel free to ask in the comments.

Ring Ring

Rules: Draw a number of rectangles by joining the centres of cells with horizontal and vertical line segments. All white cells must be written in; all black cells should remain empty. Rectangles may intersect each other on single, non-corner points, but may not otherwise overlap. Restatement.

An actual easy intro for once.


The Witness is a superlative puzzle game, and about a third of the game's puzzles could work on paper. With the caveat that the main game activity is figuring out its rules, rather than solving per se. If you haven't, I won't spoil the game by explaining the rules. If you have, and crave a few hits more, The Windmill is a site in alpha for drawing, sharing and solving puzzles of the sort. Like this one.


Rules of Amibo: Draw some horizontal and vertical line segments so that they are all connected without fully enclosing any area of the grid. Every line segment must intersect a line segment of the same length. You draw by joining the centres of opposite sides of empty cells. Exactly one line segment ends at each clue. Some clues may contain numbers indicating the length of the connected line segment. (Restatement)

This puzzle type is unfamiliar to me, and feels deep. The puzzle below, in the tradition of new puzzles in the blog, is far from a trifle. They also feel very averse to fixing, which is why it actually has four trivially different solutions. It's here because I still find it fun.
Amibo (4 solutions)


Rules. Another cute idea compromised by uniqueness.Hmph.
Heyawake 3: Compromised

Pentomino puddles

Divide the grids into the 12 different free pentominoes.

Open space

A puzzle type I spotted at the 2015 WPC. It allows for quite spare clueing, but then it is very susceptible to uniqueness arguments.

Open space rules: Paint some empty cells black. Black cells share neither side nor corners. Clues indicate the sum of visible squares in the four cardinal directions, including the clue cell. Black cells and grid edges obscure sight.

The online solver is for Kuromasu: Consequently, all its' complaints are legal, but it will accept wrong solutions.


I had to learn the rules of this one by experimentation. They are:

Form distinct squares of various sizes by painting cells black. Consecutive squares in any line or column are of different sizes. Clues describe the number of black cells in the 5 cell cross shape with the clue as its centre.


PZV now supports tapa puzzles


Rules of Bag. Par 2:00


There is a giant, growing file on my desktop; I vomit anxiety into it. Financial graphs and calculations, on both personal and macro matters. Incoherent dissertations, aborted blog posts and morose entries for a non-existent diary. Stuff like this week-old gem:

I told you so. Right down to the date. I wish I was wrong.

"You" in this case refers to those who suffer me in meatspace. I had been going on about the breakdown in Greece's arrangements with its lenders' Troika, and the subsequent imposition of a bank holiday and capital controls. I listened to the official announcement while sitting in my balcony, enjoying a lovely breeze, a glorious sunset, and some delicious pastry after a quick game of Carcassone. Lunch was a rather rich mousaka. I went full stereotype.

Greece has had an interesting week after defaulting on the International Monetary Fund. If you need a quick summary on how the last several years ended up here, here's a quick recap of the state of play, in three charts and thirty-three hundred words. Hey, Greeks are supposed to be rather fond of both endless epics and tragedies.

Today is Deeply Sketchy Plebiscite Day, and, at 7 in the morning, I was so very ready to yell FRIST! to the confusion of all present. As on the Internet, somehow two people had beat me to it. Yes, Sherlock, our ballot boxes are indeed made of acrylic glass. So I prayed in the form of marking a tiny cross by the Erised question, and cast it to preserve the nationwide illusion of control.

Here are the de-obfuscated choices:
  • Honour, Dignity and Rationing FTW! In practical terms, the re-introduction of a national currency, and a giant nominal devaluation to follow the giant current internal devaluation. But after that unpleasantry, our heroic, muscular government will lead us to Socialist Utopia. Venezuela is often cited as an example, unironically. Supported by the ruling radical left party, and a couple of shades of regressive right, including national socialist black.
  • Telling Mutti we're very sorry to have upset her, that we'll really like our new bank haircut, we'll do all our immigrant beating chores, and that we understand our naughtiness is the reason she has to take all state assets and sovereignty from us. In practical terms, inescapable and permanent depression is the best of possible outcomes of this path. Supported by the parties that got us into the mess in the first place, and their cronies, clients and bosses.
So I vomited democracy into a clear box first thing in the morning. Tomorrow, a close result of questionable validity will be making the day interesting again.