People who like other puzzle types will enjoy Happy 40th, Jessica! By Rangsk here: https://app.crackingthecryptic.com/sudoku/r4QbD3Bb6F

Normal sudoku rules apply. A single, orthogonally connected region must be shaded. Circles are not shaded – digits in circles show the number of surrounding cells that are shaded. Squares are shaded; the digit in a square is the number of shaded cells that cell “sees” (up/down/left/right), including itself, until reaching an unshaded cell.

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Hi! We’re Simon Anthony and Mark Goodliffe, two of the UK’s most enthusiastic puzzle solvers. We have both represented the UK at the World Sudoku Championships and the World Puzzle Championships. We’re also “cryptic crossword” aficionados. Mark is the twelve-time winner of The Times championship and Simon is the former record holder for most consecutive correct solutions to The Listener crossword. We hope we can help your puzzle solving while also introducing you to some of the world’s best puzzles.

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Thanks so much for featuring my puzzle and a very happy birthday to my sister Jessica! Hopefully having an approachable one was a nice break for you 🙂 An interesting thing about the testing feedback on this puzzle is that you can either focus a lot on the Sudoku to make progress on the shading, or focus on the shading to make progress on the Sudoku! You found a lot of the interesting interactions and I'm very impressed with your quick solve 🙂

If anyone's interested in checking it out, last night I did a stream on my channel for Jessica's 40th birthday where we solved 7 puzzles (including this one) that were created specially for her birthday by this wonderful community!

This was so hard…I can't scan without coloring each number differently. Eventually I got it without the video, but it took me over an hour…

Loved it . I wish there was more easier puzzes like this one on channel

It's funny that you could actually use Uniqueness to show that the bottom left corner has to be not shaded.

Sorry, way to confusing to keep remembering the rules.

I'm not good at coloring puzzles, I kept messing up by trying to use circle/square logic on cells that didn't have a circle/square, and once I finally undid all the wrong logic and worked at it properly I just can't see how to finish the coloring or make any more progress in the sudoku aspect of it.

I’m really pleased to have followed the exact same solve path as Mark. Great, approachable puzzle which is edging towards being super tricky.

I like sudoku and enjoyed this puzzle, shading first then sudoku.

I almost broke the puzzle with a fault in my logic but I was able to backtrack a little when I saw where I'd faltered. Lovely puzzle, Rangsk, and fantastic solve Mark!

I tried this one. It took me 32:34 but I cheated once: I didn't remember why I removed 3 from r1c6 and checked in the correct: I think it was a guess

🤩

As a person who

doeslike Sudoku, but also other pencil puzzles, I enjoyed it quite a bit! And only a little slower than Mark at 22:34, which feels good.52:28 for me… This one took me a while to get my head around but I got there in the end, I kept trying to do sudoku before I think I was meant to but I ended up on a very similar but slower path as Mark

It took me one billion years to realize I had to Goodliffe all the possibilities in the circles to progress. But I enjoied it. Noice!

this is the kind I really love, it's "simple' logic at first, then once you've broken in, it's sudoku.

40 min, the last 10 were pure joy of seeing it unravel in front of me 🙂

Did it in just over 27 minutes. After four failed attempts at Broken Arrows, this made me quite happy! Thank you for the broad mix of styles and difficulties =)

40:20! Cool puzzle

The box 2 logic starting around 14:20 took me far, far longer than it should have, but this was a fun puzzle.

I had to restart 3 times, this really required counting and concentration, but I enjoyed it! Thank you!

My worst solve yet >800minutes…

Turns out the timer still runs while my phone browser is backgrounded

Absolutely loved this puzzle! super fun to solve.

"The circles are all unshaded, so let's color them all" This made me chuckle. It makes sense for solving, but not for language 😀

Software feature request: An "undo every move" button. (On the surface this seems the same as the "restart" button but I promise it's not.) Whenever I make a mistake and break the puzzle, it's basically a hunt for what did I do wrong, and I frequently find myself smashing the undo button until I'm back to the beginning, and then redoing moves one at a time until I find the one that was wrong. I don't have Mark's insane ability to undo exactly to the correct spot; I haven't developed that sense yet. So I find that it's much more efficient for me to go from the beginning. An "undo every move" button would let me do that without losing all the good moves I made, because they're still in the redo stack.

I don't see why the square in box 1 had to have a shaded region that went down automatically from the start. I feel like at that point there was nothing keeping it from being say a 4 for example and only using the horizontal boxes attached to it. I didn't work out that shaded region until I figured out the numbers in there circles in that area.

lovely puzzle, these coloring puzzles are so much fun for me!!

Took me 28:48 which I am very happy with.

43:30 for me. Not fast, but not really a struggle either. Enjoyable.

40 minutes

The circles are unshaded so lets start out by shading them.

24:04, I’m being a lot slower lately than usual, but I’m still enjoying the puzzles so that’s fine. Plus, I feel like Mark has flown through the last ones, he’s being incredibly fast these days.

Fun puzzle, though I usually don't much like these 'shading' puzzles. I was really really slow with it, triple-checking everything to make sure my logic is correct so ended up with a time of 46:02.

26:15. I definitely felt minesweepery vibes here. Also, nice little message in the shading :D…

Yeah, liked that. Colouring deductions are a lot of fun.

this is my first sudoku hunt, but im stuck after the first act, am i supposed to use the result of the first one somehow in the next ones?

Another forced solve (the rule set dictates the placement nicely, but makes for a quick resolution) – completed in 18m04s.

If you are interested how Jessica solves it herself, it is on the recorded livestream of Rangsk, which was dedicated to her birthday, it was real fun 🙂

https://youtu.be/Cb_bbNRtc8E?t=8431

Could actually solve this in 13:20 🙂 Did make a wrong assumption early on, but restarted and got through it relatively quickly.

Very nice puzzle. 20:48 for me.

I did have to see the completed puzzle just to understand the ruleset, but after that I was able to finish this one. Challenging but never frustratingly so, quite a nice puzzle.

35:17 for me

78:16 … tough for me and I had to bifurcate

Love these puzzles where cells obey different rules depending on an arbitrary marking… Of course I regularly mess it up, but it’s a lot of fun.

Impressive how Mark never mistakes circle’s rules for squares’ rules, fantasticly clear and quick solve.

Thanks to both setter and solver.

I kept thinking I'd broke the puzzle when it came to box 8. Wasn't until I gave up and came back to the video that I realized adding a random rule was my issue.

face palmI somehow decided that the shaded area needed to visit every box. Ah well, got some knitting done instead while enjoying watching Mark fly through this lovely puzzle.Are all squares and circles given?

Edit: I am a dumdum, someone (cannot see his reply for some reason) replied, telling me that this would reveal much of the puzzle, which… duh, of course. Have I mentioned I am not great at these?

Might be better to have the "S" in purple and the "4" in red. With the "S" in red it looks like it goes with the zero, which would suggest she was 50 years old! 🙂

37:03 I don't think I'll ever beat the video length of a Mark video, maybe I'll be able to beat a Simon video length some day.

Way to go beast mode after the coloring!

22:38, finally, a solved puzzle after several days of utter failure!

I tried this one and i actually did it, i'm so proud of myself, took me 72 minutes but i did everything right, this was the first coloring puzzle that i solved so i'm happy.

About an hour and 20 minutes, after I restarted at 40 minutes in because I realized I broke it (I found out early after restarting that where I broke it could've been fixed, but I'd have had to know to look for it). My solve time on the restart was 40:53.

I'd recommend changing the directions to state "surrounding cells (including diagonals) that are shaded". That wasn't what my error was, but I did find that to be unclear.