Cracking the Cryptic, and New Year setting goals

I’m writing this at midnight of New Year’s Day, and this year’s “resolution” is going to be themed around puzzle-writing. Yay!

For anyone who doesn’t know yet, “5” was featured on Cracking the Cryptic:

I left a comment on it, but because I linked back to my website for my construction notes, it probably got auto-deleted by YouTube’s anti-spam bot. Sad.

Anyway, a couple of puzzle-constructy things & my overall goals for the next 4 months (let’s be honest, I am going to give up on “New Years resolutions” way before that, so let’s not pretend for the next 8 months).

I really enjoy setting puzzles with my own homemade variants (PARTICULARLY 7-Eleven and Close Neighbors), especially variants with simple rules. But I also think there is some value in just exploring more conventional variants, like thermos, anti-knight, etc. Also I really want to set a renban and a between line someday.

January goal: volume

Release 8 puzzles, i.e. two a week (biweekly).

Nothing too much to be said about that, I think it’s doable, but also I will have to balance puzzle writing with USACO and updating my blog and doing taxes for Math Advance and aaaagh

You will probably see a lot of ideas I’ve done before since I have experience with them. For instance, rulesets like that of “Close Neighbors” will probably appear a few times. (“Distant Neighbors”, anyone?)

February goal: coverage

Use at least three of the following five common variants I haven’t used before:

I can invent my own rules if I want or not. Either way is fine.

March goal: classic

Write a GOOD classic sudoku. I dunno, I feel like this is hard, but I also should just do it. (For the purposes of this challenge, I will count an anti-diagonal sudoku as pretty much meeting half of my goal.) Also, I will better know wtf I am doing, since my classic sudoku knowledge is… not exactly the greatest? I just have “intuition.”

I should probably watch some CTC classic sudoku videos to get a feel for them. Although I probably will not be using any difficult techniques in mine.

April goal: Non-sudoku pen puzzle

Probably a logic puzzle but crosswords are fair game too. (Although I probably won’t be doing a crossword quite yet? I dunno, four months is a long time.)