The Genius, by A Skymin’s Mind #6

Open, Pass

Used as Main Match of Season 1, Round 7.


Each player receives a deck of 20 cards, numbered 0-9 along with mathematical operations +, -, ×, ÷. They may spend garnets to buy additional cards from three decks: black, red, and blue, worth 1, 2, 3 garnets each, and have increasingly better cards. (For example, the black number cards are two copies of 0-3 and one copy of 7-8, while the blue number cards are three copies of 7-9 and one copy of 10. Also, black operation cards have three of subtraction and division, with two of the others, while blue operation cards invert this, having three additions and multiplications and two of the others.)

After buying cards and exchanging with other players if necessary, each player constructs a 20-card deck, which will be shuffled by the dealer. A player may ask for a reshuffle for at most three times. After a player is satisfied with their lay, the dealer begins filling a 10-slot expression with the deck. Each time, a card is placed face down at the rightmost empty space. The player may choose either to open the card, thus opening it and fixing its position, or pass the card, throwing it away without seeing its value. After ten opens (and thus at most ten passes), the expression is created. Only the leftmost number is kept across a stretch of numbers, and similarly with operations. After that, if the rightmost card in the expression is an operation, it is discarded, and if the leftmost card is an operation, a zero is appended to the left of the expression. The result is then evaluated and becomes the score. For example, -, 8, 5, 7, +, ×, 3, ÷, 5, + is converted into 0 – 8 + 3 ÷ 5 = -7.4. The winner is the person with the highest score.

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Touhou Project

A danmaku (bullet hell) game series, produced by a single person for the last 20 years or so, that I’m currently playing a lot. So what is bullet hell? Well, here’s one image.

A danmaku


Yes, those are bullets, and you’re supposed to dodge them as you shoot to attack the boss.

The fact that I enjoy this game series immensely despite not liking shooting games in general might be because of my interest on difficult games. (Games whose genre includes “hell” in it should be hard…) And yes, I also like difficult games like Super Hexagon, oO, and such kind of games. (I also like puzzle games, but seeing that most puzzle games have no such difficult replayable sections, I like them for a different reason.)

How many of my little readerbase (if that’s a word) know this game?

The Genius, by A Skymin’s Mind #5

Truth Detector

Used as Season 2 Final Game, Round 2.


There are two players. Each player prepares a 4-digit password and tries to hide it from his opponent. Then each player, in turn, can start asking questions to each other, which must be answered untruthfully. In other words, if you ask “How many times the digit 0 appears in your code?” and you receive a reply of 0, it means there exists the digit 0 in the code (because the reply is wrong). However, this reply cannot be an impossible reply (such as an answer of “5” for the above, considering that there are only 4 digits) or an unrelated/evasive reply (such as “I don’t know”). Additionally, questions must only be about the password. When giving a truth or any of the forbidden replies above, the penalty is revealing a digit not in the password.

When one thinks he knows the password of the other, he may use the turn to answer instead, guessing the password. If this is correct, he is the winner; if this is incorrect, the turn passes to the opponent.

As this is a Final Game, there are three items given:

  • Starting Player: The person with this item may start asking question first.
  • Truth Penalty Exemption: If a person accidentally answers the truth, using this item he may avoid the penalty once.
  • Double Turn: This item may be used to give an additional turn, be it for asking or guessing.

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Puzzle 90: Antimatter

Dual Masyu Follow regular Masyu rules. This is a loop puzzle: Draw a loop that passes some of the cells such that the loop never touches or crosses itself, the loop only turns on cell centers, and the loop only makes 90-degree turns. The loop must pass all circles. When it passes a white circle, it must go straight, but must turn either before or after (or both). When it passes a black circle, it must turn, but must go straight both before and after it.

Additionally, this puzzle is two in one; it has two solutions that are coupled in the following way. Gray circles are two circles that have different colors in the two puzzles; if a gray circle acts as a white circle in one puzzle, then it must be black in the other, and vice versa. (In either puzzle, two gray circles may act as one white and one black; they don’t need to act as the same color.)

Expected difficulty MediumAnswerComment/E-mail if you want a solution to be published

Puzzle 90: Dual Masyu

Puzzle 90: Antimatter
Dual Masyu

No particular comment; just toying with interesting things.

The Genius, by A Skymin’s Mind #4

Scamming Horse Race

Used as Main Match of Season 1, Round 5, and inspires Main Match of Season 1, Round 10, for a later issue.


There is a horse race involving eight horses, traveling across 20 spaces. There are 12 rounds; in each round, each horse advances by a predetermined amount between 0 and 3 spaces, inclusive. (The result of the race is already determined.) Players should bet on which horses will finish first or second; there are no distinction on whether they bet on the horse placing first or the horse placing second.

Players have 20 chips at the beginning, and they may bet at most three chips after each round. They may not bet on horses in no-bet zone, the last four spaces of the race. Unused chips are discarded, and correct bets receive payoffs depending on their odds; the less chips bet on a horse, the larger the payoff per chip will be.

Each player has received a hint at the beginning of the game, and they may also look at any of three additional hints by paying three garnets for each hint.

Chips not wagered on any horse are lost at the end. The player with the biggest payout wins, and the smallest payout loses.

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