Samurai Gap puzzle

I thought it would be interesting to try creating Samurai puzzles with gaps in, but to do this not just by creating an enormous puzzle but by putting gaps actually into the underlying Sudoku grids, so some rows and columns are incomplete.

Take a look at the 6×9 puzzle attached (”2-grid 6×6 Samurai Gap puzzle”).  Can you place 1 to 6 into each unbroken row and each bold-lined 2×3 box, whilst placing 1 to 6 into the top 6 and bottom 6 squares in each unbroken column?  In other words, there are no rows or columns where there is a gap in the puzzle – you can repeat numbers on opposite sides of the gap.

This smaller puzzle is actually very easy, so I tried making a larger one with four 3×3 boxes ‘punched out’ of the puzzle.  Again, where rows/columns run across the gaps then there are no restrictions on numbers repeating.  Everywhere you find a continuous run of 9 squares from a bold line to a bold line in a row or a column then you must place all of 1-9 into that region.  Also all of the 3×3 bold-lined boxes must contain 1 to 9 as usual.

2-grid 6×6 Samurai Gap puzzle

In summary:

  • Any continuous run of 9 squares starting on a bold line must have 1-9 in it, but
  • Where a run of squares reaches a blank area then there are NO restrictions on that run – rows or columns don’t run across the gaps, in other words.

Incidentally, it would be perfectly reasonable for the rows/columns to continue across the gaps, but they don’t in these two puzzles – maybe they will in tomorrow’s puzzle! (it’s the obvious thing to change after all).