# Jigsaw Gap Samurai

This is an interesting puzzle! It’s similar to yesterday’s Gap Samurai puzzles, except that the 3×3 box regions have been replaced by jigsaw regions – and not only that*, *but also some of these regions s*tretch across the empty areas of the puzzle*.

The rules are:

- Wherever you see a continuous row or column of 9 squares from a bold line to a bold line then you must place 1 to 9.
- Rows or columns that cross gaps have no restrictions (numbers can repeat on the other side of the gap).
- Jigsaw regions must also have 1 to 9 in. Those jigsaw regions
*without*bold lines next to a gap continue on the other side of the gap, by following a direct line across the gap. They do*not*flow around to the left or right, but only straight across. (If you’re familiar with Toroidal Sudoku, the regions connect in a similar way, except without actually wrapping around the outside of the puzzle too).

Confused? It isn’t actually that complex in concept, but keeping track of all the regions when solving might require a clear head! You might find it easier if you lightly colour in the different cross-gap regions in different colours in order to help keep track of them. (Sorry I haven’t coloured the PDF – I eventually will for future puzzles!)

If you’re still confused, and to clarify the regions further, count 4 across and 2 squares down from the top-left of the puzzle. This jigsaw region continues into the square below (obviously) and then *across* the gap to the square four below that (i.e. cross the gap whilst staying in the same column). It does *not* continue around the corner into the square that is 3 across by 4 down from the top-left – that’s part of a different region that continues in the centre of the puzzle (where the ‘8′ is, 8 across by 4 down). Returning to the first region, it then continues down to the ‘3′, and the ‘9′ and blank square to its right, and then down to the next square, across that second vertical gap, and then finishes in the two squares directly below (so that’s 4 across and 2/3 up from the bottom-left corner).

Phew! Good luck!

PS None of the Samurai puzzles I’m posting require complex solving logic – just an organised approach! (So you don’t need to consider naked or hidden sets, or anything more complex, although of course they might occasionally help anyway – but you can solve these puzzles without them).

PPS If you want to see solutions for any puzzles, just post a comment and ask! Also if you’ve solved one, please let me know how long it took – I’m interested to know!

Andrewabout 9 years ago

I really enjoyed this puzzle. I didn’t time exactly how long it took me to solve, but I know it was longer than an hour (I did it at midnight). I think it’s interesting that the 3×3 regions that contain the jigsaw pieces end up containing 1 through 9 as well. I might be more fun (and more difficult) to solve if you cut up all those 3×3 sections into more jigsaw sections. Thanks for the puzzles!

about 9 years ago

I’m not surprised it took at least an hour – if anyone manages to solve it faster than that I will be very impressed!

Fascinating observation about the unmarked 3×3 boxes that result between the other 3×3 regions – this had me confused for a little while (I’d managed not to notice it!), but then I realised it was because of the pattern of alternating complete 3×3 boxes combined with the full columns/rows of 9 squares (a new column/row of 9 every 3 squares). It works out this way for the same reason that you repeat exactly the same triplet of numbers every 3 boxes in Samurai Star (Flower Samurai) Sudoku puzzles.

Of course I guess if a solver managed to work out this result before getting going, they’d have a few extra hints to help speed them up! It certainly helps me a lot on Samurai Star puzzles, that’s for sure! (avoids having to place a set of pencilmarks to reach the same conclusion)

Christineabout 9 years ago

Well then I am feeling very pleased with myself for once, as I managed to solve this one in 30 minutes! I did spend a few minutes first though colouring in all the regions as you suggested which certainly helped when cross-referencing digits! I don’t think it would have been so quick if I hadn’t had so much practice at doing sudoku star puzzles and toroidal puzzles. Once You get into the swing of looking for the blocks of three repeated numbers, the gaps fill in much quicker.

I really enjoyed this puzzle = took me back to the days of the Mind Games magazine!

about 9 years ago

Hi Christine,

30 minutes is very impressive! You’re obviously up for a challenge on your Samurai Sudoku variants, so I’ll keep the variations coming! I just added a Skyscraper Samurai Jigsaw for a bit of variety, but it’s probably slightly easier than this gap jigsaw puzzle so perhaps that won’t provide much of a challenge?

If you’d like another target to beat, the Skyscraper Consecutive Sudoku from yesterday (the 15th April) can be solved in about 15 minutes if you’re quick. I was very pleased how smoothly it broke – no need to write in almost any pencilmarks to get going (I think I wrote less than 10 throughout the whole puzzle!).

And finally: hello again! It’s good to hear from you, and I’m glad you enjoyed the puzzle! Yes, BBC MindGames published more adventurous variants than any other magazine or newspaper!

Christineabout 9 years ago

I’ve never actually done any skyscraper puzzles so doubt I will meet the 15 minute challenge on this one, but will certainly enjoy having a go at tackling it! It’s strange how some variations of the japanese puzzles come more easily than others. It’s really great to see some more adventurous puzzles though, so thanks for keeping the brain cells ticking over!

Spittledungabout 9 years ago

Interesting idea. Figuring out regions was difficult at first as you mentioned. I also stumbled upon what Andrew said above and felt like I was cheating. Then I saw the pattern more and used it to finish the puzzle faster.

I don’t feel I enjoyed it any more than the other sudoku types. It really breaks the KISS principle.