Our beginner friendly contest PANFOPCWHTTAPA 3 just concluded! If you haven't tried the puzzles yet, feel free to give them a go! As a fun bonus, I figured I would share some extra puzzles I wrote that didn't quite make the cut for various reasons. Some of these were too hard for their positions, while others just didn't fit.
The first puzzle I want to share was the very first idea for Akari 1. This was designed to mimic some of the "Easy" difficulty puzzles in the SmartNikoli app (rest in peace), but in the end this puzzle was pretty boring. The actual Akari 1 has a similar solve progression but executes it much better.
The next puzzle here is the original version of Akari 2. We thought this passed as a difficulty 2 puzzle with one potentially tricky step. During testing, both TostCronch and DireKrow actually found this step to be significantly trickier than we expected, so I modified it to try to make it easier. Unfortunately, none of my modifications ended up fixing that one tricky step, so I changed the pattern significantly and came up with the version appearing on the contest.
Third on our list is the original version of Fillomino 2. Actually, this puzzle was originally constructed for the Mounting Mayhem round of the 2022 Mustang Math Tournament; it didn't make the cut because we needed to downsize the round a bit. I updated it to the version appearing on the contest to make it a bit harder and more fitting for the Difficulty 2 spot.
Finally, we have a candidate for Nanro 3. I'm quite happy with the logical progression of this puzzle; the bottom is subtle and each clue seems like it actually belongs in the grid. In the end, we decided to go with the actual version of Nanro 3 (due to Botaku) because of how novel the solve was compared to a typical Nanro. Many solvers reported that Nanro 3 was one of their favorite puzzles, so evidently we made the right choice!
Once again, thank you to everyone who participated in the latest version of PANFOPCHWTTAPA! Here's to more beginner-friendly contests in the future.