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Dear PSE users and moderators,
I’m new here in PSE, but I really need your help. There was this person who gave me a black envelope consisting 10+1 pages of puzzles, and also a scribble saying: “Find our favorites and you will be accepted to join our ‘pyramid cult’. Feel free to ask for help from your beloved friends on PSE. They will surely guide you into all the truth.” I’m also a newbie on grid puzzles, so, could you please give me any hint to solve these? It’s getting harder and harder later on..
- athin

Jump to the first page: #1 Numberlink | Previous page: #5 Slitherlink | Next page: #7 Fillomino


enter image description here

Rules:

  1. Draw a line to make a single loop.
  2. Lines pass through the centers of cells, moving in perpendicular direction with one of the cell sides, or turning. The loop never crosses itself, branches off, or goes through the same cell twice.
  3. The numbers show how many shaded cells there are in the direction of the arrow.
  4. The loop does not pass through the shaded cells or the cells with numbers, and shaded cells are not adjacent to their side.

Special thanks to chaotic_iak for testing this puzzle series!

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  • $\begingroup$ "and shaded cells are not adjacent to their side." do those given shaded cells without numbers in the graph count? $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Aug 3 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ @OmegaKrypton No those don't count. There are in examples btw, on bottom (well... it should be treated as 2 black triangles instead of a rhombus ><) $\endgroup$ – athin Aug 3 at 0:42
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First, some fairly trivial deductions:

Note that any "dead-end" triangle cannot be used, and so it must be shaded. This gives all of these:
enter image description here

And then if any of these cells were shaded, they would create a dead end cell next to them:
enter image description here

Then, a few less trivial deductions:

A single segment in the bottom left can be drawn. Then, consider the cells marked in red and purple:
enter image description here
Consider the [2↗] clue: one of the two remaining cells it points to is shaded. If it is the white cell, the lower red cell is shaded; if it is the red cell, the lower white cell is shaded. Either way, one of the two red cells is shaded, and so (because of the [3↖] clue in the lower right corner) the purple cells are all unshaded.

enter image description here

Finishing off the lower right corner:

With that knowledge, we can barely squeeze in the remaining required cells for the 4 clue:

enter image description here

And then we can keep making straightforward deductions from that to resolve the corner completely.

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Using the last clue:

The only remaining clue is the 3↖ that's not in the corner. To allow enough space, one of the two shaded cells must be against the wall:

enter image description here

If either of the two endpoints in the center of the puzzle goes to the cell marked "c", it must then continue up and left to the cell marked "a" (or otherwise it would complete a loop too early). But one of those two cells must be shaded because of the 3 clue. So neither of those endpoints goes to the "c" cell, and therefore that cell is shaded.

And now the loop can be fully resolved:

enter image description here
Taking the letters on shaded cells, we see that the pyramid cult's favorite places are LOCHANS (a Scottish word for small lakes).

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ A very well done answer! :D Checkmark will be given soon~ And welp, it keeps alternating between jafe and Deusovi lol. I guess now I know when are your active time guys... $\endgroup$ – athin Aug 3 at 2:13

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