From Paper to App: Nonogram Tips and Tricks


Nonogram or picture cross games have traveled a long way. From just being paper puzzles to now being fully computer-generated, even their rules have evolved. These are logic puzzles where each square in the grid must be painted or left blank according to the numerical clues outside, revealing a pixel image in the end. It may seem complicated, but with basic elimination techniques and using a logical bend of mind, you’ll soon have a hang of it.

But, before getting onto the tips and tricks of solving a picture cross puzzle, here’s an essential piece of information. Every time you paint a box or cross it, remember you’re doing it for both that particular column and row. So, keep in mind that you’ve to scan through both sides (top and left) carefully. Now let’s get right into the details …

Nonogram Tricks

Trick #1 – The trick is to catch hold of the larger numbers first to clear your vision and simplify the task. So, for instance, if it’s a 15×15 grid, and you have the digit 15 on either side, paint those boxes first i.e. the ones you’re sure of. 

Trick #2 – Rows or columns with multiple clues are slightly difficult to crack. But the rule is to have a single space between those numbers and paint the remaining boxes accordingly. For example, if in a 15×15 grid, you get 2, 3, and 8 as clues on either side, these are to be direct inputs since there’ll be no room on the grid for any other possibilities. So, 2 + (1 space) + 3 + (1 space) + 8 equals to 15, completing the line. 

Trick #3 – When you apply the above tricks, you’ll already see an image developing on the grid. What you can do next is, target the smaller numbers – since you’d already have come halfway or are just there. These smaller digits will certainly help you paint and block more cells.

Trick #4 – If there’s a bigger number, it guarantees a cell to be crossed since it’ll create an overlap. So, assuming we have a 15×15 grid, and there’s a 9, you could either paint it from the top left to the right or from the very right towards the left. But, in both cases, some cells have to be marked either way leaving us with six guaranteed cells. This method works in most cases where it’s a single number, and it’s also greater than half of the line.

Trick #5 – Complex puzzles require deeply searching for contradictions with advanced reasoning. So, when all methods exhaust, deep recursion comes to rescue. There can be several possibilities to explore in the puzzle; hence this trick is practically possible on automated picture cross puzzles only.

Now that you’re aware of some basic tricks of solving a picture cross puzzle, try them out. Where? On the Easybrain mobile app, that’ll excellently challenge your skills. You can put these tips and tricks to the test without ever resorting to guesswork. And, in the end, you’ll be presented with a reward in the shape of a pretty picture. But of course, the real reward is in applying your logical and systematic thinking.