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Monday Mutant 54: Pearls of Wisdom (total / outside clues)

In this Pearls of Wisdom puzzle, there are no clues inside the grid. Instead, you are to both draw a loop and place black pearls and white pearls in every cell that could legally contain one. Pearls to the left of a row or above a column represent all of the pearls which are in that row or column, in order from left to right or from top to bottom. A question mark (?) represents a pearl whose color is unknown; an asterisk (*) represents any number of pearls of unknown colors, including none at all.

This puzzle is one part Total Masyu, one part Griddlers/Hanjie/Nonograms/
Paint by Numbers/Pic-a-Pix/Picross, and one part kind of difficult. Be forewarned. Also, ralphmerridew wants me to publicize that he was responsible for catching an error in this puzzle before I posted it here. Thanks, ralphmerridew!

6 comments

Scott said...

Phew, this is definitely one of the harder puzzles on your site. I *think* I have the answer...I obviously have quite a bit less experience at Total Masyu than at regular Masyu, so it was hard keeping track of the extra constraints.

Really nice job on this one.

Jonah said...

Well, that took me forever. I agree with Scott that it's one of the harder puzzles on here. One tricky part was remembering the clause about turning before or after a white bead. There were a couple times I thought I ran into a contradiction/multiple solution before applying that rule.

Blaine said...

This flowed rather smoothly at the beginning and the top and bottom was filling in nicely.

I stalled for awhile but then had an "A-ha!" moment about row 5 and was able to finish from there. I thought I had multiple solutions initially, then I thought I had no solutions. Finally I realized I missed marking a "pearl" and that cleared it up.

james39562 said...

This is the first puzzle I've tried on the site that really gave me a hard time, though I'm sure I will find more challenges as I dig through all the puzzles I find here. I thought I had solved it once but got stuck on the 6th row. I started over twice until I realized that I was on the right track the first time. It was one of those "slap your forehead" moments when I realized my mistake, though it really did take some lateral thinking to get it. It's interesting how so many of the puzzles I've seen on Nikoli's pages can be expanded on and turned into an entirely new experience. Kudos on an excellent puzzle and an excellent site!

Spheniscine said...

I can't believe I solved this one o.o

TheSubro said...

Easily one of your best ! Thanks.

The Subro

p.s. Coincidentally, I had recently been doing some old Total Masyu by Motris. The timing was surprising, and the prep was very valuable.

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