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March Mutant 23: Cross the Streams (inverted)

Shade in some cells black such that the black cells are all connected to each other through their edges, and no 2x2 cell area within the grid contains all black cells. Numbers to the left of a row or above a column represent the groups of consecutive white cells which are in that row or column. For example, a clue of "3" means the row or column has three consecutive white cells, and a clue of "3 1" means that the row or column has a group of three consecutive white cells followed by a single white cell, separated by at least one black cell. A question mark (?) represents a group of consecutive white cells whose size is unknown; an asterisk (*) represents any number of unknown groups of white cells, including none at all.
Yeah, so all of my readers managed to see this coming. I'm so proud to have you guys as my audience.


garzahd said...

I've always thought of these puzzles as "nonogram but with less information" which seemed like a neat idea but I always found the ones on your site too challenging. Seeing an 8 and 9 as givens in this was encouraging, though. Clearly this must be a good break-in.

Encouraging enough, so that when I inevitably got stuck, I decided to reread the rules instead of throwing the puzzle away. Turns out I've been attempting these puzzles for months without worrying about connectivity of the black squares.

Puzzles are so much more elegant when you actually follow all the rules instead of just most of them.

Grant Fikes said...

garzahd: Don't forget that no 2x2 area can be entirely black. That's another rule.

Boomer said...

I caught myself thinking "Wouldn't it be great if tomorrow's puzzle were the same AGAIN except this time semi-inverted?" Then I realized that this is of course impossible with the 8 and 9 as they are.

Jonah said...


And I caught myself thinking that the next one would be the same grid but arbitrarily inverted. Except, wait, then it would have at least two solutions.

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