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I needed something to do for a few minutes this morning and decided to see if there were any free Kindle games out there that looked interesting. I found Pixel Perfect Puzzles, a number/shape game that seemed fun and interesting.

Until I got here:
Puzzle Photo

The idea is to figure out which of the cells must be filled in and which must be left empty. Most of the time, there's an obvious place to start, such as a row that contains 15 squares - pretty easy, fill in everything and you've got a starting place. This level, I can't find any place to get a foothold: there are no obvious breaks which must or must not be a filled-in square.

Where do I start with this puzzle?

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FYI, this type of puzzle is called Nonogram/Picross –  Private Pansy Sep 10 '12 at 13:07
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

For this kind of puzzle, I always try to find which block have to be black on a single line/column. To do this, I pick a line/column with only two or three numbers, where the sum of those numbers is round the total size of the puzzle. I then fill the line from each side, leaving only one white space between black blocks. First from the right, then the left . If there is a space that is black when filling from both side, and it correspond to the same number, then this block must be black.

For example, in your case, the third line contains 11 black block over 15. If we fill from the left, we get this:

XXX.X|X.XXX|XXX..

If we fill from the right, we get this:

..XXX|.XX.X|XXXXX

We can then see the mandatory black blocks:

  XXX.X|X.XXX|XXX..
& ..XXX|.XX.X|XXXXX
--------------------
= ..X..|....X|XXX..

Notice that I only selected blocks from the '3' and the '6', because there are no blocks in common for the '2'

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A good way to notice these rows is to add up all of the numbers for that row, and then add 1 for each number after the first - e.g. for 3 2 6, you get 3+1+2+1+6=13. Since the row is 15 cells wide, this means you have 2 "slack" spaces. From this, you also know which of the numbers force any specific cells to be filled - namely those numbers which is larger than the slack space count. –  Michael Madsen Sep 10 '12 at 14:32
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Take a look at the top row. You'll need to put a 5 in it somewhere. And since it is the top row, that means those 5 columns will have to fill down from there.

Now notice that the row below it doesn't have any 1s in it. That means that the top 5 can't cover columns that would have a 1, a number higher than 1, and then another 1. If you play around with it a bit, you'll notice that this means the 5 has to go in the very middle. This should give you a lot to play with from there.

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