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Nonograms are a type of hidden-picture logic puzzle originating in Japan and now popular around the world.
Due to copyright issues, they are now known by many different names, including Griddlers, CryptoPics, Japanese Crosswords, Paint-By-Numbers, CrossPix and Pic-a-Pix. A more detailed list of names is available here.

A short history of Nonograms can be found at The Puzzle Museum.

A small Nonogram
After completion


Each Nonogram puzzle is based on a grid of squares of two different colours, which may or may not form a picture. (In Nonosweeper, the mines represent one colour and safe squares the other).
The aim is to reveal the pattern from the number clues provided.

Next to each row and column is a list of numbers representing the black squares in that line. Each number represents a group of black squares so, for example, "3 2" means that on this line there is a group of 3 black squares to the left of a group of 2 black squares, with one or more white squares in between. (If there were no white square between the groups, the 3 and 2 would join up to become a 5).
The numbers are always in order, so "3 2" means the group of 3 black squares appears to the left of the group of 2.

How to solve Nonograms

Basically, solving them consists of cross-referencing the across and down clues to build up your available information gradually. This often requires various tricks - some simple, some complex. For a walk-through solution of a relatively simple Nonogram, have a look at this step-by-step tutorial.

Nonograms in print

In Britain, the Sunday Telegraph has long contained a weekly puzzle, which helped to popularize the concept. There have been several books containing collections of these, firstly under the name of "The Sunday Telegraph Book of Nonograms" by Non Ishida and James Dalgety, and later "The Sunday Telegraph Book of Griddlers" by James Dalgety.
Nonograms can also often be found in regular puzzle magazines in various countries around the world - a list of names used internationally for Nonograms created by Conceptis (a puzzle company) and the publishers which print them can be found here.
Nonograms books

More about Nonograms

If you're already starting to feel like you're becoming addicted to these puzzles, you can satisfy your craving at the following places...

World of CryptoPics - Site based around my top-rated Nonograms software of the same name. The software allows you to play and create puzzles in many different ways, and includes a Challenge Mode which is very similar to Nonosweeper. The site contains various information, links and downloads. A must-have for all Nonogram lovers!

Steven Simpson's Nonograms pages - Probably the biggest and best Nonogram information resource on the web. As well Dr. Simpson's on-line solver program, it includes discussions on the theory of Nonograms, a comprehensive collection of links, and more.

Conceptis Logic Puzzles - Conceptis supply Nonograms and other logic puzzles to publishers around the world. Their well-designed website contains a logic puzzle community and features various online puzzles - both Nonograms and some interesting original variations on the concept.

Potty Puzzles Pic-a-Pix - This page explains an interesting idea of taking Pic-a-Pix (Nonogram) puzzles and dividing the solution into blocks to be reassembled.

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