Nonograms Katana Wiki
Nonograms Katana Wiki

Black-and-White Nonograms

Basic rules

  • Numbers on the side (later clues, sometimes called number bars) represent how many squares you need to color (i.e. colored squares, later boxes) in that line.
  • Between those boxes there must be at least one empty space (later cross).


Explanation of terms: box, cross and square.

These techniques are explained on a 10x10 grid. A "square" is an empty space on the grid, which isn't marked yet. A "box" is a square colored black. A "cross" is a square which 100% isn't colored.

I consider all techniques as basic techniques, except for contradictions.

Simple boxes

This technique is used beside the border and beside crosses. This technique is also used to fill trivial lines. You put boxes where there's no other option to put them elsewhere. Example 1: You have a clue of 10. You fill that line. Example 2: You have a clue of 3-4 and a box on the 1st square. That box has to be a 3. So you put 2 more boxes on the 2nd and 3rd square. Example 3: You have a clue of 2 and 8 crosses in that row. There's only one option you can put the 2 in.

Example-1.png Example-2.png Example-3.png
Example 1. Simple boxes. Example 2. Simple boxes. Example 3. Simple boxes.

Simple crosses

Example 4. Simple crosses.

You put crosses where the boxes cannot possibly be. Example 4: You have a clue of 3-1 and 2 boxes on the 4th and 9th square. Then you know that the right box is going to be 1 and the left box is going to be a part of 3. You put crosses on the right and left side of the right box. Then you look where the 3 can go and put crosses where it can't. So you put crosses on the 1st, 7th, 8th and 10th square.


If the sum of clues and spaces in between clues in a line (you can measure it with the "ruler tool") plus the largest number is greater than the line, you can use this technique. It's recommended to use this when you start a puzzle. Example 5: You have a clue of 8. There are only 3 options this 8 can be positioned. Where they overlap, there's a box. If you've noticed, you can only put the 8 on the left and on the right side and see where they overlap. Example 6: Be careful, if you have a clue of 4-3, that you don't put boxes where the 3 and 4 overlap. Only put boxes where the same numbers overlap.

Example-5.png Example-6.png
Example 5. Overlapping. Example 6. Overlapping.

Math for example 5: clues(8) + spaces between clues(0) + largest clue(8) = 16 > line(10). That means that every clue in this line which is larger that 6 (16 minus 10) can be overlapped. The 6 also represents how many squares you can color for the largest clue. The number 2 (line(10) - clues(8) + spaces between clues(0)) represents how many squares you need to mark empty for each clue.

Math for example 6: clues(4+ 3) + spaces between clues(1) + largest clue(4) = 12 > line(10). That means that every clue in this line which is larger that 2 (12 minus 10) can be overlapped. The 2 also represents how many squares you can color for the largest clue. The other 2 (line(10) - clues(4+3) - spaces between clues(1) = 2) represents how many squares you need to mark empty for each clue.

Note: The "ruler tool" measures the combined number of clues and spaces in between clues (this number is 4+3+1=8 in example 6).


Example 7. Spreading.

This technique is used when you have one or more boxes near the border or a cross. Then you can "spread" that box away from the border or cross depending on how big the clue is. Example 7: You have a clue of 5 and a box on the 2nd square. You can put boxes on the 3rd, 4th and 5th square, because the 5 can only go on one square to the left.


Example 8. Forcing.

When you already have some crosses in the line, you can try to fit (force) the clues in the line. Example 8: You have a clue of 1-3 and two crosses on the 6th and 8th square. The 3 cannot fit in the right corner, because of the cross on the 8th square and it cannot fit in between the 6th and the 8th square either. So you put crosses on the 7th, 9th and 10th square.

Joining and splitting

Self-explanatory. Example 9: You have a clue of 5 and 2 boxes on the 2nd and 4th square. Both boxes have to be parts of 5, so you put a box on the 3rd square. Example 10: You have a clue of 2-2 and two boxes on the 4th and 6th square. If you try to put a box on the 5th square, you get 3 boxes in a row, which wouldn't be correct. So the only solution is to put two boxes on the 3rd and 7th square.

Example-9.png Example-10.png
Example 9. Joining. Example 10. Splitting.


Sometimes it happens that none of the above techniques will help you further. This is more of a guessing technique, so it's better to check every row and column before you start using this, to avoid any mistakes. Here is probably the time when you would use weapons, but if you don't want, this technique will help you. It's probably a good idea to check for correctness and lock the puzzle, because if you find out that the box you put in is wrong you can just discard changes.

You try to put one box ("guess" box) in and try to solve as much as you can with techniques above. Also remember where you have put the box. When you come across a contradiction, you know that the box you first put in (the "guess" box), is suppose to be a cross. If you don't come across any contradictions, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's correct, so it's better to guess boxes that have only 2 options (if there is space for 6 boxes and you have a clue of 5 for example), which means a 1 in 2 chance to be correct. A special case of this technique is edge solving. This is done on the last row or column of the puzzle. Example: A clue of 4 on the last row. You try to put this 4 in the right side and try to solve with the techniques above. If you come across a contradiction you put a cross in right corner and only there. Then you move one square to the left and do the same thing. You can also go from left to right. If you are lucky enough, you can "guess" where this 4 is. And sometimes you just get some crosses in the corners of the puzzles that might help you in some other way. This technique is more useful if there is a clue of 5 or more on the edge and there is another large number beside it.


Solving harder nonograms in Nonograms Katana

Solving harder nonograms.

Colored Nonograms

Colored Rules

  • The numbers on the side (later clues) represent the order and length in which that line is colored.
  • If the clue contains a color twice in a row there must be an empty space (later cross) between them.

They are usually easier to solve than black-and-white nonograms. Same techniques apply as for black-and-white nonograms. You can imagen them as multiple nonograms layered onto one each other.

Focus on one color

Example: focus on color light blue.

When there's a low amount of clues of a single color try to solve that color first.

Focus on the border

Example: focus on the right border.

Look at the last clues of the last or the first row and then try to match it with that column.

Use the default pallet

Sometimes it can be hard to tell colors apart, because they looks so alike. Double tap on any color any choose the default color pallet as this pallet has colors which can be easily differentiated between.

Noticing patterns

When you solve a lot of nonograms you start noticing patterns. Most of the time they mean what you think they do, but be careful, not always. Example 1 (edge pattern): if you notice large numbers in number bars on the edges which get smaller to the middle, that usually means that the edge is color. Example 2 (diagonal pattern): if you notice a bunch one's or two's, that usually means diagonal pattern (check if the pattern goes this way "/" or that way "\").

Example 1 and 2: diagonal pattern and edge pattern.

Tips (colored and black-and-white)

  • Look for full lines. You can enable "suggest to fill trivial lines at start" and this will do it for you. Enabling this is not recommended for progressing quicker through the Adventurers Guild, since it reduces rewards.
  • Look for overlaps.
  • Look for simple boxes and crosses.
  • Start on the borders of the puzzle.

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