This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #13: Variety Slitherlinks.

What happens when you're working on a couple of puzzles for the Monthly Topic Challenge and try to merge them?

Well, in my case it all went quite smoothly until Penpa gave me a very strange error message - "Widening their six-sided cat limousines" - and deleted the solution, leaving just the puzzle.

So if anyone could work out what my intended solution was, and explain that weird error message, I'd be really grateful.

Standard(ish) slitherlink rules:

  • Draw a single two, non-self-intersecting loops that only consists of horizontal and vertical segments between the dots.
  • Numbers inside a cell indicate how many of the edges of that cell are part of thethat loop.
  • Loops may cross straight over at an intersection, but may not follow the same edge, nor meet when they turn. enter image description here

enter image description here

Penpa solving link

I'm expecting a completed slitherlink grid, preferably with solve path; and a single twelve letter word.

  • $\begingroup$ I have to ask - is that cryptic clue very relevant to the solution? $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2023 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Also, how do you get different colored X's? I can only get the green one. $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2023 at 14:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ What cryptic clue? Why not try solving the puzzle first and see what you find. $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Aug 18, 2023 at 14:45
  • $\begingroup$ Penpa only has one colour for X. $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Aug 18, 2023 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ And before anyone asks, no I don't know whether it's the felines or the automobiles that are hexagonal. $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Aug 18, 2023 at 14:49

1 Answer 1


What happens when you're working on a couple of puzzles for the Monthly Topic Challenge and try to merge them?


The solved loops

enter image description here

Then we

put that very strange error message in the gray boxes and read the off the letters in cells with lines on all four sides
enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Unrelated to the puzzle itself, but how do I stop abusing bifurcating and still get the answer? I use bifurcating way too much and it's kind of troubling me. $\endgroup$ Aug 18, 2023 at 22:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well, the usual way to solve logic puzzles is to list (or pencil mark) things that must be true, things that cannot be true, and then try to make those things interact with each other, eventually yielding positive facts you can put in the grid. In slitherlink, some of the usual (possibly non-obvious) considerations are "if this square is inside the loop, how does it connect to all the other inside squares", "(how) can the loop (not) pass through this intersection" and "many routes are blocked for some reason; how can I make the loop visit that area at all". Bifurcation feels like giving up. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Aug 18, 2023 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ @newQOpenWid none of my recent puzzles should require any bifurcation/guesswork. I suspect you either: A) are failing to spot where the next logical move is (can easily happen when a puzzle reaches a bottleneck and there's only a single non-obvious "next move") or B) you've not aware of (or have never worked out for yourself) some less-used or harder to spot patterns, so don't have them in your puzzle solving "toolkit". $\endgroup$
    – fljx
    Aug 21, 2023 at 8:35

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