Here are two figures, each composed of 54 pixels. Cut each figure into six nonominoes having the same shape and size.

  • Both figures use the same nonomino
  • The nonominoes could be rotated, reflected, or both
  • The four colors (blue, green, pink, gray) are for artistic effect only. These colors have no relationship to the solution.


  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Those nonominoes puzzles are great! Love them. $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Jan 10, 2015 at 11:11

1 Answer 1


Found it!

enter image description here

Very nice! I wasted 30min until I've realized I mis-drew my black & white copy with only 53 squares! :c)

Edit: As requested, and for the purpose of this site (teaching how to build/solve puzzles) I'm adding how I found the solution to this puzzle.
General considerations:

  • Mostly by trial & error. I'm using a graphic program with layers/objects (i.e. Powerpoint) such that I can easily modify & clone tiles while trying fitting together the puzzle.
  • The tile-size of the nonominoes is known if all are of same size, the total field size is known, and the number of nomoninoes is known.
  • Then I start with one (in this case close to a hole) and copy/tilt it to see if they fit. Rule-out conditions are:
    • two noominoes overlap
    • isolated 'holes' are created
  • From there, it's a process of reduction, guided by intuition. (i.e. usually good puzzles have rather 'complicated' nonomino-shapes. So I try those first.)
  • Sometimes it helps to do the process with a partial nonomino (i.e. of smaller size) first. This rules out whole sets of shapes. (If you have a problem with a 5-sized shape, no bigger shape will work out.)

As for this particular puzzle:

- The tile-size of the nonominoes is known to be 9, because we have to fit 6 tiles into 54 fields, hence: 6 x 9 = 54.
In the particular puzzle, it was soon clear that nonominoes had to partly wrap around a one-square hole. Few tries showed that it had to be a "5-tiles around hole" solution.
- So I made this 5-sized nonomino and copied it 6 times, arranging it around the head-holes.
- Then I successively added 1 square (i.e. made all 6-sized, 7-sized...). One could immediately see, what fits, and what wouldn't. As always: You must not create overlaps and you must not create isolated holes. - I actually only solved the left head. It was then immediately visible, that the right one has just a mirror in it's left half.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Is there any special way to solve things like this? I had no idea how to even start thinking. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Jan 10, 2015 at 22:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Quark: I've edited in some guidelines and my path to the solution. Thanks for suggesting it. This site is about teaching, so such an edit is a very good idea indeed. $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Jan 11, 2015 at 10:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.