This puzzle is inspired by recent 3D nonogram puzzles by Jafe and Omega Krypton. Check those out if you want, but they are not required to understand this puzzle.

This 3D nonogram has clues with two possible colors, gray and black. Cells that are neither (typically labelled with an "x" when solving) are left as white... so technically there's three colors I guess.

Important rules to keep in mind:

  • There does NOT need to be a gap between black and gray cells
  • If there is nothing written for the clue, that means it is unknown
  • Every given clue is complete. I cannot provide "just the gray numbers" of a clue, for example.

The following are the 8 horizontal slices of the cube, numbered 1 thru 8. 1 is the top and 8 is the bottom.

enter image description here

The following is the "z-plan" which are clues that run vertically. If the top-left cell of the "z-plan" had the clue " 6 1 ", then we could conclude (per normal nonogram rules) that the top-left cell of the first 6 layers are black, the same cell is blank on layer 7, and that cell is black on layer 8.

enter image description here

I must confess that I am bad at making nonogram puzzles and that this one is not properly constrained. In other words, there are MANY ways to fill the cells that still satisfy the clues. However, among those solutions, one is more right than the others. Can you spot it?

P.S. If you think there's an error, please check your own work before asking. I have intended that this puzzle be printable in black-and-white and also perfectly solvable on that sheet of paper. You are welcome to change gray and black to whatever color highlighters you own.


2 Answers 2


building on Omega Krypton's answer:

there is still more deductions that can be made: enter image description here


I see no way to progress further, I've used up all the information (complete hints are marked in red) the remaining unresolved hints have no way to be resolved
(at this point all the z-index hints have been exhausted)


This seems to look somewhat like a chess board!
Solving for legal chess positions gives: enter image description here (of course the final position is checkmate for black, so it's pieces disappear, and it's not technically a legal position).
The FEN notation for this game is: 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Qh5 d6 4. Qxf7# and I believe that it is referred to as a Scholar's Mate.


I have deduced all that can be deduced without guesswork. Green denotes gray.

I have no idea what the intended answer is. Feel free to build your answer on top of mine :)

enter image description here


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