Picture Logic: new "Paint-by" puzzles from Conceptis

Wednesday, August 3, 2005 Games magazine

A few years ago a fellow named Dave Green walked into our office with a briefcase full of what he called “Pic-a-Pix” puzzles. Of course, he knew all about the picture-forming logic puzzles that are all the rage in Japan - they’ve been around since the late ‘80s, with various names such as “Window Art Puzzles” and “Nonograms.” Today, Dave’s company, Conceptis Ltd. (, is a puzzling force to be reckoned with, and its Web site brings Paint by Numbers aficionados together from all over the globe.

We know that Paint by Numbers puzzles are popular. Why? The concept is simple but elegant and language-independent. You start with an empty grid; numbers above and to the side tell you how many squares in each row and column to fill in. On the rare occasion when we exclude them, we get calls and letters from disappointed would-be solvers. Herewith, then, is a treat for you, PBN devotees: ten pages of “Paint-By” logic challenges to keep you out of trouble for a while.

We suggest you warm up with one of the “classic” Paint by Numbers puzzles on pages 34 through 37, then take a stab at Paint by Pairs (pages 38 through 41). It’s easy to learn how to solve a Paint by Pairs puzzle - just match up the numbers. We’ve gotten very useful feedback on this variant, and the consensus is that it’s a keeper!

Finally, we’re excited about debuting a new “Paint-By” concept on pages 42 and 43, and we need your critique. “Fill-A-Pix” puzzles provide clues in the form of numbers that are scattered around the grid. Each number shows how many of the nine squares (the one with the number plus the eight around it) should be filled in. (See page 42 for the complete rules.)

We think you’ll be amazed at the number of hours that will fly by once you catch the bug. Paint by Numbers puzzles are becoming a world phenomenon, so don’t worry if you forget to pack your PBNs on your next vacation. Just trot on down to the newsstand and look for Illust-Logic, Pictilink, Mosaik Puzzles, Pinte por Numeros, Blacken and Solve - wherever you may be, you just might find those curiously addictive Paint by Numbers puzzles. Enjoy!

Reprinted with permission

Originally published in Games World of Puzzles special section, March 2004 issue.