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Griddlers make great “paint by number” puzzles for kids of all ages

I recently discovered a great web-site, Griddlers.net. Griddler The site has lots of puzzles called Griddlers, which I had never before heard of. Griddlers remind me of Sudoku; they're logic puzzles like Sudoku, but with an interesting twist. Once you've solved the puzzle you end up with a nice picture in a grid, like the one shown here. Griddlers have number clues around an image. You use the clues to determine which squares in the grid to fill in. Some Griddlers are even multi-colored. If you get all of the clues right then you get a pretty picture. What I like so much about Griddlers is the positive and very visual reinforcement that comes from solving a puzzle. With Sudoku, which is a great kind of puzzle, you do get the satisfaction of completing the puzzle but there's something neat about seeing a picture appear before your eyes. Griddlers come in all levels of difficulty so even the younger ones can enjoy it.

Griddlers.net has instructions for solving Griddlers, a helpful tutorial, user accounts that let you track which Griddlers you've solved, and a community forum. There are even Griddlers for the little ones, called Kiddlers. And, you can create your own Griddlers to share with the community and even upload image files and have their software convert them to Griddler puzzles. Wow! As of this writing there are 53,867 Griddlers. Most everything on the site is free. What Griddlers.net sells is downloadable books of Griddler puzzles at pretty reasonable prices.

There are a bunch of Griddler sites. The easiest way to find some to check out is to do a google search for the two words "griddler puzzle", without the quotes. Wikipedia has a nice article about Griddlers. The article tells of the many names that used to refer to these puzzles, including Nonograms, Paint By Numbers, Pic-a-Pix, Picross, Pixel Puzzles, and many others. The article also tells of how Griddlers were invented in Japan in 1987 by two people independent of one another.

I'm delighted to discover Griddlers and I'm surprised that I've never heard of them up to now given that they've been around for years.


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Comments (17) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Huh. Never even heard of them, but they look like fun. I’ll have to check them out.

  2. I just checked it out, and it looks cool. I think I need additional Fireflox plugins to access all parts of it, though. The Kiddlers section should be interesting.

    Thanks for the find, Sol!

  3. This looks really cool Sol. Thanks for the link.

  4. These look like fun, thanks Sol!

  5. Games magazine regularly publishes puzzles like these. I beleive that they call them “Paint-by-Numbers”, or something like that. My wife loves these. It’s the only puzzle other than crosswords that I regularly see her solve.

  6. Great site! Thank you for your nice post.

  7. Hi Sol,
    I know I promised you to write about Japanese puzzles, but unfortunately I have had not time yet.
    The best site in my opinion for picture logic puzzles is http://www.conceptispuzzles.com
    In addition to Pic-A-Pix puzzles they have 4 more types of picture puzzles (and 6 types of number logic). I am familiar with Griddlers.net but they unfortunately have some very unsatisfactory pictures and you never know what you get when you start a puzzle. The puzzles are mainly created by the users.
    Conceptis uses artists to create the pictures and even though I have solved their puzzles for 3 years, I never have been disappointed with the quality. Most of those Griddlers I have started I have discarded in the middle of solving.
    The puzzles mrburkemath mentions are from Conceptis.
    They have also great Flash tutorials.
    Check the site and enjoy!

  8. Hi Leena,

    That’s right. You’re the resident expert on Japanese puzzles in this community. Thanks for piping in. I will check them out!

  9. @Deb, Preschool Mama, Karen, JoLynn, HowToMe: Thanks for the kinds comments.

    @MrBurkeMath: Games magazine isn’t one I frequent but it’s nice to know they have some of these puzzles.

  10. http://www.webpbn.com is by far THE best paint-by-numbers site! You can create your own puzzles there; solve other people’s puzzles; rate the puzzles by difficulty and quality; post comments about puzzles; participate in the forum; take part in the chat; search for puzzles by author/difficulty/quality/size/number of colors used; save your puzzle and get back to it later… Can you tell I’m addicted to these puzzles?

  11. @Lisa: On behalf of the readers here, thanks for the mini review of the webphn site.

  12. They are cool. But sometimes it engages one more, if playing on the computer, if the graphics are a bit better. Via Griddlers I found one called Gemsweeper (also download at www. lobstersoft.com) that is hard enough for adults to play but even my kids try to figure them out because of the graphical appeal (which means they are doing MATH of their own volition, yea.

  13. Griddlers.net is a good site, but they use Java. Take a look at gridlers on http://crosswords-world.net/

  14. @John , most probably you overlooked the section “Lite” on griddlers.net which is made on Javascript e.g. needs no Java. And to be honest, it is much better than crosswords-world 😉 .

  15. @Rasto, section “Lite” on Griddlers.net is good, but it’s working very slowly, and section японские кроссворды on Crosswords-world.net is much simplier and faster. This site contains not so much puzzles, but it’s temporary.

  16. I love pixel puzzles! What I’d really like is to learn how to create them for others, but I can’t find any instructions anywhere. Can anyone help?

  17. Chaikhe – If you google for make your own griddler there are a couple of sites that let you make your own but they charge for this.

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