Puzzle 199 (Slitherlink) [All Threes]

This is a Sunday Slitherlink puzzle, with a twist. Every 3 in the puzzle is given to you. That is, if the solution has three segments around a single grid square, there is a 3 in that square.

Puzzle 199

Puzzle 199

No symmetry, no logical solution without lots of thinking ahead, and… can this even be called a logic puzzle? Is this really today’s Sunday? You’ll find out in 12 hours (noon ET).


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15 Responses to “Puzzle 199 (Slitherlink) [All Threes]”

  1. motris Says:

    A nice twist. After enough progress, I just tried all the possibilities to find the one solution.

  2. MellowMelon Says:

    I was told there are 26 solutions where one other clue would be a 3, so brute force is probably required eventually.

    How long did it take you to see the answer?

  3. motris Says:

    Much longer than I would have expected from myself. There was a WPC Slitherlink combination puzzle once that had a particular 6 clue (given as a sum of two grids) that did not seem to break into two 3’s properly. That also took me longer than it should to grasp what was going on.

  4. MellowMelon Says:

    Heh, the pattern I’m seeing so far is that the people very experienced with Slitherlink are smacking their heads over this. Others who are either rusty or newer to the type look at me funny as soon as they see the puzzle, having found it instantly.

  5. motris Says:

    I think I was also giving the benefit of the doubt to the deductions to be found around the borders. And with time I could deduce what I needed from 66% of the surrounding space which left trying the bottom and then “other” behind.

  6. mathgrant Says:


    I suspect it would have taken longer for me to find the solution had I not read the comments beforehand.

  7. MellowMelon Says:

    I was wondering if I should edit the post to warn about spoilers in the comments… then decided doing that especially for this post was too much of a spoiler itself. Oh well.

  8. TheSubro Says:

    You are a little evil man Palmer Mebane … a very evil little man,


  9. MellowMelon Says:

    With respect to this puzzle, that’s not a label I’d dispute. This one is quite cruel, and becomes twice as bad when the answer hits you.

    (Also, there’s no l in the last name, but no worries as you are far from the only one to make that mistake. I’m still not sure where this mixup originates… maybe my illegible signature.)

  10. CA Math Says:

    Heh, Slitherlink was this year’s ARML Power I contest and one of the two points we missed came from the 3:3 configuration ūüė¶ … where I misread the problem, which stated that you were supposed to assume that the given numbers were part of a _larger configuration_ . Oh well, that made this one easier…

    • MellowMelon Says:

      Slitherlink was part of a power round? Weird… how would you make a hard math problem out of that? I presume all the problems in that round weren’t trivial.

  11. CA Math Says:

    It wasn’t the best power round in history, in most peoples’ opinions.

    Problem 1 was solving a three 5×5 puzzles;
    Problem 2 was fixing errors in supposed “answers;”
    Problem 3 was solving “basic theorem”s like the 3:3 case;
    Problem 4 was just a set of puzzles harder than (1) that used some (3);
    Problem 5 was just that the sum of the numbers inside the slitherlink must be even.

    So um, yeah. we had a nice advantage because someone was really familiar with Slitherlinks haha…

    • MellowMelon Says:

      No kidding it’s not the best power round in history… did they require you to write out the entire solving process for the puzzles you had to solve or something? Or could you just give an answer?

      I don’t think you’d have to be very familiar with Slitherlink to blow through that.

  12. Rajesh Kumar Says:

    Enjoyed solving this.

  13. Sharing Frustration (All 3s Slitherlink) | PuzzleMine Says:

    […] is like the actually painful version of¬†https://mellowmelon.wordpress.com/2010/02/21/puzzle-199/, which is still one of my favorite puzzles ever. Anyway, this puzzle is¬†indicative¬†of why I […]

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