Puzzle Genius


Shirokuro is played on a square grid that contains black and white circles. Here’s what a small Shirokuro puzzle looks like:

An example of a Shirokuro puzzle

The goal of Shirokuro is to connect all the black and white circles into pairs by drawing a line between them either horizontally or vertically, according to some rules:

  • Each circle must be connected to one other circle of the opposite colour.
  • Circles must be connected by horizontal or vertical lines, but never diagonal ones.
  • Connecting lines must not cross over each other or pass through other circles.

This is what the example puzzle looks like once it’s been solved:

The solution to the example Shirokuro puzzle.

Tips for Solving Shirokuro

Start with the corners. If a circle is near the corner, or even an edge, it may have limited directions it can connect in.

Limit options. If connecting a circle in one particular direction would make it impossible to connect another circle, then reconsider that choice.

Work incrementally. Don't try to map out long connections immediately. Work step by step, ensuring that each connection you make doesn't block future connections.

Avoid loops and crossings. Lines cannot cross over each other. If you see a setup that's leading to this scenario, you'll need to adjust.

As always, the more Shirokuro puzzles you solve, the better you'll get at spotting patterns and strategies.

Where to Play

Want to try out some Shirokuro? We have options. We sometimes include them in our free Puzzle Weekly magazine – you should totally sign up for that if you haven’t already, as it puts 28 brand new puzzles in your inbox every week.

You can also find four levels of Shirokuro puzzles in our Jumbo Adult Puzzle Book – which happens to include more than 500 puzzles of 20 different varieties.

Puzzle Genius is an imprint of Shelfless.
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