From the Foxger’s Den #5: Cross the Streams

Cross The Streams by Grant Fikes


or solve online (using our beta test of Penpa-Edit tools)

Theme: Two Hard!

Rules: Standard Cross the Streams rules.

Answer String: Enter the length in cells of each of the black segments from left to right for the marked rows, and from top to bottom for the marked columns, going in order from A to B to C to D and separating each row’s entry with a comma.

Time Standards (highlight to view): Grandmaster = 5:45, Master = 11:15, Expert = 22:30

Solution: PDF

  • Scott Handelman says:

    12:08. Not horrible. Nice puzzle!

  • chaotic_iak says:

    05:17. Fiendish, but not terribly bifurcate-only, puzzle. Knowing a certain pattern along the twos give the puzzle away though; the time mostly measures how fast you can spot them all.

    I’m curious about the next week’s author.

  • Craig K says:

    This puzzle was definitely not for the faint of heart. I really had to keep on my toes to spot the next step. Very nice!

  • Well, a return to form; after meeting the master time on the Thursday puzzle, I worked 20 minutes here before reaching a contradiction that I couldn’t tweak my way out of. I really do enjoy these Cross the Streams puzzles (I know vanilla Paint-By-Numbers puzzles don’t get much love, but they were the first logic puzzle I really took a shine to), and I hope we more of them in the future.

    • Scott Handelman says:

      I like the Cross the Streams ruleset too, though I fear that there are probably just too *many* rules for it to ever break into the mainstream (whatever that means).

  • TheSubro says:

    Great finish to the week Grant. I was a smidgeon under the expert time, after wasting what must have been 7-10 minutes before I came to appreciate the 2’s in the corners and then the constraints on the twos along the way.

    Thanks for some great puzzles this week.


  • I had to bifurcate in a couple of places, but reached contradictions quickly. I think with some more practice I could see those deductions without scratch work.

    Nice logic that you don’t typically see in either Paint-by-numbers or nurikabe.

  • skynet says:

    more than 1 and a half hours.Got broken thrice.Took a break and tried again in the evening.
    Strangely for some reason my brain seemed to assume that once 2 out of the 3 question mark clues on the left were done the 3rd clue must be in such a way that it shades all the other remaining cells.
    Realised how stupid i was after i completed in the evening.
    Disappointed that my times increase exponentially when the puzzles get tougher.
    Good Hard puzzle.

  • ArDeeJ says:

    ~ 19 minutes

    I had solved about three fourths by the 10 minute mark, at which point I hit a wall and my brain broke. Then, after eight or so minutes of somewhat distracted staring I spotted what I’d neglected and filled in the rest in a minute or so.
    Didn’t expect the times to be that forgiving…

    I really liked this one, fun pattern-spotting.

  • Francis says:

    Nicely challenging. I kinda though I’d never see a Paint-by-Numbers variant that had any depth to it, but I have clearly been proven wrong.

  • Carl W says:

    14:14 I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The solving was very thematic, with lots of repeated tricks. But they never felt repetitious and were instead like little surprises, “Oh, I get to use that trick again!”.

    I didn’t prove uniqueness in the final step. With a fairly large open area in the grid and just a couple of givens left I could see one solution that was definitely going to work. I’ll have to go back now and prove my way through that point.

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