Solution: Oceans Apart


Authors: Caroline Zhou, Darren Lee

Artists: Jamie Lai, Caroline Zhou

There are 3 parts to this puzzle (where step 1 and 2 can be done in parallel):

  1. Logic Puzzle
  2. Ship Identification
  3. Extraction

Logic Puzzle

This is a mashup of 2 logic puzzles (nonograms and battleships) with a twist (clued by “one-off tip” and “misinformation” in the flavortext): all of the red numbers and letters surrounding the grid are off-by-one. This means, for example, that a 2 should actually be a 1 or 3 and a B should actually be an A or C.

With this in mind, the logic puzzle can be solved by first finding the seas, then finding the ships.

Finding the Seas (Nonogram)

The letters beside (and below) the grid clue seas that are in that row (and column), similar to a typical nonogram puzzle. However, no information is given on how many cells belong to each sea, or in what order (seas are given alphabetically).

Although red seas are wrong, most of their values can be deduced immediately (without even assuming they are off-by-one) using the “contiguous region” rule. For example, row 2 must have a B, because B exists both above and below it (if row 2 didn’t contain B, then the Bs in rows 1 and 3 would be separated, and B would not form a contiguous region).

Starting with the edges of the grid, some progress can be made, but more information will be needed. As it turns out, the numbers (in range [49, 59]) next to the sea names have a sum that is equal to the sum of all the numbers inside the grid. This hints that the number next to each sea gives the sum of the numbers in that sea.

This is all the information needed to uniquely find all the seas. A more in-depth walkthrough can be found below.

Finding the Ships (Battleship)

Once the seas have been identified, we can start to find battleships. This follows standard battleship rules: the numbers beside (and above) the grid clue the number of battleship segments that are in that row (and column). (But, as mentioned above, they are off-by-one.) There is exactly one ship in each region, and like a standard battleship puzzle, ships do not touch (although, this assumption is not necessary to uniquely locate the ships).

A more in-depth walkthrough can be found below.

Final Grid

The completed logic puzzle should look like this, with green numbers/letters indicating the correct numbers and letters.


Ship Identification

The next part of the puzzle is to identify the 7 ships at the bottom of the page. It turns out that each ship clues a specific WEBTOON. Each ship’s name clues a WEBTOON’s title, and the sail is a specific panel from that WEBTOON.

(As a bonus: the grid’s shape and green outline resemble the WEBTOON logo, and the ships are Korean warships -- a nod to WEBTOON’s South Korean origins. These details were not necessary to notice.)


The final part of the puzzle is to figure out what each captain is saying.

The Ep : ( )Ep : ( ) above the battleship icons hint that each battleship yields an episode number and an index (for a specific WEBTOON). The episode numbers (black) are used to help locate the panels, and the index (gray) is used to extract a letter from the speaker’s (censored) speech bubble.

But how do we match each battleship in the grid to one of the WEBTOON ships below?

At this point, we turn to the sea names, which still remain unused. The initials of the seas spell out WEBTOON GENRESWEBTOON GENRES (read 1st words down A-G, then 2nd words down A-F). Each sea’s name uses adjectives that match a specific genre (e.g. Witty Giggly = Comedy). (Also, each sea’s color matches the color used on the WEBTOON site - but this is another detail that isn’t necessary to notice.)

Each WEBTOON has a canonical genre associated with it, which can be found by visiting its webpage (or looking at its URL). (Note that on the genres page, each WEBTOON is also listed under 2 genres, but only one is used.) Use this genre to match each WEBTOON ship with a battleship to find the episode with the panel and extract a letter.

Finally, (noticing that the WEBTOON ships were given in alphabetical order by clue), take the extracted letters and order A-G to get the thematic answer to the puzzle (and an answer to how you can help these troubled captains navigate the turbulent waters): SAILINGSAILING.

AlphaSeaGenreShip NameWebtoonEpisodeIndexSpeechLetter
AWitty GigglyComedyMighty Satanic Noble's Romantic CounselLove Advice from the Great Duke of Hell9114I DON'T WANT TO LOSE HIM AGAIN.S
BExcited EnergeticActionPansophical BibliophileOmniscient Reader292CAN I PUNCH YOU JUST THIS ONCE?A
DTopsy-turvy ReverieFantasyThy SeatYour Throne23MY LADY, YOU... ONLY LOVE HIS STATUS AND HIS THRONE!L
EOminous EvilHorrorStrange StoriesTales of the Unusual7044THERE ARE ALWAYS AT LEAST A FEW PEOPLE WHO’LL TRY TO BRING YOU DOWN IN LIFE..I
GNosyDramaPitfall with CheddarCheese in the Trap1111WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO IF BORA AND I START GOING OUT? HUH?!!!G

Logic Walkthrough

Sin Extraction

For the sin extraction, notice that in each sea, all digits 0-9 appear except for one digit (excluding the numbers that the ship covers).

Take these numbers and index into the speaking characters' names in A-G order. Some character names can be easily found in wikis. Some others are a little harder to find but usually their names will also be mentioned elsewhere in the episode.

AlphaCharacterMissing NumberExtraction

Authors’ Notes

  • This puzzle was inspired by Caroline’s love for WEBTOONs. She has a long list of recommendations for anyone who may be interested. We hope people enjoyed scanning through some of the WEBTOONs and might be interested in reading more after doing this puzzle. :)
  • All the characters are shown in states when they’re displaying some form of Envy, to thematically tie into the sin extraction. This thematic framing also spurred our idea to do a “lying” logic puzzle, where people might spread misinformation to others out of envy. Coincidentally, episode numbers are often also “off-by-one” from their # (e.g. for Cheese in the Trap, episode 1 is #2 in the series… this is because WEBTOONs often include a prologue, which is episode 0.)
  • Originally, all 93 episodes of Unholy Blood were publically available, but after we started writing the puzzle, it went to Daily Pass (meaning only the first 12 episodes are free, and to see more, you need to download the App), so we had to use an early episode. Despite the possibility of people brute forcing it by scanning all the public episodes, we liked the WEBTOON enough to keep it. (Plus, we see it as a plus if people are reading through it :)).
  • In addition to the WEBTOONs referenced in this puzzle, Caroline also recommends: