Noku Puzzle explained

What is a Noku?

A Noku is an abstract image made of dots joined with curved lines. The dots appear at the position of the letters of the word the Noku represents. The letters are arranged in a 5 x 5 grid, like this:


Nokus are so called because there's no letter Q (it's replaced by a K, or in the case of QU by KW). Obviously, with no Q, we had to call it a Noku!

How to read a Noku

The Noku for Cat is:

You read a Noku by starting at the larger dot and following the lines in a clockwise motion. Each smaller dot represents a stopping point for a letter.

In this case, start at the C (larger dot), across to the A (keeping the clockwise motion), then round to the T.

The same rules always apply:

  1. Always follow the lines clockwise, never anti-clockwise.
  2. Double letters have a circle around them, but remember a letter may be used more than once at different parts of the word or phrase (for example, the t in 'tatters').
  3. Lines may also be used more than once (for example, the line from s to a in 'sausages' would be used twice).
  4. Text only - numbers, spaces and punctuation are removed. If you want to include numbers, write the number as text (for example, nine, not 9).
  5. The letter A (top left) is marked with a small cross to keep you oriented.
  6. There are no straight lines, you should always follow a curve. Sometimes curves blend to form straight lines which can trick the eye.
  7. Some points may have more than one clockwise line emanating from them - it's up to you to decide which is the correct route.
  8. Nokus are limited to 50 characters.

To help visualise the layout of the alphabet, click the alphabet layouticon in the top right.

See if you can decipher the following:

You can experiment by creating your own Nokus.

Who invented Noku?

Nokus are the brainchild of Andy Coughlan; filmmaker, writer and coder of silly ideas. If you like Noku, you may also like Koalas (link opens in new tab).

Love or loathe Noku? Let Andy know:


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