This is the sixth Chain Puzzle in the Tabletop Games series, in which all puzzles are themed around board games, card games, tile games, and the like. The answer to this puzzle is a thematic word or phrase. The solver whose answer is awarded the green checkmark has first refusal on the opportunity to create the next puzzle in the series, which must somehow incorporate the answer to this puzzle somewhere within its construction. The solver is under no obligation to create the next puzzle - in the event that the solver does not wish to take up this opportunity, the puzzle's setter may take up the offer of a willing substitute setter or choose to continue the chain themselves.

The answer to the previous puzzle (which provided the theme for this one) was SORRY.

I'm so sorry to not come up with a story
so let me apologize with this piece of poetry.

This time you'll solve a Hitori
but not one of the ordinary,
as the black cells will have a buddy,
otherwise they'll be so lonely...

Once you've solved the Hitori,
read the rows using the rules of Sorry,
and you'll see the next game to play.
Beware, every single rule counts!

Solve the following Hitori Blocks puzzle, and apply Sorry rules to identify the four-letter name of the next game. It's up to you to find out how to apply the rules on the completed grid.

Rules of Hitori Blocks:

  1. (Hitori rule) Shade some cells black. Shading a cell erases the number in that cell.
  2. (Hitori rule) Unshaded cells must be connected, and no row or column may have more than one occurrence of any given number.
  3. (Variant rule) Shaded cells must form dominoes. No two dominoes may share an edge.

The hints are crossposted to the Chain Puzzle chat room. Note that the chatroom may contain other spoilers.

Hint 0-1:

There's a link to a specific section of the rules.

Hint 0-2:

6s and 9s can be entirely ignored after solving the Hitori part, as those cards are not used in Sorry.

Hint 1:

Please don't overthink, and focus on the individual cards' instructions. Where are the Sorry! cards?

Hint 2: (revised)

Imagine playing Sorry alone, with only one peg. Shaded cells are significant, regardless of the erased numbers.

Hint 3: (read as Nobody's getting visible progress, so I'd just drop the intended interpretation of the Hitori solution in order to prevent the chain from dying. Sorry!)

Interpret shaded cells as "Sorry!" cards, and interpret unshaded numbers (except 6 and 9) as respective number cards. Since you're playing Sorry alone with only one peg, number cards will move your only peg accordingly, and "Sorry!" cards will reset your only peg back to Start (1 or 2 to escape the start rule applies).

Chain Puzzles are a novel approach to puzzle series creation, in which the solver of the previous puzzle in the chain becomes the setter of the next.


2 Answers 2


OK I found the answer, it is an actual game:

For the hitori, see the other answer


"read the rows using the rules of Sorry"
As I said in the chat room earlier: I'm not a native speaker, but to me it suggests that each row is an individual result (to be used for something), you should not continue on the next row. Does that make sense?

Still I could not think of a way to use sorry cards, maybe the sorry words in the poem had something to do with it? (unlikely). The third hint helped "Interpret shaded cells as "Sorry!" cards"
Now playing a line will get only 4 paws in the field (the rest of the lines has no 1 or two after the last shaded square.
Line 1: (5) 1 12
line 3: 1
line 6: (6 shaded?, does not matter) 1 8 12 5
line 11: 1 8 4
assuming letters it must be 1 based due to line 3, ands since the 4 moves backwards the answer is:
13,1,26,5 i.e. MAZE

Note: Assuming this is correct: I certainly will not make new one before the weekend, and I don't have the rules of this game.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is the intended answer. According to Wikipedia, "tabletop games" include card games and pencil-and-paper games, so you (or whoever will create the next puzzle) may interpret it as a solitaire or a pathfinding game on paper. $\endgroup$
    – Bubbler
    Nov 2, 2020 at 12:03

Partial answer. Full write-up of the Hitori solution.

First of all, if there are four successive cells with the same number, the cells at both ends must be shaded - either of them being white would force the other three to be shaded and we can't have three shaded cells next to each other.

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Looking at the four successive 9s on the right side, the second from the top cannot be unshaded because it would cause two unshaded 6s next to each other.

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So the third 9 from the top must be unshaded. This forces the two 6s to the right to be shaded. Once we surround shaded dominoes with unshaded cells, those force some more shaded cells on the same row or column. Fill in everything that follows trivially, and we have a good portion of the right-hand side filled.

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Let's look at the 9s near the top-left corner. This one cannot be unshaded because it would cause a disconnection.

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Same story with the 9 directly below.

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So both 9s must be shaded. Fill in what can be deduced based on this.

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Let's consider spots where there are four cells with the same number forming a 2x2 square. Two of these must be shaded, and they can't form a domino in any direction because that would force two unshaded numbers next to each other. Knowing this, we can shade all instances of that number on the same row or column as the 2x2 square. This gives us two 11s in the lower-right corner and three 6s near the left middle.

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Fill everything that can be trivially deduced from here.

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Now, this 11 at the bottom cannot be shaded.

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Fill in everything from here.

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Now, this 6 cannot be shaded because there is no way to prevent the 6s above it from clashing.

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Mark that as unshaded and fill everything from there.

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Either of these cells being shaded would disconnect the entire upper-left corner.

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Once those are marked unshaded, trivial deductions fill the rest of the grid.

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