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This is the seventh 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 MAZE.


I guess everyone knows what a maze is, a place where you are lost, no clue where to go. My mazes may not be that difficult, but if you don't do them blindfolded, you might hurt your eyes. Unless you are colorblind, but then you probably will have big trouble figuring out what the actual game to play is. Sorry about that.

As always, figure out the game hidden in the puzzle. Good luck.

Disclaimer: The mazes are not pixel perfect; that is due to my limited artistic ability (and because I could not restrain myself to wait till the weekend for some additional attention): no subtle hints are to be found. (an example: there is only one circle in m-purple in the red 3 by 5)

Entry hint:

Regarding the circles: This is not some sf-game (like Dune) or fantasy game (like Kemet): Teleportation does not exist, there is only movement to adjacent areas.

:exit hint.

Late game hint:

in no particular order: From green see only green, from red see only red, from blue see only blue etc.

enter image description here

Security Report

EverythingSecure Inc. has been hired by Mazes Inc. to investigate a security incident.

Background:

A document from Mazes Inc. has been circling on the internet. Although it seems a harmless draft not related to one of their product lines, they are afraid that it has to do with the soon to be released 3D-maze construction puzzles. There is no indication yet that the competition has got anything useful out of it, but the content of the document, as well as how it was leaked should be investigated.

Case 60345: Leakage of weird mazes sketch.

Finding 1, Secret: Clearance level green and higher only

Our engineering department, finally has figured out the sketch. It turned out not to show all engineering specs, and the different colors of the circles turned out not to matter. Whether they were added according to the colorful company style or to let it appear as a 2d puzzle is unclear, but it is definitely an early blueprint of the 3d new puzzle line.
Engineering has been able to make a top secret replica.

Finding 2, Confidential: Clearance level black and higher only

A competitor, Graylocke Inc., has been found to show interest in the document. Known to make puzzles with lockes, including their well selling escape rooms, we are sorry to inform you the might be branching out into mazes. If they bring out a dull gray maze, that may well damage your brand.
Luckily they seem you only have partly decoded the text message, which our team has determined not to matter in the construction process.

Advice: in such cases use our super secure EverythingSecure-TM rot13 encoding. As a regular user of our services, available to you for halve price.

Finding 3, Top secret: Clearance level purple and higher only

See below one of the labyrinth pieces engineering has been able to create.
(beware: Intellectual property of Maze Inc.)
enter image description here

Finding 4, Top secret: Clearance level brown and higher only

A Mazes Inc. employee has designed a domino game for children.
According to regulations he has offered his game to the company first. Domino has little to do with mazes so, no matter the colorful design, they will not market it.
Before he is allowed to use it non commercially - according to procedure during our assignment - we are asked to investigate.

Fbzr bs bhe ntragf qrpvqrq gb cynl n srj tnzrf jvgu guvf qbzvab frg, naq qvfpbirerq fbzrguvat irel qvfgheovat: Guvf rzcyblrr xabjf ng yrnfg gjb bs bhe frphevgl yriryf! Abg gb nebhfr fhfcvpvba, jr unir fjnccrq gur oyhr naq oynpx pbybef nf jryy nf punatrq checyr gb nabgure pbybe, fb gur tnzr pna or hfrq fnsryl.
Jr unir jvcrq gur zrzbel bs gurfr punatrf sebz gur rzcyblrrf zrzbel, fb jr pna vairfgvtngr guvf shegure haabgvprq.
Cyrnfr pbasvez gur ahzoref sbhaq. Qb abg funer jvgu Znmrf vap.!
enter image description here

decoded:

Some of our agents decided to play a few games with this domino set, and discovered something very disturbing: This employee knows at least two of our security levels! Not to arouse suspicion, we have swapped the blue and black colors as well as changed purple to another color, so the game can be used safely. We have wiped the memory of these changes from the employees memory, so we can investigate this further unnoticed.
Please confirm the numbers found. Do not share with Mazes inc.!

Finding 5, Secret: Clearance level green and higher only

One of our cryptanalysts has made a breakthrough, the came running into the main conference room claiming to have the solution. He immediately started waving with a piece of paper and calling out "From the blue side, from the". Then the security kicked in: Considering blue level employees were in the room, he was sedated. Regrettably he has not yet come out of it. All green+ employees are requested to study his sketch.
enter image description here

Finding 6, Top secret: Clearance level yellow and higher only

Gur oyhrcevag vf fbyirq naq vf rkgerzryl qvfgheovat, bhe frphevgl yriryf unir orra pbzcebzvmrq hc gb cvax yriry. Jr nffhzr gur frperg zrffntr va gur oyhrcevag jnf gurer gb jnea hf, cebonoyl ol gur Znmrf vap. rzcyblrr gung nyfb znqr gur qbzvabf jura jr pyrneyl qvq abg znxr cebterff. Gb onq jr jvcrq uvf zrzbel. Vairfgvtngvba grnz: Tb gb fbhgurea Nytrevn vzzrqvngryl. Jr nffhzr n Znmr vap. rzcyblrr gurer vf n fcl, jub hfrq bhe eryngvba jvgu Znmr vap. gb trg npprff gb bhe flfgrzf. Pbzchgre grnz: Cresbez na vzzrqvngr yriry 5 purpx ba nyy bhe flfgrzf.

decoded:

The blueprint is solved and is extremely disturbing, our security levels have been compromised up to pink level. We assume the secret message in the blueprint was there to warn us, probably by the Mazes Inc. employee that also made the dominos when we clearly did not make progress. To bad we wiped his memory. Investigation team: Go to southern Algeria immediately. We assume a Maze Inc. employee there is a spy, who used our relation with Maze Inc. to get access to our systems. Computer team: Perform an immediate level 5 check on all our systems.

More and clearer hints:

Earlier construction hints:

You are asked to construct a 3 dimensional maze.
The 7 pictures are the parts of that maze: 3-dimensional blocks, 1 layer high, shown top down.
The circles are additional openings , in the 'floor' or ceiling. Their color has no meaning. (Use bottom or ceiling as how it will fit.)
The result will be a 3 by 4 by 5 block.

Not stated earlier:

The maze is made by matching openings, the final maze will have 1 entry and 1 exit (i.e. 2 openings left)
If you traverse the maze -guessing the entrance right- the letters will form a sentence/hint.
If this sentence does not emerge, a block may be upside down, or - if you did not pick the shortest route - part of the sentence may be backwards.

Earlier game finding hints:

Each of the 6 sides is associated with a color.
From "the blue side" you are supposed to see a T-shaped form. (shown as blue squares with pink and red borders)
The (optional) security level and domino hints link colors to numbers.
- In the domino black and blue are swapped, play domino with one of those colors taken into account to find a number (match symbol and side). This is the number of the other color (since they were swapped)
- The security levels restrict the order in the colors.
The game has a desert theme.

Not stated earlier:

From the other 5 sides you will also 'see' a letter.
The game is a 6 letter word.
The 'blue side' is the side where the blue piece is positioned (i.e. where all its cubes are adjacent to) etc.

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    $\begingroup$ I have two questions about walls in your update! 1: Is there a wall in the pink 2x3 between e and s? 2: Are there boundary walls on the 4x2 on the right of 6 and below h and e? $\endgroup$ – Graylocke Nov 5 '20 at 6:37
  • $\begingroup$ No,and no, no, only the thick lines are walls. $\endgroup$ – Retudin Nov 5 '20 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ (Re the above comments.) Oh, wow, that changes everything. $\endgroup$ – msh210 Nov 5 '20 at 9:09
  • $\begingroup$ I thought that would fall under my disclaimer 'no subtle hints'. It seemed clear to me that you were to think (initially) that (e.g.) in the two by two, you could go l-z-'teleport to empty'- t crossing several thin lines in the process, which 'thus' are not walls, but area separators. note also: The fact that the circle in the 2 by 4 had to be moved was not only the correction of a stupid error, but also a hint. $\endgroup$ – Retudin Nov 5 '20 at 11:26
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    $\begingroup$ Why both an encoded and a decoded version of the same messages? There's not much of a point in rot13ing if you've already spoilered it. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Nov 7 '20 at 16:43
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Solved at last! The pieces of the maze should be put together like this:

enter image description here

The maze is a three-dimensional 3x4x5 block, represented here as 3 layers. For ease of visualisation, different blocks appear as different colours (according to the colour of their walls in the original diagram - grey represents the black block so internal walls can still be seen). Cells shaded with a slightly lighter colour (in the left and middle layers) show where a person moving through the maze can move 'forward' a layer (i.e. from left to middle, or from middle to right).

This interpretation relies on using the arrows as entry or exit points from a block (not necessarily in the direction indicated in the original diagram) and circles representing holes to permit passage orthogonally from the shapes in the diagram. Note that my interpretation requires the addition of two arrows to the brown-walled 2x4 into/out of the 'h' and 'e' cells in the bottom-right corner...

We can then enter the maze through the 'l' in the red block and exit via the 'e' in the same block, spelling a message while we traverse the maze, which says:

LOOK AT A PUZZLE FROM ALL 6 SIDES TO FIND THE GAME

Found as follows (dashed/dotted lines represent movement forward/back between layers, not all cells are part of the route):

enter image description here

Easter Egg: Two dead ends in this maze spell the phrases "Look at a puzzle from all 6 sides" (terminating in the pink region) and "Look at a puzzle from all 6 sides to see them" (in the blue) - neither ends up exiting the maze as the true message is supposed to, but both serve as distractions to our purpose!

Next, we need to derive the name of a 6-letter tabletop game from this maze construction. The way to do this is to notice that:

Each of the 6 sides of the maze wholly contains one of the starting pieces. Moreover, the colours of these pieces also feature as colours of some cells in other pieces. (The only piece not on an edge is the 2x3 piece with pink walls - no other cells in the maze are pink, so this one plays no part in the next step...)

Then we must interpret some of the hints in the puzzle text and maze message to realise we are required to:

Look at the completed maze from each side in turn and note the positions of cells sharing a colour with the side from which we are looking. These cells together form the shape of a letter for the final answer.

For example, if we re-colour the maze using its original cell colours like so:

enter image description here

...and focus solely on the black cells, we see the following:

enter image description here

Here, overlaying the maze layers in the same plane as the black-walled piece and focussing only on the black cells yields a shape which resembles a sideways 'A'.

Meanwhile, we can do the same in this plane for the green cells:

enter image description here

This appears to be a lower-case 'g' or 'e' with reflection.

If we repeat the process for the other colours we can extract the following letters:

enter image description here

i.e. the letters A g i R T u

Of course, it is possible that with reflection/rotation the 'g' might actually be an 'e', while the 'u' might be an 'n' or a 'v'. However, there does exist a board game with a desert theme (as per an earlier hint) that uses these letters, which suggests that the solution to this puzzle, upon rearranging these letters, is:

TARGUI!

NB Given the amount of flavour text to this puzzle it is likely that there are further 'Easter Eggs' or hints which point towards this solution (for instance, a reference to Algeria - the region in which this game is set) which I may have missed. Feel free to mention them in comments below if you find any!

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  • $\begingroup$ Finally, well done. Now let us hope I did not underestimate the difficulty of the second part too. For completeness: The dead end branches of the maze read "look at a puzzle from all 6 sides" and "look at a puzzle from all 6 sides to see them". $\endgroup$ – Retudin Nov 12 '20 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ @Retudin Ah yes, I did spot one of the dead ends (the one ending in 'sides') because that threw me for a while and it took me a moment to spot the hole through to the correct route! I'll take a look at the next step later. Hopefully this will reignite the discussion in the chatroom too and we can find your solution! $\endgroup$ – Stiv Nov 12 '20 at 12:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Retudin I think I've found your hidden letters for the final answer, but for some reason their order/anagram is eluding me - I make the letters rot13(GEVNAT); do I have those right at least? $\endgroup$ – Stiv Nov 12 '20 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ No Tbbq wbo, "nyzbfg" jbhyq or yrff zvfyrnqvat $\endgroup$ – Retudin Nov 12 '20 at 15:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Retudin I've swapped my 'g' for an 'e'. The other possible exchange I see is 'v' for 'n' - am I anywhere close now? $\endgroup$ – Stiv Nov 12 '20 at 18:30
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So my initial guess may not be correct, however it could be:

A Rubik's Cube

Points in favour of my conclusion:

By pulling apart the puzzle, I can find rules that would let you traverse the pieces of the puzzle to pull out several text segments:
enter image description here

which could be rearranged into
TO FIND THE GAMES THEME LOOK AT A PUZZLE FROM ALL 6 SIDES SEE

Also:

The maze segments all fit into 3x3 grids if you are allowed to fold them along a solid wall piece.

Points you may want to set against my solution:

There are more than the standard 6 colours on a Rubik's cube.
There are 60 squares total in the mazes, not the 54 you would expect from a 3x3x6 cube.

I feel it is a good enough answer to maybe be true.. but I may be missing something that might line up more neatly!

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice try, but there is a solid wall at the end of this path (i.e. wrong answer). $\endgroup$ – Retudin Nov 4 '20 at 8:59
  • $\begingroup$ Lol I always get you two mixed up! Because of your rep and icon. $\endgroup$ – Prince Deepthinker Nov 4 '20 at 12:22

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