This is the tenth and final Chain Puzzle in the Tabletop Games series, in which all puzzles are themed around board games, card games, tile games, and the like. Once this puzzle is solved, this Chain Puzzle series is complete!

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

enter image description here
Image credit: Orthuberra and Devjoe, CC-BY-SA 3.0.

This is a map similar to the one used in the board game Risk. Apart from the map, no knowledge of the game is required for solving. The answer to each of the clues listed below is the name of a place in the real world located in one of the numbered regions of the map, one per region. The answers traverse the entire map, crossing land borders and using maritime connections (marked with black lines).

For many of these answers, there are several places in the world with the same name. The definition part of the clue always points towards the correct interpretation. For example, if the answer is "London" and the definition is "country's capital" it is safe to assume the clue can refer to the London in England but not the one in Ontario.

Two letters in each clue must be highlighted, forming a final 84-letter answer. Clues are divided into eight types. Four clue types require changes to be made to one word of the clue – producing a new, real word – before solving.

  • Seven Pictionary clues have been hastily scribbled together, and as a result one line is missing from the clue. (This can be an entire letter or part of one – any line that can be drawn with one stroke without lifting the pen or tracing back.)
  • Six Maze clues display uncertainty about which way to go. As a result, one word has been written in the wrong direction.
  • Three Sorry! clues have had one letter swap places with another letter in the same word.
  • Seven Targui clues have had the letters of one word cycled by moving some number of letters from one end of the word to another, without otherwise changing their order.

In all of the above clue types, highlight one letter immediately preceding the modified word, and one letter immediately following it.

Four other clue types are normal cryptic clues with no modification needed:

  • Five Mornington Crescent clues have answers that share a name with a London tube station. Highlight the first and last letter of the clue.
  • Four Clue clues have answers that repeat themselves for no apparent reason. Take the length of the repeated part, and highlight one letter in that position from the start of the clue and one letter in the same position counting backwards from the end of the clue. (E.g. if the repeated part is three letters long, select the third and third-last letter of the clue.)
  • Five Yahtzee clues have answers that contain the same letter five times (or more). Highlight one letter from the start of the clue in the same position as the first instance of the repeated letter in the answer, and one letter from the end of the clue in the same position as the last instance of the repeated letter in the answer counting backwards from the end.
  • Five Scene It? clues have answers that share a name with a film or actor that has won at least one Academy Award. Most of the answers are household names; one is somewhat obscure and hails from Southeast Asia. Count the letters in the film title or the actor's first name, and highlight one letter of the clue in that position starting from the beginning of the clue, and one letter in the same position when counting backwards from the end of the clue.

Clues start here

1. Terrible date with gal showing suburb of state capital in the south (7)
2. Ballplayer from Brazil put ball through hoop, taking apart an oil recreation displaying area of protected lands (6,8,4)
3. Top piece of wordplay Jack, conical Yankee, included in two articles (6,4)
4. Hero's name is used by this city as two friends rise up to protect university by the heart of suburbs (4-4)
5. Asgardian leader is ahead of Loki, occupying 6's historic city (6)
6. In part, visiting original place where many a monk prays (4)
7. Pea-brain's urban area (3,3)
8. Sun had spoilt swing in Basie's capital (8)
9. Cryptic meal in city of religious significance (6)
10. Reduplicated 6 by Oscar's area for wildlife conservation (10)
11. Like someone who might spoon in front of entrances of Bali, exotic resort island? (4,2)
12. Desert silver flipped, lost in paying Gambian (5)
13. Running Bangui wolf near Bangui? (6)
14. City in Costa Rica: home balance disrupted with removal of heart in bed (10)
15. Law enforcement officer with a prohibition to enter a taxi linked to every sandy area with the ocean in front of it (10,5)
16. Man in five-dollar bill in the US city located in southern hemisphere's west (7)
17. Head of navy has felt tactician struggling for lake (8)
18. Percussion instrument imported by Ollie heals very large bay (9)
19. Denounce a computer with orderly passage between major waters (6,5)
20. Capital of state's wealthy men, primarily working with textured finish (8)
21. North Shore city's decapitated, say, tuatara? Warts initially seen on both sides of it (4-4)
22. Mountain emit puncturing lemon for bananas (4,5)
23. Urban locality near the border is modern, in a buzz (6)
24. Not puzzled after cleaning coastal state? (10)
25. People belonging to First Nations, wearing shirt, take quick look to find small town (6,5)
26. Heights with brutal weather unit maintains union set right (9,9)
27. Summit once named for US head honcho railed peculiarly (6)
28. Rusty nail has to receive Tokyo topping island (8)
29. Distillery founded by Shinjiro Rats, supported by British conservative (7)
30. Auditor's genre that can be snug eastern capital (5)
31. Body of water's large, flowing leak interrupted by spot of bother – an invasive katamaran appeared (4,6)
32. Long-haired cattle, stuck at sea, struck head of caribou, Iberian arctic city (7)
33. No danger keeping Mali as industrial city? (7)
34. Most of Gobi, Ealing nearly full of cooked water (4,2,2)
35. Animal used when one's Ingrid off Rubles Peak (5,6)
36. Say, VSOP cut with a bit of OJ identifying island municipality in region that's autonomous (6)
37. Having evacuated Keith, regal administration's heads lead to heavy smoker (5)
38. Vine stresses dynamic range (5,7)
39. A battle site is tense, sides being in armed conflict… Behold, king has withdrawn (8)
40. Riviera town's journey to uncover case (8)
41. Shiniest place around – notable tar decorates its walls and ceiling (7,6)
42. Investor lost content invested in California grin yielding capital (5)

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.

  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Chain puzzles are something of a group effort by nature, and this puzzle is designed to be solvable piece by piece in whatever order, so teamwork and using the chatroom to work on the clues is absolutely allowed. I hope you have fun! Hopefully we'll get to see new chains with different themes soon. $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 22:54
  • 11
    $\begingroup$ Oh @jafe this is fantastic! Totally love how you've reused the other games that formed the chain within the clue styles - this is going to be EPIC to solve! Full marks for effort, presentation... EVERYTHING :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 23:46

1 Answer 1


The clue answers:

enter image description here

Sorted by group (and given in text form):

3: PUN + CAKJ* + A+(Y)+A; [[conical → comical]]
9: MEDINA*; [[meal → mead]]
12: NAMIB(-ga<)*; [[paying → playing]]
18: MARACA + IBO inits; [[heals → heads]]
27: DENALI*; [[railed → nailed]]
32: YAK + UTS(-c)K*; [[Iberian → Siberian]]
34: G(ULF(-l) OF*)OB; [[Ealing → Eating]]

13: UBANGI*; [[wolf → flow]]
21: S_ + ( (-r)EPTILE ) + S_; [[warts → straw]]
22: MON(T)FOREL*; [[emit → time]]
29: SUN + TORY; [[rats → star]]
31: L + AKE(BAIKA inits)L*; [[spot → tops]]
37: HEKLA*; [[regal → lager]]

11: NOSY + B_ E_; [[spoon → snoop]]
17: TITICACA(-n)*; [[felt → left]]
30. SEOUL ("soul"); [[snug → sung]]

5. A_ + NG(K)OR; [[Loki → kilo]]
8. DUSHAN* + B_E; [[swing → wings]]
28. SA(K_)HALIN*; [[Tokyo → Kyoto]]
33. NO RI(L)SK; [[Mali → Lima]]
35. MOUNT + ELBRUS* [[Ingrid → riding]]
41. SISTINE CHAPEL*; [[tar → art]]
42. CA + (I_R) + O; [[grin → ring]]

Mornington Crescent:
20. RICH + M_ + ON + _D
39. WA(T_E)R + LOO(-k)

4. (PAL< + (U) + PAL<) + U
7. DUM DUM ddef
40. TOUR + TO + U_R


Scene It:
6. _NGOR_ [Haing Somnang Ngor]
14. CASA + BLANCA(-e)* [Casablanca (1942)]
16. LINCOLN (ddef) [Lincoln (2012)]
24. WASHING + TON* [Denzel Washington]
36. BRAND(-y) + O(-j) [Marlon Brando]

And when you take the given pair of letters, and read those pairs of letters in clue order, it spells out the message:

"Thank you for participating in the first ever Chain Puzzle. We hope to see you again soon. Have a nice day!"

The full journey on a map (locations approximate), for reference (journey begins bottom-right):

enter image description here

(Various clues solved by bobble, Chris Cudmore, Deusovi, North, Stiv, and user39583 in the Chain Puzzles chatroom.)


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