Your task is to somehow convert the puzzle below to a list of _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _, in correct order. Everything you need to know is there. Good luck!

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  • $\begingroup$ "Everything you need to know is there." yet it's tagged knowledge ("A puzzle whose solution relies on external sources such as tables, dictionaries, Wikipedia, or specifics that may not be common knowledge."). Hm. $\endgroup$
    – msh210
    Feb 11 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ @msh210 I just meant the info given in the puzzle is enough to create a unique list of (something). Depending on ones knowledge, relying on external sources will be needed in different degrees, more for some and less for others. It's definitely not some obscure knowledge though. $\endgroup$ Feb 12 at 8:36
  • $\begingroup$ Is this list total? $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Feb 12 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ @PDT No there are other (something) that could be in this list. I just chose these $\endgroup$ Feb 12 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ I got an idea from the number of letters that’s is why I asked $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Feb 12 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


This is a puzzle "missing completion"...

Each block of 5x5 letters is an

alphabet missing a letter. In fact each is missing a vowel (noted by PDT).
Replacing each block in the grid with the missing letter gives:

Next, noting that

The first four letters of the random text are "CTRY", and we are supposed to find a "list of _________(9)", assume we are looking for a list of COUNTRIES that fill in the patterns we found. This is easily done:

Next, figure out what the black boxes represent:

I started with the bottom row and noticed that the boxed letters are: 'EOCIAN'. These are readily seen as the distinct letters in OCEANIA, the "continent" of Nauru. Looking at row 2, 'AIS', are the distinct letters in ASIA, the continent of Yemen. Doing the same for the rest gives:


The last step is that we are asked to put these in "correct order".

To determine what this means, note that there is little additional information in the puzzle.
The choice of letters in each block is likely random and has no information (other than "CTRY") given that each occurrence of a vowel uses the same block, and no other text is apparent.
The choice of boxed letters in each box is likely not important as they were mostly forced by the name of the continent.
The positions of the blocks is likely not important as they are dictated by the names of the countries chosen.
There are a lot of 5 letter countries, so the excluded 5 letter countries likely contain no information.
So the only remaining information is the choice of the 5 countries themselves. But looking at the list of 5 countries, I'm not seeing anything that would give a particular order (vs. say by population or alphabetic, etc). My conclusion is that the "correct order" is the order presented, and the continent names are merely given as confirmation of the theme. (This is confirmed by op) Proposed answer:
Aruba, Yemen, Haiti, Samoa, Nauru

  • $\begingroup$ Ah nice one I was close since I guessed it was about countries but I couldn’t make the connection in time $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Feb 12 at 17:40
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Well done! This is actually it, I just meant the order presented. The rot13(PGEL) was completely unintentional but it looks like it helped out :D $\endgroup$ Feb 12 at 18:14

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