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Background: As part of the entertainment at my brother's wedding - which took place in the UK on May the 4th this week - I created a puzzle hunt 'for a general audience' and a range of ages to fit with the day's Star Wars theme. The following 9 sub-puzzles were dotted about the wedding venue, each accompanied by an optional hint and a set of basic instructions (both accessed by lifting a flap, so that those who wished to engage in the hunt in the traditional instruction-less manner would be able to do so). The prize for solving? A free drink of Blue Milk from the bar!

With the groom's permission (and credit for some final presentational tweaks to fit with their other printed paraphernalia) here is the puzzle hunt, presented for the Puzzling audience in its raw form - no additional hints or sub-puzzle instructions provided. The prize for solving? A green checkmark (we're out of milk, sorry...)!


Puzzle hunt scenario:

A crime has been committed in the galaxy! Something has been stolen – but what, by who, and from where?

There are four suspects: DOOKU, JABBA, SNOKE and VADER

The four rumoured locations are: ENDOR, JAKKU, NABOO and YAVIN

The four items that may have been stolen are: DROID, GROGU, SKIFF and XWING

Each of the following 9 sub-puzzles will reveal the name of an innocent suspect, location or item, enabling you to rule them out of contention. One suspect, one location, and one item will remain - these are the ones involved in the crime!

Can you solve all the sub-puzzles and claim your bounty? (NB No additional Star Wars knowledge is required.)

May the Force Fourth be with you!

In the first instance, please hold off posting partial answers unless you think you have solved at least half of the sub-puzzles (although if you make it that far, why not push to complete the whole puzzle!). Thank you, and enjoy!

Click on each image to view the sub-puzzles in a larger size, or see the text transcriptions and selected images below:

Episode I Episode II Episode III

Episode IV Episode V Episode VI

Episode VII Episode VIII Episode IX


Episode I: Mind the Gap

These aren't the letters you're looking for.

OR

RL

WFLA

USTR

BAIGST


Episode II: Sudoku-search

Obi-Wan was wise to hide it from you...

Episode II grid
Solve on Penpa+


Episode III: Star Wardle

Never tell me the words!

Z H
I * Y L
T * U M
Y * L P
Y * * G
# # # # #

Solve on Penpa+. Cells marked with an asterisk are yellow; Cells marked with an octothorpe are green; All other cells are grey.


Episode IV: Take Five

I find your lack of five disturbing...

AARDVARK [U] BABY [D] CALCITE [A] DAPHNE [O] EAGLE [I]
ABERDEEN [V] BADGER [E] CARDIFF [B] DATE [R] EARWIG [J]
ALADDIN [W] BADMINTON [F] CARP [D] DELTA [S] EEL [K]
ALBANIA [X] BAMBI [G] CHEEK [E] DENMARK [U] EINSTEINIUM [N]
ALBATROSS [Y] BANANA [I] CHEETAH [F] DERBY [V] ELASTIGIRL [O]
ALPHA [A] BARIUM [J] CHERRY [G] DIAMOND [W] ELDERBERRY [R]
ALUMINIUM [B] BATH [K] CHI [I] DIAPHRAGM [X] ELEPHANT [S]
AMETHYST [D] BEETLE [N] CHLORINE [J] DIVING [Y] EMERALD [U]
ANCHOVY [E] BELGIUM [O] CINDERELLA [K] DOG [A] ENCANTO [V]
ANT [F] BERYL [R] COCKROACH [N] DOGFISH [B] EPSILON [W]
APPLE [G] BETA [S] CROATIA [O] DOVE [D] EQUESTRIAN [X]
ARCHERY [I] BLACKBIRD [U] CROW [R] DRAGONFLY [E] ESTONIA [Y]
ARM [J] BLADDER [V] CURLING [S] DUBNIUM [F] EXETER [A]
AUGUSTUS [K] BREAM [W] CYBORG [U] DUMBO [G] EYE [B]

Episode V: All Square

Once you start down (or along) the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

Ex-footballer and TV presenter, Jermaine
Precise, accurate, and completely correct
? ? ? ? ?
Fruit of the oak tree
Small rock, or fourteen pounds

Episode VI: Coded Countries

What I told you was Peru, from a certain point of view…

QVSP
QOSWH
NSCSX
ZJISQO
AUMQBE
LQXWSXT
RUXUDJUWS
FSXKWSTUYG

A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Episode VII: A Heart-to-Heart

Join me, and together we can rouge the galaxy as father and son.

Episode VII playing cards image


Episode VIII: Odd-One-Out

That’s no moon – so it’s the odd-one-out…

AMERICA, CAROLINA, DAKOTA, KOREA, SUSSEX

CHRISTMAS, EASTER, EPIPHANY, HANUKKAH, PENTECOST

CRETE, CYPRUS, HAWAII, MALTA, SICILY

CARROT, DAFFODIL, PARSNIP, POTATO, RADISH

ALLIGATOR, CHAMELEON, GIRAFFE, IGUANA, TURTLE


Episode IX: Riddle Me This

Use the photos, Luke...

My first is in
First (a)
(6)
but never in
First (b)
(3)

My second's in
Second (a)
(7)
never in
Second (b)
(3)

My third is in
Third (a)
(8)
and also in
Third (b)
(4)

My fourth is in
Fourth (a)
(9)
never in
Fourth (b)
(4)

My last is in
Last (a)
(7)
and also in
Last (b)
(6)

My whole is an option that you can cross off!


Metapuzzle: Which suspect, location, and item remain?


The fonts used in the formatted sub-puzzles are Lucky Typewriter (Lukas Krakora) and Mandalore (Iconian Fonts).

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are those who attended the wedding allowed to answer 😉? (Not saying I did) $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Commented May 10 at 2:40
  • $\begingroup$ @PDT Haha! No reason why not - as long as the write-up is all there :) (That would be a totally weird coincidence...!) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented May 10 at 5:59
  • $\begingroup$ I could only get the Sudoku solved, but at least TIL that # is called an octothorpe :) $\endgroup$
    – CrSb0001
    Commented May 10 at 13:55

1 Answer 1

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Puzzle I (Shout out to an anonymous genius who spotted the first two and allowed me to complete the rest).

This is pointing to SNOKE. Why? Because if you blend the letter strings with SNOKE (maintaining their original orders) you get words: (SNOKE is hidden among them you could say): SNOOKER, SNORKEL, SNOWFLAKE, SUNSTROKE, BASINGSTOKE

Puzzle II

Points to X-WING because (thanks to Beastly Gerbil in the comments) following the word search hint in the title in the 5th column you can find x-wing going down. Here is the completed grid with the highlighted part- it is basically a sudoku using the letters X,W,I,N,G,O,U,R,D instead of 1-9: enter image description here

Puzzle III

This is a WORDLE puzzle which points to ENDOR. The method here was really simple: I just filled the blanks paying close attention to the yellows making sure that they can spell one of the words as an anagram (the positions didn’t match) and that the letters in grey are not included in it. (All this was construed from the rules of WORDLE). enter image description here
According to the OP: there is only one common English word that can fill each line (at least in the UKACD).

Puzzle IV

Points to DOOKU
Since if you group one item from each column into a group of 5. The groups being MAMMALS, CITIES IN THE UK, DISNEY FILMS, COUNTRIES, BIRDS, GREEK LETTERS, ELEMENTS, PRECIOUS GEMS, FISHES, INSECTS, FRUITS, OLYMPIC SPORTS, and BODY-PARTS: enter image description here If one takes the five leftover options from left to right (and top to bottom) one can spot stray members from other 'famous fives': (SPICE GIRLS’) BABY (D), (SCOOBY DOO GANG’s) DAPHNE (O), (THE INCREDIBLES') ELASTIGIRL (O) (WONKA GOLDEN TICKET WINNERS') AUGUSTUS (K), and (TEEN TITANS') CYBORG (U). The letters next to them spell out DOOKU.

Puzzle V

This points to NABOO. Finding the words corresponding to the definitions creates a word square since it is what is needed to fill in the middle to complete the square:
enter image description here
My aha moment came after realizing that all the 4 words had five letters and so I put them all under one another looking for something significant, since I have wasted too much of my life on PSE and thus seeing many tricks I guessed that maybe the letters of some of the columns going down and across spelt something out and then I spotted it was a word square!

Puzzle VI

This is a cryptogram and the countries are Iraq, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Mexico, Finland, Venezuela and Bangladesh! My method was using an online program but another way is to research different countries based on word length and matching them based on repeating/non repeating letters and their positions within the encrypted word. Start with the biggest word first. Here is the completed grid which contains VADER:
enter image description here

Puzzle VII

This is a connect the dots puzzle basically; just join the cards starting from ACE CARD and then to next card which is an increase +1 and so on. They also all have to be HEARTS. This then spells out JAKKU. enter image description here

Puzzle VIII

The groups are: Places with both North and South prefixed to them, Christian holidays, Islands in Europe, Root Vegetables and Reptiles. The odd ones out are therefore SUSSEX, HANUKKAH, HAWAII, DAFFODIL and GIRAFFE. This spells out SKIFF if we take half of the same letter pairs from each word: SS, KK, II, FF, FF.

Puzzle IX

Here is the completed riddle: enter image description here Following the instructions in the riddle whereby each pair of lines point to the letters:
The first line rules out NABOO, VADER and X-WING.
The third lines rules out SKIFF.
The fourth rules out DOOKU.
The fifth and sixth lines are implying that the 3rd letter can be either R or O. This rules out JABBA, ENDOR, JAKKU and YAVIN.
The eighth rules out DROID.
The ninth and tenth rules out SNOKE since the letters are only U,O,R,G.
Which leaves behind GROGU.

Meta puzzle:

Here are the answers from all the puzzles:
I: SNOKE (Villain)
II: X-WING (Item)
III: ENDOR (Place)
IV: DOOKU (Villain)
V: NABOO (Place)
VI: VADER (Villain)
VII: JAKKU (Place)
VIII: SKIFF (Item)
IX: GROGU (Item)
Take the remainder and you have:
VILLAIN: JABBA
LOCATION: YAVIN
STOLEN ITEM: DROID

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  • $\begingroup$ A good start :) A few things that are not correct or missing... #2 How exactly does this point to this answer? No sudoku expertise was required here... #4 No need to anagram - read across and down... #8 There's a more satisfying way to extract these letters without needing 'a little adjustment'... #9 It's not STRICT - note the approximate rhyme scheme, plus I wouldn't say that's what's shown in the picture - and it's not CATTLE, there's another focus there... That should help rectify some issues. +1 though for the quantity you've managed to solve. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented May 10 at 8:05
  • $\begingroup$ I gtg for a bit will try to finish things off a little later. $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Commented May 10 at 8:21
  • $\begingroup$ No worries - that's life :) I should also add that you have the right answers for 7/9 sub-puzzles and 2/3 of the meta. No need to post an explanation of the sudoku logic (it's pretty standard fare as sudokus go) but would be great (when you can) to see some comments on how you solved #3, what's significant about the leftovers in #4, how you deduced #5, your process for #6, and #9 step-by-step (that one's still not quite there yet...), to round off the explanation for others trying to follow along. Thanks :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented May 10 at 8:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Check the middle column PDT ;) (Also a very fitting answer for a sudoku @Stiv and nice puzzle all round - I solved 7 of the 9 last night but couldn't get 1 or 6 before drifting off but was very enjoyable still!) $\endgroup$ Commented May 10 at 12:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Stiv I think the first puzzle is way too tough in and of itself and hints were seriously misleading-the person was only able to see the connection only after me working out SNOKE was the answer and telling him. I think he saw the connection because the way I presented it to him was actually giving it away inadvertently I have now come to realize! Without knowing SNOKE was the answer and that lucky presentation I don’t think it was solvable. All in all great puzzle. I hope your brother all the best! $\endgroup$
    – PDT
    Commented May 10 at 15:31

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