You are a member of the Rebel Alliance.
You have been captured by the Empire and imprisoned.
In a stroke of sadistic brilliance, your guards have denied you all reading matter except "Uncle Vader's News for Younglings", an Empire propaganda publication which has an intended readership aged 5 to 8 years.
But unknown to the Empire, the Rebel Alliance has a secret sympathiser placed within the publication's editorial office.
The sympathiser has replaced the weekly wordsearch puzzle with one of the Rebel Alliance's own devising - and they're using it to get a message to you!
The puzzle is: find the secret message hidden in the wordsearch!
Words to find:
Hint: The answer contains (but does not consist solely of) the word 'EWOKS'.
The introductory text is just for fun and does not contain any enciphered information. All the information you need is in the wordsearch itself and the 'words to find' list.
The answer is a series of Roman-alphabet characters. There are no spaces or punctuation. The words are separated by 'X' characters ('THISXISXANXEXAMPLE'). The puzzle is not case-sensitive and there are no roman numerals in it. All the words except for EWOKS are dictionary words.
No knowledge of Star Wars is necessary to solve this puzzle.
This is my first time doing one of these (possibly the first time anyone's ever done one of these) so please be patient if I've made any errors or typos.
The message can be read by the prisoner in the cell without the need for a computer. You can feel free to use a computer to crack the code, but it's a pencil-and-paper cipher.
A couple of minor bugs have been found (thanks for bug reports!), neither of them should screw up the puzzle, although the first one might make it slightly harder. If many more bugs emerge then I might redraft. Probably best to consider this a beta release. ;)
Yes, you do need to find COUNT twice.
The 'HAN' in the top-left quadrant is the one that's there intentionally - that's the one you're intended to find. The 'HAN' in the bottom-right quadrant is there by accident and should be ignored.
The text of the puzzle is below:
HABLXNERCWNCTJQINOCY MIMVDFJDKJRJOELPXUEX VNRFENIPCTBSLIVATMNA BRKDHLUADEMUCYMZYCOL CRNJAORDMWEUJIEBTOLA CKRJNVEMMOIRDBRXKUCG ECROFNDELKVARIDEJNMH MFAYFEAJTSLXFNHFYTAA ORTNJDRURANJDUEHCCIB MBSUFETLNRABBAJVCKMO QFHJUVHGNAAREDLAMFBG NJTFVHYTTMJDYNBGEYLA BIAGRDHNLINDCWJTMMVD YVEJUHAFYKMGEEHRCUNR UNDENCIBFKEHLOAVTHSK USYNSKTDNLCMDYNEFJHT NJMUDGBJHUDIORDBRGNN IMRRKLEDNTOUEMLLQDUU NOUYNCGPKEINIFUTNURO CMXIUNTDRMLSKYBGELPC
Clues (if you need them):
Big Clue: ignore the 'filler letters' which fill the spaces in between the words that you have to find. They could be any letters at all and it would make no difference to the puzzle.
Another Clue: the word 'Ewoks' in the wordsearch is not specifically related to the word 'Ewoks' in the plaintext. It would be possible to swap 'Ewoks' for a different word in the wordsearch, without changing the plaintext.
Clue 3: the order of the words in the 'list of words to find' is significant. If we jumbled up the order in which they are listed then the puzzle would be broken.
Clue 4: the start position of each word (in the grid) is significant.
Clue 5 (Monday): the orientation of each word (in the grid) is significant.
Totally-giving-it-away-now bonus clue: Those three things (word list order, start position of each word in the grid, orientation of each word in the grid) are all that matters. Between them they carry all the information about the plaintext.
- All the following directions mean the same thing as each other: N, NE, E, SE.
- All the following directions mean the same thing as each other: S, SW, W, NW.
Tuesday massive bonus clue:
Each word-to-find represents one character in the plaintext. It starts with: