The Story:
This was quickly getting old. They'd solved the kidnapper's (killer's?) puzzle again and it was another creepy song lyric. No, that's not fair. They're only creepy when they're from a kidnapper who paints in blood. Sergeant Grimes had seen a lot in his time on the force but two back-to-back cases like this still unnerved him. At least he'd been to bed on time last night and felt a little more caught up. He had a feeling that today would be better. That feeling lasted almost a full seven hours.

The phone call came in around 4pm. Vimes found himself once again trudging out of the precinct with the increasingly useful Lipwig in tow. Another house, another piece of art. He'd been practicing with those special glasses all day, though, and he thought he was getting pretty good at them. At least, he was able to solve the first two puzzles from scratch and without Lipwig's help. The puzzle was different this time, though. Instead of a painting, the Sergeant was led to a dining room table with an oddly shaped wooden box on top of it. Fitting neatly into the box were square blocks with letters and lines carved into them.

"Are the glasses any good for this one?" he asked Lipwig. "Sure!" replied the officer. "Look, there's an object creation tool over here... There! Now you can select real objects and manipulate them virtually." With a grunt, Vimes turned back to the puzzle at hand, determined to figure it out.

The Puzzle:

Are you able to find the message in the jumble of letters below? The red border represent the wooden box. When complete, the rearranged tiles should still fill that box. (I.E., rearrange but don't change the overall outline shape.)


The Story: (continued)
Satisfied with the solution but frustrated by how useless he seemed, Vimes handed the glasses back to Lipwig. "That's as close as I could get," he said. "Unless I'm not correctly remembering the song, there's a typo in there. That has to be it, though. Nothing else fits." Nevertheless, the Officer began to fiddle with the glasses. Several minutes went by while Vimes talked to the other investigators on the scene, trying to find some other scrap of evidence. His attention was instantly diverted, though, when Lipwig called out a seemingly innocent question: "Hey, Sarge! Do you know anybody named Anna?"

Vimes head snapped around and he rushed back to the dining room. "That's my daughter, why?"

"Well," began Lipwig, "There's another message here. It didn't make any sense for a while but it felt like there was something there. You have to pair them up, see? I couldn't crack it until I added 40 to all the numbers. There's some biblical significance to that number but it could just be a coincidence."

As soon as Vimes had finished reading the new message, he tore the glasses off and ran for the door, leaving Lipwig standing there confused.

The Puzzle: (continued)

Can you find the other message in the jumble of letters?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Superbly designed jigsaw-puzzle in itself! Always just enough clues to keep going without peeking or having to guess. Deserves to be tagged as such. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Mar 17, 2017 at 6:32

2 Answers 2


The completed puzzle looks like this:

enter image description here

To which the message is:

Oh baby, there ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough to keep me from getting to your babe.

These are lyrics to "Ain't no mountain high enough" - Martin Gaye

The typo is in "your", which should be "you".

But there's another hidden message:

Take each letter as a node and assign a number to it equal to the number of edges coming out of it. Then, pair up the numbers, and add 40. For example, from the top left, O has 3 edges and H has 2 edges. So we get 32. Add 40, and we get 72. Apply this to every pair.

We get this sequence:
72 69 76 76 79 83 69 82 71 69 65 78 84 68 79 89 79 85 75 78 79 87 87 72 69 82 69 65 78 78 65 73 83 78 79 87 83 72 69 84 65 83 84 69 83 83 79 76 79 86 69 76 89

...which, when converted from decimal to ASCII, gives us this message:

What a creep.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Congratulations on having enough wits left to solve the entire puzzle after piecing together the jigsaw! I hope it took you at least half as long as it took me and am glad if you enjoyed it even half as much. $\endgroup$
    – humn
    Mar 17, 2017 at 6:39

Very partial solution: this was as far as I could get during my lunch break and I think I went wrong somewhere.

enter image description here

This looks like part of the right-hand side of the message.

UPDATE 1: Nearly forgot to keep working on this...

Here are two more fragments I managed to piece together. I don't know where they fit overall.

enter image description here

UPDATE 2: Seems like @Wesley Situ already solved the whole thing, but I'm gonna see if I can finish this myself in my own time, just for fun.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Nice start. I would like to point out that what you have so far looks like it will fit in the lower right, but it could conceivably be anywhere in that grid. $\endgroup$
    – APrough
    Mar 16, 2017 at 17:57

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