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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #32: Grid Deduction Hybrids


Oh, did I feel proud after solving the last safe... until I was immediately dimension-doored (or something) into this room! Damn the aliens, they still want to play around with me... Well, seems there is nothing else to do but to get that thing open and hope for the best...

The room is pretty empty except for a few notable objects:

Overview
(Detail image - overview)

There is of course the safe, which has two circular dials with three rotate-able sections each. Odd symbols are painted on them and there is a dimly lit display in between the dials which does not seem to do anything.

Front of Safe
(Detail image - upper dial)
(Detail image - lower dial)

Next to the safe are two glass tables. One has 8 round inserts with strange metal connection dots in indentations, the other has 7 loose pieces lying on it. The pieces have some blue coating on the top-side but are golden on the bottom with some half-dome indentations.

Two tables
(Detail image - Pieces (upside))
(Detail image - Pieces (downside))
(Detail image - Insert 1 )
(Detail image - Insert 2 )
(Detail image - Insert 3 )
(Detail image - Insert 4 )
(Detail image - Insert 5 )
(Detail image - Insert 6 )
(Detail image - Insert 7 )
(Detail image - Insert 8 )

On the wall is a shiny picture with some kind of star-map on it. I don't recognize any of the stars. The picture is some alien sort of interface maybe, because I can touch the stars and they briefly light up. Cool. There is also a little grid, but it doesn't seem to do anything.

Picture frame
(Detail image - Painting )

You can also inspect these objects in 3D here.


The puzzle is 'solved' by finding the correct dial-rotation combination on the safe (and giving the correct reason why). All required information is in the images (which could be printed) - download of detail images advised.

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The final solution is:

(Rotate the selected images, until they end at the line.)

Upper Dial:

Upper Dial

Lower Dial:

Lower Dial

This is based on previous answers.

APrough found that

the tiles match into the plates on the main table.

and SirGrapefruit found that

the central plate is special and can be used to determine which star-collections on the picture belong to the solution.
enter image description here

The final combination is then simply

based on available constellation options for each dial as well as the end position orientation when they are all aligned to form 7 symbols in a vertical row.

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A partial answer for those of you who may have time beyond my means...

The pieces seem to fit into the different grids, one piece per grid but multiplied (so insert 1 contains one specific piece 6 times, etc.). For some reason, I cannot determine why #8 does not have a piece, or if it contains one of each other piece (all pieces contain 7 squares, and there are 7 pieces, and grid eight consists of 49 spaces.). EDIT: Found the pattern for #8. It contains one of each of the other pieces.

So here is the visual

enter image description here

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Partial answer building on the work of APrough:


You can only see it very faintly but some of the pins in the 8th insert have a slightly different color. They are marked here:

enter image description here

Every tile in the puzzle has exactly one mark. So maybe those marks are bound to each tile?

enter image description here

And this seems to be correct, since every one of those seven other puzzles reveals a star constellation from the star-map:

enter image description here

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