The Preposterous Puzzle

enter image description here

In text form:


The word preposterous traces to the roots prae (before) and posterous (subsequent).

The modern usage of this word conveys an absurdity, but it was originally meant more precisely to convey something that is out of order... taking something that should be subsequent and putting it before. (Maybe you can suggest a more modern way of conveying this idea, but let's just go with this for now).

It is in this sense that this puzzle is preposterous, because the answer tells you how to find the solution to this puzzle.

  • $\begingroup$ FYI, lateral thinking only applies if the intended solution bypasses logic. $\endgroup$
    – Quintec
    Mar 11, 2018 at 22:07
  • $\begingroup$ @thecoder16 According to the tag description, I'm pretty sure it applies to this puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – H Walters
    Mar 11, 2018 at 22:18
  • $\begingroup$ Are you absolutely certain there isn't a typo on the 6th line? I'd really like an S as the fourth letter there. $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Mar 11, 2018 at 22:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass No typo; the S's on the sixth line are precisely where they need to be. $\endgroup$
    – H Walters
    Mar 11, 2018 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @HWalters "involving ideas that may not be obtainable only using logic" this is the important part of the description, not just the creative part. $\endgroup$
    – Quintec
    Mar 11, 2018 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


The letter distribution looks similar to English, so it's probably a transposition cipher. The grid is a 8x8 square, which sounds familiar. Let's see if we can't find a famous order in that same famous order..

enter image description here
Well, "Knight's tour" wasn't there. Picking letters like a chess knight moves seems to work though, knight can be found, as can queen

I'll post this as partial while I try to work out the rest.

UPDATE: Got it. The message is:

Using the queen's knight, take a closed tour to find the solution to this puzzle .

Following the message's instructions:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Oh, there's more? Yay! $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:05
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @Bass "the queen's knight" suggests starting at B1/B8 (if this were a chessboard) $\endgroup$
    – Quintec
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:06
  • $\begingroup$ So I should start the sentence at "Nd the solution using"? :-) I'll update the answer in a minute. (Yoda might think about viewing this board from black's perspective: a closed tour... , take.) $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Bass No, if you start from B1 doesn't it say "Using the queen's knight, take a closed tour to find the solution"? $\endgroup$
    – Quintec
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:18
  • $\begingroup$ @thecoder16, in Internet parlance, the colon-dash-closing paren combination indicates well-meaning, jocular intent. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Bass
    Mar 12, 2018 at 0:21

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