This puzzle started out as ordinary 8-directional word-search puzzle, hiding 19 diseases amongst lots and lots of letters. But then, six letters were infected and became ill, and things became very strange....

In the words-search below, 6 letters have odd properties. Whenever a word 'reaches' one, something happens starting with the next letter. To be clear: There are 6 different affected letters with 6 different effects, and every time a letter is used, the same, letter-specific effect occurs.

( This is not what is going on in the puzzle! )

Say the letters a & e have become ill. Whenever a is reached in a word, the search direction is shifted one step down, while every time an e is reached, the search direction is shifted one step up. In this case, the word Stackexchange would be found as:

enter image description here

or as:

enter image description here


The word-search-puzzle

  • There are 19 diseases hidden in the grid

  • 6 letters are sick

  • the 6 sick letters fill in the colour-boxes in the solution-grid. Arrange them properly, and they will spell the favourite medication prescribed by a specialist. (A very special doctor.)

  • The 19 diseases fill in the white/grey spaces in the solution-grid. The grey spaces will spell out the favourite catch-phrase of the same specialist.

To solve the whole puzzle you have to:

  • Find all words

  • Find the 6 sick letters

  • Specify the 6 'illnesses' (=rules) of the special letters

  • Completely fill in the solution grid

No partial solutions on this puzzle please!

Search Grid

Solution Grid

  • $\begingroup$ I've gotten everything except two words, been stuck for over an hour. Sure you didn't make a mistake on the last one (phil)? $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Jan 10, 2015 at 1:57

2 Answers 2


Edit 3 - Incorporated complete answer as requested.

The 19 diseases are:

shown in the figures below

The 6 sick letters with their rules are:

c - turn 90 degrees in either direction
e - skip one letter
h - turn 45 degrees to the right
s - skip two letters
t - go up
y - turn the next letter upside-down

The very special doctor is:

the Grim Reaper. His favorite medication was the SCYTHE which is formed from the 6 sick letters.

The favorite catch-phrase is:

Death comes to all of us

The figures:

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Oh I did miss one, the chickenpox. The upside down 'p' in syphilis would only be able to be justified by the capital S giving extra properties, but this is proven false by Smallpox. If only that one had been like normal I'd have probably tried harder for the Chickenpox. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Jan 10, 2015 at 5:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Quark & Len: I think both of you solved it. I UV both answers. I would like to accept the one answer, which combines the full solution (i.e. grid/rules/phrase/word) in one posting, so that people can easily pick it up. I've fixed the OP image now (added 6th colour box). $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Jan 10, 2015 at 10:25
  • $\begingroup$ Okay so there was a sixth letter. That's fine, I was just wondering if there was some secret hint to figure it out; since you mentioned five so many times it's hard to believe it was a mistake. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Jan 10, 2015 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Quark: Sorry about that. I drew the "solution-grid" and omitted the 6th color box, and from there on my mind was fixed on five... :c( $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Jan 10, 2015 at 20:34
  • $\begingroup$ Ah I see, no problem the puzzle was still plenty fun. $\endgroup$
    – Quark
    Jan 10, 2015 at 20:36

Okay so I got the "hard part" out of the way over an hour ago, and I was pretty thorough with my steps. I think possibly you used a crossword generator and two were left out? (I found all 5 rules, and there's no phil anywhere (I checked not just near the two capital S as well). I canceled out all of the capital letters pretty thoroughly so I'm relatively certain I found everything but I apologize in advance if I'm mistaken.

enter image description here

Sick letters:

c means turn left 90 degrees, h means turn right 45 degrees, e means skip a letter, s means skip two letters, and t means go up


Death comes to all of us


The letters were found so the only word it could be (other than techs) would be chest, maybe referring to a medicine chest.

My picture:

I used red to draw the finds, green to cancel out capital letters, and blue to cancel out capital letters that were used in words (I did the rest sequentially without the marker)

  • $\begingroup$ Fixed the OP now. Could you reflect that in your answer? $\endgroup$
    – BmyGuest
    Jan 10, 2015 at 10:26

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