Puzzle Grid

Picture an 11x11 grid. Each cell must contain one character. This can be any ASCII character. The contents of the entire row must validate against both corresponding H regex clues. And the contents of the entire column must validate against both corresponding V regex clues.

Use this to determine:

  1. The character
  2. The object
  3. The quote

Full disclosure: I posted this on another site specifically designed for regex crossword puzzles here. You can use it to help solve the puzzle:Regex Crossword Link

You can use the following site to help work out the first part of the puzzle if your regex is rusty: Regex Tutorial Link

And a cheat sheet here: Cheatsheet

Hint: There are some extra steps after solving the regex puzzle.

H1: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-123]).*\1)(?=^[-0-9]+$)-.*-)$
H2: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-123]).*\1)(?=^[-0-9]+$)(^\D*4[^4]+$).*)$
H3: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?![THATISWHATIVEBEENSAYINGYOUFEWL]).*)$
H4: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-]).*\1)(?=[^A-Z]+Y)-.*PINKEST?.*\.)$
H5: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^2C]).*\1).*BL[ANC]?(?:NON!)?.*R.*OS?E?.*)$
H6: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^1]).*\1)(?=.*([LATTE].*){4}.*).*LAT.E.*)$
H7: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^1]).*\1)(?=.*([STEAK](?!TRTARE).*){5}.*).*)$
H8: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^2BE.]).*\1)(?=.*BO[MN]B.*).*EBON.*E.*)$
H9: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-]).*\1).*PANTH[ER]+)$
H10: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-]).*\1).*(TH|Z)ANK(YOU)?.*)$
H11: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^.-]).*\1)(?=.(?![3-9])(?!\D)(?![01])).*)$

H1A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(----?)(-)?.*?\1)$
H2A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:.*?(\d)(\d)\2\1.*\1)$
H3A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?![^SPEAKING ON THE PHEAUN!-])-+)$
H4A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:^([KATO]{4})?(?:YELLOW)?.*([SKIN#E].*){4})$
H5A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=^(\d)\1).*I?NOC$(ENT)?(?!OF THE CRIME))$
H6A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=.*([HOW.FATAL?].*){7}.*)1[^A-Z]*[FRENC LOAF].*)$
H7A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=^(\d)\1(?=.*?(TM)))(?=.*?E(?=.S)L).*)$
H8A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=^(\d)\1).*([THE.EXPLODING.KIND].*){5}.*)$
H9A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=^[^A-Z]+(VI?P).*$)-\d\-.*)$
H10A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:^(SPECIAL)?\D3[LIVE-]RY\..H(?:ERE)?.*)$
H11A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=.*[.0O]{3}$)(?=.*F*IRST.*).*\.)$

V1: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-123]).*\1)(?=^[-0-9]+$)-.*-)$
V2: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-123]).*\1)(?=^[-0-9]+$)(^\D*4[^4]+$).*)$
V3: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:^(?![IWASATTACKEDBYAWANDERINGTRANSVESTITE!]*$).*)$
V4: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=...(?!(?!\D))\w)(?!.*([^-]).*\1)[-09].*)$
V5: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*[ZATISNoTmyDoG].*)(?!.*([^-P2]).*\1).*)$
V6: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^1AN]).*\1)(?=.*([FRANCS].*){4}.*).*LA.*)$
V7: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^NT1]).*\1)(?=.*H.*)(?=.*(\d)\2).*)$
V8: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^2T]).*\1).*[TRES]{3}(?:BON)?.*)$
V9: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^-.]).*\1)(?=.*([BIG.BRASS.BAWL].*){5}.*).*)$
V10: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=.*?R)(?!.*([^-OSE]).*\1).*3.*[ROSE]{6}.[ROSE])$
V11: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?!.*([^.-]).*\1).*)$

V1A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:[^MERDE!]+)$
V2A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:.*?(\d)(\d)\2\1(?:(?=6).).*\1)$
V3A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:-+(?! was examining the wex!))$
V4A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=-)(?=[^WE NEED]{5}[FRESH.TOWELS].*IN?)[-20]4.*)$
V5A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=2)(?=.*H?OM)[^SAN\s]{3}[PLOMB]{6}.*R)$
V6A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=.*([CLOUSSEA].*){5}.*)(?=.*[B-E].*A)(?!.*F)1.*)$
V7A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=^...[THANK]+(.)\1(.)\2$)1.*)$
V8A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=.*[YES... A CHIMPANZEE MINKEY].*)^(.)\1.*Y)$
V9A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=.*([WHAT...].*){5}.*)-6.[NEW]{3}.*L.*)$
V10A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=.*?[SWINE (RABBIT|MAID|BIRD)!])-\d-.*(NON)?)$
V11A: ^(?-i)(?!.*[a-z])(?:(?=[2.KECK-]+)(?=.*\.\.\..*)\W{1}.*\W{2}.*\W{3}.*)$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The version at the far end of the link is missing the (?-i)(?!.*[a-z]) that appears at the start of all your clues here. I think the first bit of that means "everything that follows is case-insensitive" and the second bit means "this doesn't begin with [anything at all] followed by a letter", which would mean there are no letters anywhere in here. Is that actually correct? If not, am I confused or is there an error in the puzzle? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ Hi, there is no error. The crossword puzzle site makes certain assumptions about the regex. It is applied by default with case sensitivity but only allows captial letters if used. It also assumes that the regex should apply to the whole row/column of text. I have reflected those assumptions by wrapping all clues in ^(?: and )$ and enforced capital letters with the negative lookahead [a-z] part. The case insensitivity ensures that whatever implementation of regex you are using is appropriate and that any options to turn off case sensitivity are overridden. let me know if that helps! $\endgroup$
    – JonM
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ Just to reiterate. It doesn't exactly mean that there are no letters. Only that there are no lower case letters. $\endgroup$
    – JonM
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 13:21
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan I see you have removed the enigmatic puzzle tag and added crossword. I would argue that it is enigmatic since there are multiple levels of puzzle determining to actually solve it the regex crossword is only one part of it. Also it is not a classic crossword. This will become clear if you get to that point in the puzzle $\endgroup$
    – JonM
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 13:24
  • $\begingroup$ But in the presence of the (?-i) flag, doesn't [a-z] match lowercase letters as well as uppercase? $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 13:48

1 Answer 1


Solving the regex crossword yields

----2112--- ---42112632 ----------- -4-YPINKES. 22-BLCHRNOC 11-FOLATWE. 11-TMAKELS. 22-EBONB.E. -6-VPANTHRE -3-RY.THANK -2-IRSTY.O.

and then if we

remove blocks of consecutive letters/dots whose sizes are given by the numbers

we get

----2112--- ---42112632 ----------- -4-Y####ES. 22-##CH##OC 11-#OLAT#E. 11-#MAKE#S. 22-##ON##E. -6-V######E -3-RY.TH### -2-IRSTY.##


what remains is the statement YES CHOCOLATE MAKES ONE VERY THIRSTY (cf. Clousseau, J., The Pink Panther, 2006).

With a little imagination

the shape thus blocked out is that of a detective's magnifying glass, a favourite tool of the Inspector's.

  • $\begingroup$ That's incredibly fast work! You have solved it. One final thing though: what is the object that reveals the quote? It's thematic $\endgroup$
    – JonM
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ Actually there's a transcription error which I'm just fixing (I tried to enter the solution on a mobile device, which was a mistake). $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ (Will consider your other question once I've fixed that.) $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 19:38
  • $\begingroup$ OK, fixed and other question answered. I'd have been somewhat quicker if I hadn't been at work when this was posted :-). Fun puzzle. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 19:44
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent work. Very impressive. Solved so quickly and answered on a mobile?! Bravo. Thanks for taking the time to solve it :) $\endgroup$
    – JonM
    Commented Jan 4, 2019 at 19:56

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