This puzzle is a spin-off from the 'This new puzzle type needs a name' series.

I have devised a new cipher and used it to encode its own name. I need you to tell me:

What is its name?

enter image description here

This puzzle combines elements from common puzzle types. The answer is 14 letters long.

Colour-blind-friendly version available here or as text version below (which those without colour-blindness may still find useful for differentiating between colours of different shades which appear similar):

W   Gy  Gy  Y   Br  Br  Bk  Gy  Gy  Bu  O   O
W   Gy  Gy  Y   Y   Br  Bk  Bk  Gy  Br  Bu  Bu
Bk  Bk  Gy  P   P   Br  Gy  Gy  Gy  Br  O   O
Bk  Gy  Gy  Br  Br  Br  W   W   Gy  P   P   Br
Bk  Bk  Gy  R   R   R   Bk  Bk  Gy  Y   Y   P
W   Gy  Gy  Gn  Br  Br  Bk  W   W   Br  P   Y
Bk  Gy  Gy  Br  Br  O   Bk  Gy  Gy  Gn  Gn  Gn
Bk  Gy  Gy  Bu  Br  Br  Bk  W   Gy  Br  Br  R
Bk  W   W   O   Bu  O   Bk  Gy  Gy  Gn  R   R
Gy  Gy  Gy  Br  Br  Br  Bk  Bk  Gy  Bu  Br  Bu
Bk  Gy  Gy  Y   Y   P   Bk  Bk  Gy  O   Bu  Bu
Bk  Bk  Gy  P   P   Y   Bk  Gy  Gy  Br  Br  Bu
W   W   Gy  Br  Gn  R   W   Gy  Gy  Y   P   P
W   Gy  Gy  R   R   Gn  W   W   Gy  P   Y   Br
Bk  Bk  Gy  R   Br  Br  Bk  W   W   Y   Br  Br
W   Gy  Gy  Br  Br  O   Bk  W   Gy  Gn  Br  R
W   Gy  Gy  Bu  Bu  Br  Bk  Gy  Gy  R   Gn  R
Bk  W   W   Bu  O   O   Bk  W   W   Br  Br  R
Bk  Gy  Gy  Y   P   Br  Bk  Bk  Gy  Bu  O   Br
Bk  Gy  Gy  P   Y   Br  Bk  Gy  Gy  O   O   Br
Bk  Bk  Gy  Y   P   P   Bk  W   Gy  Bu  Bu  Br

Key: Bk = Black; Br = Brown; Bu = Blue; Gn = Green; Gy = Grey; O = Orange; P = Purple; R = Red; W = White; Y = Yellow

  • $\begingroup$ I've finished what I believe to be the first step of the puzzle (and now have 42 colored dots), but I'm not sure what to do next. Hm... $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Deusovi Sounds like you're on the right track... I won't spoil things for you just yet! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 17:36

1 Answer 1


The first step is this:

Divide the puzzle into 3×6 blocks.

enter image description here

Each of these blocks can be solved as a Mastermind puzzle, yielding a sequence of 3 colors.

enter image description here


notice that each of the subpuzzles uses only three colors: a (paint) primary color [red, yellow, blue], a secondary color [orange, green, purple], and a tertiary color [brown]. (The primary color and secondary color are always complements, too.)
Take these as 0, 1, and 2, convert from base 3, and read with A=0,B=1,...,Z=25 to get MAS-TERNARY-MIND as the name for this cipher.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ And that's a win! Well done :) +1 and a checkmark incoming! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 16, 2020 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ How do you solve the mastermind part? I don't understand how, what is white, grey and black? And what's the way? Horizontal or vertical? Each block seems to have a different pattern to me.. $\endgroup$
    – Tofandel
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Tofandel Each block has three rows; each row's colors are a guess at a secret three-color sequence. For each guess, "black" means "there is one correct color in the correct position"; "white" means "there is one correct color in the wrong position"; "gray" means "there is one completely wrong color". But you don't know which black/white/gray indicator corresponds to which color of the guess. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mastermind_(board_game) $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Mar 17, 2020 at 20:58
  • $\begingroup$ What are the exclamation marks in some of the subpuzzles? $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 6:02
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @justhalf In an earlier edit Deusovi wondered whether those rows (which he marked with a '!' symbol) held any extra hidden significance, as they are redundant - the puzzle can be solved without them. However, I included them as 'first unsuccessful guesses' someone might make if actually playing the game for real - they provide no info for the end solution of my puzzle, true, but they would have still helped influence the player make their colour choices on subsequent turns... Hope that's clearer! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 6:27

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