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puzzle

Fill the grid with letters M, A, S, T, E, R, I, N and G.

Standard Sudoku rules apply.

Additionally, the words on the right-hand side must appear in the given orientation (across/down). Each word must be contiguous (e.g. SNEAG doesn't count as SNAG). Words may intersect.

Generating this puzzle was computer-aided but I solved it by hand before posting.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do the words appear in the order shown? Ie is MASTERING necessarily above ARTEMIS? $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Mar 23 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ No, they can appear in any order. Only the orientation (across/down) is required. $\endgroup$ – cardboard_box Mar 23 at 0:07
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    $\begingroup$ And the words appear without any intervening letters? $\endgroup$ – Dr Xorile Mar 23 at 0:10
  • $\begingroup$ Correct, you can't insert extra letters in the middle of a word. $\endgroup$ – cardboard_box Mar 23 at 0:13
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    $\begingroup$ While you all were asking questions, I was busy solving it :-P $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 23 at 0:36
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Final solution

DONE IT!

Step by step deduction

Firstly, note that MASTERING is a full nine-letter word so it takes up a whole row, and EMIGRANT is an eight-letter word so the column is either EMIGRANTS or SEMIGRANT. Also note that ARTEMIS must begin from either the 1st or 3rd place in its row, because otherwise the A will clash with MASTERING; and the remaining letters in that row will be N and G.

If the long words MASTERING and EMIGRANT do not intersect, then there are only two possibilities:

  1. enter image description here

    (ARTEMIS must start from the 1st or 3rd of the row, so there's only one place it can be. Then STRANGE must have its N or G in the ARTEMIS row, so it must be in the 1st column, and we get a contradiction from two R's in the same box.)

  2. enter image description here

    (Same as before, only one place for ARTEMIS, then STRANGE must be in the 1st column and we get a contradiction from two A's in the same box.)

So the long words MASTERING and EMIGRANT must intersect, and there are sixteen ways that can happen.

One/two, three, four, five/six, seven/eight, nine, ten, eleven lead to just one possibility for ARTEMIS and then a quick contradiction.

  • One leads to two possibilities for ARTEMIS, both leaving no possibility for STRANGE.
  • Another one, again two options for ARTEMIS, but the second one is actually viable! We'll come back to that.
  • Another one, ditto two options, but again the second one is actually viable.
  • Another one leads to a full three different possibilities, but all of them give no possible option for STRANGE.
  • Another one gives almost the same three options, again with no possibility for STRANGE.

Now we've reduced the whole playing field to just two possible Sudoku puzzles to be solved:

  1. enter image description here

  2. enter image description here

    This one has no possible place for ENIGMA.

So we proceed with the first of these. There's only one possible place for ENIGMA, and after that only one possible place for ANIME:

enter image description here

After some more pure Sudoku-ish deductions, we get to here:

enter image description here

Now SNAG can only be in the third row, 4th to 7th places.

And some more purely Sudoku-ish deductions lead to the final answer:

enter image description here

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