This puzzle will tell you where my family were supposed to travel to this summer, had it not been for the Covid-19 outbreak.

Can you tell me where?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ are you sure that the full stop(".") you placed in 2nd row 5th column is in right place? Shouldn't it be in 2nd row 6th column? $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2020 at 13:10
  • $\begingroup$ I'm fairly certain it's correct, but I can't check it now. What makes you think it's in the wrong column? $\endgroup$
    – CG.
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 15:43
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    $\begingroup$ Well, it seemed like each color has ascending mapping of ASCII values of characters in it.(again, this is just a though process) First I filled out digits in red boxes first. Now looking at yellow boxes, there are 3 boxes between the "."(dot) mentioned and number 5 and only two values left "/" and "0" (which are not used). Hence the reason of doubt. $\endgroup$ Commented May 19, 2020 at 17:05
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    $\begingroup$ I checked. It's in the correct column. $\endgroup$
    – CG.
    Commented May 19, 2020 at 19:20
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    $\begingroup$ are there some hints? $\endgroup$ Commented May 24, 2020 at 7:00

3 Answers 3


Following up on @sarsaparilla's answer:

There are two possible ranges of characters: " (34) to r (114) or ! (33) to q (113). I think the later is more likely, as it means we start at the beginning of the printable ASCII.

The sudoku is simply the repeated sum of the digits, or modulo 9, and then solve the sudoku.

Reverse engineering it back to the original form (and not worrying about exact colors and fonts, I get:

solved sudoku

Like @sarsaparilla, I don't know what to make of the colors.

I do note that the colors seem to change as we go down. And that yellow never appears in the (probable) answer line.

Edit: Per request, the "solved" grid:

solved grid
Note that in doing so, I have assumed the characters in the original grid are space + (row number - 1) * 9 + sudoku character. This makes "!" be "1", but doesn't quite match my earlier description.

Edit: an observation about the bottom colors and the rows.

If the colors along the bottom correspond to the rows, then the digits matching the color form a sequence. Blue: 123, 123, 12, Red: 56789, 567, White: 89, 56789, Green: 789, 56789.

Further, it turns out if we sort the rows by the number, we get:
sorted across by number
I don't know if this means something.

Edit: From @sarsaparilla:

this resembles the Seychelles flag
The Seychelles flag

perhaps the bottom line gives

an island or town name somehow?

  • $\begingroup$ Could you add the unconverted solved grid? $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2020 at 14:09
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    $\begingroup$ rot13(Guvf ybbxf yvxr n irel ybj erfbyhgvba irefvba bs gur Frlpuryyrf synt!) $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2020 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ Was about to say exactly the same as @sarsaparilla - if anyone was going to spot that first it was definitely going to be the person who gave us the 'Fun with Flags' series! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv Lol, subconsciously I was drawn to this puzzle... $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2020 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidG. rot13(Ertneqvat gur obggbz yvar: fubhyq jr hfr gur punenpgref va gur fbyirq fhqbxh vafgrnq bs gur qvtvgf? Cvpxvat guerr oyhr punenpgref gb fgneg jvgu, gur nafjre pbhyq fgneg jvgu ARJ ...) $\endgroup$ Commented May 27, 2020 at 8:21

Very partial answer, but hopefully a first step in solving this puzzle.

Seeing the properties of the drawn grid, my first hunch is that we might be looking at a


This is excluding the line of 9 colored boxes at the bottom,

presumably that is where the final answer should be written once the sudoku is solved.

Furthermore, I noticed that

the decimal representation of the ASCII-codes of the filled in characters are in the range 36 (\$) to 112 (p), which covers a range of 77 characters (almost 81!). So, the complete range may be 32 (space) - 112 (p) or 36 (\$) - 116 (t) or somewhere in between.

Thinking further,

we may have to search for some properties of the characters which allows them to be filled in (sudoku-style) on the same horizontal and vertical line and within the same 3x3 box. In this picture I replaced the original characters with their decimal ASCII-code:enter image description here

Another observation:

Though the numbers may not be ascending individually, on a row-to-row basis they are (albeit shuffled within a row).

This is what I have so far. What I haven't figured out yet is the significance of the colors.

  • $\begingroup$ If we assume that (ebjf pbafvfg bs oybpxf bs avar punenpgref, gura guvegl-sbhe zhfg nyfb nccrne. Zvtug gur pbyberq ertvbaf nybat gur obggbz unir fbzrguvat gb qb jvgu gur fha bs gur erfcrpgvir pbybef va gur tevq, jvgu gur qvtvgf pbeerfcbaqvat gb cynprf va jung jbhyq or gur gragu oybpx?) $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2020 at 13:39

Building off of David now: The solved grid is

496 327 851 813 456 972 257 198 436 172 549 683 645 873 219 389 261 745 964 715 328 731 682 594 528 934 167

Now notice that in each row,

the cells of any given color form a contiguous range.
Sorting the cells in each row gives us:


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