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Letters In Boxes #5

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You Are Games

Letters in Boxes #4

ArtbegottiThis week, we're dedicating our Letters In Boxes challenge to an event that occurred on July 4th, this week's contest deadline. Many Americans mark this historical date by remembering spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties above fruited plains. Of course, we all know July 4th as the day we mourn the passing of Bob Ross, who taught us all how to paint beautiful landscapes in the comfort of our own homes. We will always remember Mr. Ross and his contributions to society, including his delightfully fluffy afro. Thanks, Bob.

Right then, who's ready for this week's puzzles? Take a look at this week's sliver of a starting puzzle. If you click on the image, you can open it up in a new window. Once you think you've got the answer sorted out, redirect your attention to your browser's address bar (which in this case reads ""). Change the filename (namely, "fivealive") to your answer, using all lower-case letters and no spaces (make sure you use the same extension and directory). If you're right, it's a happy cloud for you and you're off to the next puzzle! If you're wrong, you'll have to cover up some of that excess burnt sienna by going back and trying again.

Letters in Boxes #5 - Puzzle 1This batch of puzzles contains the standard four puzzles to solve. On the fourth puzzle, you'll find the email address for sending your final answer. We'll hand out a prize to the first correct entry we receive, plus ten additional randomly-selected correct entries. Please include your Casual Gameplay account display name with your entry. You must be at least 13 years of age to enter. Only one submission per participant, please. Offer void where prohibited. Your deadline for submitting your answers is Monday, July 4th at 11:59 PM (GMT-5:00). If you're fast or lucky, you could be celebrating with a prize, so good luck!

Update: Congratulations to these 11 winners! :D

  • MisterThou ...First!
  • wulph
  • m5rammy
  • dhaisud
  • sillyme2
  • Vespert
  • Nigma
  • MikuJess
  • HopefulNebula
  • bluemoose19
  • DragonDame
All eleven winners were given a choice of prizes or an entry into a GRAND PRIZE drawing to be held at the end of August! Congratulations and thanks for playing with us! Look for another Letters in Boxes again soon!


MisterThou June 30, 2011 5:51 PM

Done, Had the most trouble with 2 because I made a mistake and it took me forever to realise it!


Number 2 seemed easy. Once you understood how the puzzle worked, you could narrow down the number of solutions without much effort.

Number 3 is the tricky one in my book - another puzzle that doesn't have an obvious method to it. I'm still not sure if I'm looking for mathematical squares or geometric squares.


Question for number 3:

Do I need to do any math more complex than counting to solve it?

MisterThou June 30, 2011 6:05 PM

For number 3

No Math is required

childofsai June 30, 2011 6:09 PM

I'm still stuck on number 2.

I have what I think is the only type of triangle that fits, and then I can't work out the destination clue


Hint for 2:

Stuck? Try working in a different direction.

childofsai June 30, 2011 6:12 PM


A bit confusing though.

childofsai June 30, 2011 6:19 PM

is number 3 a nikoli puzzle?

childofsai June 30, 2011 6:22 PM

and once again...PoP!!

childofsai June 30, 2011 6:37 PM

Number 4 seems impossible...


Just got 3 out of nowhere. Very cool.


Really nice work on the last puzzle!

SpinelessCoward June 30, 2011 6:52 PM

Got to number 4 but now I'm totally not sure what you have to do... If it's about

finding three letters words in the grid, I've found at least five... which makes me think I'm not going the right way.

Childofsai, you are on the right track.

SpinelessCoward June 30, 2011 6:56 PM

Uh, just to be clear, childofsai,

It's similar to a Nikoli puzzle, but the numbers are used slightly differently...

SpinelessCoward June 30, 2011 7:10 PM

Ugh, sorry for the triple post. But first, PoP! I just finished the 4th puzzle. Second, just realized childofsai HAD finished the 3rd puzzle, so I feel silly. Lastly, a hint for puzzle 4:

Looking carefully at the lines of the grid gives a crucial hint.


I really enjoyed this week's puzzles. The uptick in difficulty from one puzzle to the next made for an excellent learning curve. Puzzle 4 I felt was especially brilliant - the sudden realization of how the patterns turned into a solution was very ingenious! Is this a puzzle you created yourself, or was it something you had seen previously?

I will be eagerly awaiting LiB#6!

shadowmax June 30, 2011 8:17 PM

I think this is the first one I've finished on the same day it was posted. Doesn't change my odds in the drawing, but I feel better. :)

childofsai June 30, 2011 8:25 PM

aargh! why don't I see it?

Number 4:

I see the 3 seperate squares of 9 letters. I assume we're trying to get 1 letter from each section.
I'm able to get a full 9 letter word out of the first, and two 5 letter words out of the 2nd and 3rd, by following the same pattern.
Another pattern I see gives 3 different 4 letter words from each section.
Don't see the connection...

shadowmax June 30, 2011 8:26 PM

BTW, I just noticed I was logged into an organizational email account when I submitted my answer. I hope that won't be a problem and that you will use the email in my JIG profile when you send my prize ;).

bubblecamera June 30, 2011 8:41 PM

Okay, I have no clue about #3. I see the

message spelled out in the letters,

but I have no clue what to do with it. Or is it just a red herring?


Awesome, more Letters in Boxes! We had the caption contest last week, so I thought we were taking a break from these.

Shinzura June 30, 2011 9:45 PM

Can anyone give me a hint for #3? I see the thing that's probably a red herring, but I've tried a couple of things and haven't gotten anywhere.

viewfrmhere June 30, 2011 9:51 PM

Ugh. I love words and letters and games involving those things. And yet every single one of these stumps me. It's embarrasing. I feel stupid.


Finally finished it! Big thanks to SpinelessCoward, your small hints were enough to eventually get me through. Looking forward to the next one!

ViciousChicken June 30, 2011 10:08 PM


Pay attention to the placement of the numbers. Do you notice any particular regions which seem to be devoid of numbers? Why might that be?


For some reason I cannot work out #2, guh. Unless I messed up somewhere, I've figured out everything except

the upcoming destination and gaming target to "crush"

and I feel a bit dumb since I've been staring at it for so long looking for possible patterns and such.

Any other hints for 2? Anything at all would help.



think of a game you might have played on this website.

As for the other one, I am stuck there as well.

Shinzura June 30, 2011 10:39 PM

Thank you, chicken. And as for Peophin, I'll tell you two things:

  1. The gaming target is easily found if you look on this website

  2. The "destination" isn't the kind of clue you think it is.


Still fully stuck on #3 and developing a headache. I get that it's not about the message but the numbers are just confusing me. Maybe too much sudoku. Any hints?


#3's got me stumped. All I can think is Minesweeper, but the 1 & 4 in the upper-left make that impossible.

Peophin July 1, 2011 12:05 AM

Adam and Shinzura: Thanks! Got it now.

Currently on #3, and I get the feeling I'm going to be at this a while. My thought process there is like Minesweeper, same as An Onyx Mouse above, and I have no idea what else the numbers could be hinting at... possibly I'm too used to number puzzles.


AH! I got it!


Each number is the upper-right corner of an X by X square.


Wow, #4 was a cinch compared to #3...

Also, I feel like a bit of a doof now:

On the last 4 LiB puzzles, I've been sending my answers in with the wrong email account! XD

wildflower12 July 1, 2011 2:47 AM

Wow Onyx Mouse! Thanks so much for the help! I would have been staring at #3 for hours!

wildflower12 July 1, 2011 2:54 AM

Ugh, how do you know if you have #4 correct? Is there really only one possible answer?

HopefulNebula July 1, 2011 3:27 AM

A hint for number 4:

Some of the letters might be used more than once.


Correction to massive spoiler earlier:

Upper-LEFT corner, sorry! (Your other right, Onyx! *facepalm* )

raddaya July 1, 2011 8:42 AM

I'm pretty sure I'm being really silly here, but any hints for #1? :$

Rgandum July 1, 2011 12:19 PM

I could find some words, but no any solution for #1 =\

childofsai July 1, 2011 12:59 PM

Here are some hints for the first 3, for those who haven't gotten that far.

Number 1:

1 word can be read from left to right. Once you read it, you should be able to work out the rest.

Number 2:

A simple crossword, but notice what happens with the answers going from the top/bottom to the middle. This is the key. Also, "destination" (as mentioned before) isn't the clue you're thinking of.

Number 3:

Already been mentioned again -- each number X is the top left of an X by X square that needs to be painted in.

Now, number 4? I just have my theories... >_


The first three were easy. I got them fairly quickly with no help.

The fourth has me utterly stumped. None of the hints in the comments here are helping me. The furthest I've gotten is

finding words via anagrams in each of the three sections

but those results are not doing anything for me.

Can someone throw a poor girl a bone?

thomstel July 1, 2011 2:02 PM


Hint #1 (mild):

The letters in the grid cells are not the letters you'll use to make the three letter word that's the answer.

Hint #2 (moderate):

Each block of nine letters are used to spell a word within the block. No anagrams here.

Hint #3 (blatant):

The length of the words in each block (from left to right) are 9, 9 and 11.

nerdypants July 1, 2011 3:20 PM

I feel like I'm missing something obvious with #1. I've read childofsai's hint, but

I can see four words that can be read left to right, and it still makes no sense to me.

I'm going to feel silly when I find out what the answer is, aren't I?

squawky July 1, 2011 3:36 PM

Hope I got this one right - a few more thoughts on #4

Some letters get used more than once. One not at all.

The important part is not the destination, but the path you took to get there.


I feel like such a dunce, but number one has me stumped. I keep trying to find patterns that make words--I almost got


by alternating rows, but the word isn't quite right. Any gentle hints?


Yeah, I still don't know what to do with #1. I feel so dumb, but I'm just not seeing it.

squawky July 1, 2011 4:16 PM


Use every letter, but only once

Two words, each has one letter from each column

The first word will give directions for finding the second.

nerdypants July 1, 2011 4:57 PM

Thanks, squawky, I get it now!

ThemePark July 1, 2011 5:38 PM

At what time is this puzzle put on the website? It would be nice to have an honest chance of being the first to submit the answer.

[There is no set time at which we decide to publish this puzzle series, I'm sorry for not being able to give one to you. You just have to be lucky, I guess. That, or check the site often. :) -Jay]


On the last one by now, and the hints here aren't making much sense. Hmm...

ThemePark July 1, 2011 5:59 PM


Exactly what Nikoli puzzle is #3 supposed to match? I've looked through their site and see no puzzle that matches this one.

SpinelessCoward July 1, 2011 6:25 PM


The numbers aren't used exactly the same way as in the original puzzle.

Try looking for a puzzle which uses SQUARES.



Disregard the letters in "BACKWARDS" apart from the instructions they provide.

I'm still stumped by #4. I used an online anagram solver to figure out the first word:


And I can see the "path" which spells it out. But following that same path on the second and third yields:


Which are mostly nonsense apart from the first five letters.

What am I missing here?

nerdypants July 1, 2011 7:45 PM


You won't use the same path for every block, it'll be different for each one. You're going to be using some letters more than once, and one letter in one block never gets used at all.

But keep paying attention to the route you took!

childofsai July 1, 2011 8:09 PM

Number 4:
i finally see all 3 letters/words!!!

Man, that was hard, but totally worth it ^_^


thomstel and squawky:

Thanks! Still haven't gotten it yet, but now I know what I need to do. Looks like, as with the first one, it'll be trial-and-error.


With apologies to M. Night Shyamalan, "I see words!"

Woot! Thanks, people!



Finally got it.

As he said, there's one letter that isn't used - it's in the center box, if that helps.

And the third box starts from the top-left instead of the top-right like the others.

tigrita July 1, 2011 10:13 PM

I really liked this week's batch of puzzles. A little head-scratching, but definitely no hair-pulling. And I also liked that there were some alternate ways of finding solutions.

It didn't give me the answers straight out, but using an anagrammer on #1 and #4 was very helpful for me.

So overall, big thumbs up from me this week! :)

raddaya July 1, 2011 11:20 PM

...I'm sure I'm missing something painfully, but I'm still stuck on 1. Severely. Any further hints? :/ Tried using an anagram solver, but didn't help.

tigrita July 1, 2011 11:37 PM


There's a path to follow with the letters. You'll find 2 words. One is instructions, the other is the answer. Or if you put the letters correctly into the anagram solver, the words will be among the anagrams

And just to make sure my hint from my earlier post isn't misleading:

If you're going to go the anagram assistance route, be prepared for some trial and error. Just using the anagram solver isn't going to get you the answers, but it can be helpful.

raddaya July 2, 2011 3:04 AM

Still stuck...

I can't find any path, or word, or instruction. Following one direction, I get "dragearis" and with the other I get "backwrsds".


Raddaya: you're one letter off.

I got no idea what #4 is about. keep scratching off words that make sense and ending up with nothing.


About number 1:

An anagram solver can easily find the answer.

All letters are used once and you're looking for two words.

Both words have the same length.

Interesting batch of puzzles again. I liked it better than Letters In Boxes #4.


LiB #4 was really fun once you realized you were looking at Nikoli puzzles. Prior to that, though, there were too many unspoken, totally unintuitive rules to follow.

I suppose the Sudoku puzzle should have been the tip off, but I'd never heard of Nikoli prior to that week.


So I needed to read these comments to get through puzzle 3, but got puzzle 4 pretty quick. That was neat.

bubblecamera July 2, 2011 11:24 AM


On #4,

the letters in each 3x3 box can be used to spell out a word, but entering the letters into an anagram solver will only help on the first one. That's because

three letters get used twice and one letter,

the P,

doesn't get used at all.

It will definitely help to work out the puzzle with pencil and paper. Also, as Thomstel pointed out, the word lengths are

9, 9, and 11. (However, there is a 10-letter word you can get from box #3 that basically gives you the same answer.)


All right, anyone who's read all the hints on #2 and still stuck - you might be doing what I did wrong:

Look seriously at your answers to this point. One of them might be wrong - especially if you skipped some answers.

Look specifically at your 7-letter answers. Do they overlap completely except for 2 letters, giving you 8 letters to work with for your final answer? Look very carefully, because there is a wrong answer that looks very much like a right one if you're not careful.

If your "Incision Tools" answer is "SCALPEL", it's wrong.


Thanks bubblecam,

I figured out the words I just hope I got the final answer right.

I'll know if I get lots of prizes :D

phdavoid July 3, 2011 2:46 PM

I must be dense today but I am stuck on 2
This is what I have now:


this should be 'scalpel' but that doesnt fit the pattern

Don't give me the answer, just tell me if one of my words is wrong thanks

phdavoid July 3, 2011 2:56 PM

Ok pop

I know it isn't scalpel its lancets

But I'm still stuck

phdavoid July 3, 2011 3:31 PM

Ok got the answer using an anagram solver but..

what the hell does 'cleanest' have to do with "upcoming destination" unless you are a bird with neurotic housekeeping fantasies

phdavoid July 3, 2011 3:43 PM

I know, I know, I was just mad about being fooled

MisterThou July 3, 2011 11:23 PM

phdavoid, by entering that word into the address bar it takes you to your next destination (puzzle 3!)

raddaya July 4, 2011 4:09 AM

A mod should really delete that- it DOES give away the answer to #2!

As for me, I'm slightly confused on #4- is it trial and error completely?


Regarding #2,

I think the phrase "upcoming destination" simply means "the next web address in your browser" -- in other words, the word in this row is the answer to the puzzle. Don't try to use "destination" as a clue -- you have to figure out the word based on the letters in the words above and below it.

nerdypants July 4, 2011 4:05 PM

raddaya, on #4:

An anagram solver can be useful on the first and third boxes, but only if you take into account the fact that some of the letters will be used more than once. Otherwise, it really will be trial-and-error. Just pick a letter and see what words you can make.

Remember that you're looking for words 9, 9, and 11 letters long. In the middle box, one letter will not be used.

V2Blast July 8, 2011 10:29 PM

Darn, I missed this one. Perhaps I shall try the puzzles anyway later.


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