Have You Got What It Takes To Solve Dishonored 2's Wicked Logic Puzzle?

Dishonored 2 is a game about sneaking, stabbing, and teleporting around behind enemy lines. It's also occasionally a game about solving thorny LSAT-style logic puzzles.

Last night I dove back into Dishonored 2 for the first time in a few weeks. I loaded my most recent save and found myself in the Dust District, standing in a courtyard near a large locked door. As I approached, two civilians were talking about how hard the lock in front of them was to open.

They walked away and I looked for myself. I saw a massive door with a horizontal row of five names and five symbols. Next to it, a written-out logic puzzle called "The Jindosh Riddle."

"At the dinner party were Lady Winslow, Doctor Marcolla, Countess Contee, Madam Natsiou, and Baroness Finch. The women sat in a row. They all wore different colours and Doctor Marcolla wore a jaunty purple hat. Lady Winslow was at the far left..."

Now, some context: It had been a few weeks, and I had more or less completely forgotten what I was supposed to be doing in this level. I play with quest objectives turned off, so I didn't remember that I had the option to go and do some sidequest to get some NPCs to open this door for me.

All I knew was there was a big door in front of me and it could be opened by solving a logic problem. (I assumed that the puzzle was optional, of course.) Furthermore, I had coincidentally just had a conversation about how much I like these kinds of puzzles. I took it as a sign. I was gonna solve this bad boy.

I did eventually solve it, though it took me about 30 minutes and two full sheets of paper to do so. Before we get into the solution, I want to see if you can solve it, too. Maybe you're on your lunch break? Maybe you don't want to play Dishonored 2 but you love logic puzzles?

Here's my version of The Jindosh Riddle:

At the dinner party were Lady Winslow, Doctor Marcolla, Countess Contee, Madam Natsiou, and Baroness Finch. The women sat in a row. They all wore different colours and Doctor Marcolla wore a jaunty purple hat.

Lady Winslow was at the far left, next to the guest wearing a white jacket. The lady in green sat left of someone in blue. I remember that green outfit because the woman spilled her whiskey all over it. The traveller from Fraeport was dressed entirely in red. When one of the dinner guests bragged about her Diamond, the woman next to her said they were finer in Fraeport, where she lived.

So Baroness Finch showed off a prized War Medal, at which the lady from Dabokva scoffed, saying it was no match for her Bird Pendant. Someone else carried a valuable Ring and when she saw it, the visitor from Dunwall next to her almost spilled her neighbour's wine. Countess Contee raised her rum in toast.

The lady from Karnaca, full of beer, jumped up onto the table, falling onto the guest in the center seat, spilling the poor woman's absinthe. Then Madam Natsiou captivated them all with a story about her wild youth in Baleton.

In the morning, there were four heirlooms under the table: the Diamond, Snuff Tin, the Bird Pendant, and the Ring.

But who owned each?

So you've got five ladies and five heirlooms. In order to get the correct input for the lock, you need to arrange the ladies at the table and assign them each to their heirlooms.

Seems straightforward, right? Go for it. I'll wait.


THE SOLUTION

I had no idea about this puzzle going in. Turns out it's kind of a thing among fans of Dishonored 2, in part because the puzzle is randomised, so you can't just google the solution.

You can get the coveted "Eureka" achievement/trophy for solving it outright, though you can also find clues in a nearby building and even find the solution later in the level if you can get an NPC to let you bypass it. However, if you do that, you won't get the achievement.

Players have come up with custom worksheets to quickly solve the riddle, and speedrunners have taken to diagramming the possible permutations so they can more quickly decipher it. That's because in a speedrun, if you can get the door open quickly, you can bypass a huge chunk of the level.

I didn't know about any of that, so I just rolled up my sleeves, broke out a couple sheets of paper, and solved the fucker. Which made me feel like THE SMARTEST MAN ALIVE.

Above: A sampling of my long-atrophied handwriting.

So basically you have five variables: name, outfit colour, hometown, beverage, and heirloom. You need to use all of them to solve the puzzle, because only through process of elimination and association will you have enough information to determine who's sitting where, and who has which heirloom.

The hardest thing for me was figuring out how to arrange the information on a piece of paper as I worked it out — I went through a few drafts where I'd start listing things before realising that my layout wasn't going to be able to support the different kinds of information I had to associate.

I tended to think in terms of positives ("Countess Contee is drinking rum") and not be able to organise my negatives, since some of them are so specific ("The woman in blue cannot be next to Lady Winslow"). I eventually figured out a system that worked. I'm sure it would have been much easier with a spreadsheet, but I don't think Emily Kaldwin had Excel on hand, so I decided to keep it setting-appropriate.

My other major stumbling block came from what I see as a borderline flaw in the wording of the puzzle. In one crucial place, the language is a touch unclear: "Someone else carried a valuable Ring and when she saw it, the visitor from Dunwall next to her almost spilled her neighbour's wine."

The words "her neighbour" are ambiguous to me: they could refer to the Ring-holder, or they could refer to the visitor from Dunwall's other neighbour. Was I supposed to use that sentence to determine a fact about the woman with the Ring? This was a source of much consternation as I drew closer to the solution.

I was eventually able to chew my way around the ambiguity, but I frequently ground my teeth at whoever wrote that sentence.

The solution, as you can see in that picture of my worksheet, is as follows: From left to right, Winslow had the ring, Contee had the Diamond, Marcolla had the Bird Pendant, Natsiou had the Snuff Tin, and Finch had the War Medal. I entered my findings into the lock and — click! — it opened. Hell yes.

Thus ended an unexpectedly rewarding interlude in Dishonored 2. I'm curious how many of you got it done. If you got to this puzzle in the game, did you solve it? If you haven't played the game, did you solve my version? And most importantly, do you think Lady Winslow wore red because she was worried about spilling her wine, too?


Comments

    I loved working out this puzzle!

    I used to do Logic Puzzles from a book of my mum's from the late 80's, and I had so much fun with them, it was always extremely satisfying fitting the last pieces of the puzzle together, and they're very rewarding, so imagine how thrilled I was when I saw that this was one massive giant logic puzzle!

    I basically downloaded a logic puzzle template from the internet, and filled it out with the data, and worked from there. Took me about an hour and a half with some distractions, but once I got it and opened that door, I was so satisfied, and it's always going to be something I'll remember about the game years down the line, when I'm thinking about how much I love the game.

    Here's one for you all.

    There are 8 pills, one of which is poison. The poison pill weighs slightly more than the other pills. You have a set of balance scales. You are only allowed to weigh any number of pills twice (e.g. 4 on one side, 4 on the other, just as an example which would be one use of the scales).

    You need to determine which one is poison. Go!

      Weigh any six. If they are the same then weigh the two remaining. Done.

      If one set is different from the original six then weigh any two. If they're the same then the last pill is it. Either way you've got your answer.

        The guy at the cafe gave me this one, I thought about it as I had my coffee and cigarette break and returned with the answer - as you stated. Nice little coffee break puzzle.

          It's an old Google interview question, among other things. Only they used eggs instead of pills, I believe.

    Thanks Kirk, that was fun. Excel is always my go-to for these.
    In one crucial place, the language is a touch unclear: "Someone else carried a valuable Ring and when she saw it, the visitor from Dunwall next to her almost spilled her neighbour's wine."
    That stood out to me, these puzzles often have a trap if you read additional information into it. I had numbered the seats from left to right, so my note for that was
    Seat m: Dunwall, Seat m+/-1 Ring, Seat m+/-1 Wine

    I had a weird experience. I solved it on my first playthrough, but I'm pretty sure it was impossible the second time around. Is it possible that the randomisation makes it impossible?

    I solved the puzzle in about 30 minutes too using about half an A4 page. I knew there were a set number of facts about each guest (Name, origin, clothing colour, heirloom, drink, etc.) and I knew there were certain associated facts that could be immediately grouped together. From there I spent about 10 minutes trying to find the one link that would then kick off the chain of elimination and association. Once I did it was pretty easy.

    I don't remember the exact wording of mine but this version seems pretty similar so I think behind the scenes it's just coming up with the table of guest data and then substituting tokens in the riddle with the corresponding values. If that's true, you could quite quickly figure out any permutation because you know which tokens translate to which cell of data about the guests.

    I gave it a go, but couldn't quite find a technique that worked well for nailing things down. After about 45 minutes of noodling on paper and excel I decided to go chasing Overseers instead.

    I got it. Took a few sheets of paper too :) I drew it up as a spreadsheet.

    Came up with the same solution in about ten minutes during my lunch break.

    I find the easiest way to solve these puzzles is to list all possibilities in a grid, so for name, outfit colour, hometown, beverage, and heirloom, start with:
    WMCNF WMCNF WMCNF WMCNF WMCNF
    RWGRB RWGRB RWGRB RWGRB RWGRB
    FDaDuKB FDaDuKB FDaDuKB FDaDuKB FDaDuKB
    WhWiRAB WhWiRAB WhWiRAB WhWiRAB WhWiRAB
    DTPRM DTPRM DTPRM DTPRM DTPRM

    Go through the clues a few times identifying the known facts and eliminating things that can't be true. The grid helps because eventually each "cell" will only have one thing that it possibly can be.

    -edit
    Dammit. There are no tags for monospace text, but obviously that grid should be aligned like... a grid.

    Last edited 15/12/16 3:09 pm

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