It’s a combination scavenger hunt and sudoku!
The grid above is, despite all appearances, a regular old sudoku puzzle. (Click here to download a larger version as a PDF. It’s custom-sized, so you’ll need to scale it to print it out.) Instead of numbers, each starting clue in the grid has been replaced by a close-up picture of a game’s board or components. Oh, and using Reverse Image Search will probably not help: I took all these pictures myself and this is the first time they’ve appeared on the Interwebs. 😁
Your first job is to identify all the games and look them up on BGG. (Any numbers that happen to be in the pictures are purely incidental and not part of the puzzle.) The last (units) digit of each game’s BGG ID # is the digit you should put in the grid (you can use the empty one provided at the end of the instructions if you want). The easiest way to get the BGG ID # is from the URL of the game’s page–for instance, in the example below the BGG ID # for Pac-Man: The Card Game is 324963, and if it were one of the games in the puzzle you would put a “3” in the corresponding box in the grid (because the ID # ends in “3”):
Once you’ve got all the starter digits you can solve the sudoku–all regular rules apply.
Once that’s done, the five yellow boxes read in order from left to right and then top to bottom will produce a five-digit number. The name of the game with that BGG ID number is the answer to the contest. (It’s not a well-known game, but its title aptly sums up 2020.) Email your completed grid and the contest answer to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, December 27 at noon. One correct answer drawn at random will receive a game TBD–which means unfortunately that due to shipping costs only entrants from North America are eligible to receive the game.
Good luck! And my grateful thanks to Sara VanderWal and Duncan McGregor for troubleshooting this puzzle as well as many others this year.
You can use the empty grid below for your solution–or make your own!