This is a complete solution to “Hello! Project no Puzzle desu yo.“, which I posted a week ago. I’ve broken down the solution into stages so that you can use them if you’re stuck on something, or if you want to skip the arduous title-finding stage, or if you don’t want to deal with kana at all. Also, the titles are whited out so you can check individual titles without having others spoiled for you. The titles are given in both their original kana form and also in directly mapped romaji (capitals for katakana, lowercase for hiragana; small characters treated like regular characters; all characters separated by spaces).

 

(highlight to read)

How to find the titles:

Each title is coded as a triplet in the form x:y(z). The x values are more heavily concentrated around 1 and 2, with few occurrences of larger numbers, and there are two occurrences of 2.5. A quick look at the Hello! Project discography should reveal that a majority of the albums contain a number in the title, sometimes creatively worked in and sometimes not. The number corresponds to the ordinal index of the album out of all albums released by the artist/group, arranged chronologically, with mini-albums denoted using half-integers. This is a technique I call “Tsunkudexing,” as Tsunku is the first person I know of to do this consistently. The y values are evenly distributed across possible track numbers for a regular-length album, and the z values sum to 225, the total number of squares in the grid. We can infer that x:y(z) refers to the yth track on some artist or group’s xth album, which has a length of z characters. Since the artist/group is not specified, there may be some ambiguity, and indeed two of the clues are identical. Finding a few of the titles should reveal that the titles are given in standard kana lexicographical order, separated by rows in the same way kana are separated by rows, based on initial consonant. This should resolve any ambiguities.

 

The titles:

Clue Artist Album Title (kana) Title (romaji)
2:5(6)
W
2nd W
あぁ いいな!
a a i i na !
2.5:2(12)
Berryz Koubou
Special! Best Mini ~2.5 Maime no Kare~
ありがとう!おともだち。
a ri ga to u ! o to mo da chi .
4:8(8)
Morning Musume
4th “Ikimasshoi!”
いきまっしょい!
i ki ma tsu shi yo i !
1:9(7)
Morning Musume
First Time
ウソつきあんた
U SO tsu ki a n ta
1:3(5)
Matsuura Aya
First Kiss
オシャレ!
O SHI YA RE !
3:8(4)
Morning Musume
3rd-LOVE Paradise
おもいで
o mo i de
1:3(5)
Taiyo to Ciscomoon
Taiyo & Ciscomoon 1
ガタメキラ
GA TA ME KI RA
5:11(8)
Morning Musume
No.5
がんばっちゃえ!
ga n ba tsu chi ya e !
1:5(7)
GAM
1st GAM ~Amai Yuuwaku~
ここで キスして
ko ko de KI SU shi te
4:10(7)
Berryz Koubou
4th Ai no Nanchara Shisuu
サクラハラクサ
SA KU RA HA RA KU SA
2:8(3)
Berryz Koubou
Dai (2) Seichouki
さぼり
sa bo ri
2.5:2(8)
Abe Natsumi
25 ~Vingt-Cinq~
スイートホリック
SU I — TO HO RI TSU KU
1:9(2)
Tanpopo
TANPOPO 1
スキ
SU KI
2:11(6)
Goto Maki
(2) Paint It Gold
スクランブル
SU KU RA N BU RU
3:10(6)
Goto Maki
3rd Station
ステーション
SU TE — SHI YO N
2:5(5)
Matsuura Aya
T.W.O
ダイアリー
DA I A RI —
2:11(8)
Abe Natsumi
2nd ~Shimiwataru Omoi~
ちょっとずつね。
chi yo tsu to zu tsu ne .
1:5(4)
Nakazawa Yuko
Dai Isshou
つぐない
tsu gu na i
3:4(4)
Matsuura Aya
X3
ね〜え?
ne ~ e ?
1:7(5)
v-u-den
Suite Room Number 1
ひとりじめ
hi to ri ji me
1:4(18)
Berryz Koubou
1st Cho Berryz
ファイティングポーズはダテじゃない!
FU A I TE I N GU PO — ZU ha DA TE ji ya na i !
1:8(7)
Fujimoto Miki
MIKI 1
ボーイフレンド
BO — I FU RE N DO
1:1(11)
°C-ute
Cutie Queen VOL.1
まっさらブルージーンズ
ma tsu sa ra BU RU — JI — N ZU
1:1(14)
Mini Moni
Mini Moni Song Daihyakka 1 Kan
ミニモニ。ジャンケンぴょん!
MI NI MO NI . JI YA N KE N pi yo n !
1:4(10)
Mini Moni
Mini Moni Song Daihyakka 1 Kan
ミニモニ。ひなまつり
MI NI MO NI . hi na ma tsu ri
2:4(19)
Mini Moni
Mini Moni Songs 2
ミラクルルン グランプリン!/ミニハムず
MI RA KU RU RU N GU RA N PU RI N ! / MI NI HA MU zu
1:6(7)
Ongaku Gatas
1st GOODSAL
やったろうぜ!
ya tsu ta ro u ze !
2:10(6)
Melon Kinenbi
THE Nimaime
ラストシーン
RA SU TO SHI — N
7:6(8)
Morning Musume
Rainbow 7
レインボーピンク
RE I N BO — PI N KU
2:3(5)
W
2nd W
ロボキッス
RO BO KI TSU SU

 

How to fill in the grid:

Once you have the titles, you can follow the example given in the smaller grid at the top of the puzzle, which takes the characters in the title and fills up the grid with them in a winding snake-like fashion from the top left corner to the bottom left corner, moving between adjacent squares and leaving no blank squares. Katakana squares are left white and hiragana squares are shaded blue. The challenge here is to do the same with the titles given. You can connect all the titles together in the order they’re given and use logic to fit all the characters into the grid. Doing so in order might leave you stranded partway through, possibly at the point where 「サクラハラクサ」 mocks you with its palindromic brilliance (I put this one there on purpose). If this should happen, an easy way to get around it would be to try filling in the grid from the other end or from somewhere in the middle. Eventually, you’ll be able to put all the characters into the only possible configuration.

 

The completed grid:

Click to view

 

The final step:

Now you get to make use of the letters given in the grid. If you group the marked characters by letter, you should get:

  • A: ムラまルミゃリ
  • B: ぜドソスこグつ
  • C: ずっクシイサがダ
  • D: うぁイグがさス
  • E: トっウおスクテえ
  • F: プだなさぴクはガキつさ
  • G: ミピニちり

For each letter, you can mark its associated characters on a kana table, without distinguishing between hiragana and katakana, small and regular kana, or bare and accented kana. If you orient the table with あ in the top left corner, as suggested by the initial orientation of the titles, you should find that the marked kana for letter spell out something:

Click to view

 

So the answer is CHANCE!

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