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The Image Color: A Hello! Project Puzzle puzzle contest has ended! The following people submitted correct answers while the contest was in progress:

  • maiZe, on 2009-02-20 at 05:25 UTC.
  • Mars, on 2009-02-21 at 05:54 UTC.

Congratulations! maiZe will be getting a 20 USD gift certificate to soon.

Here is a complete solution.


It’s been too long since my last H!P puzzle … here’s a new one! I’ll keep the rules short:

  • The contest ends 2009 February 23 at 23:59 UTC, or 96 hours after I receive the first correct submission, whichever comes later. This is to keep the contest fun and motivating for solvers even if someone’s already found the answer.
  • The first person to submit a correct answer wins a 20 USD gift certificate to
  • You can collaborate with whoever you want, but there’s only one prize.
  • Submit answers by leaving a comment with your name and e-mail address; I’ve set the comments on moderated mode so your comment won’t be displayed publicly.
  • You may submit more than once, but please keep your guesses to a minimum.
  • If you include your e-mail address (or if I have other ways of contacting you), I’ll let you know whether or not your submission is correct.
  • The answer is a word or short phrase having to do with Hello! Project.
  • Knowledge of Japanese language and/or writing systems is not necessary to solve this puzzle.
  • I may put up hints later.
  • Good luck!


EDIT: I have reformatted the puzzle to display three separate grids instead of only two. It’s the same puzzle, just represented in a way that may reduce conflicting information.


Hints: (highlight to read)

  • Title:
    • Yes, the title actually does mean something.
      • The term refers to a concept in H!P.
      • The °C-ute song has nothing to do with this puzzle.
  • Flavortext:
    • If you don’t get what “pyon pyon fumu fumu yeah yeah” has to do with this puzzle, forget about it. It’s not essential.
  • Grids:
    • The three grids roughly correspond to three stages of solving this puzzle. You can just focus on the first grid if you’re just starting the puzzle.
      • That said, information discovered in later stages may be helpful in figuring out parts of earlier stages.
    • The grids line up with each other.
  • Grid 1:
    • What do the letters spell?
      • It’s an abbreviation of sorts.
        • “PPL” = “people”.
    • Do the icons remind you of anything?
      • If not, try watching Hello! Project PVs and looking at CD covers. The more recent the better.
        • The more colorful the better.
    • Put the icons in groups.
      • Don’t group them by color.
      • Put the icons in H!P groups.
      • Think about the colors in each group.
      • Each color in a group represents a distinct person.
  • Grid 2:
    • Combine this grid with Grid 1 to get additional information.
    • Three letters have already been given to you. You need to find more.
    • Each letter corresponds to a square and can be deduced from the information in that square.
      • Names are important.
      • No one in H!P has a given name that is ten letters long.
      • Look at surnames and consider how you can get letters out of them.
    • If you have the right letters, patterns should emerge.
      • You should search for words.
      • This is a word search.
    • There are words you can make out of the letters, and there are words you can make out of the letters you can’t make words out of.
      • The words you can make out of the letters you can’t make words out of form a clue that describes a state of Grid 3 that you should attain.
      • After finding all the words, read what’s left over.
  • Grid 3:
    • What are the dimensions of the grid?
    • The grid is a board.
    • What’s special about the squares with circles?
      • Do the letters represent anything?
      • The letters stand for different types of pieces.
    • The circles are pieces.
      • The pieces can move according to strict rules.
      • What color are the pieces?
    • What board game could this be?



Image Color
A Hello! Project Puzzle


pyon pyon

Board Colors

fumu fumu

Board Numbers

yeah yeah

Board Pieces


DJ Kirarin☆Snow ☃'s remixes are now appearing at K!☆Mixed.
February 2009


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