Idle LoopPuzzles • DASH 7 Rita Skeeter puzzle

DASH 7 Rita Skeeter puzzle

In 2015, Cathy participated as a puzzle author for DASH 7, which had a Harry Potter theme. DASH teams were participating in a contest akin to the Triwizard Tournament.

Cathy as Rita Skeeter
Cathy as Rita Skeeter

Cathy created the puzzle that had teams navigating their way through an interview with the infamous journalist Rita Skeeter.

This was Cathy's first time writing for DASH, but we had played DASH several times. For DASH, teams get one puzzle at a time. This means that everyone on the team will be solving the puzzle together.

Cathy's goal was to create a puzzle where each of the 4-5 people on a team would have something to work on, both from the standpoint of interest in different types of puzzles and also being able to work concurrently on different parts of the puzzle.

For her Rita Skeeter puzzle, there is a wordplay component and also a Nikoli-style logic puzzle (Yajisan Kazusan). Thanks to Pavel Curtis for teaching us about Nikoli!

We also helped at the event, and got into the spirit with costumes.


There are three versions of the puzzle. DASH teams register for one of these categories based on the experience of their members. Click on the link below for the version that you'd like to solve.

  • Rita Skeeter, Expert version – The expert version is the most challenging version because there are some places without explicit instructions for solving the puzzle. Instead, there are clues that hint at what to do; part of the challenge is to figure that out!
  • Rita Skeeter, Novice version – The novice version has the same puzzle as the expert version, but is slightly easier because it includes instructions for what needs to be done to solve all portions of the puzzle. By providing full instructions, this version removes a small step in the solving process, but can help you get going (and avoid frustration) if you don't know what to do. If you prefer more of a challenge, start with the expert version, then transition to novice if you have trouble figuring out what to do.
  • Rita Skeeter, Junior version – The junior version is designed for teenage participants. It is a much simpler version of the puzzle, featuring a wordplay component that is shorter than in the expert/novice version, and it has no logic puzzle.

The "par time" for this puzzle (expert / novice) is 40 minutes. That's assuming a team of 4-5 people, and the puzzle is designed to have team members work concurrently on different parts. If you're solving solo, expect it to take quite a bit longer; an hour and a half would not be unreasonable!

Cathy and Tom as wizards
Cathy and Tom as wizards


If you get stuck on any of the puzzles in this set, you can visit the Hints Page for help. It is safe from spoilers; each hint will be shown only when you click to reveal it.


The solutions will of course contain spoilers, so it's better to use the Hints Page to help you solve.

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