Enigma 1330: Rain puzzle
22 April 2014
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From New Scientist #2489, 5th March 2005
I had just completed a new puzzle when it began to rain. Unfortunately raindrops fell on seven letters in the manuscript, turning them into illegible blobs. In the copy of the puzzle that follows, those seven blobs are marked by stars.
Puzzle: I have a 4-by-4 array of 16 squares, and each square contains a letter. I will tell you the letters in each horizontal row and each vertical column in alphabetical order. The rows are numbered from top to bottom and the columns from left to right.
Row 1, abcd; Row 2, cefg; Row 3, adeh; Row 4 bfgh.
Column 1, adeg; Column 2, bcfh; Column 3, a***; Column 4, ****.
From this information you will find precisely two possible answers. I want you to look at the letter in Row 2, Column 3 in each answer and send in the 4-by-4 array for which that letter is the earliest in the alphabet.
What was the answer to the puzzle?