Dishonored 2: How to solve the Jindosh Riddle and Lock (and skip most of the Dust District)
At about the mid-point of Dishonored 2 you'll encounter Mission #6, The Dust District. Before you can access Aramis Stilton's Manor to find what you seek, you need to figure out a way past the devious Jindosh Lock, a complicated contraption made by Karnaca's greatest inventor.
As with all missions in Dishonored 2, you have a few different ways you can proceed. The most straight-forward is the one the game sets out clearly for you: find either the leader of the Howler gang or the Overseers, capture or kill him, and bring his body to the other leader. Doing this will end the rivalry for control of the Dust District, and earn you the assistance of one of the factions in getting past the Jindosh Lock.
A second method is one you're likely to discover while exploring the District, and involves tracking down a solution to the lock developed by a Howler agent. Finding this solution will involve infiltrating both bases and locating a series of keys and clues.
Or you can just figure out a solution to the lock yourself, using the awesome power of logical deduction, and skip a major part of the quest entirely.
How it works
The Jindosh Lock itself is a combination lock you need to solve by matching a series of names to a series of symbols representing valuable items. Brute-forcing it by simply trying all the combinations is theoretically possible, but extremely time-consuming and likely not very fun at all. Fortunately, if you look just to the right of the door, you'll see that the Jindosh Lock's solution is spelled out, in a fashion, in something called the Jindosh Riddle.
Details of the solution and riddle are randomized for your game, so your answer will not be the same as what worked for other players. That means that, for all of you who got to this article hoping to just find a quick solution, well...that's not something I can help you with. The tricky way around this puzzle is designed to be walkthrough-proof.
Here's what the Jindosh Riddle looked like in one of our playthroughs:
Anyone who has ever spent time studying for the LSAT or similar tests likely recognized this riddle right away as a logic grid (or logic game) puzzle (and this flash of recognition may or may not have been accompanied by screaming and cursing, depending on how those LSAT study sessions went for you). Logic grid puzzles involve short word problems, like this one, which present a variety of different criteria and relationships (such as letting us know which colors were sitting next to each other, or where Madam Natsiou was from).
Using a variety of logical deduction techniques and a logic grid (like this one I've already set up for you), it's possible to gradually determine the proper relationship between the different elements mentioned, marking positive and negative relationships between elements as we determine them. If we are told that Countess Contee wore white, for example, and later learn that the woman in white was drinking whiskey, and then finally determine that the whiskey-drinker had the War Medal, well...then we've practically got the puzzle solved!
Unfortunately for those looking for an easy way out, this is a beast of a logic grid puzzle. Even though solving the Jindosh Lock this way will allow you to skip a huge portion of the Dust District mission entirely, it might not actually save you any time, once you're finally done squeezing every last drop of information out of the Riddle.
There are a lot of different elements to keep track of in this puzzle, and some fairly advanced clue techniques as well (you should learn about the different ways information is presented in a logic grid puzzle if you want to tackle it properly). Some of the clues are a little more ambigious in their wording than they should be, too, which compounds the difficulty and may require you to work on multiple potential solutions in parallel. Drawing a diagram in addition to the logic grid can help, especially when it comes to the seating arrangement at the table.
Expect to give your brain a workout if you want to solve the lock this way, and don't rush through things. One mistake on a logic grid can throw everything else off.
Is it worth it?
There is an achievement for solving the lock this way, called "Eureka," that is likely to be very rare assuming the developers have succeeded in making the puzzle actually walkthrough-proof (we'll see how many different possible solutions are actually in the game once more players share their experiences). So if you're an achievement hunter or a completionist, you're going to need to solve the Jindosh Riddle on your own.
Side note: You've already encountered Jindosh himself and decided his fate by the time you reach this damn Lock and Riddle, which is good, because I would have had a much harder time not stabbing his smarmy smug face to pieces if I had already dealt with the frustration of this puzzle when I met him.
Skipping the Dust District as a whole is hard to justify on your first play-through, both because of all the runes and bonecharms you'll be leaving untouched and because, well...how much of the game do you really want to skip, you know? You bought the game because you wanted to play it, presumably. This is one of the game's more interesting semi-open urban environments, with two distinct groups of enemies with different abilities and tactics. Taking out one of the rival leaders will determine the fate of the Dust District in the ending to your game, so there's also that to consider.
Of course you can always get past the Lock with a logic grid, get the Eureka achievement, and then explore the rest of the area just for fun and to grab loot and lore, if you want to solve your cake riddle and then eat it too. Or you can try things the cheaty way, saving your game, going into the District to find the solution, writing that solution down on a piece of paper in the real world, then re-loading your early save and entering in that solution to the puzzle.
But that would be cheating, and cheating is wrong.
Major credit goes out to Arkane Studios for including this puzzle in their game, and for having the audacity to allow players to skip an hour or two of gameplay if they sit down and put their LSAT-skills to use.
Here's the solution for our particular version of the puzzle outlined above, but remember: the answer in your game will likely vary:
Did you actually solve the Jindosh Riddle and earn the Eureka achievement? Let us know in the comments!