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Just too difficult....
I think I may know the moves...
It certainly wasn't easy, but I managed to solve it. The key to finding the first move is to notice how all of the obvious tries fail. 1.Nc4? fails to 1...c2, while 1.Ne4 fails to 1...Kd3. Also, 1.Qb5?! (cutting off d3) is a move too slow after 1...c2 2.Ne4 c1=Q 3.Qd7+ Ke5 4.Qd6+ Kf5 5.Qf6#. It was this last variation in particular that led me to the correct line:
1.Qd7! Kd3 2.Qf5+ Kd2 (2...Kd4 3.Nb5#) 3.Nc4+ Kc1/d1/e1 4.Qxb1#
1...Kc5 2.Nc8! Kb4 (else 3.Qd6+ Kb5 4.Qb6#) 3.Qa4+ Kc5 4.Qc4#
1...Ke5 2.Ne8! Kf4 (else 3.Qd6+ Kf5 4.Qf6#) 3.Qg4+ Ke5 4.Qe4#
1...c2 (or any other move) 2.Ne4+ Ke5 3.Qd6+ Kf5 4.Qf6#
The middle two variations are of course the most thematic, and they are mirror images of each other. A well composed problem. :)
Apologies for just noticing that some brave soul had solved this beast. Well done cobra91! a trophy wings its way towards you.
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