You finally did it! You've been accepted into the elite Puzzling Society. All that is left to do is to go to headquarters and attend your first meeting. You received your invitation letter in the mail, but of course it's a puzzle. Solve it to find your true destination.

|                                                             |
|   Meriden                        Wallingford                |
|   Lombard                        Rockford                   |
|   Kent                           Erie                       |
|   Bethany Beach                  Natchitoches               |
|   Perrysburg                     Evanston                   |
|   Charlotte                      MAVUPBSYWOA                |
|                                                             |
|                           Official Puzzling Society, ©2022  |

You flip the card over and take a look at the back:

|         A                                        I          |
|         I               Think Bigger             N          |
|         I                                                   |
|         Z              To join or not            O          |
|         E              Into the fray;            R          |
|         F               And organize             D          |
|         Z                   This                 E          |
|         W                                        R          |
|         W                 Official Puzzling Society, ©2022  |

Hint 1:

None of the listed cities are the correct answer, but all of them help to find it.


1 Answer 1


A partial clue that I discovered:

If you use "MAVUP" as a key to a Viginere cipher of the first letters of each city ("MLKBPCWRENE"), you get a suspiciously clear first five letters: ALPHAKRJTP

If I really wanted to stretch it, the following possibility suggested itself:

Since "MAVUP" works for the first five initials of the first column, I thought that "CHARL" might be the key for the five initials of the second column: this yields the temptingly intelligible "UKEWT." Again, if I really stretch it, "ALPHA U KEWT" might be intended to call attention to the one city in the list that is misspelled: Indeed, "Mariden" seems to be a reference to "Meriden, CT," and is off by one "a." So, a tentative answer is that Meriden is the intended destination.

  • $\begingroup$ You've made some good progress. However , rot13(bayl gur svefg svir yrggref ner vagraqrq gb unir zrnavat. Jung pbhyq "nycun" zrna?) $\endgroup$
    – PiGuy314
    Jan 10, 2022 at 18:57

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