"Hola, compadre!"

"Hey Pat. I got the list of possible destinations for my trip this summer. I'm not sure why I need a diagram, but I assume you want me to get this down to a short list."

"Sure, if you want to. But I've already picked your destination, and it's a great deal."

"Then why did you send me a list of countries?!? This isn't the first time you've sent me an itinerary with a location listed twice, and this one has TWO screw-ups. You really need to check your work better. Pat..."

"Trust me, you're gonna love it!"

Gah! Every time with Pat it's a freakin' puzzle. Never "How about Italy this year?"...no that would be too easy. Can you please look at this mess and tell me where I'm headed?
1. Trinidad and Tobago
2. São Tomé and Príncipe  
3. Republic of Ireland  
4. Afghanistan  
5. Federated States of Micronesia
6. Marshall Islands
7. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
8. Republic of Ireland
9. Federated States of Micronesia
10. Nigeria
11. Sierra Leone  
11. Bosnia and Herzegovina
12. Australia

Crossword Grid

It's been a long time; think I remember most of the rules, but apologies if I've messed something up!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome back, Pat :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jun 13, 2022 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


Pat is sending you to:


The grid is supposed to be filled out like this:

Completed grid

How come? Well, the key lies in the acknowledgement that Pat wants you 'to get this down to a short list.' Because each country name listed...

...contains within its letters the name of another country whose name fits into the grid!

1. Trinidad and Tobago = TOGO
2. São Tomé and Príncipe = OMAN
3. Republic of Ireland = POLAND
4. Afghanistan = GHANA
5. Federated States of Micronesia = SAMOA
6. Marshall Islands = MALI
7. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines = CHAD
8. Republic of Ireland = ICELAND
9. Federated States of Micronesia = ESTONIA
10. Nigeria = NIGER
11. Sierra Leone = IRAN
11. Bosnia and Herzegovina = INDIA
12. Australia = AUSTRIA

i.e. You're making each entry in this list shorter!

There is only one country whose name fits into the unclued space, based on the crossover letters:

HONDURAS - so this is likely your intended destination! (Another confirmatory pointer towards this solution is Pat's opening line, "Hola, compadre!" as Honduras is a Spanish-speaking country.)

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ cool puzzle and a very nice solve $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Jun 13, 2022 at 2:23
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Nailed in every particular, including both of the sly hints in flavor text! So glad to have you solve another, compadre! $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2022 at 10:49
  • $\begingroup$ @JeremyDover Nice to see you back - enjoyed the puzzle (geography always draws me in...). My 'in' was 8A (the inclusion of 'Republic of', specifically) followed almost immediately by Nigeria and Australia. A case then of looking at the others and spotting that the pattern continued :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jun 13, 2022 at 23:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your kind words, Stiv! I used the list of Member States of the UN at Wikipedia as a reference for consistency initially, but realized upon inspection that the official names were what made the puzzle work. Not sure how far back in I am yet...have been playing in the variant sudoku world a lot lately. But I'm very glad to be in touch! $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2022 at 23:58

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