This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #1: Restricted Title: xkcd 1xxx

The answer is a timely word
No rotations; all pieces are oriented correctly
The colors are not important or necessary to distinguish

U.S. Map

Puzzle Pieces

  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Ner nyy gur chmmyr cvrprf fhccbfrq gb svg ba gur znc? V'z pbhagvat sbhe uhaqerq rvtugrra pryyf va gur cvrprf naq sbhe uhaqerq gjryir pryyf va gur znc vapyhqvat gur erq barf.) $\endgroup$
    – caPNCApn
    Jul 2, 2022 at 21:25
  • $\begingroup$ @cap oops ignore the duplicate sized reddish rectangles. Can't fix until tonight, or someone can. $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jul 2, 2022 at 21:47
  • $\begingroup$ Omit one of the two 3x2 rectangles? $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Jul 2, 2022 at 21:55
  • $\begingroup$ @robpratt Yep, I thought there was one too many and then I recounted and couldn't find it. $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jul 2, 2022 at 22:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Amoz I've submitted an edit. Hopefully this is what you want? If not, feel free to reject it. $\endgroup$ Jul 2, 2022 at 23:46

2 Answers 2



The puzzle fills in like this:

enter image description here

Each puzzle piece is

a US state. The number of cells in each piece is the number of letters in the state's name.

The marked cells

enter image description here from west to east spell INDEPENDENCE, which the USA will be celebrating on the 4th of this month. Happy Birthday, USA!


It turns out the tiling is not unique. Here's another one:

enter image description here

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ You are right, the tiling is not intended to be unique as this is also about geography to a reasonable degree. You must have been inspired by the xkcd comic! : ) $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Jul 3, 2022 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ What does this one spell? $\endgroup$ Jul 4, 2022 at 14:37
  • $\begingroup$ @DertereuuiFloireiurtrthr The corresponding letters would be A A C E E H H H I K N W, which don't seem to form an English word. $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Jul 4, 2022 at 21:15

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