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This puzzle is divided into four parts. In each part, certain national flags are linked to certain movies.

  • Which national flag replaces the question mark in part 2?
  • Which movie replaces the question mark in part 2?

Part 1

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Part 2

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Part 3

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Part 4

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1 Answer 1

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The missing flag and movie poster are those of:

Sweden and The Hurt Locker.

Because this puzzle is a tribute to:

the career of tennis legend Roger Federer, who in the last 24 hours announced his upcoming retirement from the sport.

The important fact to note is that:

during his career, Federer won 20 Grand Slam titles - the Grand Slams being the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. Here in this puzzle we are being asked to find a twentieth flag-and-film combo - a perfect correspondence.

So what do the flags and movie posters represent?

First note that each of these movies won the Academy Award for Best Picture. If we consider the year that each of these movies won, then we find that in that year Federer beat an opponent of the nationality indicated by the flag in the final of a Grand Slam tournament.

With the four different 'Parts' each representing a different Grand Slam tournament (in the order that they are usually hosted in a calendar year), we can interpret Parts 1, 3 and 4 as follows:

Part 1: Federer's 6 Australian Open wins
Million Dollar Baby & Russia = 2004 vs Marat Safin
The Departed & Cyprus = 2006 vs Marcos Baghdatis
No Country for Old Men & Chile = 2007 vs Fernando González
The King's Speech & UK = 2010 vs Andy Murray
The Shape of Water & Spain = 2017 vs Rafael Nadal
Green Book & Croatia = 2018 vs Marin Čilić

Part 3: Federer's 8 Wimbledon wins
LotR: Return of the King & Australia = 2003 vs Mark Philippoussis
Million Dollar Baby & USA = 2004 vs Andy Roddick
Crash & USA = 2005 vs Andy Roddick
The Departed & Spain = 2006 vs Rafael Nadal
No Country for Old Men & Spain = 2007 vs Rafael Nadal
The Hurt Locker & USA = 2009 vs Andy Roddick
Argo & UK = 2012 vs Andy Murray
The Shape of Water & Croatia = 2017 vs Marin Čilić

Part 4: Federer's 5 US Open wins
Million Dollar Baby & Australia = 2004 vs Lleyton Hewitt
Crash & USA = 2005 vs Andre Agassi
The Departed & USA = 2006 vs Andy Roddick
No Country for Old Men & Serbia = 2007 vs Novak Djokovic
Slumdog Millionaire & UK = 2008 vs Andy Murray

Which means our missing one must represent:

Part 2: Federer's 1 French Open win
The Hurt Locker & Sweden = 2009 vs Robin Söderling

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    $\begingroup$ Always a joy to read your comprehensive explanation! $\endgroup$ Sep 16, 2022 at 10:25

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