Replace the question mark. Explain why.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ No idea why making minor progress on this made me want to do CC, but "Data server, regularly on cars (3)", "Data entry method, regularly on cars (3)" $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2023 at 10:37

1 Answer 1


I believe the last image should look like this:

Arrow pointing west, with number 23

Because the five areas being referred to in the title are:

the five US states whose names contain a compass direction, i.e. North Carolina, South Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

These are being clued by:

1. An arrow indicating the compass direction;

2. The atomic number of a chemical element from the Periodic Table where certain letters in the element's name are highlighted that also appear in the non-compass part of the state's name.

To explain further:

- Element 6 is CARbON - the highlighted letters C, A, R, O and N all appear in CAROLINA.

- Element 110 is DARMSTADTIUM - the highlighted letters D, A, T and a second A all appear in DAKOTA.

And this means that the 8-letter element which matches the blue/black letter pattern that must have been used to clue the name of 'West Virginia' is:

- Element 23: VANADIUM - as the highlighted letters V, A, N and I all appear in VIRGINIA (just not in the same order).

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    $\begingroup$ Everything looks good, this is the intended answer. Good job! $\endgroup$ Jan 13, 2023 at 11:09

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