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What's the phrase I'm looking for?


enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Well, the pictures are rot13(QP, ZB, AR, BU, ZF, ZB ntnva, GA) but I don't know where to go with it from there. $\endgroup$
    – Ed Murphy
    Jan 25, 2023 at 16:29
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    $\begingroup$ There's a connection if you look at their rot13(pncvgnyf: nyy ner anzrq nsgre crbcyr, gur svefg svir bs juvpu cresrpgyl svg gur tevq fcnprf - ohg gur ynfg gjb qba'g...) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 25, 2023 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ @EdMurphy Yes, those are the regions $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2023 at 8:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv You're on the right track. Try to look for another connection $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2023 at 8:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv You are correct regarding rot13(pncvgnyf, ohg abg nyy bs gurz pbeerfcbaqf gb pncvgnyf) $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2023 at 8:34

1 Answer 1

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The phrase you are looking for is:

US BILLS

First identify the locations whose outlines are provided. These are all in the US and are:

Washington DC, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Mississippi, Missouri (again), and Tennessee.

At this stage I noticed that...

...for many of these instances the capital of the states listed (and Washington DC itself) were named after a figure from history whose name fitted perfectly into the grid below. Namely, George Washington (Washington DC), Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson City, MO), Abraham Lincoln (Lincoln, NE), Cristoforo Colombo (Columbus, OH), and Andrew Jackson (Jackson, MS). However, this doesn't work for the bottom 2, one of which is a second occurrence of Missouri but with a different number of spaces in the grid. So it's not about capitals...

Then it struck me...

There are seven outlines, and what else is there that comes in a set of seven which correspond to some of these historical figures? US banknotes! (So it's not about capitals, but it is about capital!) Thinking this way we can perfectly slot in the names of the seven men on the US banknotes:

Completed grid

\$1 George Washington
\$2 Thomas Jefferson
\$5 Abraham Lincoln
\$10 Alexander Hamilton
\$20 Andrew Jackson
\$50 Ulysses S. Grant
\$100 Benjamin Franklin

And what's the connection with the outlines?

All of these men have cities named after them in these locations:

\$1 George Washington - Washington DC itself;
\$2 Thomas Jefferson - Jefferson City, MO;
\$5 Abraham Lincoln - Lincoln, NE;
\$10 Alexander Hamilton - Hamilton, OH
\$20 Andrew Jackson - Jackson, MS;
\$50 Ulysses S. Grant - Grant City, MO;
\$100 Benjamin Franklin - Franklin, TN.

Finally, extract the letters marked in red and rearrange them to find our answer:

US BILLS (i.e. US banknotes). Note that the title's reference to 'rectangular' also suggests the shape of banknotes, not just the shape of the rectangular grid used in the puzzle.

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  • $\begingroup$ That's exactly it, well done :) $\endgroup$ Jan 26, 2023 at 9:35

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