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What's the answer hidden in the puzzle below?


puzzle image showing maps and polygons

From left to right:

   (-) - - (-) - - - - (-) - - - - (-) - (-) - - (-) - - - (-) (-) - - - - (-) - -
   11       6          2,9          7     5       1         8   3          4,10
   

Note: Although one doesn't really fit in this category (the answer to this puzzle), I still decided to include it. It doesn't affect the puzzle at all, just a technical matter. Good luck!

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1 Answer 1

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The puzzle asks us to look for ...

... countries whose shapes resemble the given geometric shapes as closely as possible in the given continents – it's a "closest-to" puzzle.

So:

Most circular country in Africa: SIERRA LEONE
Squarest country in Africa: EGYPT
Triangular country in Central America: NICARAGUA
Hexagonal country in Europe: FRANCE

(France is sometimes referred to as the Hexagon, so that made me think of the similarity of the shapes. From just looking at a map of Africa, I considered Sierra Leone, Lesotho and Eswatini as circles and the mainland of Equatorial Guinea as a rectangle, but an internet search brought up this article, whose answers neatly fit the number of blanks in the puzzle.)

The overall answer is:

"COUNTRY-GONS", that is country shapes that are nearly regular polygons. You get it if you write the four coutries above in the given pattern and extract the numberes letters:

(S) I E (R) R A L E (O) N E E G (Y) P (T) N I (C) A R A (G) (U) A F R A (N) C E
11       6          2,9          7     5       1         8   3          4,10

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    $\begingroup$ Lovely job. Great article to link to for info too. I was so focussed on using the number of sides of the shapes to extract the nth letter of the various continents... I suspect I was not the only one! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 11, 2023 at 8:56
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. Hehe, Prim3numbah is very good at sending one down various rabbit holes with some casual sketches, no? $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Apr 11, 2023 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ I thought the dotted lines were equator or tropic of cancer and we were to find countries in those continents "closest to" that lol :D Very Smart work @MOehm like always and I agree ^ $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Apr 11, 2023 at 9:44
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    $\begingroup$ I suspected it wouldn't be easy to figure out what it was all about, but hoped that L'Hexagone would give it away - which it did in this case. I didn't want to give away too much in the title either. Great job! $\endgroup$ Apr 11, 2023 at 12:35

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