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Find below 12 cities in this word search puzzle, to find out what you are:

  • Algiers
  • Barcelona
  • Bogotá
  • Brisbane
  • Buenos Aires
  • Cologne
  • Gdańsk
  • Lagos
  • Madrid
  • Miami
  • Seattle
  • Sofia
S W E N D S O A W B T A R G E N W
X E I A D N M E R Q P I N J T T A
O P D G A R I A S O O T D N Y I D
B M O L O G E B M L K N J L E N R
I D F U C L A U S T T E G R A A S
A U O B A A N L M R A N D P O W P
C G U A I R A G L A L G E U L I K
O L O M B T V B A L O M R E A O L
S T C A G S U A A I P T I U P T N
W G C U I N E S I T D N A L O V W
X U Z A E N A I R E G L A T E S U
B N A S E I R V E G O M T D W O N
B N Y G E G A N M I I N S S P T I
R A F T A E T P U N A D D T A X T
A M E F A R I A N I P U E T I N U
I R D Y D M E O B V S F I R N I I
S E G Y N A R L E S N I A P S N E

Don't forget it has a tag

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  • $\begingroup$ Appears that none of the cities appear in the word search, but there are close matches. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 10, 2023 at 23:21
  • $\begingroup$ I've made sense of the first step and (I think) the second step of the puzzle too, but don't know how to proceed from there.. just way too many letters :) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Prim3numbah, I have tried to have as few as possible letters, but not always it fits right. I'll upvote any good partial answer as well ;) $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 16:39
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, since I can't get any further, I'll post a partial $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 17:23

2 Answers 2

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As Prim3numbah showed in their answer,

Each of the countries represented by the 12 cities has its name written in a square pattern:

the word search, with each of the country names highlighted

From there, I thought I knew what the next step was:

Each of these cities is pretty easily mapped to a point on a 3x3 grid if you look at it within the borders of its country. For example, Algiers is pretty close to the top-center of Algeria:

a Google Maps screenshot of Algeria

So, doing the same with the square of letters...

just Algeria's box from the word search, with a star over the letter O in the top center

It looks like Algiers should represent the letter O. Unfortunately, with this method, we get the letters OTOLTEETEXDC, which doesn't mean anything, nor does it anagram to anything I can find.

However, thanks to a helpful tip from OP in comments, I tried

reorienting myself:

the same completed word search, but rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise

As you can see, the eight cardinal and ordinal directions now line up with what we'd expect (i.e. "NW" in the top left corner, "N" in the top middle - albeit confusingly next to another W, etc.) Thanks again to the OP for some more prodding in that direction.

Now, if we try the same trick, we get the letters TROBITERETOG, which ... is so close to spelling the word GLOBETROTTER that it must be the right answer. (OP confirms that the I for Buenos Aires should be an L.)

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  • $\begingroup$ looking at it again, I suspect that what happened was rot13(znqevq jnf fhccbfrq gb or na Y ohg tbg birejevggra ol gur havgrq fgngrf - vg'f gur bayl pvgl gung vagrefrpgf jvgu n obeqre yvxr gung). I suspect there's some sort of metaphor there but I can't quite place it... $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ I have double checked it myself, and unfortunately, I made one mistake myself: Buenos Aires should be a L instead of an I. Then, if you set the word search in the original way, you should read it correctly from left to right. Madrid is indeed an E $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ But please explain in your answer the reorientation. There is a good reason for that. Apart from that, you have got the final answer, well done! $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ Nice job :) Didn't think of that step, let alone, erbevragngvba! $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 13:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ To be fair, I made that quip only after Lezzup hinted at reorientation. If I look clever now, it's all quite undeserved -- I couldn't see any of what you and Prim3numbah solved. (I first thought that I would be a "knight" and the cities were hidden in a knight's tour or maybe I was an "airplane" and we were looking at airports instead.) By the way, your tidy and colourful diagrams are very pretty. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Jul 13, 2023 at 5:15
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Partial answer

First step

Find the corresponding countries to the cities which, in alphabetical order, are: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bulgaria, Colombia, Germany, Nigeria, Poland, Spain and United States
enter image description here
You'll see that each country form a 3x3 square inside (for example you find the square of Argentina by following the letters, in order, until it forms a square; a,r,g,e,n,t,i,n,a,a,r,g,e,n,t,i)

Here´s what I think is the second step:

Let´s write down all the 3x3 letter squares we've found.
Algeria:

enter image description here


Argentina:

enter image description here


Australia:

enter image description here


Bulgaria:

enter image description here


Colombia:

enter image description here


Germany:

enter image description here


Nigeria:

enter image description here


Poland:

enter image description here


Spain:

enter image description here


United States:

enter image description here





Not sure how to proceed from here... perhaps there´s some way of arranging these to make another wordsearch or similar, but can't see how. I also don't know how to make use of the 3x3 letters to match the specific cities...

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ First step 100% correct. I gave you an upvote for that. Do you want a hint on the second step? ;) $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Lezzup Does the geography imply you need to look up a map? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 17:47
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    $\begingroup$ it seems to me like rot13(nyy gur pvgvrf ner cerggl vqragvsvnoyr gb n fcbg ba n 3k3 fdhner (r.t. nytvref vf cerggl zhpu rknpgyl gur gbc-pragre bs nytrevn)) but I tried that and it didn't get me anywhere, so idk $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 20:20
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    $\begingroup$ @juicifer, who says north is at the top? ;) $\endgroup$
    – Lezzup
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 11:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @juicifer: And most old maps feature a compass rose ... $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Commented Jul 12, 2023 at 12:38

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