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This is part 21 of A Trivial Pursuit, a 25-part puzzle hunt. Each part is solvable on its own, with the exception of the meta-puzzle at the end.


Excerpts from recent round-the-world itinerary:

  • Flew to a city on the Mediterranean, the birthplace of Raging Bull’s Thelma Schoonmaker, a creative in the movie industry (4,6)
  • On the hunt for an authentic Sachertorte in its city of origin, I frequented a traditional pastry shop (10)
  • Came out to the Balkans to see this incredible illuminated manuscript, listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register (8,8)
  • Up at dawn to visit an exhibition in Falkenhagener Feld and learn the literal meaning of ‘Bandenbekämpfung’ (6-8)
  • Saw a beautiful sculpture of the local goddess of love (9)
  • On a tour of the city’s hundreds of islands and canals, I admired their glassware, in which white threads are embedded in transparent glass to give a lace-like effect (5-2-5)
  • Now in the Antipodes, I attended meetings with various politicians, including a recent Leader of the National Party (6,7)
  • Larked about with Henrik, a striker who was top scorer in the 2020 1. divisjon season (5)
  • Yet to visit the country’s two most renowned holy cities, but have frequented many local mosques, where I was exposed to the sayings and customs of the Prophet Muhammad (6)
  • Largely talked sport with the cricket-mad locals, particularly the international tournament, most recently held in 2018 and won by Bangladesh (7,6)
  • I wandered around the oldest University in the English-speaking world and the 2012 host city of the first IQA World Cup in a sport now commonly known as quadball (9)

…ending with a tour of several of the United States:

  • Nearly missed the beginning of the annual long-distance sled race run in early March (8)
  • Encouraged by the Sam Mendes movie, fruitlessly searched the third most populous city in the US for the road to this damned state (9)
  • Explored the hometown of Jericho Brown, winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (3,9)
  • Nipped over to a port city on the Pacific, the setting of a Keanu Reeves film (2,3,7,5)
  • Dropped in on the home of the Cowboys and reminisced about the player who caught the final touchdown in the coldest Super Bowl ever played (5)
  • Stopped in at Calvary Cemetery to pay my respects to a meat-packing industrialist who gave his name to two cities in different states (6)

The final answer is a 6-letter word with a connection to the Middle Ages.

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    $\begingroup$ @1357924680a Patience - all in good time. Puzzles will be posted and checkmarks awarded when the moment is right, without the need for prompting in comments. Remember that behind a username there's a person who might also have a day job and a family to attend to as well! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 20, 2023 at 9:43

2 Answers 2

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Continuing from msh210's answer, which explains all the solution words and the principal gimmick, that is everything except the final answer:

Each word has either a dit or a dah, leading to morse code, but msh210 couldn't find a suitable interpretation for the resulting code.

The missing step:

It turns out that we have to sort the entries. My first instinct was to sort the trips by their destination country or state, but that was worthless: The trips were already sorted by country. (I'm not so sure about the states.)

But there's another piece of information that can be used as sorting criterion: the answers themselves. Let's do that:

• Aphrodite
• Bandit-fighting
━ Cudahy
Ditka
  (E)
• Film editor
  (G)
• Hadith
• Iditarod
• Judith Collins
• Konditorei
  (L)
━ My Own Private Idaho
━ Nidahas Trophy
  (O)
• Perdition
• Quidditch
  (R)
━ Sarajevo Haggedah
• The Tradition
━ Udahl
• Vitro-di-trina
  (WXYZ)

Unused letters indicate breaks between letters.

This yields:

• • ━ •   •   • • • •   ━ ━   • •   ━ • ━ •

It decodes to Fehmic, which you might remember as a variant of "Vehmic", which means related to the Vehm, a tribunal system that had its heyday from the 13th to the 15th century in in Westphalia.

And the locations?

If I haven't missed anything, they are this puzzle's red herring.

(Or not. Stiv, the puzzle's creator, states in a comment that if something is ordered that's probably a hint that it must be re-ordered. So the locations serve as initial ordering criterion and are a hint to look for another crierion. Too subtle for me, I'm afraid.)

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    $\begingroup$ How did you determine the splits between the characters? $\endgroup$
    – LeppyR64
    Oct 19, 2023 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ @LeppyR64 Good question, which I'd ideally like to see mentioned in the answer :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 19, 2023 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ This is the correct answer though, so well done for persevering! Also, the locations do have a purpose rather than just being a red herring - the first blockquote in this answer of Deusovi's links to some advice on an external blogpost suggesting that if something is already ordered then it probably needs to be reordered :) It was intended as a hint towards that. $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 19, 2023 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ Ha, such subtle hints are above my head. :) Will expand the answer to answer @LeppyR64's question. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Oct 19, 2023 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks to you. This is such a well crafted puzzle with several aha moments on the way, I don't know what you thought when I flaunted my reverse-morsing skills when I really should have known better. I feel adequately silly now. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Oct 19, 2023 at 19:54
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Partial answer.

Well, I've got the pieces, I think, but don't know how to put them together.

  • Flew to a city on the Mediterranean, the birthplace of Raging Bull’s Thelma Schoonmaker a creative in the movie industry (4,6)

film editor

  • On the hunt for an authentic Sachertorte in its city of origin, I frequented a traditional pastry shop (10)

Konditorei

  • Came out to the Balkans to see this incredible illuminated manuscript, listed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register (8,8)

Sarajevo Haggadah

  • Up at dawn to visit an exhibition in Falkenhagener Feld and learn the literal meaning of ‘Bandenbekämpfung’ (6-8)

bandit-fighting

  • Saw a beautiful sculpture of the local goddess of love (9)

Aphrodite

  • On a tour of the city’s hundreds of islands and canals, I admired their glassware, in which white threads are embedded in transparent glass to give a lace-like effect (5-2-5)

vitro-di-trina

  • Now in the Antipodes, I attended meetings with various politicians, including a recent Leader of the National Party (6,7)

Judith Collins

  • Larked about with Henrik, a striker who was top scorer in the 2020 1. divisjon season (5)

Udahl

  • Yet to visit the country’s two most renowned holy cities, but have frequented many local mosques, where I was exposed to the sayings and customs of the Prophet Muhammad (6)

Hadith

  • Largely talked sport with the cricket-mad locals, particularly the international tournament, most recently held in 2018 and won by Bangladesh (7,6)

Nidahas Trophy

  • I wandered around the oldest University in the English-speaking world and the 2012 host city of the first IQA World Cup in a sport now commonly known as quadball (9)

Quidditch

  • Nearly missed the beginning of the annual long-distance sled race run in early March (8)

Iditarod

  • Encouraged by the Sam Mendes movie, fruitlessly searched the third most populous city in the US for the road to this damned state (9)

Perdition

  • Explored the hometown of Jericho Brown winner of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (3,9)

The Tradition

  • Nipped over to a port city on the Pacific, the setting of a Keanu Reeves film (2,3,7,5)

My Own Private Idaho

  • Dropped in on the home of the Cowboys and reminisced about the player who caught the final touchdown in the coldest Super Bowl ever played (5)

Ditka

  • Stopped in at Calvary Cemetery to pay my respects to a meat-packing industrialist who gave his name to two cities in different states (6)

Cudahy

That yields

••–••••–•–• •••–•–

or possibly

• • ••–••••–•–• •••–•– (if we include the puzzle title and intro)

neither of which can I seem to interpret.

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  • $\begingroup$ Oh, when I saw the "1 new answer" and your name, I thought you had it all solved. I'm stuck in the same place as you. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Oct 19, 2023 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ You're on the right path. Everything in this puzzle is designed to try and nudge you towards finding the answer... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 19, 2023 at 10:42
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    $\begingroup$ Hm,with the full names, it's already sorted if I use your data. (I've got the same, but used the cemetery as reference for the last one.) If I intersperse the two blocks, I get nothing. (Sorry about the premature comment.) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Oct 19, 2023 at 11:14
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    $\begingroup$ I've now found an alternative sorting criterion and have accepted your invitation to post a separate answer ... $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Oct 19, 2023 at 12:17
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    $\begingroup$ Well done for spotting the hidden ones in the title and intro too :) (There's also one in each of the first two clues - I wanted to hide some in plain sight but not so many that people would start trying to interpret those instead of the ones in the answer. An additional hint or pointer rather than anything to be included in the end...) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 19, 2023 at 15:30

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