18
$\begingroup$

An entry in the 19th fortnightly challenge ( + ).


All you can think about since your last P.U.Z.Z.L.E. operation, is a well deserved vacation. Fortunately there is currently a prize competition at P.U.Z.Z.L.E., and the first prize is an all-inclusive two week trip to a five-star superior hotel in an unspecified country.

To win, you have to find out which country you will be flying to. The only hints are 4 postcards pinned to a world map in the hallway.

map

Hints:

- Before you ask, nothing is missing on the USA postcard.
- A small group of people in each affected country would have an unfair advantage while solving this puzzle.
- Once you found out what the images mean, there are very small hints in the image, which tell, what to do next.

Credits (may contain spoilers or misleading hints):

- Map images were provided by OpenStreetMap.
- Creative Commons licensed images: 1, 2, 3
- Public Domain licensed images from: 1, 2, 3, 4

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ The Triceratops is from Los Angeles in the United States, and the brown pants (Knopflatz Lederhose) are from Germany. Hmm... $\endgroup$ – haykam Nov 6 '16 at 23:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Peanut You have read the part about misleading hints, right? You shouldn't use any information from the credits to solve the puzzle. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Nov 7 '16 at 5:54
  • $\begingroup$ I realize that. $\endgroup$ – haykam Nov 7 '16 at 21:27
16
+100
$\begingroup$

The pictures on the postcards refer to:

UK:

Pill, Somerset
Bunny, Nottinghamshire
Sandwich, Kent

Germany:

Otter, Lower Saxony
Lederhose, Thuringia
Wolken, Rhineland-Palatinate
Kuchen, Baden-Württemberg

Spain:

Avión, Ourense
Cenicero, La Rioja
Niebla, Huelva
Pepino, Toledo

USA:

Dinosaur, Colorado
Nothing, Arizona (thanks to M Oehm)

Where do we go from here?

The obvious thing to do is to connect those cities on the map. We now have a problem in which order to do it; connecting in the order they're on the postcards seems to give nonsense.

However...

OP has very sneakily told us which cities to connect in the border of the postcards! We can see that some of the pictures are linked, while others aren't:

enter image description here

Making the right connections according to the hints gives us:


enter image description here enter image description here

Interpreting this as numbers gives us 1770, which is another town's name, this time located in Australia.

$\endgroup$
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ That's brilliant! For what it's worth, there's a Nothing, Arizona. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Nov 8 '16 at 7:00
  • $\begingroup$ Drawing straight lines between the place names, you can just about make the italic letters "r" (UK), "I" (USA), "N" (Germany) and "Y" (Spain) - RI, NY would be Rhode Island, New York. This requires re-shuffling the letters, and having one in lowercase which feels pretty contrived $\endgroup$ – Joe Nov 8 '16 at 17:03
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @ffao The country you guessed is correct. By the way, the second prize is a sea trip starting in Pity Me, visiting the Disappointment Islands and ending in a cozy walk to the Lake Disappointment. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Nov 8 '16 at 19:49
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The third prize is a city trip to the three members of the "League of Extraordinary Communities": Dull, Boring and Bland. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Nov 8 '16 at 19:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Sleafar by this point, P.U.Z.Z.L.E should give me a promotion or something :p $\endgroup$ – ffao Nov 8 '16 at 20:03
2
$\begingroup$

Partial answer:

To start with:

The pictures, in the languages of the countries where they're posted, are: Dinosaur; Pink (or Rose?), Rabbit (or Hare?), Sandwich; Otter, Lederhosen, Himmel (or Wolke), Geburtstagskuche (or Kuche); Avión, Cenicero, Niebla, Pepino

Putting it together:

Taking the first letter of each world, you can almost spell "G. Choppersland ("G." for "Greater") which is probably what motorcycle enthusiasts call California?

However:

But seriously, "land" is too tantalizing to ignore, although none of the countries whose names end in "land" (https://www.quora.com/How-many-country-names-in-this-world-ends-with-land) have twelve letters (which is the number of photos).

Worse:

None of the 12-letter countries (http://bestforpuzzles.com/lists/countries/12.html) end in "land" except "Bechuanaland". "The Netherlands" is close, but it's hard to spell anything with "gorppcswland", even if they're taken as phonemes rather than actual glyphs.

I don't seem to have enough vowels.

And what the heck is that pink thing next to the rabbit?!

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling. Nice start so far. The Spanish words are all correct. Referring the German ones, one is correct the other three have wrong endings (plural instead of singular or vice versa, wrong spelling in one case). Two of the English words are correct. The pink thing is about 5mm big and in a blister pack (and it starts with the letter P). The rest of your answer unfortunately went in a totally wrong direction. There is no "steganography" tag, but there are others. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Nov 8 '16 at 5:47
1
$\begingroup$

Partial Answer

The dinosaur appears to live at

The Fryxell Geology Museum at Augustana College, Rock Island IL
The location of the pin is very nearly the College, which does have dinosaur skeletons and skulls on display (though no triceratops), and is the only location in Illinois closer than Rockford with any dinosaur exhibit.

This could also possibly be The Putnam Museum & Science Center in Davenport, Iowa, which has a "temporary" dinosaur exhibit for some 4-5 years now, but that's in Iowa and the pin is clearly pretty well inside Illinois.

The big bunny and partners appear to live at

Yorkshire Dales National Park, England.
Specifically he seems to be a Brown Hare under the protective eyes of the Hare Preservation Trust (I'm not only the president, I'm also a member?)

The sandwich is likely made with Wensleydale cheese, as "set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales is The Wensleydale Creamery".

Germany:

Stock pic of birthday cake
Stock pic of otter
Stock pic of lederhosen
Stock pic of rain clouds

The pin itself looks like it hits the Thuringian Forest Nature Park - or at least, the Thuringian Forest
The postcard covers the German state of Bavaria, which fits with lederhosen and with the party theme of the cake (Oktoberfest is in Munich, in Bavaria).

Spain:

Stock pic of P-51 Mustang
Stock pic of sliced cucumber
Stock pic of ash tray Image of "Frozen fog during extreme cold with tree in farmers field at daybreak"

Pin is at or near Alcázar de San Juan, the setting for Miguel de Cervantes' Don Quixote

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Listing the images is a good first step, but the interpretation is much simpler. Also remember the tags. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Nov 7 '16 at 20:43
  • $\begingroup$ I think, based on the hint, that perhaps some of the names of these items in the language of their locale might be important. $\endgroup$ – Dan Russell Nov 8 '16 at 2:39
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, interestingly enough some of the likely words for these pictures are unaffected (spelling-wise at least) by the locale. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Nov 8 '16 at 2:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio Actually, there is only one word that is unaffected. The loanword you are probably thinking of uses plural instead of singular for some reason. $\endgroup$ – Sleafar Nov 8 '16 at 6:11
  • $\begingroup$ The reason is probably that it used to be plural for a pair and dialect uses the plural, too. Many proverbs still use the plural form, but in modern usage, it is singular. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Nov 8 '16 at 6:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.