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*It's been a thrilling few days of puzzling here at the American Puzzling Championships, where representatives of the 48 contiguous states have been sharing their mental abilities. Here's some of the highlights of the competition. Pictures will be available in our online storage album.

*Maine's puzzler was removed in the first round after suffering some sort of breakdown and writing 'I am a puzzling genius' on the walls of the room, declaring himself to be a 'mighty mighty codfish' and passing out in a heap.

*Glory was not to be for a second year for last year's runner-up Florida, who surprisingly was among those crashing out in the second round.

*Unbelievable scenes in the fourth round as last year's winner Oregon went out and with defeated semi-finalists Wisconsin and Texas also tumbling out, it would be an all-new final four this year.

*Really dazzling this time were the puzzlers from New Mexico and Nevada, who on their very first events, made it all the way to the fifth round- a bright future seems to await them.

*Wyoming and South Dakota puzzlers provided the 'highlight' of the 6th round with rather unseemly brawl as puzzle boards and tables went flying. The unlucky Pennsylvania puzzler had to withdraw injured after being caught up in the melee and having a Puzzle TabletTM forcibly inserted into an orifice.

*Come the last rounds, the field was whittled down to our two unlucky losers who got knocked out in the 7th round and two star puzzlers going head to head in the 8th and final round.

*They will now be displayed on our electronic computer board... Let's see who they are...

*The 4 gallant puzzlers are...

*0h. That's not quite the message I was expecting.

YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE PUZZLE FIENDS. WORK IT OUT YOUR DAMN SELVES. I'VE GONE OFF TO ENTERTAIN MYSELF WITH THAT CUTE LITTLE LAPTOP IN THE SCORING ROOM.

So... what are you waiting for? Do what the computer says... I am, in fact, off to the scoring room right now, with a rather nice little blonde...

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  • $\begingroup$ found "tut tut"… pffff $\endgroup$ – Jan Ivan Feb 28 '17 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ Damn you fiends are just too good for me! $\endgroup$ – Kit-Ginevra Feb 28 '17 at 22:00
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The puzzlers in the 7th and 8th round are from:

Colorado and Kentucky (going out in round 7)
Missouri and Tennessee (winners in round 8)
I guess the final will end in a tie...

This is related to:

Number of bordering states.
The round in which each state goes out is determined by this number.
E.g.:
Maine goes out in round 1 and has exactly 1 bordering state.
Florida goes out in round 2 and has 2 bordering states.
Texas, Wisconsin and Oregon go out in round 4 and have 4 bordering states each.
New Mexico and Nevada make it to the 5th round and they have 5 bordering states each.
Wyoming, South Dakota and Pennsylvania go out in the 6th round and all of them have 6 bordering states.

Therefore the semi-finalists are:
Colorado and Kentucky, having 7 bordering states each and Missouri and Tennessee, having 8.
Missouri or Tennessee will bring forth the winners.

Also, Hawaii and Alaska don't participate, because they don't have any bordering states.

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