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Below is a puzzle I made for a university puzzle hunt. The answer is one word.

puzzle

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  • $\begingroup$ Also, I'd appreciate any criticism you happen to have! $\endgroup$ – mrfish May 13 '18 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ My only slight criticism (though I have no idea how you'd fix this) is that some of these flags are hard to match. However the country names are obviously important and need to be found so don't know how you'd get round that without giving away the name. Great puzzle though! $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 13 '18 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ I'll respectfully disagree -- if you're allowed to use Google, matching flags to countries is actually quite easy using image search. $\endgroup$ – ffao May 13 '18 at 23:24
  • $\begingroup$ One thing I now noticed: if my answer is correct, try not to mention the answer in your introduction, it can be seen as a bit disappointing when the answer is found. $\endgroup$ – ffao May 14 '18 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ There's some stray dots above and mainly below the first line of text (remnants of some earlier text, perhaps?) that ideally wouldn't be there. Puzzling folk tend to look for oddnesses, and putting in extra oddnesses which are meaningless is distracting. :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio May 15 '18 at 8:03
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Identifying the countries:

Costa Rica -> Bahrain -> Russia -> Malta -> Nicaragua
Canada -> Bosnia -> Laos -> Seychelles -> Canada
Armenia -> Colombia -> Australia -> Malta -> Central African Republic
Latvia -> Norway -> Liberia
Singapore -> Costa Rica -> Turks and Caicos -> Singapore

From the starting text,

"Australia is gold, Korea is noble" clues us that we want the ISO alpha-2 codes for the countries -- so Australia would be Au, which is gold, and Korea would be Kr, which is krypton.

Finally,

Draw each path on the periodic table (the mid point of the W is off because it should be in the Ru for Russia -- can't find my original image to edit it now):

enter image description here

These form letters, giving us the final answer of WORLD.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yep! I think the middle point of the W is off, but the answer is right. Thanks - I actually hadn't noticed that I'd included the answer in the introduction $\endgroup$ – mrfish May 14 '18 at 1:42
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Partial: (I have to go now, here is as far as I got, but someone else can continue...)


The first two letters of each country

represents an chemical compound or element (e.g. AUstralia - Au = gold)

The countries are

COsta Rica -> POland -> RUssia -> MAlta -> NIcaragua
CAnada -> BOsnia -> ? -> SEychelles -> CAnada
? -> (C?)Olumbia -> Australia -> MAlta -> Central African Republic
LAtvia -> NOrway -> ... ...

So the elements/compounds are

Cobalt -> Polonium -> Ruthenium -> Masurium -> Nickel
Calcium -> Boron -> ? -> Selenium -> Calcium
? -> Cobalt/Carbon -> Gold -> Masurium -> ?
Lanthanum -> Nobelium -> ... ...

The next step is to

Map this on the periodic table but I don't have time so I shall allow some other puzzler to finish this off...

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