(For those seeing this puzzle for the first time, the following links may be spoilers, I've now significantly restructured the puzzle in order to try to avoid giving the answer away too quickly - Inspired by Jeremy Dover's puzzle of a similar name - the version of this puzzle solved by kristinalustig is in revision 3 of the edit history. Her answer remains correct)

I got a computer guy around to fix my Google Maps after it had only been giving results in the UK.

He fiddled with some settings. "It still seems to be stuck on a 6 letter search, but you're not limited to the UK any more. Look - here's my home country."

He typed in the search and showed me Brazil.

I thanked him, and sent him on his way.

Confident it was working, I looked up CYPRUS and instructed my travel agent to book my holiday on the island it found.

My delight was short-lived. My wife heard I'd made the booking, and said "You never listen to me. I told you to book the holiday in France this year.".

I typed in FRANCE, and saw in horror that the computer just showed me an empty patch of water.

Out of curiosity, I tried out some of the places I knew were wrong last time.

DURHAM takes me to a remote location in eastern Belarus, and POLAND locates a place near the Syria-Iraq border

When I enter CAYMAN, it was also an empty patch of water. "Maybe it's not far off". I zoomed out hoping to find the Cayman Islands nearby, but instead was in the North Atlantic Ocean between Newfoundland and Greenland.

Finally I entered ISLAND. More empty water, but this time I saw some islands near by when I zoomed out. That's looking a bit more promising. What are the islands? Crete and...

Oh my God! That's nothing like the island I saw when I asked for CYPRUS! Where on earth did I tell my agent to book my holiday?

I quickly tell the agent to change the booking to FRANCE - it's not my fault if we end up in the wrong place now.

Hint (originally part of question)

The computer guy didn't type BRAZIL. In his home language it's spelled BRASIL. When I tried BRAZIL later, it came up "Not found".

Hint (originally part of question)

When we tried DALLAS, it looked about the right place in the States to me when zoomed out enough for me to recognise anything.

Hint (original first hint part #1).

Just as the previous question setter was quite hazy on UK geography, I'm quite hazy on USA geography. I only recognised anything when zoomed out enough to see the shape of the east and west coasts of the USA.

Hint (originally first hint, part #2)

When I looked more closely later, my hacked Google Maps actually places DALLAS in Oklahoma rather than Texas.

Hint (originally non-spoilered in first version of puzzle)

DURHAM was quite close to Teleshi, Belarus
The exact location of POLAND is somewhat west of Al Bukamal, within about 20 miles of the border.

Hint (originally added only after puzzle was solved)

After changing the booking to FRANCE, the travel agent actually booked us tickets to the right airport, and we were able to have a nice holiday after all.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is the first time I've set (as opposed to solving) a puzzle. I should have taken more time to refine the puzzle and find better clues BEFORE posting, but what's done is done. I've re-edited now so that the same clues are presented in a different order. $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 10, 2020 at 9:32

2 Answers 2


Is it

South Timor?

I got there by:

Combining the latitude of the second half and the longitude of the first half. The codes I'm using are the IATA city location codes, which are three letters.

So, for example:

LAS is latitude 36, and DAL is longitude -97. (36, -97) brings you to somewhere in Oklahoma.

Another example:

DUR is Durban, South Africa and HAM is Hamburg, Germany. (53, 31) brings you very close to Teleshi in Belarus.

So, when you try for the answer:

CYP is Calbayog, Philippines and RUS is Marau, Solomon Islands. (-9, 124) brings you to South Timor.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You're killing the geo puzzles today! $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2020 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ Close, but Australia is not the correct answer. I also added the final hint that you didn't need. $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 9, 2020 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ Shouldn't the answer have 6 letters? Your answer doesn't comply with that. $\endgroup$ Jul 9, 2020 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ A special hint for where you went wrong - another location that didn't make the shortlist for the puzzle as presented: rot13:(EHFFVN vf va gur Cnpvsvp Bprna orgjrra Wncna naq gur Zvqjnl Ngbyy) $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 9, 2020 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ Gura vf Ehffvn va gur Fbybzba Vfynaqf? $\endgroup$
    – kristinalustig
    Jul 9, 2020 at 22:00

The accepted answer from kristinalustig now gives the right final answer and a correct way to interpret each code.

Just to add some more detail I was hoping someone might notice:

  • the structure of these codes is similar to an OS 6 figure grid reference, which I'd mentioned in my partial (incorrect) answer to the previous question. i.e. "eastings" are followed by "northings" (interpreted as the longitude followed by the latitude on a global scale)

  • I didn't mention WARSAW - this was a slight frustration because Google Maps (the real one) couldn't find "Waris Airport". I was considering how to mention it as an intermediate clue if needed, probably at the same time as a joke about the KENNEL being 100 miles off the West coast of Portugal.

  • It was quite satisfying to be able to use all the key words from the previous puzzle... but I think including those gave away too many details, especially when it was so similar in concept to the one which inspired it, and I specified the locations with unnecessary precision.

From the final hint:

  • FRANCE has a location constructed from Frankfurt and Nice airports, which are at similar longitudes. Although the location ends up in the Mediterranean, and rather closer to Italy, the nearest airport that accepts commercial flights remains Nice, an airport that might have been used for a holiday to France itself.

If I could rewind and do this puzzle again (and I've now re-edited it along these lines)

I'd probably ditch the mention of the exact locations of DURHAM and POLAND from the initial question, at least mention FRANCE in the initial problem (e.g. "My wife suggested we should to go to FRANCE. Where would that have got us?"), and be much more vague with the first hint (e.g. "... not even in Texas", or indeed find a different example to use entirely of something "in about the right place")

... but of course "everyone" knows the answer now. Hmmm... 165 views at time of writing - maybe there is a way to restructure for later visitors.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I thought that Brazil // Brasil was actually a great part of the original question. I spent a long time meandering down a totally useless road because "ISLAND" is icelandic for Iceland, so i thought for a while that I needed to pursue different language versions of locations. $\endgroup$
    – kristinalustig
    Jul 10, 2020 at 19:15
  • $\begingroup$ @kristinalustig - indeed - the Brazil/Brasil it's still there, if anything more prominent (with that being what the "computer guy" puts in rather than the first thing I try after he leaves), but the revised flow of the puzzle doesn't even admit directly to the need to consider another spelling until the first hint. I'm working on an idea for another broadly similar puzzle, but this time doing a bit more preparatory work so that it can flow better on the first published version (and if possible send people up some slightly misleading paths ;) ) $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 11, 2020 at 13:46
  • $\begingroup$ @kristinalustig I'm pretty sure that "DALLAS in Oklahoma" was too big a clue at that stage - I assume that's what made it "click" for you... for pretty much the same reason I thought of investigating where DALLAS ended up myself! $\endgroup$
    – Steve
    Jul 11, 2020 at 14:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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