Watch Your Back (Solution, continued)
by John Wiesemann with trivia by Reuben Aronson
Round 1 Questions
- Identify this country by its shape.
- When translated, what city's full name means "The City of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels"?
- LOS ANGELES
- With what city did the mayor of Rome sign a peace treaty in 1985, ending a war that had technically lasted over 2,000 years?
- What new world city did General Wolfe capture from the Marquis de Montcalm in the Battle of the Plains of Abraham?
- What is the only US state with only one syllable?
- What country, in which over 841 distinct languages are spoken, became independent from Australia in 1975?
- PAPUA NEW GUINEA
- What Italian peninsula is named after Aeneas's skilled helmsman in Virgil's classic poem?
- CAPE PALINURO
- What mountain range is named for a watermelon, possibly due to its profile and reddish appearance at sunset?
- SANDIA MOUNTAINS
- What is the newest country in the world (full member of the UN)?
- SOUTH SUDAN
- What Russian Principality, whose name meant "white lake", sounds like an English description of its climate?
- BELOOZERO or BELOW ZERO
- What series of waterfalls proved to be the downfall of a famous detective, whose exploits were published in The Strand?
- REICHENBACH FALLS
- What "rose-red city half as old as time" is accessed through a one-mile gorge known as the Siq?
- What tributary of the Potomac lent its name to two major civil war battles?
- BULL RUN
- A 274 BCE victory against King Pyrrhus of Epirus, gave what new name to a city near the site of the victory?
- What is the highest navigable lake in the world?
- LAKE TITICACA
- What American city celebrated its tricentennial in 2006 by installing commemorative manhole covers?
- What port was collected in ancient times to Athens by the Long Walls?
- What is the largest state or national park in the contiguous United States?
- ADIRONDACK PARK or DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK
- The collapse of a bridge over what body of water is a classic example of the power of resonance?
- TACOMA NARROWS
- What country did the British Empire defeat in the world's shortest war, which lasted approximately 38 minutes?
- What longest tributary of the Amazon shares its name with a type of wine?
- MADEIRA RIVER
Round 2 Questions
- What city is the northernmost capital in the European Union?
- The Azores are an autonomous region of what country?
- During which month does the monsoon season in India begin?
- Which European country has a land border in Africa?
- What ancient Frankish capital city holds the remains of the "Father of Europe"?
Round 3 Memory GameIn the memory game you must find the loot, the warrent and the crook in that order on the backside of 30 cards. Each card is named on the front by a point of interest in Europe. The cards you need to find are:
- The Loot (South Beach): Wieliczka Salt Mine
- The Warrant: Sofia Land
- Carment Sandiego: The Acropolis
Rebuild As Europe
To get the answer, solvers needed to rebuild the physical map of the USA as Europe. The following diagram shows the mapping between US states and European countries, as well as how they fit together.
The keys to following this instruction were the two-letter US state codes written on the back of each card in the memory game in ultraviolet ink. (The image in question 1 of round 1 was also created using ultraviolet ink.) These codes were only visible with a blacklight, so they did not disrupt the memory game.
The codes provided a mapping from US State to European Country via the landmarks on the front. The points of interest on the memory game cards were distributed such that there was one for each country in Europe. Not all countries in Europe were represented, but the ones that were would appear in the map when it was rebuilt as Europe. Each state code was rotated, flipped, and otherwise manipulated in the same way that the state should be manipulated to move from the US map to the Europe map. There were also UV lines on the Europe map to help solvers put it together correctly.
When the map was correctly assembled as Europe and read with a blacklight, solvers would see the following:
thus yielding the answer, MOLLY. (The following image shows what the solution actually looked like in an earlier version where it is easier to see the state shapes.)