A Streetcar Named... (Solution)

by Mike Greenberg, based on ideas by Charles Steinhardt and Sean Lip

The puzzle is an image constructed of pieces of streetcars strung together to form a sort of train, scrolling across the screen. Each original streetcar is a historic streetcar in San Francisco, and each has been cut into n pieces of equal width, where n is the number of letters in the country from which that streetcar originated. Matching the pieces with the country letters reads out the clue phrase USUAL DESCRIPTOR CONCERNING ALL EXCEPT TWO MOST RECENT AMERICAN STATES. ONE CAN SPELL IT USING ONLY AUSTRALIA CANADA AND PORTUGAL. The first half clues CONTIGUOUS, CONTINENTAL, or MAINLAND; the second half narrows it down to CONTIGUOUS: