CiSRA Puzzle Competition 2009 - Solutions
This is the archive of the 2009 Puzzle Competition. Please visit the current competition site for information about the latest Puzzle Competition.
C.5 All Sorts
There are two parts to this liquorice allsorts puzzle:
The flags are for the following countries (the round sweets are somewhat stylised representations):
(Taiwan calls itself officially the Republic of China, and is also sometimes known as Chinese Taipei, while South Korea's official name is the Republic of Korea. But it doesn't matter which names you use for these countries - it makes no difference to the puzzle solution.)
The first letters of each of those countries look like this:
A secret message can be read by considering each 3×3 block in turn, left to right, starting at the top. It spells:
SMALLER SISTER CITIES IN ASTSJS USE CUBE CLUE
The bottom-left corner of the puzzle is interesting because it doesn't spell words (no matter which versions of the country names you use), and all the sweets are circular.
The second portion of the secret message says "use cube clue". This alludes to the second source of information, which is found by stacking the 3×3 groups atop each other to form 3×3×3 cubes.
Looking downwards at the left-most cube of sweets, we see the letter H. Looking from the left side, we see the letter O, and looking from the front we see the letter N (represented as a lower case "n"). Doing this for the second and third cubes produces another word: HONOLULU (with a filled square at the end, indicating it is not a letter).
Looking at Honolulu's sister cities, there are several in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Azerbaijan - in fact Japan has three and South Korea two, while Taiwan and Azerbaijan have one each. The bottom-left corner of the puzzle, where the round sweets are, is:
Rearranging this in the same left-to-right, top-to-bottom order like the words in the other trays of sweets gives us the following ordering:
Azerbaijan, South Korea, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, South Korea
The smaller sister cities of Honolulu in those countries are:
Baku, Incheon, Kaohsiung, Incheon, Naha, Incheon
The first letters spell the answer to the puzzle: BIKINI, a famous atoll in the Pacific Ocean, whose namesake is also often found on the beaches of Honolulu.