CISRA Puzzle Competition 2007 - Solutions

This is the archive of the 2007 Puzzle Competition. Please visit the current competition site for information about the latest Puzzle Competition.

A.4 Third World

Intuitive leap: Each word in the final line of the puzzle is associated with a country.

The sequence:

Q: So what made them sick?

wax: cigarpieoven crawl connectiondelightgivercheeseburnsaladroulette.

Strongly suggests that "wax" corresponds to "A" (since Q: for Question should be followed by A: for Answer). This also suggests that each other word in the bottom line corresponds to a single letter.

But how do we get "A" out of "wax"? The correct approach takes into account hints such as "people from all over the globe", and the word "World" in the puzzle title. Each word can be paired with a country, to result in a familiar term.

Brazilian wax
Cuban cigar
American pie
Dutch oven
Australian crawl
French connection
Turkish delight
Indian giver
Swiss cheese
Chinese burn
Greek salad
Russian roulette

Now we have a list of countries. Remember that "Brazilian" somehow gives "A", and consider the other clues: "winning bronze" is a reference to coming third, and the word "Third" is in the puzzle title. Maybe we need to take the third letter of each country.

This gives:

Brazillian wax         Brazil       A
Cuban cigar            Cuba         B
American pie           America      E
Dutch oven             Netherlands  T
Australian crawl       Australia    S
French connection      France       A
Turkish delight        Turkey       R
Indian giver           India        D
Swiss cheese           Switzerland  I
Chinese burn           China        I
Greek salad            Greece       E
Russian                Russia       S

This isn't quite right. We're missing a step. The puzzle states that all this is happening at the Olympic Games. At the Olympics, each country is assigned a three-letter IOC country code*. Maybe we need the third letter from each country code?

Brazillian wax       Brazil         BRA
Cuban cigar          Cuba           CUB
American pie         United States  USA
Dutch oven           Netherlands    NED
Australian crawl     Australia      AUS
French connection    France         FRA
Turkish delight      Turkey         TUR
Indian giver         India          IND
Swiss cheese         Switzerland    SUI
Chinese burn         China          CHN
Greek salad          Greece         GRE
Russian              Russia         RUS

This looks better. Taking the third letter of each country code gives us the decoded bottom line:

A: bad sardines

And the answer is BAD SARDINES.

* Note that some of these these are different to the more generally used ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 country codes, which will obscure the solution a little if used.