by Rebecca Vessenes
Problem: Thanksgiving Town/​President’s Day Town

This puzzle focuses on commonalities—ingredients having a tea in common, teas having ingredients in common, and words having common letters in a common position.

Upon requesting an interaction using the phrase “TEA TIME,” teams received 12 labeled cups, each containing two identical tea bags. The tea samples were given in alphabetical order and labeled with the first letter of the tea name. Also on each cup were blank lines, one for each tea ingredient used in the puzzle.

The flavor text These seasonings make everything taste heavenly! clues the solver that these are Celestial Seasoning teas. (Solvers might first consider Heavenly Tea, but the shape of the tea bags should quickly indicate that is not correct.) The teas should be brewed and identified by taste. The teas are:

  • Country Peach Passion
  • Emperor’s Choice
  • Fireside Vanilla Spice
  • Island Mango
  • Mandarin Orange Spice
  • Mint Magic
  • Roastaroma
  • Spiced Espresso Chai
  • Sweet Harvest Pumpkin
  • Tension Tamer
  • True Blueberry
  • Wild Berry Zinger

The puzzle shows 15 pictures in alphabetical order, which are ingredients in the teas. They are:

black tea, blackberry leaves, blueberries, cardamom, chamomile, chinese star anise, cinnamon, ginger, hibiscus, luo han guo, orange peel, peppermint, roasted barley, roasted chicory, rose hips.

The ingredients in most of the teas can be found at by clicking on the tea and getting the ingredient list. Note that the “What’s in Our Tea” section of the website does NOT give a complete listing of teas with those ingredients.

Island Mango was discontinued and removed from their website in January 2019, but the ingredient list can be found elsewhere online, for instance in the images of

# ingredients black tea blackberry leaves blueberries cardamom chamomile chinese star anise cinnamon ginger hibiscus luo han guo orange peel peppermint roasted barley roasted chicory rosehips

The graph contains 15 vertices marked with symbols which correspond to the ingredients. An edge indicates that at least one tea contained both ingredients. Using the ingredient information, solvers can determine which ingredients share a common tea.

Matrix of common ingredients:

black tea blackberry leaves blueberries cardamom chamomile chinese star anise cinnamon ginger hibiscus luo han guo orange peel peppermint roasted barley roasted chicory rosehips # in common
black tea   X   X   X X X X X       X   8
blackberry leaves X   X   X   X X X   X     X X 9
blueberries   X             X   X     X X 5
cardamom X         X X X           X   5
chamomile   X         X X X   X X   X X 8
chinese star anise X     X     X X         X X   6
cinnamon X X   X X X   X X X X X X X X 13
ginger X X   X X X X     X X X   X X 11
hibiscus X X X   X   X       X     X X 8
luo han guo X           X X           X   4
orange peel   X X   X   X X X     X   X X 9
peppermint         X   X X     X     X   5
roasted barley           X X             X   3
roasted chicory X X X X X X X X X X X X X   X 14
rosehips   X X   X   X X X   X     X   8

Use logical deduction on the degree of each vertex and which ingredients do not have teas in common to match the ingredients to the symbols:

Symbol Ingredient Number of Vertices
Sunblack tea8
Lightningblackberry leaves9
Trianglechinese star anise6
Cloudluo han guo4
Rainboworange peel9
Hourglassroasted barley3
Pentagonroasted chicory14

The asterisk in each Venn diagram identifies two of the given teas, based upon the ingredients they share (and do not share). As clued by the grey Os in the title, the names of these teas have ONE letter in a common position (after removing spaces and punctuation). Read the extracted letters across, then down.

U Country Peach Passion & True Blueberry Have blackberry leaves and hibiscus but not roasted chicory or black tea.
N Mandarin Orange Spice & Tension Tamer Have cinnamon and chamomile but not blueberries or luo han guo.
E Mandarin Orange Spice & Emperor’s Choice Have orange peel and cinnamon but not peppermint or roasted barley.
E Emperor’s Choice & Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Have ginger but not peppermint, blueberries, or cardamom.
D Spiced Espresso Chai & Island Mango Have black tea but not luo han guo, peppermint, or blueberries.
A Roastaroma & Mint Magic Do not have blackberry leaves, ginger, hibiscus, and black tea.
B True Blueberry & Wild Berry Zinger Have hibiscus, rosehips, blackberry leaves and do not have chamomile.
I Mint Magic & Wild Berry Zinger Have roasted chicory but do not have ginger, chamomile or chinese star anise.
S Roastaroma & Tension Tamer Do not have cardamom, rosehips, black tea, or orange peel.
C Emperor’s Choice & Mint Magic Have cinnamon, orange peel, roasted chicory and do not have chamomile.
U Country Peach Passion & True Blueberry Have rosehips and orange peel and do not have roasted chicory or chinese star anise.
I Spiced Espresso Chai & Fireside Vanilla Spice Have ginger and do not have chamomile, orange peel or luo han guo.
T Roastaroma & Sweet Harvest Pumpkin Have roasted chicory and cinnamon but not cardamom or orange peel.
S Emperor’s Choice & Spiced Espresso Chai Have roasted chicory and ginger but not roasted barley or luo han guo.

The answer is UNEEDA BISCUITS.

Image Credits