by John Owens
Answer: TELEGRAPH STATION
How to Solve
This puzzle has 9 descriptions in the language of heraldry with answer blanks for each description. Some of the answer letters are highlighted, so solvers must fill in an answer for each description and extract the highlighted letters.
The first step is to translate the 9 heraldic descriptions into visuals.
The second step is to recognize what these descriptions represent. The (largely southern) restaurant chain Waffle House uses their own "Magic Marker" system to communicate orders to their chefs. Per Wikipedia, "the company has a symbolic code by which grill operators are told the specific orders that go on each customer's plate". Each description indicates a particular order. The highlighted letters of the dishes spell the solution, TELEGRAPH STATION.
|Visual description||Waffle House order||◯s|
|Rectangle with centered large white upright oval with small green sideways rectangle atop left side of oval||fiesTa omElet||TE|
|Rectangle with centered large white circle with small green circle at the bottom, two overlapping white diamonds in the middle, and also in the middle a red circle on top of a green amorphous shape||b.L.t. with tExas toast||LE|
|Rectangle with centered large white upright oval with small red rectangle centered on oval and blade diagonally from bottom right to top left||eGgs oveR medium, hold the toAst||GRA|
|Rectangle with centered large white upright oval, small yellow sideways rectangle with colored writing on it in middle of oval||Pork cHop, medium||PH|
|Rectangle with centered large white upright oval, then atop left side of oval, two small yellow diamonds; atop the yellow diamonds, a sideways white-with-red-writing rectangle and a sideways purple rectangle||cheeseSteak omeleT||ST|
|Rectangle with centered large white circle with small green circle at the top and upright yellow rectangle with small blue rectangle on it at the bottom||hAm and egg sandwich||A|
|Rectangle with centered large white upright oval, purple upright rectangle halfway between center and bottom, and in middle an upright small orange rectangle||Triple poached eggs||T|
|Rectangle with centered large white upright oval; atop center of oval, small yellow circle; atop circle, a equally-sized silver sideways rectangle||lIght waffle||I|
|Rectangle with centered large white upright oval; just above center of oval, a sideways white-with-red-writing rectangle||sirlOiN, medium well||ON|
Sadly, there are photos of this system readily available on the web, including
(for example) one at
thwarting the puzzle author's dream of dozens of teams calling up
Waffle House grill cooks. That's how the puzzle author got this photo:
Thanks to David Broomfield of the Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society for expertly blazoning these visuals.