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City Placement

by Nicholai Dimov


This puzzle consists of a series of minimaps, two per row, with each containing a map pin in the center. The first step is to locate these. To get started, we can compare the maps to distinctive or familiar street grids such as Manhattan or Boston.

Some of the streets are highlighted in a certain color, which provides further help and confirmation for finding the locations:

  • Red streets are numbered, such as “1st Ave” or “22nd St”.
  • Green streets have the last name of a U.S. president.
  • Blue streets have the name of a U.S. state.

Each pair of maps is within the same U.S. city, and these are ordered alphabetically by the city name. The first map in each pair shows the location of the city hall. The second map shows the location of a fire station, which has an engine number. These numbers can be converted to letters with the A1Z26 cipher.

The title suggests that the locations of the cities are relevant. Sorting by geographic location west to east, we obtain the final answer VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPARTMENT.

Authors' Notes

I generated these images from OpenStreetMap data on drivable streets using osmnx. The code is available here.