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Clue C

Town beginning with the same letter as the county inside which it lines up vertically with the county seat and at least three other towns, directly on a line of longitude that does not pass through any state whose USPS abbreviation [MLXQ YL E NS L], but is exactly midway between two other lines that pass through the U.S. and are each designated in Degrees West Longitude by the first two or three digits of two of the other ZIP codes (but not A, which needs this answer!)

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Comments

Random question of clarification...are the longitudes of the locations in A and C necessarily whole numbers? It doesn't seem like it in has to be in A and--unless .5 longitudes are acceptable--seems like it in C. Just wondering.

Posted by: Mike | Jul 12, 2006 11:21:38 AM

I've been trying to post this for hours, but site has been shut down for maintenance.

Mike -- You seem to have it correctly pegged. Halfway between two whole numbers must be either another whole number or one with a .5 on the end. No number calculations are involved in A, as long as things line up.

Posted by: Bob Lodge | Jul 13, 2006 12:36:40 AM

Looks like Mike's post disappeared. There was a shutdown much of today. If anyone asked a question that has vanished they may wish to repost it.

Posted by: Bob Lodge | Jul 13, 2006 12:51:53 AM

Hi Bob,

I have a question about --->

"but is exactly midway between two other lines that pass through the U.S. and are each designated in Degrees West Longitude by the first two or three digits of two of the other ZIP codes (but not A, which needs this answer!)"

I've managed to find what I'm certain are the answers for Clue A & C...

The problem is, neither of the two Degrees West Longitude numbers is the beginning of two ZIP Codes that are the answers to two other Clues...

Am I misinterpreting it?...

Another question I have is that when you say the first digits of a number are you reading from left to right OR starting with the one's position and working right to left?...

Would the first digit of 12345 be 1 or 5 ?...

Thanks...

Posted by: Jim from Minnesota | Jul 20, 2006 2:30:46 AM

First digits reading left to right. For 12345 it would be 123. Obviously for any ZIP beginning with 2 through 9 it would be the first two digits. For a ZIP beginning with zero you may consider the first three, which are effectively only a two-digit number.

You need to find all such numbers from the other 11 answers (all except A and C) that represent U.S. longitudes, and consider the averages (or midpoints) of all possible pairings of two at a time.

You might bypass this and solve it earlier with a lot of arduous map searching, but that won't be much help in the Part [V] question, will it?

Posted by: Bob Lodge | Jul 20, 2006 1:28:00 PM

Solution to C --

At this point we have these 11 answers:

B -- Point Lookout MO 65726 or NY 11569
D -- Clear Spring MD 21722
E -- Three Oaks MI 49128
F -- Colts Neck NJ 07722
G -- Montezuma NM 87731
H -- Pavillion WY 82523
I -- Moosic PA 18507
J -- Shady Side MD 20764
K -- Left Hand WV 25251
L -- Selawik AK 99770
M -- Quitman LA 71268

C -- Town beginning with the same letter as the county inside which it lines up vertically with the county seat and at least three other towns, directly on a line of longitude that does not pass through any state whose USPS abbreviation [ENDS IN A OR N], but is exactly midway between two other lines that pass through the U.S. and are each designated in Degrees West Longitude by the first two or three digits of two of the other ZIP codes (but not A, which needs this answer!)

A desperation move might be to spend much time with a detailed print or CD U.S. atlas, cruising up and down the longitude lines that are exact multiples of half a degree (which all averages of two whole numbers must be), looking for five towns lined up vertically on that line, all within one county, one of them being the county seat, another beginning with the same letter as the county! Perhaps some of you found it this way, but the clue provides means to greatly diminish the search field, narrowing over 100 potential search lines to only four!

To check all possibilities, this should have been saved until all but A had been solved, although we quickly find that only 6 of the 12 (with still two choices for B) apply. W Longitude numbers that cross the U.S. are in the range 67 to 124 for the lower 48, and 130 to 180 for AK, which encompasses HI. From the ZIP codes in the list above, initial 2 or 3 digits of ZIP codes representing longitudes in that range are 71, 77 (allowing the 3 digits 077), 82, 87, 99, and 115. Variable width type would make a shambles of my nice chart, but you can easily find the 15 possible pairs of any two of those six numbers, and then find their averages, which are: 74 76½ 79 79½ 82 84½ 85 88 90½ 93 (two ways) 96 98½ 101 and 107.

As it turns out, the hint that the line passes through no state ending in A or N will eliminate most of them, hopefully worth the effort to work it as designed (not to mention you will be nailed in the final reckoning in Part V anyway!)

Moving east to west, MA reaches to 73½ but not 74, a possibility. The vertically overlapping states PA, VA, TN, and MN preclude all lines from 75 to 97, but then the next spoiler state is CA at 114½, so 98½, 101, and 107 are three other possible locations. It remains to carefully trace these four vertical lines (74°, 98½°, 101°, 107°), looking for county seats directly upon them, and then for at least four other towns lined up within that county, including one beginning with the same letter as the county! There is only one such spot, in Brown Co SD, where, from north to south, Frederick, Barnard, Westport, county seat Aberdeen, and Warner are strung like pearls along Highway 281, which in turn was built probably atop a section line which coincides with 98½° W longitude! The heretofore elusive answer is Barnard SD 57426! As the NY 11569 ZIP was used to get the 98½ average [(82+115)/2 = 98½], the Point Lookout choice is FINALLY also resolved!

With this answer at hand, solving A should be a piece of cake! I will post its solution in the Clue A comments.

Posted by: Bob Lodge | Oct 18, 2006 3:35:43 PM

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