1. Immediately, we are given three answers: South Dakota is in A1, West Virginia is in C1, and Utah is in C3.
2. C1’s clue tells us that Virginia is in D1, and C3’s clue reveals that Delaware is in A5.
3. A1’s clue tells us that all ‘N’ states in the quiz are in row 2. Eight ‘N’ states exist: Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and North Dakota. However, A5’s clue informs us that every ‘N’ state in the quiz is directly south of the state in the box above it; therefore, we may rule out New Hampshire, New York, and North Dakota from the quiz as no state lies directly north of those three states. New Jersey may also be ruled out, as its inclusion would require New York to be in row 1, which contradicts A1’s clue.
4. These deductions leave us with four possible ‘N’ states in row 2: Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, and North Carolina. However, as we have already ruled out New York, C3’s clue tells us that we can ignore Nevada as well.
5. Therefore, Nebraska, New Mexico, and North Carolina are in the quiz. Using A5’s clue, Nebraska is in A2, and North Carolina is in D2. New Mexico is in either B2 or E2, but which of the two cells is unknown.
6. A2’s clue states, “The only state that borders only one other state is in D5”; therefore, Maine is in D5. From C1’s clue, E5 must be either Louisiana or Maryland, but D5’s clue rules out Maryland as it is fully east of the Mississippi River. Thus, Louisiana is in E5.
7. E5’s clue states that “four ‘A’ states occupy a 2×2 section” of the puzzle. While three 2×2 regions remain, A2’s clue tells us that Alabama is in column E, thus making D3/E3/D4/E4 the 2×2 box we’re looking for. E5’s clue therefore also tells us that neither Alabama nor Arkansas is in D4, meaning that either Arizona or Alaska is in D4. Since D1’s clue tells us that Arizona is in row 3, Alaska is in D4.
8. D4’s clue tells us that Montana is in E2. This means that New Mexico is in B2, which in turn tells us that Colorado is in B1.
9. E2’s clue informs us that Minnesota is in B3, and Arkansas is in E4.
10. Circling back to the 2×2 ‘A’ grid, A2’s clue tells us that Alabama is in E3, thus revealing that Arizona is in D3.
11. B3’s clue tells us that Hawaii is in B4. The clues in B1, B2, and B4 reveal that on a map:
- Lake Michigan borders B5
- B5 borders C5
- C5 borders Virginia
- The two possible combinations of states satisfying these conditions are as follows:
- B5 = Illinois, C5 = Kentucky
- B5 = Indiana, C5 = Kentucky
- Thus, Kentucky is in C5.
12. E3’s clue tells us that Indiana is in B5.
13. C5’s clue reveals that Oregon is in C2. C2’s clue reveals that Maryland is in A4, and A4’s clue tells us that Florida is in C4.
14. Only Oklahoma satisfies the conditions of C4’s clue, so Oklahoma is in A3. Finally, A3’s clue reveals that Texas is in E1.
Congratulations! You did it!