• All questions about borders/neighbors/adjacent states consider land borders only.
• Any consideration of size uses total area (as opposed to strictly land area – though I don’t believe any size questions should be ambiguous either way).
• Inset states are not to scale.
• Landlocked states do not border any ocean, gulf, or Great Lake.
• The states at the 4 corners (UT, CO, AZ, NM) all border each other.
1. Click largest US State
Alaska is the largest state (even if the map inset isn’t to scale), more than twice as large as Texas, the second largest state.
2. Choose the state that directly precedes Alaska in alphabetical order.
Alabama is the first state alphabetically (preceding Alaska, which is second).
3. Click the state that borders the most Great Lakes.
Michigan has the most Great Lake borders with four (all except Ontario). No other state borders more than two Great Lakes.
4. Of the states remaining with international land borders, click the one that borders the fewest other states.
Maine is the only U.S. state that has exactly 1 border with another state, and it also borders Canada. (Alaska borders 0 other states and Canada, but was already chosen in step 1).
5. Now choose the state that is the greatest distance away from Maine.
Hawaii, at over 5,000 miles from Maine, is easily the greatest distance from Maine.
6. Click the state with the longest coastline in the contiguous U.S.
Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous US at 1,350 miles. California is second at 840 miles. (Alaska has over 6,000 miles of coastline but is already chosen and also not in the contiguous 48).
7. Choose the largest remaining state that has exactly 2 state borders.
Washington, Florida, South Carolina, and Rhode Island have exactly 2 borders with other states. Washington is the largest of these (and Florida, which is reasonably close to Washington in size, was already chosen).
8. Pick the largest state that borders a state starting with the letter ‘T’.
Tennessee and Texas are the only two ‘T’ states. Tennessee’s largest neighbor is Missouri (21st in size). Texas borders New Mexico, the 5th largest state (and none of the top 4 border a ‘T’ state).
9. Of the states with 4-letter names, pick the one that’s first alphabetically.
Iowa, Ohio, and Utah are the only 3 options here, with Iowa coming first alphabetically.
10. Pick the most populous remaining state that doesn’t border Mexico.
The three most populous US states are California, Texas, and New York. California and Texas both border Mexico, so New York is the correct answer.
11. Of the landlocked states that don’t border another country, find the one with the fewest state borders.
This step involves a lot of counting, since there are 12 landlocked states without international borders. Here is the list (numbers in parentheses are bordering state counts): Tennessee (8), Kentucky (7), Colorado (7), Wyoming (6), Utah (6), South Dakota (6), Iowa (6), Arkansas (6), Oklahoma (6), Nevada (5), West Virginia (5), Kansas (4).
12. Click the first state alphabetically that doesn’t begin with a vowel.
No state begins with ‘B’, so California is our answer.
13. Next, find the state with the shortest name in the Eastern Time Zone.
No state has a name shorter than 4-letters, and as we saw in step 9, there are two 4-letter states remaining (Ohio and Utah). The Eastern Time Zone extends as far West as Michigan and parts of Indiana, so Ohio is entirely within it (Utah is in the Mountain Time Zone).
14. Click the only remaining state with a ‘B’ in its name.
Alabama & Nebraska are the only two states containing a ‘B’. Alabama’s been chosen, so it’s Nebraska.
15. Find the second smallest state that borders a currently clicked state.
The smallest US states in order are Rhode Island (borders no clicked states), Delaware (borders no clicked states), Connecticut (borders New York, which is clicked), and New Jersey (also borders New York). Since Connecticut is the smallest one bordering a clicked state, that makes New Jersey the second smallest fitting the criteria.
16. Click the state with the lowest percentage of vowels in its name out of the states that border Iowa.
Some more counting to do here – Iowa borders 5 states that haven’t been clicked yet.
Illinois (4/8 vowels) Missouri (4/8 vowels) Minnesota (4/9 vowels)
South Dakota (5/11 vowels) Wisconsin (3/9 vowels)
17. Find the state with the most unclicked border states.
The states with the most neighbors are Missouri and Tennessee, which each have 8. Missouri has 3 clicked neighbors and Tennessee has only 1 (leaving it with 7 unclicked). Colorado and Kentucky both have 7 neighbors but each have at least 1 clicked, so they’re excluded. Tennessee must be the answer.
18. Find the state remaining that ends with ‘N’.
Oregon gives your brain a bit of a break from counting things on this step.
19. Next, click the largest remaining state located entirely west of Arkansas.
Texas is the largest remaining state, but its easternmost reaches extend past the western border of Arkansas. The next largest unclicked state is Montana, which is entirely west of Arkansas.
20. Find the state that shares the longest land border with any state that has been clicked.The longest border between two US states is Oklahoma-Texas, but neither of these has been clicked. Second is California-Nevada, and California is clicked so that makes Nevada the choice.
21. Of states left with no clicked neighbors, find the one with the shortest capital city name.
Only 4 states have no clicked neighbors: Louisiana (Baton Rouge), Rhode Island (Providence), Maryland (Annapolis), South Carolina (Columbia). South Carolina has the shortest capital (8 letters).
22. Find the state bordering the Gulf of Mexico that extends the farthest North.
The Gulf of Mexico borders Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. Of these, Texas has the most northerly point.
23. Click the only remaining state that was admitted into the union after 1910. (It’s also the largest state that isn’t presently clicked.)
Arizona was the 48th state (with only Alaska & Hawaii coming after it), and it’s also 6th largest (with the top 5 already being chosen in the quiz).
24. Now click the state with the longest one-word name of the states that are left.
Massachusetts, at 13 letters, is the longest one-word state, clicked or otherwise!
25. Determine the only state left without any clicked neighbors, & click the only state bordering it with a pro sports team.
A few steps ago, we determined that Louisiana, Rhode Island, Maryland, and South Carolina had no clicked neighbors. Since then, the selection of South Carolina, Texas, and Massachusetts have left us with Maryland as the final state without a clicked neighbor. Pennsylvania its only bordering state with a sports team, as Delaware, West Virginia, and Virginia have none.
26. Click the southernmost of the 13 original colonies.
Georgia was the southernmost original colony and has not yet been clicked, so click it now!
27. Now choose the only remaining state that borders Saskatchewan.
That would be North Dakota. Idaho borders Alberta, Minnesota borders Ontario and Manitoba.
28. Pick the state that ends in a consonant and has a 2-word capital city.
Five of the remaining states have 2-word capitals:
Jefferson City, Missouri Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Little Rock, Arkansas
Baton Rouge, Louisiana Saint Paul, Minnesota
Arkansas is the only of these ending in a consonant. (Iowa, New Mexico, and Nevada also have 2-word capitals, but are clicked and also end in vowels).
29. Which state, if clicked, will cause 3 of its bordering states to increase from 4 to 5 clicked neighbors?
Let’s look for states that currently have 4 clicked neighbors, as our answer MUST border one of these.
There are five states with 4 neighbors currently clicked: South Dakota (ND, MT, NE, IA), Colorado (NE, KS, NM, AZ), Idaho (WA, OR, NV, MT), Georgia (TN, AL, FL, SC), and Oklahoma (KS, NM, TX, AR). So our answer is the only state that borders three of these: Wyoming (which borders SD, CO, and ID).
30. Two states remain that border Lake Michigan. Finish with the one whose capital is also its largest city.
Indiana is the one you want, since Springfield is not the largest city in Illinois. Now you’re done!