1) We’re told immediately that Connecticut is in E2 and Georgia is in E3.
2) The smallest US state is Rhode Island and the largest is Alaska, so they are in A4 and D5, respectively.
3) Concord is the capital of New Hampshire, so New Hampshire is in B2. Lansing is the capital of Michigan, so Michigan is in D4.
4) Washington goes in A1 because only two states border Canada and the Pacific Ocean, the other being Alaska which is already in A4.
5) Maine goes in F1 because only three states border Canada and the Atlantic Ocean, the others being New Hampshire which is already in B2 and New York which is one of the five most populous states and therefore in column C.
6) New York is in C1 because it is the only one of the five largest states that borders Canada.
7) The only island state is Hawaii which has to be in column A because it is one of the two remaining states that borders the Pacific (California must be in column C because it is one of the most populous). The only island state is in row 3, therefore Hawaii is in A3.
8) The remaining Pacific state is Oregon, which is therefore in A5.
9) The ‘Grand Canyon State’ is Arizona and goes in D2.
10) The Phillies are the Philadelphia’s Major League Baseball team, which means Pennsylvania goes in F5.
11) The Brewers are Milwaukee’s Major League Baseball team, which means Wisconsin goes in E4.
12) California is the ‘Golden State’ and goes in C4 because it is also one of the five most populous states.
13) Indiana goes in E5 because it borders Lake Michigan. Four states border Lake Michigan: Indiana, Wisconsin (already in E4), Michigan (already in D4) and Illinois which has to be in C column because it is one of the most populous states.
14) Montpelier is the capital of Vermont, which therefore goes in D3.
15) Illinois goes in C5 because it is the remaining state bordering Lake Michigan.
16) Minnesota and Montana go in E1 and D1 respectively because they are the only states bordering Canada that fit alphabetically between Maine and New York.
17) Boise is the capital of Idaho: B5.
18) Massachusetts, home of the Boston Red Sox, is in F2 because it is the only remaining diagonal to the ‘Land of Lincoln’ (Illinois, in C5).
19) The ‘Lone Star State’ is Texas. It is also one of the five most populous states and therefore goes in C3.
20) Florida goes in C2 because it is the last remaining of the five most populous states.
21) Both South Dakota and South Carolina are in the same row, which means they can only be in row 3 (the only row left with two blank spots). South Carolina is in F3 because it borders the Atlantic and South Dakota does not. This leaves South Dakota in B3.
22) All States beginning with “New” are featured in the quiz, therefore New Jersey and New Mexico have to be place somewhere. New Mexico goes in B5 because it does not border Canada or the Atlantic Ocean. New Jersey goes in F4 because it borders the Atlantic Ocean.
23) This leaves one spot for North Dakota which has to be in the same column as South Dakota: B1.