How Did You Know Maggie Wittlin?

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A hearty congrats to Maggie Wittlin of New York City, who tied the HDYK record for a finished final puzzle in the least amount of time at 9 minutes flat!

In a moment, I'll introduce you to to our new champion, but first:

WE'RE UPPING THE STAKES for the next How Did You Know?!

Here's the deal: If any champion can defend his or her title for three consecutive months, he or she will win not only the usual prizes for that month, but"¦ but"¦ BUT"¦ well, we haven't figure out the "˜but' yet, BUT, it'll be pretty darn snazzy, that much I can guarantee (short of A NEW CAR!).

So the pressure is on Maggie, who I introduce to you now "“ in her own words:

I currently live in New York City, with three wonderful and trivia-knowledgeable roommates. I spent the past three years working with the very awesome Seed Media Group -- the folks who produce the equally awesome Seed magazine -- performing various editorial duties in print and on the web. I'm now taking the summer off before going to law school in the fall. (This is why I have time to do trivia hunts.) I was born in the Bronx, and I grew up in fabulous and exciting Westchester County. Some of my dorkiest interests include physics, musical theater, and hunting down information, which is truly the most dangerous game. I would like to thank the friends, parents, and friends' parents who helped me with the puzzle.

[Just to clarify on the Name That Country challenge: for the first one, in addition to Saudi Arabia I would have also accepted Iran, Sudan, Serbia or Spain. And for the last one, Austria and Australia both worked.]

Now on to Maggie's brilliant, winning solution:

Final Day:

The answer to the puzzle is: Polaris

Located 431.42 light years away, I am the most famous star in ursa minor: Polaris.

day 2 = 8a 6b 7c 5d 3e 0f 9g
Latitude = 39.593
Longitude = -83.587
Milledgeville, OH (From yesterday)
431.42

day 4
Italy
LY = Light years (I know this)

day 1
star - filled in blank :)

day 3
Little bear = ursa minor in Latin
Day 1 - Mystery Foliage

1. Eucalyptus (I found this similar image on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lauraelaine/1983632/in/set-31331/ and emailed the photographer. She said she believed it to be a juvenile Eucalyptus. I confirmed this at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Eucalyptus_polyanthemos_vestita_juven...)

2. Star Jasmine (Recognized by my SoCal-raised roommate, Betsey. Confirmed at: http://cosmicvariance.com/2006/05/13/jasmine/, "star" from day 5 puzzle)

3. Bougainvillea (Also recognized by Betsey. Confirmed at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bougainvillea)

4. Magnolia (I'll admit, I just got this from the clue for the next day's puzzle. Confirmed which one was a Magnolia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnolia)

Tomorrow's Clue
http://www.mentalfloss.com/HDYK/hdyk5_clue1.html
Three coins on a red background

Day 2 - Name That Tune

1. 25 or 6 to 4 - Chicago (I recognized this one off the bat. I confirmed it with: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSOaoPDO16Y)

2. 1-2-3 - Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine (Recognized by my friend Joe, who grew up during the 80s. Confirmed with: http://youtube.com/watch?v=kgVPRc5FBtk)

3. 19th Nervous Breakdown - Rolling Stones (Recognized by my Dad, a fountain of oldies and classic rock wisdom. Confirmed with http://youtube.com/watch?v=bHwTygK05_M)

4. 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover - Paul Simon (Recognized by my friend Lauren, who was sad she didn't get more of them. Confirmed with: http://youtube.com/watch?v=91euERWH2M4)

5. Three Coins in the Fountain - Sinatra, Styne/Cahn (I googled "sinatra" + "make it mine" + "lyrics" and came up with this. Confirmed with: http://youtube.com/watch?v=eJQuZOg2Dfo)

6. 867-5309/Jenny "“ Tommy Tutone (Recognized by Joe, the 80s boy. Confirmed with: http://youtube.com/watch?v=lqUPApCUt90)

Tomorrow's Clue:
http://us.penguingroup.com/static/html/yr/childrens.html
Penguin Children's books

Day 3 - One of These Things is Not Like the Others

All pictures are cover illustrations by the not-so-late and very great Maurice Sendak except for the third, which is from There's a Nightmare in My Closet by Mercer Mayer.

1. In the Night Kitchen - Maurice Sendak (I just recognized this. I read the book a million times in my youth. Confirmed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Night_Kitchen)
2. Where the Wild Things Are - Maurice Sendak (I also recognized this one...who wouldn't? Confirmed here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Where_the_Wild_Things_Are)
3. There's a Nightmare in My Closet - Written and Illustrated by Mercer Mayer (A Google search for "monster" + "closet" led to: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/omc/kidsphil/questions/Nightmare/nightmare_cove...)
4. Little Bear - by Else Hlmelund Minarik, Illustrations by Maurice Sendak (Browsing for Sendak works, I found this at: http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0064440044/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link)

Tomorrow's Clue:
http://www.mentalfloss.com/HDYK/hdyk5_clue3.html
Outline of Tanzania (looked at a bunch of maps and matched the outline)

Day 4 - Name That Country

1. Saudi Arabia - eStAteUpDrIveARkAsBlIndAt
2. Belarus - saBErsLAtRUSt
3. Italy - slIceTALkhappY
4. Tanzania - esTAteNowZootrAiNIsAt (this could also be Estonia, but yesterday's clue hinted otherwise)
5. Australia - sAbersUSTRApsLIceApple

I had Tanzania from the previous day's clue, and the clue for today helped me spot Australia. To browse for countries, I also used: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries.

Tomorrow's Clue:
http://www.mentalfloss.com/HDYK/hdyk5_clue4.html
Outline of Ohio

Thanks for the great puzzles! I had a lot of fun this week, even if my friends got sick of me bugging them for help the first couple of days. Woot!

~Maggi

June 27, 2008 - 8:25pm
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