When we saw the photographs we were pretty sure that they were plaques laid into either the floor or the wall of some location inside the International Terminal, so we left the van parked in the garage and walked into the terminal. Almost immediately, we found what we were looking for. In fact, the entire marble floor of the International Terminal is covered in these (radar?) maps of about two hundred international airports.  It is very elegant.

We divided up the photos and went to work locating each map. Once we found a map, we wrote on the back of the photograph all of the information that we could from the map, but always at least the city name and airport code. When we were done, we went back to the van to work on the solution.

In the order in which they were stacked in the envelope, these are the cities for which we had photographs, along with their airport codes. We also looked up their longitudes in an atlas. Oh, and the photograph for Kansas City was backwards in the envelope.

City Country Airport Code Longitude
Honolulu USA HNL 158 W
Istanbul Turkey IST   29 E
Chicago USA ORD   88 W
Kinshasa Zaire KSA   15 E
Edmonton Canada YEG 114 W
Kansas City USA MCI   94 W
Antananarivo Madagascar TNR   47 E
Nice France NCE     7 E
Dar Es Salaam Tanzania DAR   39 E
Capetown South Africa CTV   18 E
Auckland New Zealand AKL  175 E
Lisbon Portugal LIS     9 W
Lima Peru LIM   77 W
Abu Dhabi UAR AUH   55 E
New Delhi India DEL   77 E

If you look at the first letters of the cities, you'll see that they spell HICKEKANDCALLAN. Not quite there... But remember that Kansas City was in the envelope backwards? Perhaps that means we should take the last letter of that city, rather than the first. In which case we have:


Note: This clue was not as easy for us as it appears above. The problem is that we had not kept the photographs in their original order. We had opened the envelope, divided up the photographs, and set to work identifying the cities. Therefore, when we listed the cities they weren't in order. We did try to anagram ANLLKKIHEDCCAAN, but of course it was pretty difficult, especially since the K/Y were swapped in Kansas City. We also tried ordering them differently - by longitude west to east, by country, by city code. But eventually we gave up and called GC, who told us that the original order was important, and why had we not kept them in the original order, and we were the first team who had called in with this problem, yada yada yada. Well, considering that we were ahead of ten teams, that shouldn't have been much of a surprise, but in fact it was demoralizing and we felt like idiots. We didn't find out until the finish several hours later that in fact several of the teams who followed us had also gotten the photos out of order. Anyway, we did read the city names to GC, and they researched the order of each city and told us how to order them. Unfortunately this was apparently not information they had at their fingertips - they had to recreate it, and it seemed to take forever! So we lost a fair amount of time on this clue... Also, editorial comment (GC, are you reading this?)... almost without exception, GC's clues were incredibly elegant and logical. But in this case, if you got the photographs out of order (and since teams were definitely going to split them up to save time, that was a foregone conclusion), you were SOL. Yes, we learned that we should document every clue before dividing it up - but also it would have been more elegant if the final answer had been in some kind of logical order - like west to east.

OK, end of rant!

Clue 15