Remember that no two people are from the same state. Here is a map of the United States that should tell you everything you need to know. Only land borders count, so Ohio and Pennsylvania do not border Canada. Nor does Michigan border Minnesota. Clues to help you with the next step are in bold. Underneath the logic is spelled out.
(0/25) Are there any letters A, F, K, P, U, that are the first letter in only one state?
The initial clue tells you that the people in the far left column are from states that start with the same letter as their name. There is only one state that starts with F, so Fiona is from Florida. There is only one state that starts with P, so Paula is from Pennsylvania. There is only one state that starts with U, so Usher is from Utah.
(3/25) What could Alice possibly be?
The initial clue tells you that Keith is from Kansas or Kentucky. Neither one has a coastline, so according to Fiona, everyone else adjacent to her is from a state with coastline. This means Alice must be from Alaska or Alabama (not Arizona or Arkansas). But Paula tells you that no one is from a Canada-bordering state except people in the middle column, so Alice is not from Alaska; she must be from Alabama.
(4/25) Does any row have only one male?
There are four W states: Washington, West Virginina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. None of them borders Canada or has a coastline except Washington, which does both. Rich is the only male in his row, so he must be from a ‘W’ state, according to Alice. He also must be from a state that borders Canada, according to Paula, so Rich is from Washington.
(5/25) What are the options for Keith?
Kentucky borders Ohio, so according to the initial clue and Rich, Keith is from Kansas.
(6/25) Which column has room for the Mexico-bordering states?
Keith tells you that there’s someone from California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and they are all in the same column. They obviously cannot go in the middle column because no state that borders Mexico also borders Canada.
Bud’s column has three people from coastline states, according to Fiona. So California and Texas could be two of top three and Arizona and New Mexico would be in the bottom two, but that doesn’t work, according to Usher.
The far right column has Jace and Zach. Jace has to be from a ‘W’ state because Greg cannot be (must have coastline) and Hank cannot be (must border Canada). Zach also must be from a ‘W’ state because Walt also must be from a state that borders Canada. The remaining ‘W’ states are West Virginina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming, none of which borders Mexico or Canada or has a coastline.
So it has to be Dave’s column. You know that Nick is from a ‘W’ state because he is the only unknown male in the row. So the rest of Dave’s column are from the four states that border Mexico. Only one of them starts with a vowel, so according to Usher, Iris is from Arizona.
(7/25) Who can be from West Virginia?
You have established that Jace, Nick, and Zach are from the three remaining ‘W’ states. Now you know from Iris that neither Jace nor Nick is from West Virginia. so Zach must be from West Virginia.
(8/25) Do the implications of either of Nick’s options lead to a contradiction?
Nick is from Wisconsin or Wyoming. Zach tells you that Maria is from a bordering state, and that state borders Canada, according to Paula. Olena is also from a state that borders Nick’s home state, and her state must start with a vowel, according to Usher. So if Nick is from Wyoming, then Maria would have to be from Montana or Idaho. Olena would be from Utah or Idaho, but Usher is from Utah, and Idaho borders Canada. So Olena cannot be from a state that borders Wyoming. So Nick must be from Wisconsin.
(9/25) What’s left for Maria? What’s left for Jace?
According to Alice (and the fact that Greg is from a coastline state and Hank’s home state borders Canada), Jace must be from Wyoming.
Wisconsin borders two states that border Canada: Minnesota and Michigan. But Maria cannot be from Michigan, according to Rich, so she is from Minnesota.
(11/25) Where can there be a male from Delaware?
Jace tells you that some male is from Delaware. Delaware does not border Canada, so it’s not Hank or Walt. Delaware does not border Mexico, so it’s not Dave. Delaware does not start with a vowel, so it’s not Earl. This leaves Bud and Greg. Delaware is an East Coast state, so if Bud is from Delaware, then Vera and Walt are also from East Coast states, according to Nick. Maria tells you that someone is from Alaska and someone is from Hawaii, but neither is adjacent to her. Alaska borders Canada so it’s either Cleo or Walt from Alaska. If Bud is from Delaware and Vera and Walt are from East Coast states, then Cleo has to be from Alaska. She would also have to be adjacent to the person from Hawaii. But Dave is from a state that borders Mexico, Hank is from a state that borders Canada, and Greg is adjacent to Maria. So if Bud is from Delaware, the person from Alaska cannot be adjacent to the person from Hawaii. Bud is not from Delaware. So Greg must be from Delaware.
(12/25) Which individuals must be in two-word states? And what must Dave be?
According to Greg and Iris, Dave is not from Texas. According to Iris, he’s not from New Mexico. So according to Keith, he is from California.
The person from Texas is in Dave’s column, according to Keith. Iris is adjacent to everyone adjacent to Dave and she says she’s not adjacent to anyone from a two-word state, so Dave is definitely not from Texas, according to Greg. this leaves Sylvia and Yuri. You know from Zach that Olena is from a state that borders Wisconsin. Usher says it must start with a vowel, so Illinois or Iowa. Both are one word. Wisconsin and Minnesota are also one word, so whether Sylvia or Yuri is from Texas, Tara and Walt must both be from two-word states. Those two, Zach, and Syliva/Yuri (New Mexico) makes four two-word states. This means Walt is not from Alaska, so according to Maria, Cleo must be.
(14/25) Who’s from Hawaii?
Maria says that the person from Alaska is adjacent to the person from Hawaii, but neither is adjacent to her. So Bud must be from Hawaii.
Louisiana does not border Canada, so according to Jace, Lola is from Louisiana.
(16/25) Where can Tara be from?
South Dakota and South Carolina do not border Mexico or Canada. They do not start with a vowel. This leaves only Quinn, Vera, and Tara for the “South” states. Syliva and Yuri are from New Mexico and Texas or vice versa. Olena is from a vowel state. So if Tara is from either “South” state, no one adjacent to her can be from the other one. So according to Lola, it must be Quinn and Vera from the “South” states. This helps you narrow down Tara. She is from a two-word state, according to Greg. The unused two-word states are New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and South Dakota. Of those New Hampshire, New York, and North Dakota border Canada. Cleo says no one is from North Carolina or New Jersey. New Mexico is Sylvia or Yuri. Quinn and Vera are the “South” states. So the only option for Tara is Rhode Island.
(17/25) Find a state to fit Tara’s pattern.
The bottom four rows all have at least four different vowels. The top row has only A, I, and O. Tara says two home states in the row must have all three of the vowels that are in the row. Right now only California has A, I, and O. So Earl’s home state must also have those three vowels. All you know about Earl is that his home state starts with a vowel (Usher). So that leaves Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Oregon. Of those only Idaho and Iowa have A, I, and O. But Idaho borders Canada, so Earl must be from Iowa.
(18/25) What does Wisconsin border?
Zach told you that Olena is from a state that borders Wisconsin. Usher tells you Olena’s home state starts with a vowel, so it is not Michigan but Illinois.
(19/25) South _______ > __________ > Canada. Hmmm…
Quinn and Vera are from the “South” states. So Olena is saying that Walt’s home state borders either South Carolina or South Dakota. Walt is also from a state that borders Canada, according to Paula. No state borders both South Carolina and Canada, but three states border both South Dakota and Canada: Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota. Minnesota is already used, and we also know from Greg that Walt must be from a two-word state. So Walt is from North Dakota.
(20/25) Where is the ocean?
Quinn and Vera are from the “South” states. Walt tells you that Quinn lives by the ocean, so she is not from South Dakota but South Carolina. So Vera is from South Dakota.
(22/25) Which of those states can have all its bordering states in the quiz?
Sylvia and Yuri are from Texas and New Mexico or vice versa. Hank is from a state that borders Canada. California borders Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona. Oregon and Nevada are clearly not in the quiz. Arizona also borders Nevada. Texas borders New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana, two of which are not in the quiz. New Mexico also borders Oklahoma. So Vera must be talking about Nick and Wisconsin. So every state that borders Wisconsin is someone’s home state: Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan. So Hank is from Michigan.
(23/25) Check out Michigan on a map.
“Across the lake” from Michigan could conceivably mean Minnesota or Illinois or Indiana or Ohio or Pennsylvania or New York. Most obviously, it refers to Wisconsin. But in any case, it certainly cannot refer to Washington, North Dakota, Rhode Island, West Virginia, or New Mexico. So the person from Texas is adjacent to the person from Wisconsin. So Sylvia is from Texas.
(24/25) Finish it up.
Keith tells you that Yuri is from New Mexico.