Four Down Two Across: Fairbanks Alaska And The Journey Home

Our last day in Alaska turned out to be our busiest. Shortly before noon Diann Darnall met Robert and me at the Parrishes’ and drove us to the University of Alaska Fairbanks to have lunch with the chancellor, Brian Rogers, and his wife. Lunch conversation covered a lot of topics, but it ended, surprisingly, with an exchange of puzzles. Chancellor Rogers told us a good one that he said is original. I’ll share it with you in a moment.

After lunch Robert and I went to KUAC, Fairbanks’ public radio station, where Lori Neufeld interviewed us live.

Diann met us again and gave us a tour of the university’s Museum of the North, which is said to have more than a million artifacts from the Arctic — stuffed bears and other animals, Eskimo carvings, photos and memorabilia from the Alaska gold rush of the 1890s, Alaskan artwork (both native and otherwise), and lots more. I could have spent hours and hours there.

The last event of the trip was a public exhibition of table tennis back at the Patty Center, which over a hundred people attended. Robert and I put on a show, and members of the Fairbanks club played matches in singles and doubles, with both sponge rackets and hardbat. It was a good showing for the club.

Then it was back to the Parrishes to shower and pack for the flight home.

Regarding yesterday’s puzzle, my answer was McKinley, as in president William. If you thought of another answer that meets the conditions of the puzzle, let me know.

One last new brainteaser, courtesy of Chancellor Rogers: What is the only state in the U.S. in which the sun can set twice in the same day? Identify the state and how this can happen.

Follow Will and Robert’s Trip across Alaska through next week at “Four Down Two Across.”