The Answer Men

Meet the best problem solvers in America

Cody Pickens for TIME

Kraljevica is a tiny Croatian shipbuilding hamlet on the eastern edge of the Adriatic Sea. If you've heard of it--which you almost certainly haven't--it's probably because its shipyard, which had been in continuous operation since 1729, went bankrupt last June, a casualty of the pan-European financial crisis. Kraljevica (pronounced Krall-yay-vi-tsa) sits on a shatteringly beautiful, eerily calm bay, across from the stark and cruelly vowelless island of Krk.

The views are spectacular. But for three clear, sunny days in October they went unappreciated, because Kraljevica was hosting the World Puzzle Championship. Not only was nobody outside, nobody was even looking out...

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