How to Find Waldo


Thu, Nov 21st, 2013 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

In what must've been a slow day at Slate, and yet reaching a level of popularity I don't often see on the sites I follow, this handy article will provide you with an in-depth analysis on where Waldo hides the most often. The article also raises the important question of why god why are you hiding there Waldo? which, I'm certain, has crossed our collective minds (I know I haven't slept at night thinking about it). Above, a portion of the map on Slate showing Waldo's locations, credit to Ben Blatt and Holly Allen.

It may not be immediately clear from looking at this map, but my hunch that there’s a better way to hunt was right. There isn’t one corner of the page where Waldo is always hiding; readers would have already noticed if his patterns were so obvious. What we do see, as highlighted in the map below, is that 53 percent of the time Waldo is hiding within one of two 1.5-inch tall bands, one starting three inches from the bottom of the page and another one starting seven inches from the bottom, stretching across the spread.

So, if you want to find Waldo on any given page, a good strategy would be to start by scrutinizing these two bands first, before moving on to other areas. Although 1.5 inches isn’t a particularly narrow range, it’s small enough to focus on without missing Waldo; and over half the time, he’ll be there. To test the efficacy of my approach, I pitted two Slate colleagues against one another in a Where’s Waldo showdown. L.V. Anderson searched the 11 spreads in the first Waldo book using the old-fashioned method of scanning the page; Dan Kois worked his way through the same pages, but armed with my findings (and a tape measure).



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