Solution: Meta Meta: Where's Waldo?
Answer: AT HOME

Written by aki and Jonathan

We are told in the runaround that Waldo had somewhere else to “retreat” to. This clues us to go back and “re-treat” the meta answers with their respective extraction mechanics. We notice that it is, in fact, possible to extract letters from the meta answers the same way they were extracted from their corresponding metas!

Meta Extraction method Meta answer Extracted letters
Meta 1 (Fairground) Extract common letter between first and second word of identical lengths TACO CART A
Meta 2 (In Town) Extract two letters from first word in the positions where there are repeated letters in the second word DETACHED BUILDING TH
Meta 3 (On the Beach) Extract pairs of letters from the entire answer POOL TEAM MEETING OME

This extraction is further confirmed by the fact that the number of letters extracted for each meta is in order as well. Putting them together, we find that all this while, Waldo was, in fact, AT HOME, where he “retreat”-ed to!

Author's Notes

It seems like even Waldo has been affected by the pandemic!