Thursday, 31 December 2015

an elementary problem

It has not escaped my notice that nobody submitted the correct answer to the puzzle that I posted on New Year’s Eve last year, so I’ve decided to set a much easier problem this year:
What do the following have in common?
Alabama • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Georgia • Indiana • Louisiana • Minnesota • Missouri • Nebraska • Pennsylvania • South Carolina
By the way, I may have neglected to mention it, but this list is complete.

spoiler alert
Despite an error in the original puzzle, since corrected, Siegfried has submitted the correct solution (below).


  1. I thought I had the answer to this, that these are the only US states whose standard two-letter postal abbreviation is also a chemical element symbol, i.e. Alabama=Al=Aluminium, Arkansas=Ar=Argon, California=Ca=Calcium, Colorado=Co=Cobalt, Georgia=Ga=Gallium, Indiana=In=Indium, Louisiana=La=Lanthanum, Minnesota=Mn=Manganese, Missouri=Mo=Molybdenum, Pennsylvania=Pa=Proctactinium, South Carolina=Sc=Scandium.

    However Nevada doesn't fit the theory, because Nevada=Nv doesn't match any element. Nebraska=Ne=Neon would fit, which has me wondering if this is an error in the question since all the other items fit my theory. Or am I barking up the wrong tree entirely?

  2. Correct solution submitted by Siegfried Hodgson.


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