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  LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

State The Reason

Here is a pretty simple puzzle I thought of last night while looking at a partial U.S. Map (during a game of 1870). Can you determine the reasoning behind the grouping of the United States in the following way?
ALABAMA
ALASKA
ARKANSAS
KANSAS
MARYLAND
MISSISSIPPI
NEW JERSEY
TENNESSEE

COLORADO
DELAWARE
HAWAII
ILLINOIS
INDIANA
KENTUCKY
MICHIGAN
MONTANA
NEBRASKA
NEVADA
NEW YORK
NORTH DAKOTA
OHIO
OKLAHOMA
OREGON
TEXAS
UTAH
VERMONT
VIRGINIA
WISCONSIN
WYOIMING

ARIZONA
CALIFORNIA
FLORIDA
IDAHO
IOWA
MAINE
MASSACHUSETTS
MISSOURI
NEW HAMPSHIRE
NEW MEXICO
NORTH CAROLINA
PENNSYLVANIA
SOUTH DAKOTA
WASHINGTON
WEST VIRGINIA

CONNECTICUT
GEORGIA
LOUISIANA
MINNESOTA
RHODE ISLAND
SOUTH CAROLINA

Like I said, it's not too difficult. What surprises me is that the first group has such lengthy-named states in it. Once you see the pattern, you'll also note that theoretically there could be a fifth group in the list as well, but no state meets the criterion.

If you still don't see the justification for the grouping, here's a hint: instead of thinking, "Why is the reason a state is where it is?", you should probably be thinking "'Why' (Y) is not the reason a state is where it is."

-- Eric

[31 March 2006]
   
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Comments about this article:
Group 1: 1 vowel

Group 2: 2 vowels

Group 3: 3 vowels

Group 4: 4 vowels

cool. I see what you mean about the 1st group - long names to have only 1 vowel!

Posted by: Carolyn


To be more precise: the groups refer to the number of *different* vowels within the words. But, yes, that's it.

Posted by: Eric Harshbarger


 
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