GeekDad Puzzle of the Week Solution – State of the States

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This past week’s puzzle:

states_450x300As the 113th US Congress recently started, there has been a lot of conversation around each of the States’ Representatives, Senators, and the States themselves. This week’s puzzle is a cypher of sorts that describes my favorite state. Each letter of the answer is encoded by the sum of the ordinal rank of two States, across some 16 different continuum.


States AlphabeticallyStateFlag_Alabama.svg+StateFlag_Wyoming.svg

Alabama (the first State flag) is the 1st state, alphabetically.
Wyoming (the second State flag) is the 50th state, alphabetically.
1 + 50 = 51, so the “letter” of the solution that this example could represent is encoded as 51.

For your chance at this week’s fabulous prize, a $50 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate (courtesy of ThinkGeek), send the description of my favorite state by end of week to GeekDad Central.

States by Total AreaStateFlag_Montana.svg+StateFlag_New_Jersey.svg
States by ASCII Sum (All Caps w/Spaces)StateFlag_Pennsylvania.svg+StateFlag_Maine.svg
States Alphabetically by Capital CityStateFlag_Nevada.svg+StateFlag_Hawaii.svg
States by 2013 PopulationStateFlag_Massachusetts.svg+StateFlag_West_Virginia.svg
States by Age of Older SenatorStateFlag_Idaho.svg+StateFlag_Missouri.svg
States by date of StatehoodStateFlag_Vermont.svg+StateFlag_Oregon.svg
States Alphabetically by AbbrevationStateFlag_Louisiana.svg+StateFlag_Maryland.svg
States by House-Max District # Rep NameStateFlag_Virginia.svg+StateFlag_Florida.svg
States by % WaterStateFlag_Wisconsin.svg+StateFlag_Georgia.svg
States by Population per House Seat (2010)StateFlag_Arkansas.svg+StateFlag_Alabama.svg
States by ASCII Sum All Caps w/SpacesStateFlag_Connecticut.svg+StateFlag_New_York.svg
States AlphabeticallyStateFlag_Maine.svg+StateFlag_North_Dakota.svg
States by Name of Younger SenatorStateFlag_Oklahoma.svg+StateFlag_New_Hampshire.svg
States by Land AreaStateFlag_Iowa.svg+StateFlag_Kansas.svg
States by House-01 District Rep NameStateFlag_Wyoming.svg+StateFlag_Arkansas.svg
States Reverse AlphabeticallyStateFlag_South_Dakota.svg+StateFlag_Iowa.svg

Let’s take the solution to each mini-puzzle separately, and then decode the simple cypher:

States by Total Area:Montana is 4th and New Jersey is 47th. 4 + 47 = 51
States by ASCII Sum (All Caps w/Spaces):Pennsylvania is 6th, and Maine is 46th. 6 + 46 = 52
States Alphabetically by Capital City:Nevada is 10th, and Hawaii is 23rd. 10 + 23 = 33
States by 2013 Population:Massachusetts is 14th, and West Virginia is 38th. 14 + 38 = 52
States by Age of Older Senator:Idaho is 12th, and Missouri is 25th. 12 + 25 = 37
States by date of Statehood:Vermont is 14th, and Oregon is 33rd. 14 + 33 = 47
States Alphabetically by Abbrevation:Louisiana is 18th, and Maryland is 20th. 18 + 20 = 38
States by House-Max District # Rep Name:Virginia is 17th, and Florida is 18th. 17 + 18 = 35
States by % water:Wisconsin is 23rd, and Georgia is 24th. 23 + 24 = 47
States by Population per House Seat (2010):Arkansas is 14th, and Alabama is 32nd. 14 + 32 = 46
States by Ascii Sum All Caps w/Spaces:Connecticut is 11th, and New York is 27th. 11 + 27 = 38
States Alphabetically:Maine is 19th, and North Dakota is 34th. 19 + 34 = 53
States by Name of Younger Senator:Oklahoma is 8th, and New Hampshire is 43rd. 8 + 43 = 51
States by Land Area:Iowa is 26th, and Kansas is 15th. 26 + 15 = 41
States by House-01 District Rep Name:Wyoming is 10th, and Arkansas is 37th. 10 + 37 = 47
States Reverse Alphabetically:South Dakota is 10th, and Iowa is 36th. 10 + 36 = 46

The code now reads 51/52/33/52/37/47/38/35/47/46/38/53/51/41/47/46.

Subtracting 32 from each value, we get 19/20/1/20/5/15/6/3/15/14/6/21/19/9/15/14 which maps A=1, B=2, Z=26 to my favorite state:

S/T/A/T/E/O/F/C/O/N/F/U/S/I/O/N, the state of confusion.

Congratulations to Kevin Harbin, for most correctly solving the cypher and being drawn at random from all reasonable submissions. Kevin will shortly be in possession of this week’s prize, a $50 ThinkGeek Gift Certificate, courtesy of ThinkGeek.

Thanks to everyone that submitted a response, and thanks for reading GeekDad.

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