## Dec 2 GCHQ Royal Puzzle Question 6

"This question comes in two parts.

The ultimate solution to the first part of this question is a single word.

The puzzle consists of a list of 29 words, plus an additional word (GRANT). Each of the 30 words can be paired with another word and this second set of 30 words are in alphabetical order.

To make things clearer, here’s an example set of six words (these don’t appear in the puzzle – we’re just using them to explain how the puzzle works):

[reviled, page, revel, field, bullock, part]

You might notice that three of these six words can be paired with names to get women who have won the Oscar for Best Actress (Geraldine Page, Sally Field and Sandra Bullock) and the other three words can be paired with words that you get from reversing their spelling (‘reviled’ pairs with ‘deliver’, ‘revel’ pairs with ‘lever’, ‘part’ pairs with ‘trap’). Furthermore, note that these six paired words are in alphabetical order:

[deliver, geraldine, lever, sally, sandra, trap; reviled, page, revel, field, bullock, part]

To solve the puzzle your first job is to find the set of paired words for the 30 words in the question (the 29 in the list plus the word GRANT) and to divide them up into five sets of six words, where each set represents a different method of pairing.

Since the paired words that go with the 29 in the list are alphabetically ordered, once you start to find pairs this will help you narrow down what the other pairs might be. However the word that pairs with GRANT does not appear in this list so you cannot infer where in the alphabet the answer might be. What is the paired word for GRANT?

The list reads from left to right, top to bottom:

Hunt

Wall

Sprouts

Sacred

Laughter

Nodding

Robinson

East

Rather

Bush

Nanny

Clothes

Kirk

Kennedy

Eye

Bother

Holly

Hilton

Guinea

Cross

Black

Brook

Mister

Won

Amos

Syndrome

Coronation

Doc

Pact

What comes next in the following sequence?

I, II, I, -, II, I, -, III, I, II, III, II, IV, V, VI, IV, V, ?

To get the overall answer, combine the solutions to parts A and B in the obvious way."

This is the same format as one of the GCHQ Christmas Card Puzzles last year so we knew what to expect. A mixture of just words that you commonly find together with some more word play style clues as well. The first connection we noticed was the farm yard animals with Nanny Goat and Clothes Horse both being phrases and both giving words which were about the right distance away in the alphabet to be likely.

Once you start looking for them you can quickly find the rest and apart from a mishap where we went for black swan rather than black sheep which we had to correct later, we got all of these out. Props to the student who suggested nodding donkey rather than nodding donkey.

Original Connected Theme
Hunt
Wall
Sprouts
Sacred Cow Animals
Laughter
Nodding Donkey Animals
Robinson
East
Rather
Bush
Nanny Goat Animals
Clothes Horse Animals
Kirk
Kennedy
Eye
Bother
Holly
Hilton
Guinea Pig Animals
Cross
Black Sheep Animals
Brook
Mister
Won
Amos
Syndrome
Coronation
Doc
Pact

This gives us some way into the alphabetical order. The next thing we noticed was capital cities of Europe (which with syndrome linking to Stockholm made us fix Black Swan into Black Sheep). We also thought we spotted some presidents and put them in:

Original Connected Theme
Hunt
Wall Berlin Capitals
Sprouts Brussels Capitals
Sacred Cow Animals
Laughter
Nodding Donkey Animals
Robinson
East
Rather
Bush George W Presidents
Nanny Goat Animals
Clothes Horse Animals
Kirk
Kennedy John F Presidents
Eye London Capitals
Bother
Holly
Hilton Paris Capitals
Guinea Pig Animals
Cross
Black Sheep Animals
Brook
Mister
Won
Amos
Syndrome Stockholm Capitals
Coronation
Doc
Pact Warsaw Capitals

The presidents were partially fuelled by the desire to include the extra word Grant, for Ulysses S Grant, but we quickly ran out. We could see a few soaps as well with Coronation Street and Eastenders, but it took us a while to work that one through. Eventually both clicked; the presidents were actually in the more general catagory of people with letters in the middle of their names. Also the soaps were split in the middle, so the Doc Martin that we kept trying to fit in which wouldn't work with the alphabetised list was actually DocTors. That leaves us with this selection:

Original Connected Theme
Hunt
Wall Berlin Capitals
Sprouts Brussels Capitals
Sacred Cow Animals
Laughter
Nodding Donkey Animals
Robinson
East Enders Soaps
Rather
Bush George W Letter Names
Nanny Goat Animals
Clothes Horse Animals
Kirk James T Letter Names
Kennedy John F Letter Names
Eye London Capitals
Bother
Holly Oaks Soaps
Hilton Paris Capitals
Guinea Pig Animals
Black Sheep Animals
Brook Side Soaps
Mister
Won
Amos Stephen K Letter Names
Syndrome Stockholm Capitals
Coronation Street Soaps
Doc Tors Soaps
Grant Ulysses S Letter Names
Pact Warsaw Capitals

Notice that I only have 5 of the letter names even though I included the extra Grant in the list. It took us ages to find the final category which was changing the first letter of the words to get a member of a family. For instance changing the H in Hunt to an A, it becomes Aunt. So the final list (barring the one I cant work out gives:

Original Connected Theme
Hunt Aunt Relatives
Wall Berlin Capitals
Sprouts Brussels Capitals
Sacred Cow Animals
Laughter Daughter Relatives
Nodding Donkey Animals
Robinson ? Letter Names
East Enders Soaps
Rather Father Relatives
Bush George W Letter Names
Nanny Goat Animals
Clothes Horse Animals
Kirk James T Letter Names
Kennedy John F Letter Names
Eye London Capitals
Bother Mother Relatives
Holly Oaks Soaps
Hilton Paris Capitals
Guinea Pig Animals
Black Sheep Animals
Brook Side Soaps
Mister Sister Relatives
Won Son Relatives
Amos Stephen K Letter Names
Syndrome Stockholm Capitals
Coronation Street Soaps
Doc Tors Soaps
Grant Ulysses S Letter Names
Pact Warsaw Capitals

That is the first part done. Now we get to the number part of the puzzle: I, II, I, -, II, I, -, III, I, II, III, II, IV, V, VI, IV, V, ?

Well these numbers look vaguely ascending and include blanks. Our first guess was that it matched up with the numbers of the Monarchs of England. (We tried Scotland as well, but it turned out England was correct.)

So, Will 1, Will 2, Harry 1, Steve, Harry 2, Dick 1, John, Harry 2, Ted 1, Ted 2, Ted 3, Dick 2, Harry 4, Harry 5, Harry 6, Ted 4, Ted 5 then Dick 3. So Richard III which gives III.

Putting this with Ulysses gives Ulysses III.