Previous (incorrect) guesses

First posted 2 November 2002 at 0124 GMT
Last updated 9 December 2002 at 2126 GMT

REDMOND, Washington Since January, 2001, when the puzzle was first issued, there have been thousands of guesses.  Thus far, none of the guesses has been correct.

Participants in the search for the correct solution have a major advantage if they have a list of the previous, incorrect guesses.  Those who have such a list are able to avoid testing theories that have previously been proven wrong.  A list of all previous, incorrect guesses has been compiled.

Incorrect guesses

All of the following are incorrect guesses.  That is, the States List Puzzle is not a list of any of the following:

  • The order in which any of the US Constitutional amendments were ratified by the states;
  • The order in which states adopted their flags;
  • The order in which states adopted their state flowers;
  • The order in which the states declared the winners of the 2000 Presidential Election;
  • The order in which the Olympic torch passed through the states in 2000;
  • The order in which the federal government is releasing the state quarters;
  • The alphabetical list of state trees (by common name);
  • The alphabetical list of state birds (by common by name);
  • The alphabetical list of state flowers (by common by name);  or
  • The numerical list of area codes, sorted by state.

There are hundreds of other guesses that have been made.

Complete list

When the puzzle was confined to the office staff, the participants usually knew which theories had been explored and which guesses had been made and shown to be incorrect. 

The purpose of the puzzle is to raise funds for charitable purposes, which is the reason for the significant prize, which is being offered to the first person who correctly solves the puzzle.  Whenever anyone made a guess at the solution, a contribution of one dollar would be made to the charity.  These one dollar contributions were the reason for the competition.

In order to encourage charitable contributions by those attempting to solve the puzzle and compete for the prize, the complete list of guesses will be emailed to participants upon their registration.


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