I love my auntie. This may not sound like a particularly shocking statement to you, but that is only because you don't know her...

Since I am a loving nephew, when she hinted that the walls of her living room were beginning to look a little dull, I offered to give them a fresh lick of paint while she was out of town.

And so I did. If you ask me, I did a great job for an amateur - I was sure the old hag would have nothing to complain about, for once. She had made very clear that all her furniture had to go back in its place when I was done, so I did my best to comply - and moving around her massive antiques wasn't fun at all, I can assure you.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. A couple of days later my phone starts ringing ominously:

-Hello, Barry speaking...

-Barry Eusebius Poppins! - The three words that have terrified me since I was a toddler.

-Auntie, dear, what a pleasure! What have I done this time?

-What happened to my pictures?

The pictures! I was sure I had put them back in the right place! I knew I should have made a sketch...

-Are they not where they are supposed to be, auntie?

-No they are not. If only you paid attention sometimes, you would know that there were four pictures on each of the four shelves of the Edwardian cabinet...

-But that's where I put them!

-You mixed them all up, you lazy fool! They should be arranged by their common themes!

-What? You mean there were themes? They looked completely random to me...

-Listen, young man. Stop trying to be clever and come here to sort out your mess- she replied, coldly, before hanging up.

As usual: with my auntie, no good deed remains unpunished. Now I have to figure out what the four groups of pictures are, united by a common theme. This is the current arrangement:

Auntie's pictures

Can you help me sort out what the connections are and what the correct groupings are?


The first step is to identify the (often very obscure) images, which are as follows:

Row 1: Terry "The Bull" Jenkins, the documentary "Iceberg Alley", Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, Annette Peacock;
Row 2: A Commentary on Plato's Timaeus, Azellia White, Mikhail Chigorin, Scarlett O'Hara;
Row 3: The Godfather III, Ashbel Green, Frederick II (Holy Roman Emperor), Angel;
Row 4: Technetium, More To Be Pitied Than Scorned, Ceres, Willie "The Lion" Smith.

(And yes, I had to reverse-image search just over half of these, as I'm sure the OP was expecting us to need to do!)

The 4 groups are then...

Group 1:

Playable characters from the board game Clue/Cluedo

Annette Peacock;
Azellia White;
Scarlett O'Hara;
Ashbel Green.

Particularly pleasingly, these even correspond to the titles used in the game: Mrs Peacock, Mrs White, Miss Scarlet, Reverend Green.

Group 2:

Symbols of the Four Gospel writers, or the Tetramorph

"Angel" (the symbol of Matthew);
Willie "The Lion" Smith (the symbol of Mark);
Terry "The Bull" Jenkins (the symbol of Luke);
Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards (the symbol of John).

Group 3:

Connections with Palermo, Sicily

The Godfather III - movie set and shot in Palermo;
Ceres - first discovered by the observatory in Palermo;
Technetium - element officially discovered by a team of scientists from Palermo;
Frederick II - King of Sicily, buried in Palermo.

Group 4:

NASA space shuttles

Iceberg Alley - first program broadcast on the Discovery channel;
More To Be Pitied Than Scorned - first film from Columbia Studios;
Plato's Timaeus - the first known work to describe the lost city state of Atlantis;
Mikhail Chigorin - twice challenger for the chess world championship (also subject of the book The First Russian Grandmaster, by Alexander Khalifman).

A little 'Easter egg' here is that each of these answers also involves being the first of their kind!

  • $\begingroup$ Interesting! Two of the groups you found are entirely correct (brilliant!), the other two are not entirely what I intended, but they work pretty smoothly (also brilliant)! To point you to the intended solution: rot13(1. n pbhcyr bs gur vzntrf va lbhe fbyhgvba unir fjnccrq cynprq pbzcnerq gb gur vagraqrq bar 2. bar bs gur gurzrf bs gur nssrpgrq tebhc vf xvaq bs pbeerpg, ohg gur vagraqrq nafjre jnf zber fcrpvsvp 3. sbe gur erznvavat tebhc, gur cnggrea lbh uvtuyvtugrq va lbhe nafjre jnf vagraqrq, ohg vg vf abg gur nafjre. Bapr lbh svther bhg gur fjnc gur erny cnggrea fubhyq orpbzr pyrne.) $\endgroup$ – BarryPoppins Aug 18 '20 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I should add that there was no intention for the 4 groups to be connected between each other. Apologies if that was unclear. $\endgroup$ – BarryPoppins Aug 18 '20 at 23:17
  • $\begingroup$ @BarryPoppins Couldn't sleep so I fixed it! Better now? $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 18 '20 at 23:55
  • $\begingroup$ Perfect! Just wanted to add that the members of group 4 are all rot13("svefgf"), as you noticed in your previous answer $\endgroup$ – BarryPoppins Aug 19 '20 at 7:16

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