These 16 words can be separated into 4 categories... What are they? All of them have something in common... What is it?

Bean, Iron, Bird, Notorious, Cannonball, Ripper, Prince, Zodiac, Clown, Slim, Sam, Dr, Dizzy, Fifty, Sugar, Brown


The overall connection is


As a starting point, one potential group seems to be

Serial killers: Zodiac (Killer), (Son of) Sam, (Jack the) Ripper, (Killer) Clown (John Wayne Gacy)

Another group is formed by:

Rappers: Fifty (Cent), Slim (Shady), Notorious (B.I.G), Dr (Dre)

Then there's

(Charlie) Bird (Parker), Dizzy (Gillespie) and presumably two other jazz musicians. Bean (Coleman Hawkins) and Cannonball (Julian Adderley) must be the other two as they're the remaining words.

The fourth category might be

Boxers: Sugar (Ray Leonard), Iron (Mike Tyson), Prince (Naseem Hamid), Brown (Bomber) (Joe Louis)

Note on solving:

Zodiac, Ripper and Sam jumped out as serial killer names; Notorious pointed towards rappers and Slim and Fifty obviously went there; Dizzy and then Bird gave the jazz group; and Sugar pointed towards the boxers. Though I did have Dr in the serial killers initially, and Prince in with singers. And pretty much any word looks like it could a jazz nickname based on the list on Wikipedia.

  • $\begingroup$ Very good just needs a little touch up $\endgroup$ – user62973 Aug 27 '20 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(Zvffvat enccre zvtug or Qe Qer) $\endgroup$ – Lukas Rotter Aug 27 '20 at 9:58
  • $\begingroup$ Please don't write answers in the comments $\endgroup$ – user62973 Aug 27 '20 at 10:00
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Jaques - on PSE if someone is close to the final answer it's fine for other users to provide their own observations as comments to help push them over the line and complete their solution (in fact it's actively encouraged, to avoid lots of one-line partial answers). Obviously if it will spoil the puzzle it's best to use rot13 to hide them from a casually passing eye. (Equally obviously, since I don't know the history of the comment edits here I'm trying to provide catch-all advice in this comment mainly for the benefit of others who may read this...) Happy Puzzling :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Aug 27 '20 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations! $\endgroup$ – user62973 Aug 27 '20 at 10:37

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