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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #42: Wordless Connecting Walls


Knockoff Gladys was quite happy about how their last puzzle was received. So happy, in fact, that I found a new note waiting for me today. They may have been, um, slightly buzzed while writing it.

Hey, bobble!

Seems you were right - those PSE folks do have very large brains. Big brains. Very big brains. Did you know that brains, they think for us? And their brains, their brains solved my other puzzle! So I made another one. Split the flags into four groups of four - you know, the number 4, it's 2 times 2, isn't that coooooool - find a flag that fits in all the groups, blah blah blah. Let’s see if your friends can find the patterns, the commonalities, the groups, the… hoo, boy, this stuff is great, y'all!

-K. G.

connect wall

Seems like you need to find some patterns in these flags. Also I might need to get K. G. some help...

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I believe the flag which fits all four hidden groupings here is:

enter image description here

i.e. the flag of QATAR. This would explain a cryptic clue hidden in the title, since 'QAT' is a family of stimulants and 'ARE endless' would result in 'AR' once you minus the end letter from 'ARE'.

The 16 flags (left to right, top to bottom) are those of:

SYRIA, YEMEN, UKRAINE, TOGO,
THE GAMBIA, SOUTH KOREA, NIGERIA, TAJIKISTAN,
GREENLAND, SENEGAL, FIJI, DJIBOUTI,
PORTUGAL, HAITI, COMOROS, PALAU

I believe the 4 groups are:

Group 1: Only one geographic neighbour
PORTUGAL (Spain), HAITI (Dominican Republic), THE GAMBIA (Senegal), SOUTH KOREA (North Korea).

Group 2: Two colours in its flag
GREENLAND (red and white), UKRAINE (blue and yellow), NIGERIA (green and white), PALAU (blue and yellow).

Group 3: Capital begins with 'D'
SYRIA (Damascus), TAJIKISTAN (Dushanbe), SENEGAL (Dakar), DJIBOUTI (Djibouti!).

Group 4: Name only contains one type of vowel
YEMEN (E), FIJI (I), TOGO (O), COMOROS (O).

QATAR satisfies all of these, since (i) its only neighbour is Saudi Arabia, (ii) its flag is two colours (maroon and white), (iii) its capital is Doha, which begins with 'D', and (iv) its only vowel is the letter 'A', twice.

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  • $\begingroup$ Again, you're pretty close (and those groups are about as specific as mine...). For a nudge: rot13(gurer vf n tebhcvat onfrq ba gur syntf gurzfryirf, naq bayl bar onfrq ba pncvgny pvgvrf) $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Nov 9 '20 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ @bobble You're kidding! Honestly thought all of Groups 1-3 were bang on 100%! I'll rethink then... :) EDIT: Hang on - I've got it! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 9 '20 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ Yep! Sorry about how there were unintended groups. $\endgroup$
    – bobble
    Nov 9 '20 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @bobble No need to apologise :) Your 4 as a set fit far more nicely than my 'good 3 and dubious 1' in my original answer! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Nov 9 '20 at 17:21

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