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This Connect Wall is pretty straightforward (?), but I thought it might be a fun mini-puzzle!

Connect Wall rules: Divide these sixteen words into four groups based on something they have in common. You'll find that the four groups have something in common themselves. The words aren't in any particular order.

DACTYL, WARDED, BASHED, PEDAL, CYCLE, HANDLE, CAKE, CORN, GRAPH, ESTER, MATH, WAKE, TRIES, FRIED, POLAR, BRIDGE

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The categories are:

WAKE, WARDED, BASHED, BRIDGE: Can be preceded by A-.
PEDAL, CYCLE, POLAR, CORN: Can be preceded by BI-.
HANDLE, CAKE, TRIES, FRIED: Can be preceded by PAN-.
GRAPH, ESTER, DACTYL, MATH: Can be preceded by POLY-.

And the commonality is, of course,

all of these prefixes can go before "sexual" to refer to some subset of the LGBT+ community.

The title's "colorful" hints at this, with rainbows and various brightly-colored pride flags frequently used to represent the LGBT+ community. And the word "straight" in the intro is marked with a question mark because the words made here are specifically referring to groups that are not "straight" (i.e. heterosexual).

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  • $\begingroup$ Yup, this is it :) $\endgroup$ – Sciborg Nov 30 '20 at 5:02
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    $\begingroup$ CORN, POLAR, DACTYL, and PEDAL at least can be preceded by A-. GRAPH and DACTYL can be preceded by BI-. (So can ESTER, though it yields a name.) Most of those words are rare but ACORN is very common (much more so than BICORN, for example). @Sciborg $\endgroup$ – msh210 Nov 30 '20 at 5:59
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    $\begingroup$ @msh210 I've not heard of those obscure ones... but ACORN could definitely be a place of confusion on this one. I tried to make the A- group pretty obvious and hard to put anywhere else to make up for the potential confusion there. $\endgroup$ – Sciborg Nov 30 '20 at 6:04
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    $\begingroup$ @msh210 Yes, I had ACORN in the A group at first - once I realized the other groups though, it was pretty easy to sort things out. $\endgroup$ – Deusovi Nov 30 '20 at 6:04

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