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Grandpa seemed to have spent some time writing something.

"What are you writing, Grandpa?", I asked.

"Just trying to tie up some ends here. Check it out", he says.

The (strange) sentence merely was

Ada, Ali, Ana, Dan, Dom, Gary, Mark, Stan and Tina had only one car in LA,CA,US.

"So what?" I asked.

"Only a single word does not belong in that sentence. Nothing to do with grammar,son. Can you tell which one and why?"

"And son I left out a few names that could be easily added to that sentence. Which ones?"

I was stumped. Typical Grandpa. I couldn't. So he told me. Should have known. Everything he says can be a clue! There was a clear reason why he chose the names and words.

Can you guess?

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  • $\begingroup$ are spaces intentionally left out between LA,CA,US? or does spaces matter? $\endgroup$ Dec 7 '20 at 14:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No spaces do not matter. Only words. As you know it is city,state and Country, $\endgroup$
    – DrD
    Dec 7 '20 at 14:06
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The odd word out in the sentence is:

ONLY

Because:

All of the other words in the sentence (including the names) can be found at the end of country names. (This explains the relevance of Grandpa's statement: 'trying to tie up some ends here'...)

Like so:

Ada = Canada/Grenada
Ali = Mali
Ana = Botswana/Ghana/Guyana
Dan = Jordan/Sudan/South Sudan
Dom = United Kingdom
Gary = Hungary
Mark = Denmark
Stan = Afghanistan/Kazakhstan/Kyrgyzstan/Pakistan/Tajikistan/Turkmenistan/Uzbekistan
and = Finland/Iceland/Ireland/New Zealand/Poland/Switzerland/Thailand
Tina =Argentina
had = Chad
only = NO COUNTRIES END IN 'ONLY'
one = Sierra Leone
car = Madagascar
in = Bahrain/Benin/Liechtenstein/Spain
LA = Angola/Guatemala/Venezuela
CA = Costa Rica/Dominica/Jamaica/South Africa/United States of America
US = Belarus/Cyprus/Mauritius

Other names that could have been valid for the sentence include:

Olivia (Bolivia), Salvador (El Salvador), Reece (Greece), Rocco (Morocco) and Erica (United States of America) - although since these are substantially longer than those used in the puzzle, they may well have been a bigger giveaway!
Note that there are also many other regular dictionary words that could have been used in the sentence like So (Burkina Faso), Tan (Bhutan), Many/Any (Germany) and Ran (Iran), to name just a few...)

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  • $\begingroup$ Correct I meant to say Rocco $\endgroup$
    – DrD
    Dec 7 '20 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DrD Ah yeah, that's another. I suspect there might be a few other niche ones or culturally-very-specific ones lurking in the list too, but I think I've found most of the more common ones... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 7 '20 at 14:34
  • $\begingroup$ Sia, Pan, Aly, Ina, Nam, Gal... $\endgroup$
    – Damila
    Dec 8 '20 at 4:34
  • $\begingroup$ My point exactly! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 8 '20 at 7:22

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