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I asked my friend Frank to rank his favorite Stack Exchange sites from 1 (favorite) to 10 (least favorite).

This is the feedback he left, but I got them a little mixed up and don’t know which he actually likes and doesn’t like. He also said the feedback wasn’t truly accurate; for example Spanish Language is actually #5. Can you sort them from one to ten and explain?

No idea what the numbers he gave mean. Some sort of validation, I suppose. They should be pretty close.

Christianity [3]

  • Good

Stack Overflow [9]

  • Trusted Failsafe

Amateur Radio [17]

  • Alphabetically sorted posts have top notch articles. Like!

Spanish Language [21]

  • Fun to do, stress causing at random times. Noticing content issues.

Biology [29]

  • Had engaging (to me) theory on DNA. Mainly teachers trying to learn science, but some guests and inexperienced posters as well.

Graphic Design [36]

  • Makes me bored; not my cup of tea. Ranges from okay to terribly low. I no longer even visit the blog due to the influx of trending posts by avid bloggers. Let’s stay away.

Chemistry [41]

  • Overhyped perhaps (or not), generally cheerless tedium, like mathematical numbers. Dry, ill-defined humdrum; boring at once. Arduous bane of mine.

Astronomy [47]

  • Some recurring issues, mainly downvoted new users and short thematic articles that jump in topic erratically. Was a turning point where it went sour and a rush of new posts upended it.

Science Fiction & Fantasy [52]

  • Epic; grand; real fun. From doomsday material to dragons, strongly regard. No lasting gimmicks like pictures popping up on me. Overall very good about grooming threads, especially on J.R.R.

Earth Science [68]

  • Stale and cagey posts outnumber specially cited content, but overall not half bad. Plus more citations and heaps of great titles for those classes of quality readers that have zeal for the latest top craze. Scores of underappreciated users who made it a mine of unending hard facts.
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1 Answer 1

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The rankings from 1 to 10 are:

1 Christianity
2 Stack Overflow
3 Amateur Radio
4 Biology
5 Spanish Language
6 Chemistry
7 Graphic Design
8 Astronomy
9 Science Fiction & Fantasy
10 Earth Science

"Spanish Language is actually #5"

¿Hablas español? Perhaps not, but you can probably count in Spanish: uno, dos tres, ... Now look at the description. These numbers are hidden there: Fun to do, stress ...

So that's how the ranking works: For each site, we are looking for a series of items that are related to the site's topic. They are hidden in the description, but not contiguous. The number in square brackets indicates how many letters these items have in total.

Each number of items from 1 to 10 occurs exactly once; it determines the rank.

Christianity [3]

One god: Good

Stack Overflow [9]

Two Boolean values: Trusted Failsafe

Amateur Radio [17]

The first three phonetic letters: Alphabetically sorted posts have top notch articles. Like!

Spanish Language [21]

The first five numbers in Spanish: Fun to do, stress causing at random times. Noticing content issues.

Biology [29]

Four nucleobases: Had engaging (to me) theory on DNA. Mainly teachers trying to learn science, but some guests and inexperienced posters as well.

Graphic Design [36]

The seven colours of the rainbow: Makes me bored; not my cup of tea. Ranges from okay to terribly low. I no longer even visit the blog due to the influx of trending posts by avid bloggers. Let's stay away.

Chemistry [41]

The first six elements: Overhyped perhaps (or not), generally cheerless tedium, like mathematical numbers. Dry, ill-defined humdrum; boring at once. Arduous bane of mine.

Astronomy [47]

The eight planets of the solar system: Some recurring issues, mainly downvoted new users and short thematic articles that jump in topic erratically. Was a turning point where it went sour and a rush of new posts upended it.

Science Fiction & Fantasy [52]

The nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring: Epic; grand; real fun. From doomsday material to dragons, strongly regard. No lasting gimmicks like pictures popping up on me. Overall very good about grooming threads, especially on J.R.R.

Earth Science [68]

The ten reference minerals of the Mohs scale: Stale and cagey posts outnumber specially cited content, but overall not half bad. Plus more citations and heaps of great titles for those classes of quality readers that have zeal for the latest top craze. Scores of underappreciated users who made it a mine of unending hard facts.

Thanks to Stiv, who found the details of Biology and Graphic Design.

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    $\begingroup$ Love it :) Biology is the 4 rot13(QAN onfrf, fgnegvat jvgu NQRAVAR...) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 5, 2021 at 7:44
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, and your missing seven is rot13(envaobj pbybhef) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Oct 5, 2021 at 7:47
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    $\begingroup$ For #3 it should probably be rot13(NYCUNOrgvpnyyl fbEgrq cbfgf uNIr gBc), since rot13(va ANGB nycunorg, O vf "Oenib"). $\endgroup$
    – trolley813
    Oct 5, 2021 at 7:56
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks all for your comments. It's a nice puzzle, but a PITA to markup. $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Oct 5, 2021 at 7:58
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately #9 misspelled rot13(Yrtbynf)... $\endgroup$ Oct 5, 2021 at 13:53

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