10
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My school had recently hired a new professor, and I volunteered to assist while he moved into his new classroom. He happily accepted my help. I walked into the classroom, and saw him unpacking some boxes.

"So what class are you going to be teaching?" I asked.

"You don't need to worry about that," was his reply. "Oh, and by the way. Could you run to the store and grab those items for me. I forgot to get them earlier."

"Sure..." I said, still confused.

As I headed out the door, I wondered why he hadn't told me which subject he taught. I looked at the list he had given me.

  • Squash
  • Quiche
  • Raw Broccoli
  • Yellow Bathrobe
  • LED Lightbulb
  • White Turmeric
  • Microwave Popcorn
  • Sweet Potato
  • Stuffed Wolf
  • Disposable Phone
  • Can of Tuna

As I read it again, I suddenly understood.

"That man is a genius!" I yelled as I headed off to the store.

What did I learn from the professor's shopping list? Why?

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3
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ WTF is a "Heartburn Antibiotic"? And do you seriously send a colleague to a store to purchase you a luxury car like a Porsche??? If I saw the shopping list, I'd think anything but 'that man is a genius'... $\endgroup$
    – subrunner
    Nov 11, 2021 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ To make a slightly more palatable (and affordable) shopping list, you could have One Pound Tuna / Can of Tuna, yellow (or white) turmeric, brioche / quiche $\endgroup$
    – subrunner
    Nov 11, 2021 at 10:55
  • $\begingroup$ Fair point. The things one doesn't notice until after it's done. : ) $\endgroup$
    – PiGuy314
    Nov 11, 2021 at 14:36

1 Answer 1

9
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You learned that the professor teaches:

Chemistry

Since:

his 'shopping list' is not actually a shopping list; instead it's his way of communicating to you the subject he teaches. You can tell he is a chemist because the lines of the list end in the sequential symbols of the first 11 elements in the Periodic Table:

SquasH
QuicHe
Raw broccoLi
Yellow bathroBe
LED lightbulB
White TurmeriC
Microwave PopcorN
Sweet PotatO
Stuffed WolF
Disposable PhoNe
Can of TuNa

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4
  • $\begingroup$ I wonder how a music professor's list look like. $\endgroup$
    – WhatsUp
    Nov 10, 2021 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ Challenge Accepted. (maybe) : ) $\endgroup$
    – PiGuy314
    Nov 10, 2021 at 23:42
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ It might begin with "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and an Aeolian harp, but continuing that list seems like it would be troublesome. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Nov 10, 2021 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ What about "Xyrtec, 10 mg" $\endgroup$ Nov 11, 2021 at 14:17

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