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This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #9: Game/Quiz Shows.


Did you see the glitch on Only Connect last Monday?* The one where all four of the rounds got merged into one?!

Effectively, there was just this one big question - a connecting wall of sixteen clues (Round 3) whose four groups were actually four incomplete sequences (Round 2) written with all of their vowels missing (Round 4), where afterwards you had to find a connection between the four groups (Round 1)! It looked like this:

? BRD CD ?
? GL GNDH JTR
MRTN NHR NMDLND PR
PRST RTH SHSTR ?

Assume in each case that each sequence is in ascending order, and the fourth entry in each sequence is represented by one of the four question marks. Can you fully resolve this Connecting Wall of Missing-Vowels-Sequences with Connections (by adding the correct vowels, separating the entries out into their sequences, resolving the '?' entries, and identifying the connection between the four sequences)? (Probably not a round that will catch on in the show...)

NB For checksum/disambiguation purposes, the '?' entries represent strings of 2, 3, 4 and >4 consonants (not necessarily in the order they are presented here). Here, the five vowels are considered to be A, E, I, O, and U; Y is always considered a consonant.

* Of course you didn't - the latest series finished several weeks ago, and Only Connect is always... er... completely polished and professional... (In case it needs stating, the premise for this question is entirely fictitious - no such 'glitch' occurred and the puzzle is my own original creation...)

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    $\begingroup$ Very nice idea :) $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Apr 12, 2023 at 22:00
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks @hexomino - it came to me during work yesterday and I had to drop everything and see it through before I could concentrate on what I was doing again! (Thankfully it all came together in a little under half an hour - one of my quicker creations!) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 13, 2023 at 5:59

1 Answer 1

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Wow, this was tough! The 4 sequences are:

Golf scores (Ascending number of strokes): EAGLE -> BIRDIE -> PAR -> BOGEY

Oscar Winners, 2019 -> 2022: PARASITE -> NOMADLAND -> CODA -> EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE

Indian Prime Ministers (1st -> 4th, Nanda is an interim PM, not included): NEHRU -> SHASTRI -> GANDHI -> DESAI

NY Yankees (Baseball) field names (By player's worn numbers 1-4): MARTIN -> JETER -> RUTH -> GEHRIG

Checking the numbers provided in the question:

DESAI = DS = 2, BOGEY = BGY = 3, GEHRIG = GHRG = 4, and EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE = VRYTHNGVRYWHRLLTNC = 18 > 4. That all checks out.

So then we have 4 categories:

Golf, Oscar, India, Yankee... These are all from the NATO phonetic alphabet!

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    $\begingroup$ not sure but this and this might be relevant. $\endgroup$
    – caPNCApn
    Apr 13, 2023 at 3:13
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, maybe... this came up in a search, but it doesn't hang together quite neatly enough yet. $\endgroup$
    – Chengarda
    Apr 13, 2023 at 3:49
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    $\begingroup$ Great job, all correct! The second link in cap's comment was just a little Easter Egg for the solver... The solution is complete already though :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 13, 2023 at 6:02

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