Four Harvard students Bates, Denise, Dennis and Sacha had someone take a picture of them with all of them holding a specific drink in their hands. All four of them were also wearing the same type of shirt which had nothing but a large star figure printed on it. Before the picture of them was taken they made sure that the four of them arranged themselves in a line so that Denise was placed to the far left and the rest in some ordered way. This way the picture made perfect sense to them.

How did they line up and what drink did they all hold in their hands? Explain your reasoning.


The star on their shirts is a description of something geography related.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are Denise and Dennis twins? <joke /> $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 17:45
  • $\begingroup$ maybe, maybe not ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Prim3numbah does the puzzle have something to do with Big Dipper? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ @webadventurer No, nothing to do with that. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 21, 2023 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ Do they all have the same drink? $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Commented Jul 26, 2023 at 22:08

1 Answer 1


The students lined up (from left to right) as:

Denise, Sacha, Dennis, Bates

The drink that they each held in their hands was:

Coca Cola!


The stars on their shirts represent US states (exactly like the stars on the US flag, and further being pointed to by these students being based in America at Harvard). Each of their names begins with 3 letters that also begin the name of a state capital: Dennis/Denise = Denver (Colorado CO), Sacha = Sacramento (California CA), and Bates = Baton Rouge (Louisiana LA).

If we take the 2-letter state abbreviations for these states, then standing in these positions and reading them from left to right, their states spell out CO-CA-CO-LA! (They could perhaps be involved in a photoshoot for an advertisement...)

  • $\begingroup$ Got it, nice job :) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 27, 2023 at 8:17

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