What non-standard and surprising property links the following words together?

testing, ROM, Moore, Mealy, flip-flop, code, Microelectronics, rays, Widgets, plane


  • The list is not exhaustive, meaning that more words could be inserted into it
  • The words are in sequence, but that order is not important to figure out the common property

Hint 1: Here is another entry that could be inserted into the list:


Hint 2: These letters can also be inserted into the list:

c (for copy), V (for Virus), C (for Corporation)

Hint 3a: Some more words, but these would have to replace existing ones:

blood, player, light, chromosomes

Hint 3b: These are the words that they would replace:

testing, ROM, rays, plane

Modified list after applying all the above hints:

blood, c, player, Moore, Mealy, V, flip-flop, C, code, -232, Microelectronics, light, Widgets, chromosomes

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ There can be quite a few answers to this. For example none of the words contain the vowel, "u" in them, though I expect this isn't the answer you're looking for. Perhaps you can narrow it down more for us? $\endgroup$
    – Shuri2060
    Commented Mar 26, 2016 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ I added a hint. @Question Asker: It doesn't have anything to do with the letters that you see in the list. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 5:56
  • $\begingroup$ I wouldn't describe this as primarily an english question (the order of tags as displayed got reversed when I posted). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 6:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A Comma. A Comma links these words together. ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 14:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I added some more hints (which I was planning to do anyway...). I can't think of a single answer, other than the right one, that would also explain the "-232", so I don't quite understand how this is "too broad". :-P $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 18:43

2 Answers 2



All words could be preceeded by a two-letter combination in alphabetical order.


AB testing or AB blood
Bcc (Blind carpon copy)
CD ROM or CD player
E.F. Moore
G.H. Mealy (computer scientist)
HIV (virus)
JK flip-flop (electronics)
MNC (MultiNational Corporation)
QR code
RS-232 (telecommunication)
UV light or UV rays
wxWidgets (toolkit)
XY plane or XY chromosomes

  • $\begingroup$ This might be a better fit: rot13(uggcf://ra.jvxvcrqvn.bet/jvxv/Rqjneq_S._Zbber) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 19:50
  • $\begingroup$ For multi-line spoilers, add two spaces at the end of each line. $\endgroup$
    – f''
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ Well done! But you'll realize that the answer for "C" is incorrect, if you compare it to the answers for "c" and "V". $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 6:09
  • $\begingroup$ I was thinking about KLC as well, was that what you were thinking about? $\endgroup$
    – Enigma
    Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 6:25
  • $\begingroup$ All the answers are notable enough to have Wikipedia articles about them. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 29, 2016 at 12:17

May not be the answer but I hope it can help:

As I can think they all can be represented as a FSM(Finite State Machine) which on some inputs gives some(mostly binary) output.

And the order I can figure out is that every item in the list can be composed of (or has as part or utilizes) the previous item.

  • $\begingroup$ That's interesting, but sorry, that's not it. It still doesn't explain "rays" or "-232" for example, or the ordering of "ROM" and "Moore". When you get the correct answer you'll be sure that you've got it, even if you can't explain all of the words. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 19:03

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