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An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #35: Restricted Title 1.


We had a lot of hurricanes this season, so we had to come up with a new naming convention for them. We had several possibilities, but in the end voted on one that would support having thousands of hurricanes in a single year. Unfortunately, we lost the page of notes that had the description of our new naming convention, and we all forgot it over the 3 day weekend, but we still want to use it. We did however get lucky in that we have a written list on the whiteboard of the names we could use for this year. Could you help us figure out our new hurricane naming convention?

List

Bartholomew
Patricia
Ian
Lea
Brandon
Ivory
Grant
Reda
Steve
Priscilla
Brad
Paige
Craig
Carol
Jared
Monique
Weyman
Sandra
George
Faye
Kyle
Beatrice
Thomas
Gina
Bryan
Felicia
Matthew
Ellen
Holden
Donna
Brayden
Pilar
Seth
Felicity
Sam
Sheryl
Henry
Anna
Bob
Leila
Owan
Georgia
Ralph
Lisa
Sal
Samantha
Curtis
Freida
Will
Penny
Malcom
Sarah
Herald
Sophia
Usef
Thea
Wyatt
Wilma
Gregg
Susan

Hint:

I reexamined the board, and found a partially erased word that appears to read "Titles". Hopefully this helps. Also, one of my coworkers remembered an odd fact that no name that started with a 'Z' occurred in the first 50 names, but a Zachary did occur once after that and a Zoe much later.

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you happen to have any examples of names that would not follow the convention? $\endgroup$ – hexomino May 31 '18 at 13:53
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    $\begingroup$ @QuantumTwinkie added a hint. hope it helps $\endgroup$ – Dragonrage May 31 '18 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ @hexomino typo in my last comment to you, meant 50 not 500. $\endgroup$ – Dragonrage May 31 '18 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ Just to clarify, in this system, would the first hurricane be named 'Bartholomew,' the second 'Patricia,' and so on? $\endgroup$ – TwoBitOperation May 31 '18 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @TwoBitOperation yes, that is correct $\endgroup$ – Dragonrage May 31 '18 at 18:00
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The new naming convention is the following:

The names are alternately male and female names based on the titles of xkcd comics. Each name shares the starting letter with the corresponding xkcd comic, and often also has a similar sound. So for example Bartholomew is based on Barrel - Part 1, Patricia on Petit Trees (sketch), Ian on Island (sketch), etc. Zachary from the hint corresponds with Zeppelin, and Zoe with Zealous Autoconfig, which are the only titles starting with a 'Z'.

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    $\begingroup$ How on earth do you guys even find connections such as these... $\endgroup$ – Minh Tran Jun 1 '18 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ Nicely done! :) $\endgroup$ – Dragonrage Jun 1 '18 at 15:58

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