I have partitioned the list of US states into two groups based on a certain property that is shared by 32 states but not shared by the remaining 18 states.

The 32 states that share this property:

?????, ?????, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming.

The 18 states that do not have the property:

?????, ?????, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin.

What property did I use for my partition?
To which parts do Alabama, Alaska, Arizona and Arkansas belong?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Is this something that I have to google? For example, states that have anti-abortion laws or something. $\endgroup$ Feb 15, 2015 at 12:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Hahaha. You change it from 31 to 32 5 days after posting? I wonder if this is a clue or if you made a mistake :D. $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2015 at 3:33
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelRize - I strongly suspect it has something to do with the letters in each state's names, because it has that type of form to it. That said, getting a real answer to your question would be very helpful. $\endgroup$
    – Bobson
    Feb 20, 2015 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Bobson I was sure of that too. In all but one case the first two letters determine the group. However Haobin's answer seems to suggest that is a coincidence. $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Feb 23, 2015 at 15:18

1 Answer 1


This puzzle is about rivers and not states. The Mississippi, the Missouri and the Ohio are famous rivers. Google Search Engine finds Colorado river, Connecticut river, Delaware river, Florida river, Illinois river, Iowa river, Kansas river, Kentucky river, Maine river, Michigan river, Minnesota river, Mississippi river, Missouri river, Ohio river, Tennessee river, Wisconsin river.

Google Search Engine does not find California river, Georgia river, Hawaii river, etc.

Alabama river and Arkansas river (but no alaska river and Arizona river) show that

  • Alaska and Arizona belong to first group with 32 states
  • Alabama and Arkansas belong to second group with 18 states
  • $\begingroup$ Ooh, clever! How'd you think of that? $\endgroup$
    – Bobson
    Feb 23, 2015 at 15:20
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ I'd say the Colorado river is a famous river, too. It did carve the Grand Canyon. $\endgroup$
    – KSmarts
    Feb 23, 2015 at 19:35

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