I have ranked the US-states according to a certain cryptic property and put them into a list. A contiguous piece of this cryptic list looks as follows:

..., ?????, Nevada, West Virginia, Kansas, Oregon, Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, Iowa, Texas, Florida, Michigan, Arkansas, Missouri, Maine, Alabama, Illinois, ?????, ...

Which states are represented by ????? ? What is the cryptic property?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the answer depends on an arbitrary list of states found on another web site. Remove that web page and there is no answer. $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Commented Mar 1, 2015 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$ @FlorianF There is a property behind the list though that isn't restricted to just that site. Gamow's answer, although it wasn't accepted as the best one, explains this more clearly. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Commented Mar 30, 2015 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, that is better than I thought. $\endgroup$
    – Florian F
    Commented Mar 31, 2015 at 12:57

2 Answers 2



Nebraska and Mississippi


The most enraging Starbucks order I’ve ever witnessed and a mnemonic for the 50 states in order of statehood

Found on http://goo.gl/x1CXdi with

google query: "Nevada, West Virginia, Kansas, Oregon, Minnesota, California" ...

  • The cryptic property is:

    the date of statehood (the date of admission to the union).
    The list has the statehood dates ordered upside down: the younger states come at the beginning, the later states come at the end

  • The first missing state is:

    Nebraska (admission date = March 1, 1867).

  • The second missing state is:

    Mississippi (admission date = December 10, 1817).


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