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Potpourri III

The first group of people to solve Potpourri III were Michael Hecht, Mark Hilmoe, Kevin Keir, Todd Ferrante, and Jan Feder. They are a team of software and mechanical design engineers from Ohio. They claim a strong collective background in Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, and physics.

An honorable mention goes to Rob Evans, whose answer was received less than 24 hours after the first team.

And now, the solutions:

  1. "Favor" is not a term used to describe a group of birds. As in a pitying of turtledoves, an unkindness of ravens, a murder of crows, and an exaltation of larks.
  2. Reading the list aloud, each successive element describes the contents of the previous element. So next on the list would be 312211.
  3. Two acceptable answers here: one, you would never reach it, it just become infinitely close. Two, we accepted the limit of the path: ~14150 km.
  4. Yes, if you imagine two explorers on the same day, one starting at the summit, the other starting at base, they will pass each other at some point. At that point, their watches will read the same.
  5. "Bend Your Mind" - if you still haven't gotten this, try looking not at the symbols, but at the spaces between them.
  6. IBM - in 1989 Don Eigler, working at IBM with a special scanning tunneling microscope successfully spelled out the IBM logo with a few dozen xenon atoms.
  7. The Lunar Landing Module - contrary to urban legend, no man-made terrestrial objects (including the Great Wall of China) can be seen from the surface of the moon. But of course Mr. Armstrong could see the lander he stepped out of!
  8. The center hole becomes larger.
  9. They are all named after places - Limousine France, Champagne Valley France, Tuxedo Park New York, and Ascot Races England.
  10. "Stranger" - Hope you caught our little pun: the "elements" of this series are the meanings/origins of the names of noble elements of the periodic table from top down.
  11. Exactly one Earth's diameter up, assuming a spherical Earth.
  12. They Might Me Giants fans know that Istanbul was formerly Constantinople, named after Constantine. But Constantine hadn't been born 2000 years ago- the city was called Byzantium.
Hope everyone enjoyed Potpourri III!

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