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NSA's 2017 Puzzle Periodical

Try your hand at this month's problem written by a member of our expert workforce.

April 2017 Puzzle Periodical - What is the Connection?

Submitted by Wendell W., NSA Mathematician

The idea of a Connection is that you are given five questions to answer. Once you answer those questions, you have to figure out the connection between those five answers.

Questions:

Connection 1

  1. What Peanuts character was always followed by a cloud of dust?
  2. What name of a famous Italian Renaissance artist indicated the town in Tuscany where he was born?
  3. What novel by the Japanese writer Shusaku Endo was made into a movie in 2016?
  4. Who patented the telegraph in 1837?
  5. What Babylonian king ruled from 1792 B.C. to 1750 B.C.?

Connection 2

  1. What is someone who makes barrels called?
  2. What was the profession of Joseph in the New Testament?
  3. What was the first name of the band leader who died in an airplane accident over the English Channel in World War II?
  4. What's the last name of the character played by William Petersen on the TV show CSI?
  5. What's the last name of the American actor, writer, and director whose first name is Dax?

Connection 3

  1. What famous singer was often referred to as "the man in black"?
  2. What satirical singer/songwriter taught courses in musical theater and mathematics at the University of California, Santa Cruz?
  3. What American talk show host learned his ability to counsel people while he was a Navy officer from 1980 to 1989?
  4. What comedian appeared many times on TV shows like The New Adventures of Old Christine and Curb Your Enthusiasm and supplied the voices in movies like Over the Hedge and Barnyard?
  5. What mathematician who founded a hedge fund called Renaissance Technologies is now the 49th richest person in the world?

Click to see the answer!

Answers:

Connection 1

  1. Pig-Pen
  2. Da Vinci
  3. Silence
  4. Morse
  5. Hammurabi

Connection 2

  1. Cooper
  2. Carpenter
  3. Glenn
  4. Grissom
  5. Shepard

Connection 3

  1. Johnny Cash
  2. Tom Lehrer
  3. Montel Williams
  4. Wanda Sykes
  5. James Simons

Connections Between Answers:

Connection 1

They are all kinds of codes.

Connection 2

They were all Mercury astronauts.

Connection 3

They all worked for NSA for several years (as a civilian, while in the military, or as a contractor).

NOTE: This puzzle was inspired by the Kennections® puzzle periodical made popular by Ken Jennings. The puzzle presented is the sole work of the author and has no connection to Ken Jennings or the owner of the Kennections® trademark.