Something in Common

by Francis Heaney and Lance Nathan

The following answers contain links to the original images, for copyright, verification, and backup purposes.

1. Which current senator has a grandchild named for this man's home state?

LIEBERMAN (granddaughter named Tennessee; photo is Al Gore)

2. What movie features the son of the man who drew this creature?

LABYRINTH (art is by Brian Froud; son Toby was Toby in the movie)

3. Who replaced this man as governor in 2001?

SCHWEIKER (Picture is of Tom Ridge, governer of PA until September 2001)

4. What are these women standing on on the cover of their second album? (Formerly: What does Jimmy have three of, in a song by this man? Probably too hard.)

WATERSKIS (John Prine, "Forbidden Jimmy"/The Go-Go's, "Vacation")

5. Whose 2000 release includes a song with the same title as this comic book? (Formerly, probably too easy: Who is this singer/songwriter?)

AIMEEMANN (comic is Ghost World)

6. What California city appears as the first word of a song title on this album? (Alternate image: here; already lacks title, but art is smaller)

CAMARILLO (Camarillo Brillo; album is Overnite Sensation)

7. Who has the penultimate line in the work being parodied by these people?

HORTENSIO (picture is from the "Moonlighting" parody of The Taming of the Shrew)

8. In what film was this actor's final appearance as his most frequent role?

MOONRAKER (actor is Bernard Lee, who played M)

9. What is this device? (Alternate image: this drawing)


10. What recording artist has a "best of" album that shares a name with this fictional product? (Backup: something related to Da Vinci's Inquest actor Nicholas Campbell's documentary.)

PETERTOSH (The "Wacky Package" sticker is Arise)

11. What sort of "scientist" works in the department headquartered here? (Alternate picture: go take a better photo, with name obscured)

ALCHEMIST (2-214 is the Department of Alchemy)

12. What movie character played by this actress shares her name with a '70s singer with a single #1 hit?

MACGREGOR (the actress is Jane Carr as Timov on Babylon 5; the character is Mary MacGregor, in "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie"; Mary MacGregor sang "Torn Between Two Lovers")

13. Of the historical characters played in film or television by this actor, which was born the earliest? (Alternate picture: Goldfinger photo may be less recognizable to modern film fans) (Alternate question: Whose mask is this?)

AGAMEMNON (Sean Connery; played Agamemnon in Time Bandits)

14. What flowers convey the message of the words that complete the title 'Poems Written in,' by this man? (Less interesting version: What sort of flowers are these?)

PRIMROSES (Poet is T.S. Eliot, author of "Poems Written in Early Youth")

15. What breed of cats are these? (Alternate picture: here: perhaps more standard, used on the webpage; less adorable; Sunset is also on, more adorable)


16. What is another name for the mathematical figure described in chapter five of this book? (Alternate image: scan in book cover with title obscured)

HYPERCUBE (Chapter 5 of A Wrinkle in Time is titled "The Tesseract")

17. Who is the character on the left? (Alternate if that's too easy: who did this actor portray in a 1999 TV movie?)

STEVEJOBS (Noah Wyle in "Pirates of Silicon Valley")

18. What animal, renowned for the high quality of its flesh, is named for this city? (Note: make clear that it's not "London")


19. What species of whale is pictured to the left of the orcas in this picture?


20. What was the debut album from the band named after this cartoon? (The more fun but much harder question: What album's cover photo looks like this when cross-stitched?)

TIGERMILK (The cartoon is Belle and Sebastian.)

21. In what city can you find this sign? (Cropped, of course.)


22. What language are these people speaking? (May be too hard. Alternative, possibly much too hard: What did this man invent?)

ESPERANTO (film shot is Shatner in Incubus; man is Zamenhof)

23. What wine-producing commune is indicated on this map?


24. What is the last name of this actor/director the nickname of?

AUSTRALIA (The photo is Frank Oz.)

25. Where is this building?


26. Who is this? (A giveaway, but one or two easy ones don't hurt.)


27. What singer has taught mathematics for thirty years at the school where this animal is the mascot? (Perhaps too well-known a fact; alternately, crop this picture to remove his name)

TOMLEHRER (university is UC Santa Cruz; animal is the banana slug)

28. What is this? (Alternate image: this, with the bottom cut off)


The first thing that the answers have in common is that they are all nine letters long--hence you can determine whether to use last names or full names based on which is nine letters:


Additionally, each answer shares exactly one letter in the same position with the answer following it (and the last answer shares one letter with the first answer). Reading those letters in order spells:


Alan Moore is the author of a comic book series entitled "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen"; the answer to the puzzle is EXTRAORDINARY.

Additionally, the center column of the answers reads ERERERERER...; the hidden bigram is ER.