Magic: The Puzzling: Common Ground

Posted in Feature on January 27, 2010

By Wizards of the Coast

Let's do something a little different today. We're going to go back to the bygone days of 1996, when Duelist #14 published a puzzle that is just as relevant today as it was back then!

...well, that's not entirely true. In fact, one of the answers isn't really right by today's definitions, and another requires intimate knowledge of 1996-era Magic paraphernalia. But we're doing it anyway. Enjoy!

Below is a list of eight cards, followed by eight groupings of three cards. Each card fits the theme of one of the groupings. All you need to do is figure out the theme for each grouping and then find the card from the list that also belongs. No theme involves the color, expansion, casting cost, or card type (instant, interrupt, etc.) of the cards.

Which group do these cards belong to?

Memory Lapse, Soldier of Fortune, Atog, Rohgahh of Kher Keep, Vesuvan Doppelganger, Mishra's Factory, Infernal Contract, Force Spike

Group A

Answer: Cards which reference other specific spells; Rohgahh of Kher Keep

Group B

Answer: Two artists; Mishra's Factory

Group C

Answer: Cards whose art appeared on T-shirts in 1996, when this puzzle was written, and yes, we agree that this one was impossble; Vesuvan Doppelganger

Group D

Answer: Lets you shuffle your deck; Soldier of Fortune

Group E

Answer: Cards whose powers exist on blue cantrips (Updraft, Portent, Jolt, and Force Void) Interestingly, although these are the old "draw a card at the beginning of the next turn's upkeep" cantrips, Leap, Ponder (nearly), Twitch, and Runeboggle are modern cantrips that work; Force Spike

Group F

Answer: Cards that were effectively reprinted in Mirage, although here in 2010 we would not consider Noble Elephant and Giant Mantis exact reprints of War Elephant and Giant Spider; Memory Lapse

Group G

Answer: Cards which round up or down; Infernal Contract

Group H

Answer: Card names which are anagrams: "Bad Touch," "Gorillas," "Mr. Toilet," and "Goat"; Atog

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