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Solution to Albumistanumerophobia

Lake Eerie

by Dahlia Schwartz, Jenny Gutbezahl, Phil Steindel and Susan Glass

The first set of 16 tables contains data for independent variables, and the second set contains data for dependent variables. Pairing one table from each set produces a common expression or song lyric. For example, pairing “Miles per hour” from the independent variables with “Nuclear by-products” from the dependent variables clues “Haste makes waste."

Once the variables are paired, sort them by the first year of the Independent variable (2000-2015) and compute the correlation. The absolute values of the correlations, rounded to two digits, all fall between 65 and 90, corresponding to ASCII codes of the letters A through Z. Converting to letters gives the solution.

Variable, phrases, correlations, and derived letters
First yearIndependent VariableDependent VariablePhrase cluedActual CorrelationRounded to 2 digitsLetter
2000Unattached Potato Head mouthsBuoyancy of sea vesselsLoose lips sink ships-0.701953983770F
2001Miles per hourNuclear by-productsHaste makes waste0.691163316569E
2002Diurnal consumption of pomesMedical professionals in the immediate areaAn apple a day keeps the doctor away-0.729265605573I
2003Extent and sinuosity of a pathEntrancesThe long and winding road that leads to your door0.708453468971G
2004Dairy-based beveragesYoung males in this three-foot stretchMy milkshake brings all the boys to the yard0.776433514878N
2005High-pitched noises coming from axle partnersProductions of 1970s musicals set in the 1950sThe squeaky wheel gets the grease0.691146556469E
2006Kids' turkey templatesLaser showsMany hands make light work0.679617099468D
2007Chopped contestantsUnexpired cans of soupToo many cooks spoil the broth-0.728214394473I
2008Observations of kitchen equipmentInstances of the 6th plagueA watched pot never boils-0.710130567371G
2009RehearsalsMovies with Jamie Lee Curtis as an aerobics instructorPractice makes perfect0.781957343178N
2010Desire to have sex with meDistance from my buddiesIf you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends-0.78987883579O
2011Plays of Paul McCartney's first solo singleMoney exchanges at the US/Canadian borderAnother day, another dollar0.818339818882R
2012Affinity for PennywiseFinger jewelryIf you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it0.65383421865A
2013Groups of lionsDescent velocityPride goes before a fall0.782239104778N
2014Q-RatingTimes judges are disobeyed in courtFamiliarity breeds contempt0.671277385967C
2015Non-recreational employmentMatteness of the finish of a pail fetcherAll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy0.692671084869E

Authors' Notes

This is a spiritual sequel to BAPHL 19’s Arrr-Squared (see, a puzzle we thought deserved a Hunt followup. Much to our surprise, it was possible to make datasets such that some of the correlations had only two significant digits (e.g., the correlation of [10, 20, 30, 40] and [50, 51, 64, and 57] is exactly 0.68), and the others could be brought arbitrarily close. However, this proved too amenable to brute-forcing, so we opted for a more approximate approach.