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 Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Close States

Here's a fun little geography riddle I thought up while driving home this evening: Which two U.S. states are nearest to each other without actually sharing a border?

My first thought is and , which seems like a pretty solid guess, but I haven't really thought it through.

(That's special invisible type there, in case you want to guess on your own. Just select the paragraph when you're ready to read the spoilers.)

Later: Some other ideas: or are geographically interesting, but I don't think they win. The states are just bigger out west. and also seem promising. Ooh, wait, I just thought of . That's the only one I think might actually beat my original guess. I'm not sure how one goes about measuring if it's close.

Still later: Oh, duh. The correct answer must surely be and . It seems so obvious in retrospect. Not just obvious, but boring, too. So I guess my little riddle isn't such an interesting one after all. Oh well.

Still later again: One could make an argument for and . Careful examination suggests that they're closest of all, but the same examination calls into question what counts as sharing a border. Look at the map and you'll see what I mean.

11:34:54 PM  [permalink]  comment []