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Old 2019-03-05, 21:03   #1
ewmayer
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Default Word games & puzzles thread

We need a thread for something other than the neverending "Game of n letters" stuff. Let's say no more than 1 week per game/puzzle, with up to 3 running concurrently, as rough guidelines. List the puzzle number and/or name in your post titles to keep things sorted out in the context of multiple concurrent puzzles going on. These should be both fun and somewhat challenging. Let's get things started!

Puzzle #1: Multiple sequential occurrences of the same vowel in a word

English words containing multiple occurrences of the same vowel, separated only by consonants - e.g. 'militia' has 3 i's in a row. No hyphenations, no proper nouns allowed.

Here the longest such strings I found via quick mental run-through, for a,e,i,o,u, and also for y when used as a vowel (e.g. 'crybaby' has 2 vowel-y's, albeit not in sequence). Whether a 'y' is considered as interrupting another vowel sequence similarly depends on whether the 'y' is acting as a vowel or as a consonant, e.g. in 'monocotyledon' the y interrupts the o-sequence because the y acts as a vowel, whereas in 'boyo' the y acts as a consonant and thus we consider the 2 o's to occur in sequence. I list the count but spoilerize the corresponding word(s), so people can try to come with same-or-better on their own. Can you do better? Please wrap any new-record candidates in spoiler tags:

a[5]: abracadabra
e[5]: enfeeblement
i[6]: indivisibility
o[4]: monotonous,moonroof (if I prepend 'non' to the first of those I get 5 o's-in-sequence)
u[4]: usufructuary
y[3]: syzygy

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2019-03-05 at 21:07
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Old 2019-03-05, 22:50   #2
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I figured someone had probably put something like this on line. These aren't exactly common words (I didn't know them), but they satisfy the conditions.

a[6] taramasalata

o[6] monogonoporous, odontonosology, and proctocolonoscopy
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Old 2019-03-06, 19:15   #3
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Default Puzzle #2: a,e,i,o,u in sequence

How many words can you think of which feature the 5 vowels a,e,i,o,u in sequence, and contain no other vowels, except possibly a vowel-'y' following the above 5?

Examples: abstemious(ly), facetious(ly)

Bonus: Find the shortest such word.

Those are the only 2 which occurred to me off-top-of-my-head, but I expect there's quite a few more. Whether you want think for yourself or turn this into a Google-search exercise is up to you.
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Old 2019-03-06, 20:15   #4
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Default Puzzle #2: a,e,i,o,u in sequence

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
How many words can you think of which feature the 5 vowels a,e,i,o,u in sequence, and contain no other vowels, except possibly a vowel-'y' following the above 5?

Examples: abstemious(ly), facetious(ly)

Bonus: Find the shortest such word.

Those are the only 2 which occurred to me off-top-of-my-head, but I expect there's quite a few more. Whether you want think for yourself or turn this into a Google-search exercise is up to you.
Bit of both. Tried regrouping the vowels, thinking of words that were mostly vowels, and got the close-but-no-cigar words

heinous and serious (no "a"), vexatious (wrong order),

and finally one possibility I wasn't sure actually is a word, so I looked it up. I was rewarded with an addition to my vocabulary. It is indeed a word, though considered obsolete:

aerious

As far as I can tell, it doesn't take the -ly suffix.

I assumed "no other vowels" meant "no duplicated vowels" since, apart from a,e,i,o,u, and y, there are no "other vowels" (unless you admit the use of "w" as a vowel).
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Old 2019-03-06, 21:01   #5
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Or find an example in reverse order u o i e a.
subcontinental
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Old 2019-03-06, 21:35   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
finally one possibility I wasn't sure actually is a word, so I looked it up. I was rewarded with an addition to my vocabulary. It is indeed a word, though considered obsolete:

aerious

As far as I can tell, it doesn't take the -ly suffix.
We're fine with 'obsolete' words - if we're using 'em, even in context of a word puzzle, they're not obsolete, right? And since it's a synonym for 'airy' (e.g. "do it yourself, he said airily", I don't see a problem with tacking on -ly. That may well be the shortest such word - nice find.

Quote:
I assumed "no other vowels" meant "no duplicated vowels" since, apart from a,e,i,o,u, and y, there are no "other vowels" (unless you admit the use of "w" as a vowel).
Correct - one occurrence of each vowel.

@linament: Nice alternative - we could also consider words which contain aeiouy in forward/reverse order, allowing any circular shift of either sequence.
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Old 2019-03-06, 23:19   #7
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Sequoia has more of them in a row without consonants in the middle.
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Old 2019-03-06, 23:20   #8
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Default Puzzle #2: a,e,i,o,u in sequence

To my surprise, I stumbled quickly into another word, for the "reverse order" variation. I don't like it. I like some of the "near misses," I've seen, though
;-)

unoriental
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Old 2019-03-07, 19:11   #9
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Default Puzzle #3: Hiding in plain "ight"

Puzzle #3: How many words can you think of which end in "ight"? I've been keeping a running list for the past week, and it's up to 98 - just 2 shy of 100!
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Old 2019-03-07, 19:27   #10
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The letter based word puzzles can easily be "solved" with a downloaded word list and grep.

I like the pronunciation and meaning based puzzles better. Much less open to simple automated responses.

For example:

How many ways are there to pronounce the sequence "ough"?

Find words where adding a single letter to the front or rear gives it the opposite meaning.

Find letter sets with two anagrams where the meanings are opposites.

Find words where adding a single letter to the front or rear changes it from a plural to a singular.

Which word has the most number of distinct meanings?

Which word has the most number of distinct pronunciations?

Which pronunciation has the most number of spellings?

Which word is used in the most number of languages (possibly with different meanings)?

Last fiddled with by retina on 2019-03-07 at 19:29
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Old 2019-03-07, 20:22   #11
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Default Puzzle #2: a,e,i,o,u in sequence

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
@linament: Nice alternative - we could also consider words which contain aeiouy in forward/reverse order, allowing any circular shift of either sequence.
In the "circular shift in reverse order" category, a common word. No references, just good old-fashioned "stare at the sequence of vowels and try filling in likely consonants."

authorize
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