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Old 2019-03-07, 20:33   #12
Dr Sardonicus
 
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Default Singularized plurals

I heard this one on a radio show some years back (I think it was "Car Talk."). They said there was only one answer. I know of two.

The challenge: Find a word (in English) which is plural, but becomes singular if you add an "s" to the end of the word.

Last fiddled with by Dr Sardonicus on 2019-03-07 at 20:36
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Old 2019-03-07, 20:54   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
Which word has the most number of distinct meanings?
I nominate "set." Its definitions cover most of the second column and the whole third column on one page, all three columns of the next page, and the first column of the page after that, in my old Merriam-Webster Second Unabridged.
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Old 2019-03-07, 20:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I nominate "set."
My old Guinness BoWR confirms that (it is one of them that I remember.
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Old 2019-03-08, 01:00   #15
petrw1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
How many ways are there to pronounce the sequence "ough"?
I sent this puzzle out at work many years ago.
Besides the expected 7 or so answers the most inventive was from a guy named Doug Hynne: the ough in DougHynne is pronounced phonetically as: "ugg-h"
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Old 2019-03-08, 01:57   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petrw1 View Post
Besides the expected 7 or so answers the most inventive was from a guy named Doug Hynne: the ough in DougHynne is pronounced phonetically as: "ugg-h"
Nice find.
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Old 2019-03-08, 03:50   #17
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Default Re: Singularized plurals

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I heard this one on a radio show some years back (I think it was "Car Talk."). They said there was only one answer. I know of two.

The challenge: Find a word (in English) which is plural, but becomes singular if you add an "s" to the end of the word.
Peni. :)
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Old 2019-03-08, 13:36   #18
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Default Re: Singularized plurals

Quote:
Originally Posted by ewmayer View Post
Peni. :)
I'm glad I left off the condition that the initial plural word ends in an s. I hoped someone might at least try to find a non-s plural which becomes singular by appending an s.

Alas, "peni" isn't in my old Unabridged. I reject purely slang usages out of hand. I infer from your :) that you weren't being entirely serious anyway, but -- good hustle! Makes me glad I deliberately omitted a condition from the challenge.

The closest I could find on line to "peni" being an actual English word was in Middle English, where peni is a predecessor of "penny." Alas, appending an s gives the plural. The plural was also rendered as "pens," which may be a predecessor of "pence," as in "sixpence," meaning "cents."

[snark]Alas, in modern times, we find that capitalizing "pence" names someone worth far less than a penny, who exhibits no sense whatever.[/snark]

So, now, see if you can find a plural ending in s which becomes singular by appending another s.
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Old 2019-03-12, 14:16   #19
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Default Hangover-bound...

This "challenge" is inspired by the following entry in Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary:
Quote:
TOPE, v. To tipple, booze, swill, soak, guzzle, lush, bib, or swig. In the individual, toping is regarded with disesteem, but toping nations are in the forefront of civilization and power. When pitted against the hard-drinking Christians the absemious Mahometans go down like grass before the scythe. In India one hundred thousand beef- eating and brandy-and-soda guzzling Britons hold in subjection two hundred and fifty million vegetarian abstainers of the same Aryan race. With what an easy grace the whisky-loving American pushed the temperate Spaniard out of his possessions! From the time when the Berserkers ravaged all the coasts of western Europe and lay drunk in every conquered port it has been the same way: everywhere the nations that drink too much are observed to fight rather well and not too righteously. Wherefore the estimable old ladies who abolished the canteen from the American army may justly boast of having materially augmented the nation's military power.
The challenge is to give words or phrases meaning "very drunk." Examples:

Words: Blitzed, blotto, crocked, pickled, plastered, stinko

Prefix modifiers: blind-, crying-, dead-, falling-down-, roaring-

Suffix modifiers: "as a skunk," "as a lord"

Phrases: "Deep in one's cups," "Feeling no pain," "Had a skinful," "Three sheets to the wind," "Under the table"
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Old 2019-03-24, 15:35   #20
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Warm-up: Find a common word that when you remove the first and last letter you obtain a new common word.

Challenge: Find a common word such that each subsequent removal of the first and last letter produces a common word.

What's the longest such word you can find? I've got a seven letter solution, but I'm sure we could find better examples.
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Old 2019-03-25, 01:17   #21
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Default Puzzle #~10 Same word again and again.

I have submitted this one to a puzzle competition, but have failed to hear back from them.

Take an English word of 5 letters, remove the last letter and you have a word that is pronounced the same (a homophone.)
Start again with the original 5 letter word, remove the middle letter and again you have a homophone of the original word.
Start again with the original 5 letter word, remove the second letter, rearrange some letters, and you get yet another homophone.

What is the original word?

Hint 1: The original word is a noun.
Hint 2: All of the words are or can be nouns.
Hint 3: The original word is a proper noun.
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Old 2019-03-25, 06:11   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncwilly View Post
I have submitted this one to a puzzle competition, but have failed to hear back from them.

Take an English word of 5 letters, remove the last letter and you have a word that is pronounced the same (a homophone.)
Start again with the original 5 letter word, remove the middle letter and again you have a homophone of the original word.
Start again with the original 5 letter word, remove the second letter, rearrange some letters, and you get yet another homophone.

What is the original word?

Hint 1: The original word is a noun.
Hint 2: All of the words are or can be nouns.
Hint 3: The original word is a proper noun.

Would Moore count?
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