There's a strange sort of equivalence between these two sets of words. I'm sure it boils down to a single word, but how do you get the answer out?

Hints, in order of how much they give away:

There's a pattern to the words in the second row that isn't there in the first.

Some of the words in the lists may hint at what needs to be done.

If you rearrange the order of the words in the first row, you can make a pattern there too.

There's a hint in the title about what to do with the patterns in the two rows.

The original order of the words in the first row has a meaning, but only once you've done everything else.

There's a similarity between each pair of neighboring words in the second row that is mostly not true of the first row.

The first row can be rearranged in such a way that neighboring pairs of words show the same similarity that exists in the second row, but that's not quite enough. There's some extra information that lets you put the two rows in exactly the same order.

Once you pair up the words in the first and second row, the words in the pairs show the same similarity as the neighboring words in each row.

The patterns to look for have to do with the individual letters within the words and not with the words themselves.

Look for words that share letters.

  • $\begingroup$ I would recommend giving some hints to see if people can solve this! $\endgroup$ Aug 21, 2020 at 17:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah. I might as well. I intend to spoil the solution once the bounty expires since I want to use this as an example in a different question. $\endgroup$ Aug 21, 2020 at 20:27

2 Answers 2


The answer is


Each word in the second row shares a common letter with its neighboring words. Now we need to rearrange the first row so that this rule also applies there, but with something additional: After rearrangement, the vertical pairs between the first and second row must also share a common letter. The only possible rearrangement is therefore
The vertical pairs share the following letters in order:
n . s . e . a . r . w
Taking these letters in the order of the original arrangement of the first row, we get


  • $\begingroup$ Good job. :) How many of the hints did you need to use? $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2020 at 20:17
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @JoshuaTaylor Well honestly when I saw "bounty expires in 2 hours" I just looked at every hint before even trying the puzzle xD No idea how many of them I would have actually needed. $\endgroup$ Aug 23, 2020 at 20:31

An almost entirely pointless answer!

Every word is made up of an IATA code inside another IATA code... so I guess "AIRPORT"?

Pointless because:

IATA has used up almost every combination of 2 and 3 letters! Note that there are some that are not in Wikipedia's list, presumably because the airports are too small..?

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry. Fun guess, but the answer has nothing to do with airports. $\endgroup$ Aug 21, 2020 at 9:25

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