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This puzzle is based off the What is a Word™ series started by JLee

If a word satisfies a certain property it is called a Dual Word. Here are some examples:

Dual Words Not Dual Words
BARRED BANNED
DEAR FRIEND
FLOE FLUE
KNIT STITCH
MIND MATTER
PAUSE REWIND
PEAK LOOK
REAL FAKE
TEAM WON
THYME FLAX
TIED BAWLED

CSV:

Dual Words,Not Dual Words
BARRED,BANNED
DEAR,FRIEND
FLOE,FLUE
KNIT,STITCH
MIND,MATTER
PAUSE,REWIND
PEAK,LOOK
REAL,FAKE
TEAM,WON
THYME,FLAX
TIED,BAWLED

What is the rule to tell whether a word is Dual or not?

(Note that each word can be tested for whether it is Dual on its own, without looking at any of the other words in the list of examples. The vast majority of English words are not dual.)

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    $\begingroup$ Nice puzzle. +1 Side note to all: Going fwd there is no need to add the blurb at the top about JLee. It doesn't bother me, but it's not necessary. Also, I highly doubt that I was the first to think of this puzzle type. I would have mentioned this sooner, but I left the site for 7 years and returned 2 months ago to hundreds of JLee word puzzles. $\endgroup$
    – JLee
    Jun 16 at 14:27

2 Answers 2

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Although MetaZen has identified a relevant pattern, what's missing is that

Each Dual Word has a homophone which is spelled differently and forms another word when spelled backwards

In particular

BARRED -> BARD -> DRAB
DEAR -> DEER -> REED
FLOE -> FLOW -> WOLF
KNIT -> NIT -> TIN
MIND -> MINED -> DENIM
PAUSE -> PAWS -> SWAP
PEAK -> PEEK -> KEEP
REAL -> REEL -> LEER
TEAM -> TEEM -> MEET
THYME -> TIME -> EMIT
TIED -> TIDE -> EDIT

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I believe a dual word is one that:

is a homophone (thanks Lukas). Which also makes sense of the label "dual"

EDIT: It appears to me that dual words only have one alternate word that sounds the same. The Not Dual words all seem to have more than one alternate, except for maybe Won.

BARRED,BARD / DEER,DEAR / FLOE,FLOW / KNIT,NIT / MIND,MINED / PAUSE,PAWS / PEAK,PEEK / REAL,REEL / TEAM,TEEM / THYME,TIME / TIED,TIDE

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    $\begingroup$ Those are homophones, and not dual words also have some $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, good point. I looked through, but didn't notice a couple are in there. $\endgroup$
    – MetaZen
    Jun 14 at 21:33

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