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Here is a triad of short 'odd one out' puzzles I wrote. In each puzzle one of the triplets doesn't belong. Can you figure out which? Each puzzle is independent of the others.

  1. BAR, FUR, IRK, ONE, ROT, SHE, VEX
  2. CZT, FIR, FOU, OCH, PED, QUA, VIE
  3. CAR, HIS, LIE, RAY, ROT, TAN, WAR

An answer containing the solution to all three will be accepted.

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1 Answer 1

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  1. BAR, FUR, IRK, ONE, ROT, SHE, VEX

ROT is the odd-one-out - all other words form another real word in English (in fact, one of the other words in the list) when encrypted with a Caesar shift of 13 letters (known as rot-13):

ONE, SHE, VEX, BAR, EBG, FUR, IRK

  1. CZT, FIR, FOU, OCH, PED, QUA, VIE

OCH is the odd-one-out - all other words comprise the first 3 letters of a word translating as '4' in a European language:

CZT(ERY) (Polish), FIR(E) (Norwegian), FOU(R) (English), OCH(O) (8 in Spanish), PED(WAR) (Welsh), QUA(TRE) (French), VIE(R) (German)

(QUA(TRO) in Portuguese and QUA(TTRO) in Italian are among other possibilities for this answer...)

  1. CAR, HIS, LIE, RAY, ROT, TAN, WAR

WAR is the odd-one-out - all other words appear as substrings in codewords in the NATO phonetic alphabet:

(OS)CAR, (W)HIS(KEY), (JU)LIE(TT), (X)RAY, (FOXT)ROT, TAN(GO), WAR

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  • $\begingroup$ Number 1 is correct, however number 2 is incorrect, I would say that that is too trivial of a property to count. Number 3 was not my intended solution, but reasonable - if you find number 2, and if in a couple days the intended (and in my mind more fitting) solution to 3 has not been found, I will accept your answer. $\endgroup$
    – J Marza
    Jan 30, 2023 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ I have seen your edit and number 2 is correct $\endgroup$
    – J Marza
    Jan 30, 2023 at 23:04
  • $\begingroup$ @JMarza Yes, as I posted my original answer I suddenly spotted this much better pattern for #2 and figured that had to be correct! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 30, 2023 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ @JMarza And now I think I've got #3 also :) You're right, those are much more satisfying than the original answers I had put. It's hard to make an odd-one-out puzzle where there aren't trivial correct answers, but in each of these cases I must confess that once I found the correct answer I just knew it had to be so. Nice job :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 30, 2023 at 23:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you. That type of solution is what I aim for when writing - I'm glad you enjoyed it $\endgroup$
    – J Marza
    Jan 31, 2023 at 10:01

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