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I asked my wife what she wants to do this weekend and she sent me this confusing message. What does this all mean?

Pal, under, load, grade.
Trade, down, bench, question.
Bow, acid, forest, fall.
Dutch, time, trouble, cross.
Nova, majority, position, visor.
Leg, service, ball, wash.
Cast, burn, wipe, lash.
Plan, rising, figure, legal.
Heart, even, tie, dance.
Air, drop, sand, bin.
Noise, snow, label, plague.
Animal, house, line, after.
Miracle, stone, green, post.
Price, year, wedge, generation.
Cold, key, fish, gem.
Focus, theory, work, interest. 

The answer is a single word.

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  • $\begingroup$ So the sixteen words are themselves four groups of four? $\endgroup$
    – No Name
    Aug 29, 2023 at 4:09

2 Answers 2

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Here's the solution, using @RobPratt's strong start and hints from @M Oehm

1 -> 2

Making 4 2nd-layer words from 16 1st-layer words.

pay, mark, rain, double -> check (thanks @M Oehm)

super, room, out, action -> class

break, box, white, party -> tea (thanks @M Oehm)

mile, gap, stone, group -> age

2 -> 3

Making 1 3rd-layer word from 4 2nd-layer words

check, class, tea, age -> mate (final answer, which turns out to be a weekend activity for couples)

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  • $\begingroup$ line 7 is "outcast" (1). Last line is "workgroup" (0). $\endgroup$
    – fectin
    Aug 29, 2023 at 3:00
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    $\begingroup$ @fectin but "cast out" and "group work" are both viable options $\endgroup$
    – No Name
    Aug 29, 2023 at 3:51
  • $\begingroup$ And, for that matter, so is "Coldstone" $\endgroup$
    – No Name
    Aug 29, 2023 at 4:27
  • $\begingroup$ For what it's worth, I've got rot13(purpx) for #1. I couldn't find a good word for #3 rot13(va? grn?), but the remaining words give me this popular weekend activity (varb, sense 2) for couples. (But really, such a long-winded puzzle for that?) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Aug 29, 2023 at 6:35
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    $\begingroup$ Nice, though instead of rot13(obk) I was thinking rot13(ont). Good enough for the tick imo nonetheless. $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2023 at 7:24
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Pal, under, load, grade.

pay

Trade, down, bench, question.

mark

Bow, acid, forest, fall.

rain

Dutch, time, trouble, cross.

double

Nova, majority, position, visor.

super

Leg, service, ball, wash.

room

Cast, burn, wipe, lash.

out

Plan, rising, figure, legal.

action

Heart, even, tie, dance.

break

Air, drop, sand, bin.

box

Noise, snow, label, plague.

white

Animal, house, line, after.

party

Miracle, stone, green, post.

mile

Price, year, wedge, generation.

gap

Cold, key, fish, gem.

stone

Focus, theory, work, interest.

group

The single word is:

movies

Upon further review, it appears that the 16 words are instead all related to the single activity:

Nintendo

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How did you get the final single word? $\endgroup$
    – Amoz
    Aug 28, 2023 at 18:04
  • $\begingroup$ @Amoz By noticing that combining the missing word with each of the others in the same group yields a rot13(zbivr gvgyr). $\endgroup$
    – RobPratt
    Aug 28, 2023 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ @RobPratt I agree with all your missing-word solutions, and indeed many of them are compatible with your final single-word answer, but many are not compatible (at least from my cursory search): majority, rising, heart, air, bin, price, wedge, theory, interest. I think your single-word answer is sufficiently general, and the candidates are sufficiently short, so it is easy to convince yourself that it fits, when some of them don't actually fit. Please let me know if I missed something in my search though. $\endgroup$ Aug 28, 2023 at 19:13
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    $\begingroup$ I agree that the suggested overall answer is very loose and observe that there are exactly rot13(fvkgrra) groups of four words ... $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Aug 28, 2023 at 19:21
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    $\begingroup$ In a way, yes, but conceptually rather than literally: I suggest that you continue your good work a bit further until the final answer emerges. Perhaps you'll like that answer better than "movies"... ;) $\endgroup$
    – M Oehm
    Aug 28, 2023 at 19:40

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