So I was there, playing Hangman with my friend, when I found myself in a bit of a tough situation.
I'd guessed five of the seven letters, and thus needed to get the last two. But I only had three guesses left, and I could see five possible words to complete the hangman, none of which used a letter I had already guessed. The two letters were next to each other, in the middle of the word.
I spent a few moments pondering what to do, until it hit me - I could make guesses in a specific order, and ensure that I could complete the puzzle, no matter which of them was right.
My first guess was critical. By choosing that letter appropriately, if that letter was present, and it wasn't a double-letter (that is, the same letter for both), it would leave me with two possibilities. And if it wasn't present, there would also be two possibilities. In that way, this choice linked together the options and gave me the chance to win.
If it was there, but not a double-letter, my next guess was going to be sweet if it worked. But if it didn't, the heat would be on, although I'm sure I'd get it right.
As it turned out, that letter wasn't there. That left me with two possible answers. They both happen to be double-letters, so I just needed to try each of them. My next attempt would have brought things together nicely, but unfortunately it was the wrong one.
It was at this point that I feared I might have missed a possible answer. Doubt crept into my thinking, and I started running through every possible letter combination that might fit into the space with letters I hadn't already guessed. It was a waste of time, though, and silly of me, because I was right, there was only one possible answer remaining. And sure enough, with that final letter, I solved the puzzle, saving my little hangman buddy and impressing my friend.
Can you figure out the state of the puzzle before my final three guesses, what guesses I made, and which ones I would have gone with had the first guess been present as a single letter? I've been sure to include a few hints in my story, to help you along.