Below are three sets of three words. Each word shares a common linguistic property. The words in each set share a nested property. Identify the properties and explain.




This appears to be harder than I had intended, so I'll start providing hints.

Hint 1:

There are two stages to this puzzle. To uncover stage two, it may help to read aloud. There's more in what you'll hear than in what you'll see.

Hint 2:

Some of these words have multiple meanings, but this puzzle only focuses on one. To hopefully weed out some red herrings in future answers, here is a list of which part of speech each word is meant to be:
Lift: Verb
Beams: Plural noun
Destroy: Verb
Gas: Noun
Lapse: Verb
Successor: Noun
Compose: Verb
Correct: Adjective
Custom: Noun

  • $\begingroup$ Looks difficult. Is the title a hint? $\endgroup$ – JLee May 12 '15 at 16:13
  • $\begingroup$ @JLee A very slight one. It's a hint wrapped in further riddle, but not technically part of the puzzle itself. $\endgroup$ – Root Vegetable May 12 '15 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ So, if I understand this correctly, all 9 words are related, and then each group has its own, distinct, relationship? $\endgroup$ – tfitzger May 12 '15 at 16:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @tfitzger All 9 words have the same general property. The words in each group share the property in a more specific scenario. If this is still unclear I can try to describe it better, and update the question accordingly. I am very sure that there is a unique and recognizable solution, but it may require an "aha!" moment in order to find it. $\endgroup$ – Root Vegetable May 12 '15 at 17:02
  • $\begingroup$ Could I ask for the definition of a linguistic property? Or would this give too much away? $\endgroup$ – EnragedTanker May 13 '15 at 15:13

Each set shares words that have:

synonyms that produce a set of heterographs (words with different meanings and spellings, but the same pronunciation).

Lift, Beams, Destroy:

Raise, Rays, Raze

Gas, Lapse, Successor:

Air, Err, Heir

Compose, Correct, Custom:

Write, Right, Rite

  • $\begingroup$ The word you're looking for is homophones $\endgroup$ – Joe May 14 '15 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe - Ha, of course (although technically they're heterographs). $\endgroup$ – Alconja May 14 '15 at 8:44
  • $\begingroup$ Technically they're both :P All heterographs are homophones, but not all homophones are heterographs ^_^ $\endgroup$ – Joe May 14 '15 at 8:48
  • $\begingroup$ Was going for homophones, but great job! $\endgroup$ – Root Vegetable May 14 '15 at 10:17

An over all common property:


Set 1 property:

Building - Lifting support beams or destroying structures
(From nothing transforms to something, or something to nothing)

Set 2 property:

Chemistry - Reaction of Gas over a Lapse of time into a Successor Gas
(From one gas composite transforms to another gas composite)

Set 3 property:

Art - Composing music, Correcting mistakes in it, and Customizing other music
(From imagination/creation, transforms into art)

If some more sets were to be added, I think it could be relate to:

Biology, math or Physics

Creating a over all theme that appears about:

Schooling paths: Engineering (building), Chemistry, Art

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for the amount of thought you've put into this. This isn't what I'm going for, but it's very impressive. The correct answer is far less complex. $\endgroup$ – Root Vegetable May 13 '15 at 17:48

I have no clue if this is part of it, but

The groups of words increment in syllable count

What I mean is:

Lift - 1
Beams - 1
Destroy - 2
Total: 4

Gas - 1
Lapse - 1
Successor - 3
Total: 5

Compose - 2
Correct - 2
Custom - 2
Total: 6

  • $\begingroup$ That's not related to the puzzle, but it is a neat coincidence. $\endgroup$ – Root Vegetable May 13 '15 at 16:44

Well, I don't think this is the intended solution but I think it's technically correct.

The linguistic property they all share:

They are all English words

1st set

They are all English words that are verbs

2nd set

They are all English words having the letter S

3rd set

They are all English words beginning with the letter C


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.