# Find the missing letters

This should be an easy puzzle.

Replace the x in the below with letters to make 6 valid 5-letters English words (no proper nouns or abbreviations) both vertically and horizontally.

This puzzle will be more fun if you only use a dictionary to validate your answers rather than use it to search for words that fit.

There may be more than one solution. However, the challenge is to use the least number of distinct characters to replace the xs.

Green tick to the first valid answer that uses the least numbers of letters.

C x D x T
x x x
R x T x R
x x x
D x R x S

• I'm not sure I understand your judgment criteria here. How can there be an answer with the least numbers of letters when every valid answer must use the same number of letters? (Or, rather, wouldn't they all use the least, therefore.) Aug 24, 2015 at 12:17
• @EngineerToast: I believe it is meant distinct letters. There are 12 boxes to fill, but you don't need to use 12 letters. Aug 24, 2015 at 12:26
• Can those who flagged as too broad articulate their concerns? I don't see it. Aug 24, 2015 at 14:49

## 2 Answers

A solution using the same pattern (only 2 letters):

C A D E T
A A A
R A T E R
E E E
D A R E S

Each are words of the form _ A _ E _

Just for the fun, here is one with 7 distinct letters.

C A D E T
U   E   U
R O T O R
E   E   F
D I R T S

• I tried to find aaaea in a dictionary, but unsurprisingly, I was unable to do so. Can you explain how this answers the puzzle? Aug 24, 2015 at 12:09
• @IanMacDonald How is aaaea relevant to this puzzle?? Aug 24, 2015 at 12:11
• You have used it as one of the requested 6 5-letter English words. Aug 24, 2015 at 12:18
• @IanMacDonald No, I haven't, Are you having formatting related problems??? Aug 24, 2015 at 12:20
• Yes, apparently I have been presented with a different grid from you. My apologies. Aug 24, 2015 at 12:24

One of the solutions. (Yes, there are multiple possible)

C A D E T
A E A
R O T O R
E E E
D A R E S

Although there were no constraints on the letters to be added, I chose to do it by replacing x only with vowels. So I managed to do it using only A, E and O.

• I tried to find aeoea in a dictionary, but unsurprisingly, I was unable to do so. Can you explain how this answers the puzzle? Aug 24, 2015 at 12:10
• @IanMacDonald: The grid should have 6 valid English words. Which it does. Those letters need not be anagrammed into another meaningful word, going by the current wording of the question. Aug 24, 2015 at 12:21
• Yes, I understand that I have apparently been presented a different grid from you due to formatting. My apologies. Aug 24, 2015 at 12:23