This puzzle is based off the What is a Word™, What is a Phrase™ and What is a Number™ series started by JLee.

If a word conforms to a certain rule, I call it a DID WORD™. If the rule fails in last step, I call it an AID WORD™. If the rule fails completely or is not applicable, I will call it a NORMAL WORD Use the following examples to find the rule:


box                        lux                         axe

paddy                    candy                    silly

fight                       christ                     ghost

mater                     laughter                 raptor

quelling                  cunning                 roaming

putter                     outer                      goiter

Here is the CSV:


The puzzle relies on the series' inbuilt assumption, that each word can be tested for whether it is a DID WORD™ or AID WORD™ without relying on the other words.

These are not the only examples of DID WORDS™ and AID WORDS™, more can be found.

Here is the hint

DID is the abbreviation of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ DID and AID could be acronyms where D is Descending and A is Ascending. Not sure what the ID would stand for, but maybe worth looking into $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 9:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Joe. May be it's acronym. $\endgroup$
    – AeJey
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 10:08
  • $\begingroup$ if the rule fails at last step How many steps? :D Is it lot of maths here? $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ It depends on how you differentiate each step. So the only thing I can reveal now is that there is more than 1 step. :) $\endgroup$
    – AeJey
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 10:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ DID stands for "Dissociative identity disorder", AID may be related to "Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome" and normal may be with good health. Though, no idea how these can help me find the answer :D $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 8:36

3 Answers 3


The DID words

... all have the property that their first letter can be reflected (top to bottom) in a mirror and put back to produce a new word. box -> pox; paddy -> baddy (though I always thought that was usually spelt "baddie"); fight -> tight; mater -> water; quelling -> duelling; putter -> butter.

Perhaps the "last step" is

the one where we verify that we have a new word -- all the AID words have first letters that are left unchanged on reflecting top-to-bottom.

And of course the "normal words"

don't allow this process at all: their first letters don't produce letters on reflection, or if they (kinda) do (r -> L, s -> z, sorta) the resulting strings are not words.

I don't have a very convincing explanation for the terms DID and AID.

AeJay says that DID stands for "dissociative identity disorder"; well, I suppose the process involves removing a letter (dissociating it from the rest of the word) but also, in comments, that AID stands for "associative identity disorder" which I don't quite see. (That would make more sense to me if what happened with these words is that removing the first letter yields a word but then you can't put the reflected one back again -- so that the attempted "association" fails.)

  • $\begingroup$ Seems like an answer +1 Very impressive $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 14:52
  • $\begingroup$ Perfect. Regarding the name DID (dissociative identity disorder which is also known as multiple personality disorder), the DID words are those which has multiple identities/personalities before and after the rules (reflection of first letter) applied. While AID word has only one identity even when the rule is applied. $\endgroup$
    – AeJey
    Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 3:46

This is not an answer.

Edit: And it's totally wrong because I forgot a basic part of the question series. But hey, it was fun :)

I can't spend much time looking at it right now, but D/ID and A/ID feel like acronyms. They don't stand for Descending/Ascending, but could be

Down/Across as in crossword clues

A sample answer could start to look like this...

    O U T E R  

...at which point the solution begins to branch (multiple DID words could intersect OUTER).

If anyone knows how to get monospaced text inside a spoiler, feel free to update my sample answer to spoilerify it.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ "each number can be tested for whether it is a DID WORD™ or AID WORD™ without relying on the other words" so, fitting them together into a crossword doesn't really make sense. $\endgroup$
    – MMAdams
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ Not the answer. No way near. But good thinking. +1 :) $\endgroup$
    – AeJey
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 11:31
  • $\begingroup$ @MMAdams good point; I completely blanked on that part haha. I'll leave this here as a completely wrong answer in testament to my blinkers $\endgroup$
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 11:35

Partial answer, based on an observation and some wild guessing:

Let's say DID stands for Deduct something something and AID stands for Add something something.


Each word in the first column can have a letter deducted to make another word, and each word in the second can have one added, while the words in the final column don't allow either?

OX, ADDY (a colloquialism for "email address"), ?, MATE, WELLING (removing the initial "k" sound only), UTTER;
FLUX, ?, ?, SLAUGHTER, SCUNNING (in urbandictionary with a silly NSFW definition), ROUTER

  • $\begingroup$ GHOST and ILLY would be a DID according to this rule, but they're NORMAL. $\endgroup$
    – CodeNewbie
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, my guess is very flawed, but I put it out there in case there's anything in it. $\endgroup$
    – paolo
    Commented Oct 28, 2016 at 15:33

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