This is in the spirit of the What is a Word/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.

If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Stable Word™.

Use the following examples below to find the rule.

Stable words™ Non-Stable words™
even odd
acidic alkaline
transparent opaque
uniqueness repetition
movableness mobility
concoction mixture
explode implode
trademark protected
Chinese Japanese
rare common
cyclic acyclic
dared Scandinavianism
Aaronsburg Canada
alternate algorithm

And, if you want to analyze, here is a CSV version:

Stable words™,Non-Stable words™

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

These are not the only examples of Stable Words™, many more exist and can be found.

Hint #1

Words that have a certain simple property are automatically disqualified from being Stable Words™. There are four such words on the provided list of Non-Stable Words™, and here are three more:
imply, provide, adjust

Hint #2

Don't tackle the whole word at once, rather look at it a few letters at a time.

  • 11
    $\begingroup$ "dared" and "Scandinavianism" is an ... interesting pairing. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 23:47
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Techidiot Yes, it is. You can also test them for being Stable Words™, as the goal of this puzzle is not figuring out what an Absolute Word™ is. $\endgroup$
    – user26067
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 20:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Does font matter? If so, are you sure it works both for the MathJax as well as the monospaced code table? $\endgroup$
    – user14478
    Commented Dec 3, 2016 at 19:09
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Borka223- Can you please explain why those words are called "stable words" ? $\endgroup$
    – Techidiot
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 9:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What does this property have to do with "stability"? $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 19:09

1 Answer 1


My thoughts about this:

A Stable Word™ is a word which, when split into groups of two letters, contains at least two groups that start with the same letter, while at the same time it contains no groups that are identical.

Examples of this:
even -> EV-EN
acidic -> AC-ID-IC
transparent -> TR-AN-SP-AR-EN-T
uniqueness -> UN-IQ-UE-NE-SS
movableness -> MO-VA-BL-EN-ES-S
concoction -> CO-NC-OC-TI-ON
explode -> EX-PL-OD-E
trademark -> TR-AD-EM-AR-K
Chinese -> CH-IN-ES-E
rare -> RA-RE
cyclic -> CY-CL-IC
dared -> DA-RE-D
Aaronsburg -> AA-RO-NS-BU-RG
alternate -> AL-TE-RN-AT-E

Some of the Not-Stable Words contain groups with the same starting letters, but in all of these cases those groups are completely identical:
repetition -> RE-PE-TI-TI-ON
Scandinavianism -> SC-AN-DI-NA-VI-AN-IS-M

Lots of the other Not-Stable words contain repeating letters, but none of them have letter groups with the same starting letter, i.e. none of them have repeating letters in odd-numbered positions:
odd -> OD-D
alkaline -> AL-KA-LI-NE
mobility -> MO-BI-LI-TY
protected -> PR-OT-EC-TE-D
Japanese -> JA-PA-NE-SE
common -> CO-MM-ON
acyclic -> AC-YC-LI-C
Canada -> CA-NA-DA

All the other Not-Stable words, as the words imply, provide and adjust, contain no repeating letters at all.

Not sure yet why this property makes these words stable/not-stable...

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What about CYCLIC vs ACYCLIC? I've been racking my brains trying to find the answer there. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 3:46
  • $\begingroup$ Same here. This puzzle has been making me unstable for days. :) $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 6:13
  • $\begingroup$ ACYCLIC doesn't conform to the rule, while CYCLIC does. I'll clarify this a bit in a minute.. $\endgroup$
    – Levieux
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 6:53

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