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Your roommate is on vacation, and you need to get something off his laptop. You ring him up, asking if you can borrow his computer.

"Sure, if you can get in," he replies.

"What? But it's your laptop!"

"Give me a break, man. You know how my memory is. Tell you what — look through the second drawer of the desk and you might find a clue."

You thank your friend, and begin rummaging through his stuff. You don't feel very nice doing so, of course, but it's getting late and you need those files. To your dismay, all you can find is the left half of a torn note:

   edi
   est
   ser
   ing
restau
    on
   myo
   mus
   hot

Edit: Right-aligned the words to make it clearer that you have the left half of the note

Knowing your friend's naïveté you figure that the password is probably just a single word, and start racking your brain for ideas.

What is your friend's password?


Hint:

Each row can be extended to form words with a certain property. Some words are more obscure than others, but restau does not become restaurant/restaurants.

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    $\begingroup$ ;) if you just need the files and its a windows laptop all you need is a linux live USB drive $\endgroup$
    – skv
    Nov 16, 2014 at 6:46
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    $\begingroup$ Without any hints, I could technically come up with so so so many words with these alphabets I guess that would leave this question as being too broad $\endgroup$
    – skv
    Nov 16, 2014 at 7:38
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    $\begingroup$ @skv You could, but this isn't a cryptogram. Once you play around with the fragments for a bit a pattern should emerge. $\endgroup$
    – Sp3000
    Nov 16, 2014 at 7:44
  • $\begingroup$ It could be a message starting with >! edit >! established >! serv >! ing >! restaurant I am on the right path? $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2014 at 9:13
  • $\begingroup$ Trying to extend each row is on the right path, but pairing ser with ing is not. $\endgroup$
    – Sp3000
    Nov 16, 2014 at 9:20

2 Answers 2

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FAVORITES

Each prefix can be extended by adding a letter, then an anagram of the prefix. edi F ied est A tes ser V ers ing O ing restau R ateurs on I on myo T omy mus E ums hot S hot

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    $\begingroup$ You enter favorites into your friend's laptop — success! In the end it turned out that there was no right half to the note — all the necessary letters were already on the left half! $\endgroup$
    – Sp3000
    Nov 16, 2014 at 21:59
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Is the password

food

?

It seems too simple to me, but you said to look for a pattern and my guesses are:

edible
est??
serving
ingredients
restaurant
onion
mayonnaise (I'm guessing that's a typo?)
mustard
hot sauce?

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice observations, but unfortunately myo is not a typo :) $\endgroup$
    – Sp3000
    Nov 16, 2014 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ est would be estate. Ate is related to food too :) $\endgroup$
    – Kenshin
    Nov 16, 2014 at 8:49

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