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In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Comfortable Word™.
Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Comfortable }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\ \def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words }^™\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2017.02.04}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ VIXEN }&\text{ LIONESS }\\ \hline \text{ UNEASE }&\text{ DISCOMFORT }\\ \hline \text{ INQUISITIVE }&\text{ CURIOUS }\\ \hline \text{ AMAZING }&\text{ AWESOME }\\ \hline \text{ RELAX }&\text{ CALM DOWN }\\ \hline \text{ ALASKA }&\text{ ALABAMA }\\ \hline \text{ ARKANSAS }&\text{ KENTUCKY }\\ \hline \text{ MEXICO }&\text{ CANADA }\\ \hline \text{ BLEND }&\text{ ABLUTION }\\ \hline \text{ FLAG }&\text{ BANNER }\\ \hline \text{ HOSPITAL }&\text{ EMERGENCY }\\ \hline \text{ JUPITER }&\text{ PLUTO }\\ \hline \text{ BLANK }&\text{ SPACE }\\ \hline \text{ WILD }&\text{ UNTAMED }\\ \hline \text{ LADY }&\text{ WOMAN }\\ \hline \text{ GLAZE }&\text{ LAZY }\\ \hline \text{ MALI }&\text{ FIJI }\\ \hline \text{ SLAP }&\text{ HIT }\\ \hline \text{ DUCK }&\text{ QUACK }\\ \hline \end{array}$$

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

Comfortable Words™,Not Comfortable Words™
VIXEN,LIONESS
UNEASE,DISCOMFORT
INQUISITIVE,CURIOUS
AMAZING,AWESOME
RELAX,CALM DOWN
ALASKA,ALABAMA
ARKANSAS,KENTUCKY
MEXICO,CANADA
BLEND,ABLUTION
FLAG,BANNER
HOSPITAL,EMERGENCY
JUPITER,PLUTO
BLANK,SPACE
WILD,UNTAMED
LADY,WOMAN
GLAZE,LAZY
MALI,FIJI
SLAP,HIT
DUCK,QUACK

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

These are not the only examples of Comfortable Words™; many more exist.

What is the special rule these words conform to?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thought I had it but Alaska and Inquisitive broke it $\endgroup$ – n_plum Jun 16 '17 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ I've double checked and they are both comfortable. $\endgroup$ – Forklift Jun 16 '17 at 16:26
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I think the special rule is:

Not Comfortable Words at some point have letters next to each other that are maximum 2 spaces in the alphabet away from each other.

Proof:

Lioness M N O P
Discomfort L M N O P
Curious R S T U V
Awesome L M N O P
Calm Down K L M N
Alabama A B C
Kentucky S T U V
Canada A B C
Ablution A B C
Banner A B C
Emergency D E F G H
Pluto S T U V
Space A B C D
Untamed C D E F
Woman L M N O P
Lazy X Y Z
Fiji H I J K
Hit G H I J
Quack A B C D

None of the comfortabel words fit this pattern.

Also to address the Comfy name:

The not comfortable name makes sense since the letters are close to each other in the word and the alphabet, and being close or cramped can cause uncomfortability. The comfortable words have letters that are spread out, which is related to being comfortable.

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I think then that uncomfortable words are too close for comfort. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 16 '17 at 20:35
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio jokes aside I still think it's the right answer... It'd be that comfortable words are farther than 2 spaces in the alphabet apart... while uncomfortable ones are too close $\endgroup$ – n_plum Jun 16 '17 at 20:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio, the joke is not aside because that phrase is the genesis for the definition of a comfortable word :) $\endgroup$ – Forklift Jun 16 '17 at 20:40
  • $\begingroup$ Also, very nice answer! $\endgroup$ – Forklift Jun 16 '17 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ I wasn't joking... I thought that's what it was, and said so. :) Ignore @n_palum - I usually try to :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Jun 16 '17 at 20:41

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