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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 Scheming Word™.
Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Scheming }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\ \def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words }^™\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2017.02.04}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ ALIENIST }&\text{ NATURALIST }\\ \hline \text{ AREAR }&\text{ FORWARD }\\ \hline \text{ CARVERY* }&\text{ CHURRASCARIA }\\ \hline \text{ CHASTER }&\text{ CHASER }\\ \hline \text{ FISHIEST }&\text{ FRANKEST }\\ \hline \text{ HARSHER* }&\text{ GENTLER }\\ \hline \text{ HEH* }&\text{ MEH }\\ \hline \text{ PEP* }&\text{ POP }\\ \hline \text{ RACECAR* }&\text{ REVIVER }\\ \hline \text{ REAR }&\text{ FRONT }\\ \hline \text{ SHAVEN }&\text{ SHAGGY }\\ \hline \text{ TEAT }&\text{ BOSOM }\\ \hline \text{ YEATSIAN }&\text{ KEYNESIAN }\\ \hline \end{array}$$                                     * These are Naturally Scheming Words™

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

Scheming Words™,Not Scheming Words™
ALIENIST,NATURALIST
AREAR,FORWARD
CARVERY*,CHURRASCARIA
CHASTER,CHASER
FISHIEST,FRANKEST
HARSHER*,GENTLER
HEH*,MEH
PEP*,POP
RACECAR*,REVIVER
REAR,FRONT
SHAVEN,SHAGGY
TEAT,BOSOM
YEATSIAN,KEYNESIAN

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

What is the special rule these words conform to?

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  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Shouldn't Rubio be on the list? $\endgroup$ – n_plum Aug 9 '17 at 2:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @n_palum and with a star too! $\endgroup$ – boboquack Aug 9 '17 at 4:44
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not very good at this, but here are some of my thoughts: None of the Scheming Words have the letters 'o' or 'u'. There are sentence schemes which you can read about here and also here. They don't really apply to individual words, but the general patterns in there could be adjusted. Many of the Scheming Words allow you to remove a letter to make a different word, but not all (this is probably nothing). There is an 'e' in every Scheming Word. Almost every Scheming Word has E between two repeated letters $\endgroup$ – David Foong Aug 9 '17 at 15:04
  • $\begingroup$ I'm drawn to the fact that two Scheming words have the pattern 'EAR' in them and two have the pattern 'EAT'. $\endgroup$ – Morgan G Aug 14 '17 at 17:01
  • $\begingroup$ There's got to be something to do with the letters that are being used? All the scheming use just over half the letters in the alphabet, and the one word on the non-scheming side that only uses those same letters is Chaser $\endgroup$ – Jamie Barker Aug 22 '17 at 8:40
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How to work out a Scheming Word™:

Scheming refers to the synonym of calculating. Notice every single scheming word has ONE letter E. The letter E refers to Equals, or =, A refers to Add or +, and S refers to Subtract or -. The other letters refer to their numerical value in the alphabet. Naturally scheming means you don't have to attach a + or a - to a following number to make it work

Full list:

ALIENIST - +129 = 149 - 20
AREAR - +18 = +18
CARVERY - 3 + 1822 = 1825
CHASTER - 38 + -20 = 18
FISHIEST - 69 - 89 = -20
HARSHER - 8 + 18 - 8 = 18
HEH - 8 = 8
PEP - 16 = 16
RACECAR - 18 + 3 = 3 + 18
REAR - 18 = +18
SHAVEN - -8 + 22 = 14
TEAT - 20 = +20
YEATSIAN - 25 = +20 - 9 + 14

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  • $\begingroup$ [rot13](www.rot13.com):Gur erfg bs gur yrggref frrz gb or N1M26 va onfr gra (gung vf, YV rdhnyf Y gvzrf gra cyhf V) $\endgroup$ – user39583 Aug 22 '17 at 11:05
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio Is that a better description? I was looking at it and noticing CARVERY didn't fit with my explanation either. $\endgroup$ – Jamie Barker Aug 22 '17 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ That's got it now. Nicely done, I'm so glad this was solved without hints beyond the tag I added. This one was a bit mean, I know. ;) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Aug 22 '17 at 16:44
  • $\begingroup$ I still don't understand the naturally scheming words, could you elaborate a bit? $\endgroup$ – Morgan G Aug 22 '17 at 17:47
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @MorganG Rot47: QZQ 2?5 Q\Q 42? 36 F?2CJ WQZ}Q >62?D AøD:E:G6 }[ Q\}Q >62?D ?682E:G6 }X 3FE 42? =:<6H:D6 36 3:?2CJ WpZq[ p\qX] q:?2CJ Z :D Qp55Q[ 3:?2CJ \ :D Q\$F3EC24EQ] %9:D AFKK=6 FD6D E96 =6EE6CD p 2?5 \$ 2D QZQ 2?5 Q\Q[ 3FE E96D6 =6EE6CD C62==J >2<6 D6?D6 H:E9 ;FDE E96 3:?2CJ FD286Dj FD65 :? E96 F?2CJ >2??6C[ E96JVC6]]] H6==]]] C2E96C F?Q?2EFC2=]Q $\endgroup$ – Rubio Aug 22 '17 at 18:38
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Well, a wild guess I can make:

In the Scheming words you can remove either the first or last (but not both at the same time) letter to make another meaningful WORD or EXPRESSION used across the globe. Examples: Given Scheming word: AREAR One word formed by removing starting letter: REAR Another word formed by removing last letter: AREA

And it is

Not in the case of Non-Scheming Words. They do not satisfy either or both of the stated conditions

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What about meh? Eh and me are words. $\endgroup$ – Apep Aug 10 '17 at 10:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Apep, good catch ! Any other exceptions ? :-) $\endgroup$ – Mea Culpa Nay Aug 10 '17 at 10:57
  • $\begingroup$ Chaser is not scheming (chase) $\endgroup$ – BMS21 Aug 10 '17 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ And hence it is in Non-Scheming column @BMS21 ! $\endgroup$ – Mea Culpa Nay Aug 10 '17 at 11:24
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ REVIVE(R), CHASE(R), and GENTLE(R) are all Non-Scheming but your rule would make them Scheming. Also, not sure how YEATSIAN would qualify as Scheming under your rule. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Aug 10 '17 at 15:02

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