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 certain rule, I call it an Intermittent Word™. Use the following examples to find the rule:

Intermittent Words™ Not Intermittent Words™
Newfoundland Yukon
Currants Sultanas
Dynamo Engine
Bear Lion
North South
Brandy Whiskey
America Canada
Mountain Peak

CSV version:

Intermittent Words™, Not Intermittent Words™
Newfoundland, Yukon
Currants, Sultanas
Dynamo, Engine
Bear, Lion
North, South
Brandy, Whiskey
America, Canada
Mountain, Peak
  • $\begingroup$ Are there more words like this? $\endgroup$
    – Rahul Bali
    Oct 12, 2017 at 5:25
  • $\begingroup$ Yes there could be many more words like this... $\endgroup$ Oct 13, 2017 at 9:54

3 Answers 3


Every Intermittent Word™...

begins and ends with a two-letter symbol for an element.

For example:

Newfoundland: Neon (Ne) and Neodymium (Nd)
Currants: Copper (Cu) and Tennessine (Ts)
Dynamo: Dysprosium (Dy) and Molybdenum (Mo)
Bear: Beryllium (Be) and Argon (Ar)
North: Nobelium (No) and Thorium (Th)
Brandy: Bromine (Br) and Dysprosium (Dy)
America: Americium (Am) and Calcium (Ca)
Mountain: Molybdenum (Mo) and Indium (In)

I assume they are called Intermittent Words™...

as a clue. Intermittent (occurring at irregular intervals) is the opposite of periodic (occurring regularly), and the answer can be found using the Periodic Table of Elements.

  • $\begingroup$ Wow that's gotta be it, nice work! $\endgroup$
    – Sensoray
    Jan 10, 2018 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ That's it...let gnovice's halo gleam forth! $\endgroup$ Jan 11, 2018 at 0:42

All Intermittent Words are

basically, opposite vector to Not Intermittent words


Newfoundland is below Yukon geographically, Currants are darker then Sultanas(below in colors), South is opposite to North, Bear lives North and Lions South, America below Canada, And Peak is on top of the Mountain.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How is North below South? $\endgroup$
    – Sid
    Oct 2, 2017 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ Screwed this one, wrong wording. Going to fix that $\endgroup$ Oct 2, 2017 at 17:24
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ It's common in these kinds of puzzles to provide opposites in both columns, but the rule should only relate to the word itself. $\endgroup$
    – ffao
    Oct 2, 2017 at 17:35

Well, here is an answer:

Intermittent words are those whose first letter when combined with random numbered (between 1 and 4 - and these numbers are intermittent) letters from left to right form some meaningful words and the same is not the case with Not Intermittent words.

For example:

NEWFOUNDLAND can form NOUN/NUN (by skipping 3/4 consecutive letters),
CURRANTS can form CAN (by skipping 3 letters),
DYNAMO can form DAM/DO (by skipping 2 / 4 letters),
BEAR can form BAR (by skipping 1 letter) and so on.

  • $\begingroup$ WHISKEY can form WISE, so it is intermittent word following your logic $\endgroup$
    – Novarg
    Nov 9, 2017 at 9:47
  • $\begingroup$ What about North vs South? I can't see how this argument is applied consistently for these two. $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Nov 9, 2017 at 10:02
  • $\begingroup$ @Novarg well, my words illustrated are having only one skip. No two skips. Two arrive at WISE from WHISKEY, you need two skips! $\endgroup$ Nov 9, 2017 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ @MeaCulpaNay another example then: CANADA - CAD $\endgroup$
    – Novarg
    Nov 9, 2017 at 10:44

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