I saw a puzzle I liked and wanted to make a less trivial version. Here it is, find the odd one out.

  1. Below
  2. Blot
  3. Chips
  4. demos
  5. First
  6. Gloss
  7. Begin
  8. Pages
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ And here I was second guessing myself... $\endgroup$ Mar 19 '18 at 13:58
  • 15
    $\begingroup$ Ok, someone's got to say it: #4, demos is, since it's the only one that doesn't start with a capital. You said find the odd one out; I've found an odd one out, and hence, assuming the question is well-posed, found the odd one out. (How has this been on 15hrs and no-one said this yet?? =P) $\endgroup$
    – Sam OT
    Mar 19 '18 at 18:06
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ How do you know that was my first guess? My standard guess for odd-one-out questions is the first one: it's the unique one that is first in the list, and hence if the question is well-posed it must be the odd-one-out, haha! =P $\endgroup$
    – Sam OT
    Mar 19 '18 at 21:30
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @SamT : Bah! It's always the second one -- because 2 is the oddest prime. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 '18 at 2:19
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @EricTowers imho 2 is the evenest prime ;-P $\endgroup$
    – Scz
    Mar 20 '18 at 13:13

17 Answers 17


Ok I think I have an overall answer that I'm happy with all the steps of:

The answer is 1 Below, because every other word is the odd one out in a compelling conventional sense.

The specific rules for which each other word is the odd one out:
2: Every word except "Blot"(4 letters) has 5 letters
3: Every word except "Chips" has an anagram (Elbow, Bolt, modes, Rifts, Slogs, Being, Gapes)
4: Every word except "demos" is capitalised
5: Every word except "First" ends with a different word (low, lot, hips, emos, loss, gin, ages)
6: Every word except "Gloss" has unique letters
7: Every word except "Begin" is sorted alphabetically in the list
8: Every word except "Pages" has its letters in alphabetical order

Credit where it's due: votbear #8, TheOmegaPostulate for #6, yjo for the correct #5. The others I got myself independently, although I believe I was beaten to some of them by other people.

I get the same answer in the end as votbear has but I think my justifications are better (they may also think theirs are better of course). In particular now as of this edit I believe they're all the intended answers, based on feedback from the creator. I've tried to phrase each as a positive property of the other words since odd-one-out only makes sense if there's a compelling and unlikely common property among the other words. In that sense #6 is questionable but the rest are great.

Previous answer/working for posterity:

Ok I think I know how to solve it, and I want to get in early...

I think that there's an odd-one-out property for every word in the list except one, and that one is the solution.
So far, I can eliminate:
4. demos has a lower case starting letter
2. Blot has 4 letters
7. Begin is out of order in the otherwise alphabetical listing
8. Pages has letters not in alphabetical order (I got this from votbear's answer)

That leaves 1, 3, 5 and 6.
Edit 1: Chips is the only one which does not have an anagram. Down to 1, 5 and 6.
Edit 2: Begin is the only word for which you can't make a new word by removing one letter. And I've just realised that I'd already eliminated it. Well it's knocked out twice now. Maybe there's a slighly different rule with the ordering instead?
Edit 3: "All the words except Gloss have unique letters". Nearly said 5 unique letters but "Blot" doesn't. I saw this in votbear's answer and I'm coming around to it being good enough. So I'm down to 1 and 5, with some slight discomfort over there being two good reasons for Begin.

  • $\begingroup$ Ah, that's a nice line of thinking... rot13(gur bqq bar bhg vf gur bayl bar abg) ! $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Mar 19 '18 at 3:06
  • $\begingroup$ #6 possibly rot13(bayl bar jvgu n ercrngrq yrggre) $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Mar 19 '18 at 3:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I don't want to give you #5 because it breaks the arbitrariness rule. Your initial #7 was the intended one, but I'm happy with either. I am surprised the final part is as difficult as it is, given I've already given the clue that rot13(vg'f irel fvzvyne gb erzbivat gur svefg yrggre naq purpxvat jurgure gur erznvavat cneg vf n jbeq). Show how hard estimating difficulty can be :/. $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 20 '18 at 12:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Every word but #5 rot13(pbagnvaf n fhssvk juvpu vf nyfb n jbeq) $\endgroup$ Mar 20 '18 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ @yjo That is the intended final answer. Congrats on completing the puzzle :). $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 20 '18 at 17:14

Edit: Steven's answer seems to be in the right direction, so here's my updated answer:

It seems that 7 of the 8 words have a property that makes them the 'odd one out', and we're looking for the one that doesn't have such a property.

1. Below - ?

2. Blot - The only one that doesn't have 5 letters. (From Matthew and Steven)

3. Chips - The only one that doesn't have an anagram. (Found by Rupert)
All other words: Elbow, Bolt, Modes, Frits, Slogs, Being, Gapes

4. demos - The only one that doesn't start with a capital letter.

5. First - The only one with 3 consecutive consonants?

6. Gloss - The only one with a duplicate letter.

7. Begin - The only one in this list that doesn't follow the alphabetical order of the items,
OR the only one that cannot be turned into another word by removing one letter. (From Steven)
All other words: Blow, Lot, Hips, Demo, Fist, Loss, Page

8. Pages - The only one whose letters are not in alphabetical order.

As such, it seems the best fit for the final answer would be

1. Below.
Of course, with increasingly convoluted rules you will eventually find a way to make this word the odd one out instead. But I think this set of answers provide the simplest, most straightforward rules for all the other words.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You're pretty much there. There's a minor thing I'd like to clear up, though. Try to solve an odd one out by looking at properties that everything has except one, not properties that are unique to a particular element. rot13(Engure guna fnlvat bayl Oybg unf sbhe yrggref, fnl gung rirel jbeq rkprcg Oybg unf svir yrggref.) $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 19 '18 at 3:24
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @user477343 That's a good demonstration of why you should define this in terms of the other elements. The rule should seem meaningful even in the total absence of the odd-one-out. The set {Below, Blot, demos, First, Gloss, Begin, Pages} would never make you guess at "things that aren't food", so that's probably a bad reason. $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 19 '18 at 3:39
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Chips is the only word that starts with C-H-I. Whereas Below is not the only word that starts with B. I can pull odd-one-out properties out of thin air too! $\endgroup$
    – user253751
    Mar 19 '18 at 5:04
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Relevant xkcd: xkcd.com/1122 $\endgroup$
    – wchargin
    Mar 19 '18 at 5:06
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @PlanetAlexander As mentioned in the answer, we'll eventually find ways to make a word become the odd one out... we just need to use increasingly specific and convoluted criterias. "The only one not below any other words", "The only one containing W", "The only one numbered with 1", "The only one that says 'below'", etc. $\endgroup$
    – votbear
    Mar 19 '18 at 9:36

Like Votbear, the first thing I noticed is

4 (demos) is the only word not capitalized.

Since my first guess is apparently wrong, my second guess would be

2 (Blot) because it is the only word not 5 letters long.




an odd one out because

It doesn't have an anagram?

The others:

elbow bolt modes frits slogs being gapes


Is it

7. Begin


The list is in alphabetical order except for "begin"


Answer 1:

All words apart from $1$, $5$ and maybe $7$ have a special property such that

if you take out the first letter, the remaining letters is also a word.

All words apart from

Below $\to$ elow $\quad\color{red}{\verb|X|}$
Blot $\to$ lot $\quad\color{green}{\checkmark}$
Chips $\to$ hips $\quad\color{green}{\checkmark}$
demos $\to$ emos (plural for emo) $\quad\color{green}{\checkmark}$
First $\to$ irst (not a word, but IRST stands for Infra-Red Search & Task) $\quad\color{red}{\verb|X|}$
Gloss $\to$ loss $\quad\color{green}{\checkmark}$
Begin $\to$ egin (apparently is a word according to Scrabble and Wikipedia, but not sure) $\quad\color{orange}{?}$
Pages $\to$ ages $\quad\color{green}{\checkmark}$

If we consider egin and irst words, justified by their reasons, then the word Below is the odd one out of the list.

Answer 2:

All words apart from $2$, $3$ and $6$ have the special property such that

their third letter is not a vowel (one of the letters: $\color{green}{\verb|a|}$, $\color{green}{\verb|e|}$, $\color{green}{\verb|i|}$, $\color{green}{\verb|o|}$ and $\color{green}{\verb|u|}$)

All words apart from


Given that out of words $2, 3$ and $6$, we have that $3$ is the only word with a different vowel; i.e., it has $\color{green}{\verb|i|}$ and the others have $\color{green}{\verb|o|}$. Therefore, the odd one out is

$$\boxed{\color{green}{3} \,}$$

and thus the word Chips is the odd one out.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is close to the final clue, but you're not quite there. $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 19 '18 at 3:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Veedrac Thank you for the problem, though. It was a tough one :) $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Mar 19 '18 at 3:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Veedrac I edited my answer by adding another possible answer inside it :) $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Mar 27 '18 at 11:59

Partial solution in addition to Steven Irrgang's answer:

6. Gloss is the only one with double letters


The answer is

#5 because it is the only word that does not begin with a 'B' or end with an 'S'


In addition to the above answers, the thing that makes #1 the odd one out is the property that:

It's last letter is not enunciated when spoken. 'Below' is pronounced 'Belo'.

  • $\begingroup$ This wasn't intended :S. $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 19 '18 at 3:52
  • $\begingroup$ LOL :-) @Veedrac $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Mar 19 '18 at 4:10
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ FWIW this isn't true for everybody (not true for me for instance, at least not entirely). $\endgroup$ Mar 20 '18 at 4:18
  • $\begingroup$ Very fair point @StevenIrrgang - you're right that regional pronunciation differences result in different pronunciations. $\endgroup$
    – Phylyp
    Mar 20 '18 at 4:37

Begin is the only verb and also the only one that can't be combined in a meaningful way with another word on the list: you can make eg. "First Pages" or "Below Blot", etc., but "Begin Blot" and others don't make sense.

  • $\begingroup$ This isn't intended. I don't see "Begin Chips" being much more or less clear than, say, "First Chips" or "Gloss Chips". $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 19 '18 at 10:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Veedrac I didn't mean that you could combine any noun with any adjective, but you can combine at least one adjective with at least one of the nouns for the rest of the words. :) at any rate I understand this is not the right answer $\endgroup$
    – Gnudiff
    Mar 19 '18 at 10:18
  • $\begingroup$ So is Gloss a noun or an adjective? ;) $\endgroup$
    – Veedrac
    Mar 19 '18 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Veedrac whichever you prefer it would still work ;) $\endgroup$
    – Gnudiff
    Mar 19 '18 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ To say "begin" is the only verb is to gloss over the ways other words could be used as verbs. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 '18 at 6:15

Is it:



The word's value is a prime number 37.
if A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc
Below = 57 (2 + 5 + 12 + 15 + 23)
Blot = 49 (2 + 12 + 15 + 20)
Chips = 55 (3 + 8 + 9 + 16 + 19)
demos = 56 (4 + 5 + 13 + 15 + 19)
First = 72 (6 + 9 + 18 + 19 + 20)
Gloss = 72 (7 + 12 + 15 + 19 + 19)
Begin = 37 (2 + 5 + 7 + 9 + 14)
Pages = 48 (16 + 1 + 7 + 5 + 19)

  • $\begingroup$ Very creative! $(+1)$ $\endgroup$
    – Mr Pie
    Mar 21 '18 at 4:54


7. Begin


All words can have a single letter removed and a completely new word can be formed without needing to rearrange the remaining letters

1. Below - remove the E --> Blow

2. Blot - remove the L --> Bot, or remove the B --> Lot

3. Chips - remove the C --> Hips

4. demos - remove the D --> Emos

5. First - remove the R --> Fist

6. Gloss - remove the G --> Loss

7. Begin - no single letter removed results in new word

8. Pages - remove the P --> Ages

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! You'll want to hide your answer in spoiler tags to avoid giving it away for anyone who wants to try the puzzle themselves, but other than that, I think you've nailed it! Good first answer! $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 20 '18 at 13:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! (Take the Tour!) How does your answer add to the identical ones already given? You should always look at existing answers before providing one of your own, to ensure you are not just adding a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Mar 20 '18 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio I don't believe this is a duplicate of any existing answers, it's similar to this one but with a different answer and subtly different reasoning. In fact, based on the OP's comment on that answer, I'm inclined to believe this is the intended solution. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 20 '18 at 13:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @F1Krazy This answer notes this property, as does this one. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Mar 20 '18 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio I did look at the previous answers. What clued me in was a particular answer given that said removing the first letter resulted in a new word, but not every case was correct. The OP said that answer was close but not quite there. This lead me to alter that answer by saying removing any letter, not just the first, results in a new word, except for 'Begin'. I believe that this makes it not a repeat answer, but a more informed one by additional clues from OP. $\endgroup$ Mar 20 '18 at 13:47

Below - Starts with B
Blot - Starts with B
Chips - Ends with S
demos - Ends with S
First - Neither Starts with B or Ends with S
Gloss - Ends with S
Begin - Starts with B
Pages - Ends with S

The Anwser is :


  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! I'm afraid that answer has already been given. Please try to ensure that you're not posting a duplicate answer. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 22 '18 at 7:24

How has nobody mentioned that Below is the only preposition?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling SE! Remember to place your answer in spoiler tags. For more info, take the Tour! $\endgroup$
    – NL628
    Mar 20 '18 at 5:06

Maybe because it interrupts the alphabetical order?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling! (Take the Tour!) How does your answer add to the identical ones already given? You should always look at existing answers before providing one of your own, to ensure you are not just adding a duplicate. $\endgroup$
    – Rubio
    Mar 20 '18 at 12:29
  • $\begingroup$ ..Thanks for the suggestion @Rubio as am new to this . I come across the same answer with the different reason.So i thought of posted it. $\endgroup$
    – Shashikala
    Mar 21 '18 at 5:10

Here's my guess, which may be an alternative.

Looking at the list that seems variously different, I thought it
has something to do with the words itself, so I used the classical
word to number test.
With a = 1, b = 2, ..., z = 26, here's the sums of each letters in word:

below = 57
blot = 49
chips = 55
demos = 56
first = 72
gloss = 72
begin = 37
pages = 48

The obvious one seen (out of all other "uniqueness" possibilities) is that first and gloss have the same sum. But the answer cannot be two as it says cross the odd one out, so there must be another way to differentiate the two words and still make it the odd one out.
...Or perhaps there is a reason why the title is "Your first guess is wrong", which crosses out the word first and leaves us with gloss.

(Seeing how demos is the only wordwhich doesn't begin with capital letters and how blot only has 4 letters, I assumed these are traps and tried finding another method) Edit: Guess I really have to scroll through the answers, I didn't think someone else would use this method haha.

Yeah, there are also other characteristics that points out to uniqueness, Guest's answer says 37 is a prime number, making begin the answer, chips has number 55, the only repeated digit, blot has 49 the only square number, and so on.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling SE! Please remember to place your answer in spoiler tags. For more info, take the tour! $\endgroup$
    – NL628
    Mar 22 '18 at 4:38

Just looking at some potential possibilities I noticed

It could potentially have a common theme of books
It could be related to the order they appear and show

  • Below // Look at the one below this (#2)
  • Blot // This one is only four characters and the others are 5, or ink blots may appear on books
  • Chips
  • demos // This starts with lowercase while others don't. Maybe something to do with books?
  • First // Look at first #1
  • Gloss // Often the covers of books have gloss
  • Begin // You should start here and then go...?
  • Pages // Books have pages, it seems this goes in some kind of order
  • $\endgroup$

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