17
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Find the longest word which can be spelled with the second letters of a group words in alphabetical order. An example with incomprehensible (16 letters):

aim
answer
eccentric
fold
implore
ipsilateral
iridium
jester
khaki
leg
one
ostrich
pig
ubiquitous
ulterior
vendetta

In the case of a tie, the winner is the solution whose last word (here, vendetta) comes first in alphabetical order.

Checking a dictionary for words (online or offline) is fine, but no programming or other automated solutions. May the best human win!

Notes (added after several answers):

  • No acronyms or abbreviations
  • No proper names
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  • $\begingroup$ Inspired by @SlowMagic's recent "human-only" puzzles :) $\endgroup$ – jafe Mar 4 at 22:05
  • $\begingroup$ Are abbreviations allowed? E.g., USA, CPU, GCD? $\endgroup$ – bazzilic Mar 5 at 8:27
  • $\begingroup$ @bazzilic No abbreviations. Otherwise you could make literally any two-letter combination usin one abbreviation or another... $\endgroup$ – jafe Mar 5 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ Isn't this puzzle just a re-phrase of the question "Find as many english words as possible to get a full set of letters (A-Z) from the 2nd character of each word?" And from there on finding the longest existing English word? I feel that this challenge would be much more fun if the built word would have to describe the set of words used to build it. $\endgroup$ – BmyGuest Mar 6 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ @BmyGuest The challenge is the requirement that the list of words be in alphabetical order. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 6 at 18:03
7
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Not sure if this counts:

27 letters - Honorificabilitudinitatibus

a h old
a o rta
c n ida
c o ral
c r ane
d i ce
e f fect
e i ght
i c e
j a b
k b ar
k i ss
k l oof
l i ttle
n t h
n u ll
o d e
o i ntment
o n
p i tt
p t erodactyl
q a t
s t able
t i me
u b iquitous
v u g
y s laked

NOTE: The above is rejected I believe mainly because of kbar - short for kilobar. nth is in wikitionary while zth is not.


Note sure if this works either

27 letters - chemolithoheterotrophically

a c e
a h old
b e
e m erge
e o n
f l y
g i st
i t erate
k h aki
k o ala
m h o
n e mesis
n t h
o e uvre
o r ganism
p o rt
p t erodactyl
s r addha
t o p
u p
w h o
w i tch
y c lad
z a p
z l oty
z l otys
z y gote

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  • $\begingroup$ Pretty good! I have some reservations about yslaked (see comments to Omega Krypton's answer). I think nth is fine as it's certainly a word that's in common usage, even though it opens up something of a slippery slope (what about zth? etc). Note that I've added a rule (after your answer) which disallows abbreviations, so unfortunately kbar doesn't count... $\endgroup$ – jafe Mar 11 at 10:13
  • $\begingroup$ @jafe Aw, ok, no prob, I'll probably have to give it another go. I was using this online anagrammer and found it there, so at the time I thought it would work. Back to the think tank I guess! $\endgroup$ – Jerry Mar 11 at 10:19
  • $\begingroup$ This is currently the leading answer. I'm going to allow yclad (and similar words) since they can be found in multiple English-language dictionaries (albeit often marked "archaic") and are accepted in Scrabble. $\endgroup$ – jafe Mar 12 at 11:09
14
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25 - antidisestablishmentarian

aardvark
antimony
attune
bisect
edict
eigenvector
ester
festive
issue
iterate
jackanapes
obelisk
oligarchy
picnic
psalm
rheumatism
smelly
tendency
unsavory
utilitarian
varied
vroom
witness
xanthan
ynambu

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ now do pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… $\endgroup$ – AHKieran Mar 5 at 16:15
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @AHKieran It turns out that's not possible! If you break the word into alphabetical runs you get 25 distinct chunks, the last two of which are "ios" and "is". No words start with "zs" (for the last letter), so "is" have to belong to y. This means you need "xi-", "xo-" and "xs-" words, the last of which doesn't exist $\endgroup$ – Punintended Mar 5 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ (Notice that this isn't even "antidisestablishmentarianism", which for similar reasons doesn't appear to be possible.) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 5 at 19:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio "Antidisestablishmentarianism" only has 13 alphabetical chunks, which gives you a lot more flexibility. I'll take your word for it, but I find that pretty surprising $\endgroup$ – Punintended Mar 5 at 19:53
8
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I believe I can get

antidisestablishmentarian

using the following...

a a rdvark
a n t
a t e
b i d
e d ucate
e i ght
e s sence
f e et
i s
i t
l a boratory
o b lique
o l factory
p i glet
p s oriasis
r h ododendron
s m all
t e nacious
u n wise
u t most
v a riable
v r oom
w i nner
x a nthophyll
y n ambu

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  • $\begingroup$ did you just comment-snipe me? lol $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 4 at 23:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio I'm so sorry, I did not see your answer or your comment before I had finished mine! I guess great minds think alike...? $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Mar 4 at 23:13
  • $\begingroup$ Clearly :) Nice find. My comment, your answer, and my answer were all within like 4 minutes (and in that order). $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 4 at 23:14
7
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Here's an 18:

INCONSEQUENTIALITY:
aimiable
angina
ecological
eosilophilia
gnat
ischaemic
jetstream
oquassa
outrageous
persimmon
pneumatic
ptarmigan
qi
random
slaughterhouse
titanium
uterus
zygote

And a 20:

UNCHARACTERISTICALLY:
authoritarian
cnidarian
echidna
eh
familiar
fraught
gastronomic
icicle
iterative
jeremiad
krypton
mismanagement
osculation
otiose
pigheadedness
scandium
tartrate
ullage
ultimate
zymurgy

And a 23: (Oops, no, there was an error in this one, pointed out by Rubio in TSL. Since I now have a longer one I shan't bother trying to fix it.

And a 24:

TETRAIODOPHENOLPHTHALEIN:
atropine
belladonna
ctenoid
dragoon
earldom
eigenvalue
eolithic
idempotent
ionization
ipecac
khazi
leucocyte
mnemonic
molybdenum
olfactory
opposition
phenolphthalein
pterodactyl
rhesus
sarcophagus
slatternly
teleological
timber
unimodal

The dictionary file on my computer has no words longer than that other than "antidisestablishmentarianism", which I think can't be done -- but of course it isn't exhaustive...

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  • $\begingroup$ I got to the 24th letter of antidisestablishmentarianism with "xanthan, but I couldn't make it further. $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Mar 4 at 22:49
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, I can get that far but no further. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 4 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ I get through antidisestablishmentarian (25) with ynambu, but I had to scan the dictionary to find that one. $\endgroup$ – Rubio Mar 4 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ Scanning the dictionary is explicitly permitted. Go ahead and post your winning answer! $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Mar 4 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Rubio if you want to post yours, I can delete mine -- I just saw this after posting! $\endgroup$ – El-Guest Mar 4 at 23:10
3
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Here's a...

30 - pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism

a p e
a s ide
b e come
b u t
e d ible
e o n
e p ilogue
e s pecially
f e ed
f u el
i d ol
i o n
k h an
k y ar
m p ret
n o tice
o p posite
p a rt
p r ey
q a di
s t and
t h at
t y rant
u r anium
w o men
x i phoid
y d rad
y i eld
y s laked
z m uda :( Sad to hear about the note...

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice work! I wonder about ydrad and yslaked. Are those still valid English? At least in Wiktionary they're marked as "obsolete" forms. I've never heard of either word, but then again the same goes for many other words in these solutions which are still perfectly valid :P $\endgroup$ – jafe Mar 5 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ Impressive! I can't find any hits for zmuda, which I was curious about though? Is that a real word? I only found it as a name $\endgroup$ – Jerry Mar 5 at 17:04
  • $\begingroup$ Hi @Jerry thank you for you question. I believe an American surname would suffice as an English word? $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Mar 5 at 23:41
  • $\begingroup$ and may I know the reason why this was downvoted? thanks! $\endgroup$ – Omega Krypton Mar 5 at 23:42
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if surnames are allowed? I guess it'll be better if @jafe could confirm that. $\endgroup$ – Jerry Mar 6 at 6:36

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