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 an Ornament Word™. Use the following examples below to find the rule.

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Text version:

Ornament Words™    Non-Ornament Words™     Special Ornament Words™
potted             abuzz                    gallop
billon             beaux                    halloo
postage            gauzy    
gammon             heavy    
pottage            hallux   
stubborn           abnormal 
succor             foster   
subdeacon          offstage 
nonsuch            posting  
portside           gadfly   
onstage            cheeky   

Bonus Question:

What are Special Ornament Words?

Hint 1:

To answer this riddle, you'll need to see the words from a different perspective.

Hint 2:

If this were a word, it would be an Ornament Word: ablmvw

Hint 3:

Bill Gates can’t melt steel beams

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ just to be clear, "billon" is meant as in the alloy of precious metal, not "billion" as in 1000 million? $\endgroup$
    – Cubemaster
    Jul 26, 2019 at 15:36
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The only letters not in an Ornament word are FJKQVWXYZ, which are all worth 4 or more points in Scrabble. The only other letter worth 4 or more points is H (which is in an Ornament word (nonsuch)). This could just be a reflection of the fact that some property of ornament words favours more-common letters. $\endgroup$ Jul 26, 2019 at 15:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I also feel like the prevalence of double-letters is somewhat significant. Or perhaps Parseltongue is just being tricky and messing with us, it could be a red herring $\endgroup$
    – Cubemaster
    Jul 26, 2019 at 15:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No intentional deception here, Cubemaster! $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2019 at 1:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Maybe if you want people to solve it you should give hints :P $\endgroup$ Jul 29, 2019 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


I think I have it!

An Ornament Word is one that when:

Converted to the WingDings font, contains consecutive 'groups' of characters with no singletons

This fits the clues/hints because:

'Wingding' was derived from 'Windows Dingbats' where a Dingbat is a type of printing Ornamentation. Additionally, clue 3 clearly hints at the weird conspiracy involving Wingdings, Bill gates, and 9/11.

The nature of this question makes it hard to type out examples/proof... here's a couple:


EDIT: And, a 'Special Ornament Word'

Works in uppercase Wingdings too

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Lord almighty that was hard $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2019 at 14:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Wow! Congrats. Did the third hint give it away? I am so impressed you got this after the third clue $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2019 at 14:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I wasn't even close until Clue 3, but got the reference immediately. That said, I wasn't positive until I made the connection to the word 'Ornament,' which was enough to convince me I was definitely on the right track. Still, it took me a while to see the pattern even AFTER making the conversion. Very tricky puzzle! $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2019 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ Particularly impressed that you figured out to capitalize the Special words! Fun fact: those might be the only two english words that are "special ornament words" $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2019 at 15:12

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