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 special rule, I call it a Valid Word™.
Use the following examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{3.5}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Valid }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^{\;\!™}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[yellow]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2019.05.15}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ SAFETY }&\text{ DANGER }\\ \hline \text{ OFFICER }&\text{ WORKER }\\ \hline \text{ TRAINING }&\text{ TRAIN }\\ \hline \text{ SAUCEPAN }&\text{ FRYPAN }\\ \hline \text{ ABANDONED }&\text{ RENOUNCED }\\ \hline \text{ EXCELLENCE }&\text{ PERFECTION }\\ \hline \text{ ASSORTMENT }&\text{ VARIETY }\\ \hline \text{ MEANINGFUL }&\text{ MEANINGLESS }\\ \hline \text{ COUNTERPOINT }&\text{ BREAKPOINT }\\ \hline \text{ AZIDODEDIAZONIATIONS }&\text{ HYDRODEDIAZONIATIONS }\\ \hline \end{array}$$

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

Valid Words™,Not Valid Words™

Hint 1:

enter image description here


A Valid Word satisfies the rule

If we convert each letter to a number ($A=1, B=2,\ldots, Z=26$) and add the values of all but the last letter then the result is congruent to the value of the last letter, modulo $26$. This is like a checksum for the word, similar to the Luhn algorithm used for credit cards as mentioned by FlanMan.


$S+A+F+E+T = 19+1+6+5+20 = 51 \equiv 25 ($mod $26)$ and $Y=25$

$A+Z+I+D+O+D+E+D+I+A+Z+O+N+I+A+T+I+O+N = 1+26+9+4+15+4+5+4+9+1+26+15+14+9+1+20+9+15+14 = 201 \equiv 19(\mod 26)$ and $S=19$.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This answer is also valid too :D $\endgroup$ – Conifers Aug 29 '19 at 9:24

I tried the following, which failed, but it might give ideas for others to solve this.

After seeing Hint 1, I think the answer is:

A Valid Word™ must somehow pass a credit card-style numerical validation using the Luhn algorithm: https://simplycalc.com/luhn-calculate.php. I converted some Valid Words™ into A1Z26 and to ASCII, but I could not find a way to get them all to pass the Luhn algorithm.

I only have a cell phone with me at the moment, so it is hard to test many ways of computing the numbers.

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