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 Monolithic Word™.
Use the following examples below to find the rule.

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Monolithic }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^{\;\!™}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ }\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[grey]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2019.05.15}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ ALCHEMY }&\text{ ACCUSE }\\ \hline \text{ BURNING }&\text{ BIZARRE }\\ \hline \text{ CUIRASS }&\text{ DUSTY }\\ \hline \text{ EXPIRY }&\text{ EXCUSE }\\ \hline \text{ HOCUS }&\text{ HIDEOUS }\\ \hline \text{ JIGGLE }&\text{ ILLEGAL }\\ \hline \text{ OXIDE }&\text{ STARK }\\ \hline \text{ VICTORY }&\text{ WINCE }\\ \hline \text{ ZODIAC }&\text{ ZIGZAG }\\ \hline \end{array}$$

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

Monolithic Words™,Not Monolithic Words™

The puzzle satisfies the series' inbuilt assumption, that each word can be tested for whether it is a Monolithic Word™ without relying on the other words. These are not the only examples of Monolithic Words™; many more exist.

What is the special rule these words conform to?

Hint 1:

What is the main property of a monolith?

Hint 2:

The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything is not really 42, it's $\textbf{*}$ as the wildcard symbolizes everything... and possibly some other reason too ;)

Hint 3: (an extension of Hint 2)

What is the relation between $\textbf*$ and 42?

Good luck!


My guess:

A monolithic word is a word that, when turning every (upper case) letter into ASCII code and concatenate them, it becomes a prime.
eg ALCHEMY. A->$65$, L->$76$ etc. So ALCHEMY -> $65766772697789$ is a prime.
eg ACCUSE -> $656767858369=7\times 7\times 239\times 56081279$ is not a prime.
The last hint is a big giveaway: the ASCII code for $*$ is $42$ :)

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ @r_64 Good job! :) I think I made this harder than required. :) $\endgroup$ – user47134 Sep 5 '19 at 16:40

First attempt (wrong):

My first guess (but based on the example is wrong ) is that a Monolithic Word...

...does not contain other words (as a monolith is a single piece element), but this is not the case for BURNING or CUIRASS
For the Non-Monolithic words

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Unfortunately, that's not the correct path :( Nice spotting though, and strange that it is accurate to this degree even though I didn't intend it :) $\endgroup$ – user47134 Sep 3 '19 at 16:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also, jiggle contains jig and oxide contains ox. $\endgroup$ – hexomino Sep 3 '19 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the clarification... I will try another approach then $\endgroup$ – gustavovelascoh Sep 3 '19 at 16:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Moreover, 'victory' contains 'victor' $\endgroup$ – Quark-epoch Sep 4 '19 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ I noticed this, with three-letter words only. USE, BIZ<sub>questionable</sub>, STY, USE, HID, ILL, TAR, WIN, ZIG<sub>questionable</sub>. Problem is, you end up with HEM, URN, ASS, and JIG on the wrong side. $\endgroup$ – Khuldraeseth na'Barya Sep 5 '19 at 14:27

I think I may be wrong but

A monolith is a monument carved out of a single stone .
The Monolithic Words ™ can be derived by starting with a single letter.

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ Can you please clarify what you mean by "derived"? :) $\endgroup$ – user47134 Sep 4 '19 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ So you start with one letter, then add another to form a meaningful word. This goes on and on till you get the target word. $\endgroup$ – Quark-epoch Sep 4 '19 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry, but not the correct path :( I'm adding the next hint now, good luck with the puzzle! :D $\endgroup$ – user47134 Sep 4 '19 at 13:23

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