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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 BFF Word™.
Use the examples below to find the rule.

BFF Words™ Not BFF Words™
gourd bakery
catch horizon
wizardly doorplate
birdbath bonding
merchants albino
finish rikshaw
alert fighter
hybrid beats
mothers deprive
costume grayhen

What is the special rule these words conform to?

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    $\begingroup$ I see many rot13(navznyf).. $\endgroup$
    – athin
    Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 10:48

1 Answer 1

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A BFF Word is one where:

If you remove two letters, you are left with an anagram of an animal which is a common household pet ("man's best friend", hence 'BFF' - Best Friends Forever).

Namely:

GOURD = GOURD 🡒 DOG;
CATCH = CATCH 🡒 CAT;
WIZARDLY = WIZARDLY 🡒 LIZARD;
BIRDBATH = BIRDBATH 🡒 RABBIT;
MERCHANTS = MERCHANTS 🡒 HAMSTER;
FINISH = FINISH 🡒 FISH;
ALERT = ALERT 🡒 RAT;
HYBRID = HYBRID 🡒 BIRD;
MOTHERS = MOTHERS 🡒 HORSE;
COSTUME = COSTUME 🡒 MOUSE.

Furthermore, the non-BFF Words exhibit a different but related pattern - namely that:

If you remove two letters, you are left with an anagram of an animal which is not a common household pet!

BAKERY = BAKERY 🡒 BEAR;
HORIZON = HORIZON 🡒 RHINO;
DOORPLATE = DOORPLATE 🡒 LEOPARD;
BONDING = BONDING 🡒 DINGO;
ALBINO = ALBINO 🡒 LION;
RIKSHAW = RIKSHAW 🡒 SHARK;
FIGHTER = FIGHTER 🡒 TIGER;
BEATS = BEATS 🡒 BAT;
DEPRIVE = DEPRIVE 🡒 VIPER;
GRAYHEN = GRAYHEN 🡒 HYENA.

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    $\begingroup$ Great job, you got it! Can you also figure out what is special about the non-BFF words? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 11:02
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    $\begingroup$ You know what, I think I can! I'd even spotted that in ALBINO before answering - just hadn't twigged they all did it! Will amend my answer... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 11:03

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