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

$$ % set Title text. (spaces around the text ARE important; do not remove.) % increase Pad value only if your entries are longer than the title bar. % \def\Pad{\P{0.0}} \def\Title{\textbf{ Limited }} % \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\Title\textbf{Words}^{\;\!™}\Pad}\def\NT{\Pad\textbf{Not}\T\ } \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[lightblue]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2019.05.15}\S{6px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\Pad\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\Pad\T&\NT\\\hline % \text{ TRAFFIC}&\text{ DRIVING}\\ \hline \text{ MAILMAN}&\text{ RANGER}\\ \hline \text{ BUFFALO}&\text{ OSTRICH}\\ \hline \text{ COMMAND}&\text{ CONTROL}\\ \hline \text{ TRY}&\text{ FAIL}\\ \hline \text{ HANDLES}&\text{ CLOCKS}\\ \hline \text{ DURABLE}&\text{ COMPACT}\\ \hline \text{ CLIMATE}&\text{ WEATHER}\\ \hline \text{ CAMPING}&\text{ HUNTING}\\ \hline \text{ CHINESE}&\text{ ENGLISH}\\ \hline \hline \end{array}$$

CSV version:

Limited Words™, Not Limited Words™
TRAFFIC,      DRIVING
MAILMAN,      RANGER
BUFFALO,      OSTRICH
COMMAND,      CONTROL
TRY,          FAIL
HANDLES,      CLOCKS
DURABLE,      COMPACT
CLIMATE,      WEATHER
CAMPING,      HUNTING
CHINESE,      ENGLISH

What is the special rule these words conform to?


Notes:

  • This puzzle can only be solved if the letters are in uppercase.
  • This puzzle may involve some knowledge.

Edit: Baker was changed to ranger, drawers was changed to clocks. All four of these words are not "Limited Words™".

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My guess:

A limited word™ is a word that has the ASCII values of its letters adds up to some power of 2 minus 1.

Explanation:

ASCII value of an uppercase letter = its A1Z26 + 64

For the Limited words™:

TRAFFIC = 84 + 82 + 65 + 70 + 70 + 73 + 67 = 511 = 2**9 - 1 (same for other 511's)
MAILMAN = 77 + 65 + 73 + 76 + 77 + 65 + 78 = 511
BUFFALO = 66 + 85 + 70 + 70 + 65 + 76 + 79 = 511
COMMAND = 67 + 79 + 77 + 77 + 65 + 78 + 68 = 511
TRY = 84 + 82 + 89 = 255 = 2**8 - 1
HANDLES = 72 + 65 + 78 + 68 + 76 + 69 + 83 = 511
DURABLE = 68 + 85 + 82 + 65 + 66 + 76 + 69 = 511
CLIMATE = 67 + 76 + 73 + 77 + 65 + 84 + 69 = 511
CAMPING = 67 + 65 + 77 + 80 + 73 + 78 + 71 = 511
CHINESE = 67 + 72 + 73 + 78 + 69 + 83 + 69 = 511

For the Non-Limited words™:

DRIVING = 68 + 82 + 73 + 86 + 73 + 78 + 71 = 531
RANGER = 82 + 65 + 78 + 71 + 69 + 82 = 447
OSTRICH = 79 + 83 + 84 + 82 + 73 + 67 + 72 = 540
CONTROL = 67 + 79 + 78 + 84 + 82 + 79 + 76 = 545
FAIL = 70 + 65 + 73 + 76 = 284
CLOCKS = 67 + 76 + 79 + 67 + 75 + 83 = 447
COMPACT = 67 + 79 + 77 + 80 + 65 + 67 + 84 = 519
WEATHER = 87 + 69 + 65 + 84 + 72 + 69 + 82 = 528
HUNTING = 72 + 85 + 78 + 84 + 73 + 78 + 71 = 541
ENGLISH = 69 + 78 + 71 + 76 + 73 + 83 + 72 = 522
BAKER = 66 + 65 + 75 + 69 + 82 = 357
DRAWERS = 68 + 82 + 65 + 87 + 69 + 82 + 83 = 536

| improve this answer | |
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A Limited Word™ is:

A word that its letters add up to 63.

For example:

climate = 3 + 12 + 9 + 13 + 1 + 20 + 5 = 63.

In detail:

traffic = 20 + 18 + 1 + 6 + 6 + 9 + 3 = 63.
mailman = 13 + 1 + 9 + 12 + 13 + 1 + 14 = 63.
buffalo = 2 + 21 + 6 + 6 + 1 + 12 + 15 = 63.
command = 3 + 15 + 13 + 13 + 1 + 14 + 4 = 63.
try = 20 + 18 + 25 = 63.
handles = 8 + 1 + 14 + 4 + 12 + 5 + 19 = 63.
durable = 4 + 21 + 18 + 1 + 2 + 12 + 5 = 63.
climate = 3 + 12 + 9 + 13 + 1 + 20 + 5 = 63.
camping = 3 + 1 + 13 + 16 + 9 + 14 + 7 = 63.
Chinese = 3 + 8 + 9 + 14 + 5 + 19 + 5 = 63.

| improve this answer | |
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  • $\begingroup$ You are not wrong, but this is not the rule I had in mind. +1 for getting this, but the puzzle will be fixed. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 May 3 at 10:49
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    $\begingroup$ You can change the question and its data as many times you find it necessary, but if I were you I would have marked the answer as a right one and I would have created a new question. $\endgroup$ – Stratos May 3 at 11:27
  • $\begingroup$ I think that sounds reasonable and I should have done that right way. As I'm seeing your comment, naldjuno came across my intended solution. I hope it is fine with you if I accept naldjuno's answer since it goes into all of the detail of my intended rule. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 May 3 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah, I'm ok with it. $\endgroup$ – Stratos May 3 at 11:55
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A Limited Word™ is one

where the sum of the ASCII codes of its letters equals $2^k - 1$ for some integer $k$.

Example:

TRAFFIC = 84 + 82 + 65 + 70 + 70 + 72 + 67 = 511 = 29 - 1
TRY = 84 + 82 + 89 = 255 = 28 - 1

| improve this answer | |
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    $\begingroup$ @eyl327 ah, the [computer-science] hint made it easier. No wonder they have 3 or 7 letters ... $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel May 3 at 11:31

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