Sort of in the style of that old classic, ‘What goes through the green glass door?’

What gets past the bluegrass bulge?

  • Blue does, but green doesn’t.
  • Grass does, but glaze doesn’t.
  • Bulge does, but door doesn’t.
  • Poem does, but muse doesn’t.
  • Conversation does, but talk doesn’t.
  • Gel does, but official doesn’t.
  • Chin does, but tongue doesn’t.
  • Sticking does, but stuck doesn’t.
  • Mistake does, but miss doesn’t.
  • Nomad does, but rover doesn’t.
  • Peeping does, but loom doesn’t.
  • Tall does, but small doesn’t.
  • Morn does, but evening doesn’t.
  • Detestable does, but foul doesn’t.

What gets past the bluegrass bulge?

Hint 1:

Each combination is attested at least twice, on both sides.

Hint 2:

There’s more linguistics involved than in the previous one.

Hint 3:

I didn’t count things that were part of affricate consonants.

Hint 4:

Vowel doesn’t get past, and that makes sense in 1 out of 3 cases. Vowels doesn’t either, but that makes sense in 2 out of 3 cases. Neither gets past for the same reason, though.

Hint 5:

You might say that part of the solution is the opposite of the original solution; there the IPA has nothing to do with it. The third referred to in the previous hint is the same. But the last third does.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I’m not sure what other tags to add, because most I could add would be hints outright. Maybe after the question is answered? $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2020 at 4:07
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure you're safe to add the 'word-property' tag. (Done!) :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jun 7, 2020 at 9:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The etiquette is to leave the question as it was when the correct answer was given. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2020 at 9:29
  • $\begingroup$ Perhaps, but I’m very new to this SE, so any help is welcome :D Also, I changed up the hints and added a few examples. $\endgroup$ Jun 7, 2020 at 9:38
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    $\begingroup$ @BennettBernardoni Sorry, I meant that neither ‘vowels’ nor ‘vowel’ gets past, and neither of them get past for the same reason. $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2020 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


A partial answer. I really don't have much but maybe it'll help someone.

Hint two suggests that this is linguistics based, so I translated everything to IPA (using American pronunciation. Not sure if that matters). Here are all the pairs.

blu / grin
græs / gleɪz
bʌlʤ / dɔr
ˈpoʊəm / mjuz
ˌkɑnvərˈseɪʃən / tɔk
ʤɛl / əˈfɪʃəl
ʧɪn / tʌŋ
ˈstɪkɪŋ / stʌk
mɪsˈteɪk / mɪs
ˈnoʊˌmæd / ˈroʊvər
ˈpipɪŋ / lum
tɔl / smɔl
mɔrn / ˈivnɪŋ
dɪˈtɛstəbl / faʊl

I tried for a while, but was not able to find any sort of pattern here. Some interesting things to note are that tall and small are different despite being very similar, and mistake is just miss with an added "take" (maybe suggesting that the bluegrass bulge words need to have some phoneme combination).

Hint 1: Each combination is attested at least twice, on both sides.
Again this makes me thing it has something to do with phoneme combinations

Hint 3: I didn’t count things that were part of affricate consonants.
Another thing suggesting that it has to do with IPA, but I don't know enough about linguistics to figure this one out.

  • $\begingroup$ I hope this isn’t too presumptuous, but I’ve put up a new hint :D $\endgroup$ Jun 20, 2020 at 2:21
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry I don't consider this answer satisfactory enough to award the bounty: tomorrow you will receive half of the prize. $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    Jun 23, 2020 at 10:06
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I don't think I even deserve half the prize. Most of my work was just translating into ipa which was heavily suggested by the hints. $\endgroup$ Jun 23, 2020 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ I did try out hint 4, but I wasn't able to spot any patterns $\endgroup$ Jun 23, 2020 at 13:19

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