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

Patternful Words™ Not Patternful Words™
double float
beautiful ugly
America United States
igloo snow
hour second
house lawn
frank funk
pollster polls
runs puns
grunt hunt
crazy hazy
  • Open Hint: The pattern is dictated by a logical predicate of the form "A Patternful Word™ is a word that contains <condition 1> OR <condition 2>." The list above is divided roughly into two halves; the first half shows you examples that satisfy condition 1, and the second half shows you examples that satisfy condition 2. There are two words in the entire list that satisfy both conditions.

  • Open Hint 2: The rule applies to any string made up of English alphabet characters, and is not necessarily restricted to only English words (e.g. I could use the rule against some random string like "asdfslkj").

  • Open Hint 3: White spaces do not count towards word lengths in this puzzle.

  • $\begingroup$ I guess this is similar to a Bongard problem but with words instead of images. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bongard_problem $\endgroup$
    – happystar
    Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 23:52
  • $\begingroup$ @happystar Yes, it is similar to a Bongard problem. It is also related to how words are pronounced. $\endgroup$
    – BearAqua
    Commented Jul 4, 2020 at 0:00

1 Answer 1


From Open Hint 1, we know that the rule is that the word contains condition 1 OR condition 2, and that the first half of the list shows condition 1, and the second half shows condition 2.

Condition 1:

The word contains at least 50% vowels, by letter count.

double = 3/6
beautiful = 5/9
America = 4/7
igloo = 3/5
hour = 2/4
house = 3/5

None of the right side words, "float, ugly, United States, snow, second, lawn, funk, polls, puns, hunt, hazy" qualify, with the closest being "United States" with 5/12.

Condition 2:

The word contains the letter R

The second half of the left side words "frank, pollster, runs, grunt, crazy" all qualify.
None of the right side words have an "R".

From Open Hint 1, two of the words satisfy both conditions:

America and hour

Why these strange conditions?

The author of the puzzle is BearAqua, whose name satisfies both conditions.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.