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Questions tagged [english]

Puzzles that crucially depend on some feature of the English language or that only work in an English formulation.

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31 votes
1 answer
5k views

The hangman game backward

So, @JLee has posted a hangman game (Hangman- No misses left) on SE. I would like to create one too, but let's do it backward - guess what was the question, with only 1 letter missing: fill in an "a"...
Alex's user avatar
  • 8,566
25 votes
1 answer
3k views

Four is Cosmic!

This is a little puzzle I heard a while back from one of my mathematically inclined friends- I get the sense that it's bounced around a little, so forgive me if you've heard it. There is a sort of ...
Patrick N's user avatar
  • 1,790
21 votes
2 answers
5k views

Alphabet splitting extraordinaire!

Here are three ways of splitting the letters of the English alphabet into two groups: 1) ABDOPQR; CEFGHIJKLMNSTUVWXYZ 2) BCDGJOPQRSU; AEFHIKLMNTVWXYZ 3) DFHIJLNOPRTUVXYZ; ABCEGKMQSW In each case, ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is a Triad Phrase™?

Now that you are familiar with Cyclone Phrases™ and Scalable Phrases™, let's look at another kind of phrase. If a phrase adheres to a certain rule, then I call it a Triad Phrase™. Use the examples ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 19.4k
143 votes
2 answers
8k views

Hearken, now, and listen close!

Hearken, now, and listen close; I have so much to tell. Now lend an ear and do your job; you surely will excel. To find my hidden message, gaze on every word herein. While skimming through it ...
GentlePurpleRain's user avatar
58 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is a Cyclone Phrase™?

If a phrase adheres to a certain rule, then I call it a Cyclone Phrase™. Use the examples below to find the rule. Also find the one error in the chart below. (In other words, one of the phrases below ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 19.4k
39 votes
5 answers
4k views

What is a Versatile Word™?

If a word has a certain property, I call it a Versatile Word™. In each of the short, unrelated sentences below, only one of the choices is a Versatile Word™. The sentences are for context only, and ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 19.4k
3 votes
3 answers
855 views

Make a sentence with the most different uses of the same word [closed]

Background I recently stumbled across the following grammatically correct sentence: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo. This sentence relies on the fact that the ...
DqwertyC's user avatar
  • 8,248
33 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is a Scalable Phrase™?

Now that you are familiar with Cyclone Phrases, let's look at another kind of phrase. If a phrase adheres to a certain rule, then I call it a Scalable Phrase™. Use the examples below to find the ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 19.4k
26 votes
3 answers
3k views

Double Speak - Phrases that need rewording

Each of these phrases can be reworded into a Double Speak phrase. A Double Speak phrase has two homophones together in the same phrase. For example a "Warrior's time of rest" could also be called a "...
qwertyu63's user avatar
  • 3,929
22 votes
5 answers
2k views

What is a Surpassing Phrase™?

If a phrase conforms to a certain rule, I call it a Surpassing Phrase™. Use the examples below to find the rule. Some details to save you time: 1. Font doesn't matter. 2. The number of words ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 19.4k
22 votes
7 answers
4k views

What number is that ? Asks Grandpa

"So here is a number between 1 and 60" Says Grandpa "If you take its WORD anagram and subtract this number you will get Anagram of the number - number > 5 What is that number"? "So it is the ...
DrD's user avatar
  • 39.3k
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

The hangman game backward #2

Hangman game backward version 2 - guess what was the question, with only 1 letter missing: fill in a "b" - I might lose control anytime, so keep me on my toes. fill in an "m" - my brothers are all ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 8,566
20 votes
7 answers
5k views

Five words with one vowel difference

Can you find a set of 5 words in English which all differ by just one vowel? This is easiest to explain with an example: Batter. Better. Bitter. Botter. Butter Close, but "botter" isn't a real ...
Lefty's user avatar
  • 1,174
10 votes
6 answers
61k views

Word sets with no repeating letters

I know a set of six 4-letter words without repeating a letter (i.e. using 24 different letters). Here is an example: Are there sets of words with no repeated letters and having four 6-letter words? ...
Aravind's user avatar
  • 1,718
10 votes
2 answers
5k views

Another Rebus puzzle

Solve the following rebus puzzle: I I I I I I I I I ___________ O O See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebus
Haobin's user avatar
  • 11.7k
-2 votes
2 answers
626 views

Wait wait wait wait... 1=0? [duplicate]

Wasn't quite sure if this was suitable for Puzzling; however it has a problem/puzzle in it, so decided to give it a shot. Please appropriately downvote if you feel you should. Yesterday morning I ...
warspyking's user avatar
  • 14.5k
-5 votes
3 answers
3k views

In a plane crash who died?

In a plane crash somewhere, every single person died but two people survived. How is this possible?
nikhil_sudan's user avatar
59 votes
4 answers
7k views

Ghotiy spelling

As some of you likely know, ghoti is an interesting spelling of the word fish. Using: ...
Devsman's user avatar
  • 2,470
43 votes
3 answers
2k views

And the rest is hstr!

This is an entry in the 14th Fortnightly Topic Challenge. Ha, nice, a new fortnightly challenge. What's more, it is about history! It seems that people didn't like sports that much, huh? Fortunatly, ...
IAmInPLS's user avatar
  • 11.5k
34 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why Alexa Shouldn't Teach Non-Native English Speakers About Idioms

They cost ≈ $0.00833333333333333333333333333333 each. (9) -_----_-_----- Go! Intentionally fracture your fibula! ...
Chowzen's user avatar
  • 25.7k
24 votes
7 answers
3k views

From Puzzling to StackExchange

This is a variation of a game I used to play with my friends in my childhood. You are given a starting word, and using the following operations, you have to reach the target word. The solution that ...
CodeNewbie's user avatar
  • 11.8k
23 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is an Uncopyrightable Word?™

If a phrase has a certain property, I call it an Uncopyrightable Word™. In each of the sentences below, one word is an Uncopyrightable Word™ and one is not. The sentences are for context only, ...
GentlePurpleRain's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
4k views

My third Rebus puzzle

Solve the following rebus puzzle: L D BRIDGE See also (Rebus with Dracula) and (Another Rebus puzzle)
Haobin's user avatar
  • 11.7k
18 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is an Odd Word™?

If a word has a certain property, I call it an Odd Word™. In each of the short, unrelated sentences below, only one of the choices is an Odd Word™. The sentences are for context only, and do not ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 19.4k
16 votes
1 answer
4k views

A grammatically valid sentence in English containing seven "that"'s in a row?

About 20 years ago on a forum now long gone, someone posted the above question. After people had had a chance to try it, he also posted the answer. I no longer remember the answer but really wish I ...
MWT's user avatar
  • 171
15 votes
1 answer
1k views

The Vowel Eater

Here's a quote from a very famous book with all the vowels and punctuation removed. Can you re-assemble it? ...
JMP's user avatar
  • 35.6k
15 votes
8 answers
7k views

Longest Word With *Only* Repeating Character Pairs [closed]

Inspired by and Opposite of: Longest Word without repeating character-pairs The challenge is to find an English word in which every character pair appears at least twice. ("Word" does not include ...
Engineer Toast's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
623 views

What is an Uptight™ Word?

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 an Uptight Word™. Composed ...
Jonathan Allan's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
798 views

Bridge words - word pairs linked by the front and back

Wanted to try out a new puzzle. Doesn't seem like an original idea, so the concept may already be out there. Please let me know if so and I'll put a link back to it. Also, not sure if it will be ...
Dr Xorile's user avatar
  • 23.7k
10 votes
3 answers
978 views

The Word Web - Clue Sixteen

<<---First clue <---Previous clue Inspiration from here. A lot of credit to @Scimonster here; we created this puzzle together. "Aha!" you exclaim, finally spotting the door - it'...
Mithical's user avatar
  • 8,874
9 votes
4 answers
2k views

A Quindectet of Letter Sequences!

I've been working hard on trying to solve the missing letters in this puzzle by qwertylpc, but I've discovered that in trying to figure out the lists his clues are coming from, I've come up with ...
VictorHenry's user avatar
  • 7,139
8 votes
8 answers
18k views

Words with most and fewest syllables for given length?

What is the greatest and least number of syllables that a word of a given length can have? More precisely, for each word length from 1 letter to 20 letters, find words of that length containing as ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
58k views

Logical English Riddles [duplicate]

Someone's mother has four sons. name of three sons are north,east,west, what is the name of the fourth son can anyone tell?
CodeLover1540's user avatar
-3 votes
2 answers
134 views

Place a single ring on the soil, Place a fir [closed]

Place a single piece of ring on the soil, Place a first stick vertically on above of a single piece of ring, Place a second stick vertically on below of a single piece of ring. What symbol did you get?...
Culoboyogendeng's user avatar
-7 votes
1 answer
7k views

What English word is always spelled incorrectly? [closed]

What word in the English language is always spelled incorrectly?
bgmCoder's user avatar
  • 1,460
65 votes
1 answer
6k views

How Many Policemen?

A friend of mine presented this nifty little puzzle, he said it's from Round Britain Quiz. It goes like this: An athletics competition, arranged periodically, rewards a medal to 79 winners, 47 ...
Bass's user avatar
  • 77.7k
54 votes
3 answers
4k views

The Case of the Miscalculating Calculator

At the Arithmetic Company, to try and cut down labor costs the administration commissioned a calculator to be made. The calculator was produced, and in the quality control division was tested with the ...
KSab's user avatar
  • 1,142
46 votes
14 answers
3k views

Almost a curse?

What am I? My last three letters serve to clarify.My first four letters are where famous people speak.Dropping all consonants, I am almost a curse. The solution is a single English word and, once ...
user avatar
46 votes
2 answers
11k views

And and... and. And.?

This is a cool riddle, which my Maths teacher taught our class, 25 years ago. I still remember it and find it very cool. Can you create a perfectly valid English sentence, which makes perfect sense, ...
Mike Gledhill's user avatar
41 votes
5 answers
7k views

Unusual letter combinations

This is an entry in the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #41: Short and Sweet. English spelling is very strange. Sometimes you encounter words with letter combinations that would seem entirely ...
GentlePurpleRain's user avatar
41 votes
16 answers
5k views

What is the smallest set of letters that can spell any integer? [closed]

Today my 9-year-old nephew told me that he can spell any integer in English using only 9 letters. This is how he's doing it: ...
GOTO 0's user avatar
  • 13.5k
40 votes
1 answer
3k views

Confessions of a Riddle Junkie

I'm $\bbox[#fff9c3]{\color{#fff9c3}{\textbf{NO PEEKING!}}}$ and I am alcoholic. I sometimes also take pot; it makes me kind of casual. And crack too, because it makes me highly skilled. As you can ...
Bass's user avatar
  • 77.7k
37 votes
17 answers
6k views

What is the name of this puzzle?

The English dictionary, as you may know, is a highly mutable entity. While removing words such as irregardless might be considered a good thing, others, such as ...
Chowzen's user avatar
  • 25.7k
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

Riddle - He who holds the answer may enter

Here's a riddle I used in a game some time ago. Not the best riddle ever, but we had fun solving it. It was written on a translucent door, on the frame of which was written "He who holds the answer ...
TacoV's user avatar
  • 515
21 votes
4 answers
2k views

Rarer for younger, yet also the opposite

I am a common word that refers to a person. I rarely refer to very young people – in fact, the older a person is, the more likely they are to be called me. However, if you pick two random ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 78k
21 votes
9 answers
2k views

Word Tank-chain-wheel Challenge [closed]

My niece gave me this word wheels challenges the other day and I comes up with an alternative. Here's how this challenge works: Find a word that can form another word by moving its first letter ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 8,566
20 votes
9 answers
6k views

Why will my friend have to grow his beard out?

Knowledge required for this riddle: English-language proverbs. My friend Leonard came to me with a problem the other day. He said, “Tanner, I want to have a clean-shaven face. But every time I use a ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
  • 2,309
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is an Efficient Phrase™?

If a phrase adheres to a certain rule, then I call it an Efficient Phrase™. Use the examples below to find the rule. If you liked this puzzle, try others like it:     What is a ...
JLee's user avatar
  • 19.4k
17 votes
5 answers
6k views

Find the link between these everyday words?

You have to simply step forward and find the common link between these words: age, date, drill, go, hole The correct link works in the exact same way for each of the words.
CodeNewbie's user avatar
  • 11.8k