Questions tagged [language]

A puzzle that heavily depends on linguistic features; for instance it may concern foreign languages, or only work in some particular language, or be built around a peculiarity of the English language.

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142 votes
2 answers
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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
87 votes
2 answers
6k views

When I grow up, I want to be

As our story begins, six children meet on a hot summer day. They are enjoying the end of their summer holidays before they must return to school. However, they have now reached the age where they must ...
Dmihawk's user avatar
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80 votes
4 answers
7k views

The mother of all age-of-the-captain riddles

A few days ago, as I was delving into the mess in my grand parents' attic, I found an impressive ancient book that was written in a language that I had never seen before. "This book is a collection ...
Arnaud Mortier's user avatar
77 votes
3 answers
17k views

90% of people will fail this puzzle!

Those of us who have a Facebook account probably have lots of connections in it. Some are actually real, but then there are the rest of them -- the ones that use Wiktionary instead of real ...
ffao's user avatar
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75 votes
1 answer
11k views

Caught splinging at work

Én, to, tre, shabam, go ahead an sprim that man! Kvin, ses, sep, setresk, saw him spling off on his desk! Nove, dez, onze, spling, not setresk is such a thing! Treize, quatorze, ...
Jafe's user avatar
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69 votes
4 answers
61k views

A seven letter word - the meaning doesn't change if you remove letters

I am a seven letter word. If you remove one letter from me my meaning does not change. If you remove two letters from me my meaning still does not change, and if you remove three letters from me, my ...
skv's user avatar
  • 5,002
62 votes
19 answers
10k views

Growing anagrams - What is the longest possible list forming a sentence? [closed]

This is a challenge for word-puzzle lovers. It might be a bit more of a game than a puzzle, but I think it is not limitless in it's answers, so a final answer could be found (eventually). What is the ...
BmyGuest's user avatar
  • 18.1k
49 votes
9 answers
8k views

An untouchable time traveller

I'm needed by a doctor to travel through time, Or a player looking for their keys. When on the plane where the great answer resides, I'm part of the whole Strategy. I can be found in a ...
hexomino's user avatar
  • 136k
47 votes
11 answers
6k views

Geography at the pixel level

(enlarged version) The answer is a group of islands.
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
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
4 answers
3k views

International Hunger Crisis

Study the Inkblot Test. Read the anecdote. Determine the name of the establishment. Blots are not necessarily scaled relative to each other. So I was really {3} one day, so {3} off to get me a {5}...
Chowzen's user avatar
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40 votes
2 answers
7k views

What crime have we committed?

We start in a city that rhymes with angina, the masculine form, add in what's drunk in China, then take phylum's first six, of the minor kind, components will make what in our hand we find. ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
40 votes
1 answer
3k views

The Late Queen Gives in to Remorse - Reverse Hangman

Add a "C", I am what has been, Add a "G", I might be a queen, Add a "P", I'll turn away from sin Add an "L" and I may just give in. This is a Reverse Hangman puzzle, see here for an example. ...
hexomino's user avatar
  • 136k
38 votes
1 answer
2k views

The Language Genie

My friend Arie has a toy called a "Language Genie". If you give it a word in English, it will pick four different languages and find the translation of the English word in each language. Then it makes ...
hexomino's user avatar
  • 136k
36 votes
1 answer
1k views

✯ Familiar Faces ✯ \(^ヮ^)/

I invited a bunch of people to a small party: A. ㇏(う_う)ノ B. (°ヘ°) C. (イ◠‿◠) D. ¯\_(シ)_/¯ E. (メ°皿°)ノ Everyone made it and we all had a great time. I was ...
Ambo100's user avatar
  • 1,221
33 votes
3 answers
3k views

Difficult in the language of banana

I'm looking for a name. Totally uncommon, yet strangely familiar. Starts with ein affirmation, ends with a metal. Middle is a vulgar intensifier. Extremely difficult in the language of banana. ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
32 votes
10 answers
9k views

Prove that 11111=0

Background: I am a French educated person. My old math teacher keeps posting some small and funny riddles, here's one of his: The next equation is correct: 11111=0 Can you prove it? Note: Hopefully, ...
Paul Karam's user avatar
  • 2,221
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
29 votes
4 answers
6k views

What is my clock telling me to do?

My two year old played with my calendar clock, and while it still shows the correct time, now it tells me my name, where I work, and also something I should do, which I'd rather not. What is it? ...
knabar's user avatar
  • 393
29 votes
6 answers
3k views

Use us, fop. All kin ill

Behold a set of ten anahomophonagrams: expressions taken from well-known idioms, song lyrics, and pop culture, converted to like-sounding words and then reordered into new expressions. For example, <...
COTO's user avatar
  • 10.1k
29 votes
3 answers
2k views

Equine musicians?

What is interesting about the following sentence? "Furiously, in back of shut portals, one in four silvery equids is only hiding many extra tidings of meadows, somewhat more craftily than normal," ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
2k views

A-maze-ing Wordsearch

This is an entry to the 12th fortnightly challenge You and your party realize that you possibly shouldn't have crossed the mad wizard at the black tower when all your vision goes pink and pale. When ...
BmyGuest's user avatar
  • 18.1k
29 votes
1 answer
995 views

The lamest rhyme I ever wrote

The lamest rhyme I ever wrote Was one involving Don Quixote. No, wait, a lamer one than that, The famous movie Chocolat. But maybe even lamer still, The butchering of "centre-ville". And ...
user avatar
29 votes
1 answer
1k views

You go wherever you go today

A conclusion to my entries in the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #32: Grid Deduction Hybrids. This metapuzzle incorporates the three previous puzzles in this series: Desert Irrigation Project I am an ...
paramesis's user avatar
  • 4,619
28 votes
1 answer
1k views

PSE Advent Calendar 2021 (Day 11): What Child – Er, Game Is This?

This puzzle is part of the Puzzling StackExchange Advent Calendar 2021. The accepted answer to this question will be awarded a bounty worth 50 reputation.< Previous Door Next Door > I. The story ...
Sciborg's user avatar
  • 3,379
26 votes
8 answers
4k views

Headless horseman claims new head

Solve the clues and fit the answers into the grid so that each of the coloured squares contains exactly four different letters. Sahara desert capitals of historically African region in ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
26 votes
3 answers
3k views

Spilled coffee on my puzzle

Some time ago I created a nice simple puzzle. It's a horizontal word grid with 22 letters and nine clues. However, I spilled some coffee on my notes and can no longer remember what numbers I wanted to ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
26 votes
1 answer
2k views

Real life puzzle: Unknown alphabet or shorthand

User JellicleCat posted this on linguistics stackexhange a few years ago. None of us were able to come up with a satisfying answer but most seemed to agree that it was an idiosyncratic cipher or ...
cyco130's user avatar
  • 361
26 votes
1 answer
943 views

A Cryptic Crossword in Indonesian Language (TTS Kriptik Bahasa Indonesia)

The cryptic crosswords are actually new for me and I even struggled to solve one as English is not my first language. So I decided to look for a cryptic crossword in my language, Indonesian... And I ...
athin's user avatar
  • 34.2k
25 votes
5 answers
4k views

Well-known American figure with Roman numerals

Which well-known American figure has an 8-letter name, with 6 consonants and all of them are Roman numerals?
anonymousdude123's user avatar
25 votes
1 answer
1k views

Insecurity to the Party

Lord Gray has invited you to the annual ball at his mansion. But being a socially awkward person, there's nothing you could dread more than being called upon to dance in a huge bright hall filled with ...
KeyboardWielder's user avatar
25 votes
1 answer
353 views

A globetrotting riddle, with a twist

This is an entry into Fortnightly Topic Challenge #36: Twisted Classics 1. First time doing an FTC, so let me know what you think. Let's take a little trip around the world, shall we? Make sure to ...
SKOG's user avatar
  • 1,440
25 votes
1 answer
3k views

Breaking up is fun to do

A quick one for language fortnight. A few days ago, my girlfriend broke up with me. We were never really right for one another, and I knew it was coming, but of course it still stung a bit. And ...
Dan Russell's user avatar
25 votes
2 answers
2k views

Strange Glyphs From Another Time

The following glyphs were recently uncovered at a dig site, which have stumped cryptographers and linguists alike. These symbols are guessed to be some sort of ancient language, but nothing is yet ...
ExecutionByFork's user avatar
25 votes
6 answers
1k views

Some numbers are more equivalent than others

[Second part and bounty challenge appended in May 2020]           ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL    BUT ...
humn's user avatar
  • 21.9k
24 votes
7 answers
4k views

Spelling Bee Bee Bee

I once attended an English-language spelling bee where a speller, during her turn, repeated the same letter three times in a row, and she was judged to be correct. She spelled the word perfectly, ...
FlanMan's user avatar
  • 5,722
24 votes
1 answer
1k views

Formal Languages

This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #1: Restricted Title: xkcd 1xxx Emmy prefers when you are formal. Tua’s fathseir ▢▢▢◯▢ ◯▢◯▢▢ They jotú in cheress ▢▢◯▢▢▢◯ Duge where some were ...
caPNCApn's user avatar
  • 19.2k
24 votes
1 answer
842 views

A connecting wall for series 1?

This puzzle is part of the Monthly Topic Challenge #12: mobile-friendly puzzles. Resolve the novel connecting wall below into six groups of four connected words and discover the puzzle's hidden theme....
Stiv's user avatar
  • 142k
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is a Samsaran Word™?

In the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee, a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles. If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Samsaran Word™. Use the examples ...
Conor O'Brien's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
2k views

Emojional cryptic crossword

ACROSS 3. 🌟½☥🐪🚫👣 (9) 7. 🏆❌🖽⚔️ (3) 8. ½🍔🇫🇷🌊🏢 (6) 11. ♉½🇬🇷✉️ (3) 12. 🔫⭐⏺️♥️🗽🎭 (5) 13. 🍈♥️🇨🇴🏙️⏮️🍟🔚💐 (6) 14. 👂♀️🦌💰 (5) 16. 🎩👦♻️🐴🦄☝️🗾🏝️ (6) 19. 🐏💪🔀 (3) ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
23 votes
1 answer
1k views

A Strange Correspondence

I voted to delete some questions on another SE site from two users due to them being garbled nonsense.* However when I got to the sixth I thought something looked suspicious, it looked to me like an ...
Jonathan Allan's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
3k views

My Friend James

I have a friend named James*. James is the victim of an unfortunate circumstance which prevents him from doing something that most of you can do. Which unfortunate lack of ability would explain the ...
Brandon_J's user avatar
  • 9,317
22 votes
1 answer
965 views

A tour of alternative spellings

English spelling is notoriously difficult and inconsistent. Let's try some alternatives for a size, shall we? Ö spelling das not häv tu bi båring. Vi kän ålvejs improv it baj ädding sam nu ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
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
22 votes
2 answers
326 views

This one is about YOU! (and other things)

This first one is just you plus... ...dwarfs in Snow White, ...bits in a byte, ...tripod's upright, ...and a number that is quite lucky at least in my opinion. Then there's you plus... ...
Jafe's user avatar
  • 77.8k
22 votes
2 answers
996 views

Letter to the Editor

These are clues to two-word phrases that all have something in common: Sustainable power Fair-haired countess Nice bull’s-eye Furious swashbuckler Quiet spoon Peculiar heirloom Understated whiskers ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 1,728
22 votes
3 answers
1k views

To have and to hold

I found this odd list in an abandoned shack, tucked into the first few pages of the Divine Comedy. Can you help me figure out what exactly this person was collecting? The compendium of organs and ...
Luke's user avatar
  • 1,728
21 votes
11 answers
4k views

What's wrong with this line in a baking recipe book?

A cookie-baking recipe book (this one, specifically) has the following instruction in it, which is incorrect in a single spot: If you have a fan-assisted oven, you will need to reduce the recipe ...
user avatar
21 votes
8 answers
5k views

Craft the longest Scrabble sentence [closed]

This is another challenge along the same vein as similar challenges that have shown up on this site, requiring the puzzle to craft the longest possible sentence given a specific requirement. What is ...
Bailey M's user avatar
  • 17k
21 votes
2 answers
2k views

The hangman game backward #3

Hangman game backward version 3 - guess what was the question: fill in "d" - Your white shirt soaked with my blood but you wouldn't care. fill in "n" - It will be nice to have it on table or bedside. ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 8,566

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