Questions tagged [open-ended]

OPEN-ENDED PUZZLES ARE NO LONGER IN SCOPE. Used when no answer can be guaranteed to be the last, best one. If a puzzle instead has a provably optimal solution, tag with [optimization].

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1
vote
2answers
485 views

Longest "Cycle" word chain [closed]

Linked to This word chain will come back to me. That puzzle got some very creative answers and comments. Although the puzzle itself took some work, I found it very interesting. So here is a more ...
11
votes
10answers
900 views

Four fours to get $\pi$ [closed]

Four fours is a famous puzzle (made trivial with logarithms). For this puzzle, we take inspiration from Glen O's challenge from a few years back. The rules here are slightly different, but the goal is ...
2
votes
3answers
189 views

Google Searches With no Results [closed]

What is the shortest string of letters that yields no results in a Google search? When answering, please use the NATO alphabet in order to prevent the string from becoming a search result. Scoring: ...
1
vote
1answer
227 views

A sentence with all numbers [closed]

Crazy thought. Can you make an (grammatically correct) english sentence using english words which are all numbers? Each word in that sentence must represent a number. I am expecting a minimum 6 ...
-1
votes
1answer
134 views

What is the Longest Meaningful Sentence U can make Using single letters only? [closed]

Some Examples: I C U. S I M A B.
3
votes
2answers
990 views

Dreadful Dastardly Diseases, or Always Atrocious Ailments [closed]

So the other day, I was in a pharmacy and I saw that they had a "cold 'n' cough" medicine. The alliteration caught my eye, and I wondered it would be possible to create alliterative names with other ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

From jafe to El-Guest [closed]

Largely inspired by From Puzzling to StackExchange by CodeNewbie From jafe to El-Guest jafe > cafe > cate > cete > cet > get > gest > egest > e gest > e guest > el guest Rules: In any move, you ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Second-rate spelling [closed]

Find the longest word which can be spelled with the second letters of a group words in alphabetical order. An example with incomprehensible (16 letters): a...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Three coins for the fair king [duplicate]

Based on the question Eight coins for the fair king: I saw a comment saying "There isn't a good solution known even with three coins in all cases". So the challenge here is to try to solve ...
2
votes
2answers
170 views

Heaven or Hell? [closed]

To decide whether you go to heaven or hell, your life is put on the balance. All depends on which way it tips. John dies and waits in line to have his life weighed. Eventually he reaches St Peter who ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

A construction toy for children [closed]

Alice has an idea for a construction toy made from plastic. Each building block is in the shape of an uppercase letter of the alphabet. No other characters are to be used. Children will ...
1
vote
1answer
211 views

Wicked Winding Words! [closed]

What is the highest number $n$ of $n$-letter words can you find that share this property? i.e. highest number $n$ that you can find (not found on any other sites). I will accept the answer with the ...
3
votes
3answers
778 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

Longest autological loop? [closed]

A word is said to be autological if it describes itself. This can be a property of both nouns and adjectives; for example, "noun" is a noun and "pentasyllabic" is pentasyllabic. We can also construct ...
3
votes
3answers
370 views

Make me a room-filling pattern! [closed]

So I need a new knitting pattern, but I figured this might be a nice puzzle. I'm looking for a pixelated 2D-shape that can be used in a room-filling pattern (rotation and flipping allowed). The ...
10
votes
1answer
495 views

Conway's Siege of Life

They are immortal and they are killing us. We may not be able to kill them, but we might be able to keep them occupied, distracted, for eternity. But we need to figure out how. Before there are no ...
26
votes
18answers
16k views

Don't settle for a billion [duplicate]

While Artur is willing to settle for a billion, I'd like a much bigger return on my two matchstick investment. Moving only two matchsticks, what is the largest number that can be created from the ...
5
votes
3answers
951 views

English word with most valid substrings [closed]

What English word has the most valid word substrings, no repeats? Examples (I may have missed some words): AIRSPACES: a, i, air, spa, space, spaces, pace, paces, ace, aces DEMONETIZED: demo, demon, ...
10
votes
11answers
12k views

Infinitely long loaf of Bread [closed]

You are visiting your old friend Mike at Infinitely's Baking Shop. Just as you arrived, he was taking out a fresh, infinitely long loaf of bread. Both of its ends extend infinitely long in a ...
6
votes
4answers
465 views

Constructing 0.35 Unit Length

The Problem The medieval equivalent of Bob the Builder has a new job offer: He is to build a box with the measures of $0.35$ units by $0.35$ units by $0.35$ units for a king. There is a little ...
5
votes
3answers
467 views

Find the most MissSpellable word, but in a good way? [closed]

Most MissSpellable Word - English? I'm not a native English speaker but I tend to keep an eye on my spelling and grammar. I recently misspelled "throw" as "throe", which, to my surprise, was a real ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How many consecutive integers can you make using only four digits? [closed]

In the spirit of the classic four fours, I wonder what's the optimal set of four numbers? Your goal is to make the most consecutive integers using four digits of your choice. Pick four: $0,1,2,3,...
5
votes
4answers
808 views

Challenge : Create a star shaped crosswords (Smaller numbers of distinct letters wins !) [closed]

Rules: Create a star-shaped crossword using 6 letters English words. Clues for the crossword is not needed. Use common English words. Direction for diagonals is TOP to DOWN. Direction for Horizontal ...
22
votes
13answers
7k views

Playing "Guess a Number" with myself

I want to play a game where one person thinks of a number and the other tries to guess it, but I want to play this game by myself. The puzzle is to come up with a way to play this game. Rules (have ...
14
votes
3answers
786 views

Forced selfmate in n-moves [closed]

I assume most people on PSE know a bit of chess With white to move, this is checkmate (1. Qb7#): That's boring. Let's try something more interesting. With black to move, black can FORCE white to ...
-6
votes
1answer
277 views

Any twelve year-old can answer this question [closed]

Come up with a question between five and ten words long with an answer that contains more than three times as many unique words as the question, does not contain any of the question words, and does ...
7
votes
1answer
350 views

She Lia Squared: Our daughter asked, “How many words can it make?”

Our daughter recently conned my wife and I into purchasing interlocking foam squares for her bedroom floor. On each square is a different letter of the alphabet. To cover her entire floor we had to ...
7
votes
1answer
441 views

Character Navigation

Consider the following grid of streets with roadblocks: If you are facing in the direction of the arrow and want to get to the dot, the highlighted path is the shortest: This traces out an L. Let'...
4
votes
1answer
253 views

The Autonumerigram Challenge [duplicate]

Some phrases both refer to a number, n, and are comprised of n alphabetic characters. I call any such phrase an autonumerigram. For example, four has 4 letters seven plus seven has 14 letters ...
8
votes
3answers
804 views

Building the ideal Scrabble dice set

This is a genuine question and I don't know the "correct" answer to this. I'm also of two minds if it is really on-topic on the site. Finding the answer is surely "a puzzle" (if ...
24
votes
9answers
3k views

Longest "De Bruijn phrase" in English [closed]

Let's call De Bruijn n-phrase a sequence $S$ of n words $W_1 W_2 W_3... W_n$ such that any "left-rotation" of its words constitutes a correct and meaningful phrase. The left-rotations of $S$ are: $...
8
votes
12answers
3k views

One syllable words with many vowel sounds [closed]

I'm not entirely sure how to word this, but what is the largest set of one syllable words you can find in which every phonetic sound is the same except the vowel? For example, 'arc', 'orc', and 'irk' ...
7
votes
3answers
761 views

What is the Sparsest Word? [closed]

Side note: If you know a better way to describe an anagram that doesn't use all the letters except for "words within the word" or some other lengthy phrase, please let me know. I considered asking ...
7
votes
2answers
580 views

MathJax: ones and zeros

Do or do not, there is no try.     — Yoda Here is another MathJax puzzle. The Starring MathJax puzzle involved handling numbers in MathJax, even though there are no count registers or ...
7
votes
3answers
861 views

Starring MathJax

Twinkle, Twinkle, little star... Having enjoyed @Humn's recent MathJax puzzles (MathJax exposed and MathJax re-flex), I decided to contribute some of my own. This one is a classic $\rm\TeX$ exercise,...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the longest rhymonym? [closed]

What is the longest pair of words you can find that rhyme and can also be synonyms / used to describe the same phenomenon? For instance, spot and ...
7
votes
5answers
830 views

Highest possible score my friend could earn in one Scrabble turn? [closed]

My friend has a great vocabulary but is also quote humble. Every time we play Scrabble he wins easily. He says he tries his best, with one exception: If the opportunity ever arose, he would never ...
-10
votes
6answers
1k views

Find English words with Sound of V or W? [closed]

Search and find some English words which when written starts with o and when speaking they pronounce with sound of v or w lets see who ll find maximum words?
6
votes
6answers
2k views

Challenge: Longest x-height word/sentence [closed]

A common puzzle is to see how to make sentences from the same letters, or the longest word in alphabetical order, etc. see here for a list. Now 'the x-height or corpus size refers to the distance ...
34
votes
21answers
12k views

3:3! It's a football score! [closed]

Given to me, by a friend: How would you make 20, using two threes? You may use any basic operation. And others, such as square roots (the symbol), factorials, etc. Any operation is allowed. Just ...
25
votes
13answers
4k views

A rhopalic sentence of at-least 5 words, beginning with as long word as possible [closed]

Rhopalic sentences are sentences which have words whose length is one more than the previous word. eg: I do not hunt birds. I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing ...
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

longest sentence using only one word and variants [closed]

This is an open ended puzzle of wordplay. Here's an example of acceptable words: reed, read, read, red, etc. They are linked by either different spellings of the same pronunciation (reed and read), ...
4
votes
1answer
283 views

Practical Strategy to beat the casino over the long haul [duplicate]

This is another iteration of beat the casino. That question did not require a practical, implementable strategy, whereas this one does. The rules are the same and I list them below. However, the OP ...
0
votes
2answers
251 views

What is the longest word that can be made using touching characters on a keyboard? [duplicate]

If the keys are touching, you can make them. For example, dew.
21
votes
9answers
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 ...
2
votes
7answers
3k views

Change a letter, add a letter [closed]

This is based on a word game that as far as I know was invented by my friend's Dad. The goal is to make as long a word as you can, starting from any three-letter word, using the following rule: You ...
-1
votes
2answers
361 views

Can a single sentence be made using words to, too, and two consecutively (one after the other) in the same sentence properly? [closed]

Without any restriction, can a single sentence be written or spoken using the words "to", "too", and "two" in the same sentence consecutively used (one after the other) and be proper? Please ...
7
votes
3answers
593 views

Magic-the-Gathering Challenge: Cheapest Legacy Turn 1 kill [closed]

Your Goal: Win the game turn 1 with you beginning the game (so not on the draw) using the cheapest price total of cards used. Rules: Use the "Price Trend" price from http://www.magiccardmarket.eu ...
-6
votes
1answer
287 views

The longest paragraph competition [closed]

You must write a paragraph using valid English words (either British or American, but not both in the same answer) and proper grammar. No proper nouns or colloquial/slang words allowed. Quotation ...
7
votes
5answers
697 views

Transatlantic road paint [closed]

In the US, text painted on roads reads bottom to top: AHEAD STOP In the UK, it reads like normal text: NO ENTRY ...