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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7
votes
1answer
335 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 ...
6
votes
7answers
4k views

Find the longest string of words such that the (4 letter) end of one word is the start of the next [closed]

Here is an open-ended challenge. Find the longest series of English words such that the final four letters of word $n$ are the same as the first four letters of word $n+1$. Example (3 words) ...
2
votes
2answers
465 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Pairs of anagrams where the two words sound and look very different

This is a question about pairs of anagrams capable of flavoring puzzles as memorable and surprising because the two words are so different. One of my favorite such pairs is chesty and scythe. These ...
16
votes
18answers
28k views

Find words with the highest proportion of a single letter [closed]

Thanks to JoeZ, pacoverflow, isaacg, Sp3000, Novarg, Ram, h34, and all those who contributed answers that have since been beaten. I've accepted JoeZ's answer since he has the most mentions on the list ...
8
votes
2answers
751 views

Improve my 3D puzzle

3D View of one solutions http://autode.sk/2Dg4FWx I designed a 4x4x4 soma cube in AutoCad and then built it with wood cubes. There are twelve pentacubes and one tetracube. Each piece is unique and if ...
77
votes
15answers
15k views

Making π from 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

There have been two other questions here and here that are similar to this one, but this changes the rules up a little. Your job is to approximate $\pi$ using the sequence of digits (in order): 1 2 3 ...
11
votes
10answers
856 views

Four fours to get $\pi$

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 ...
23
votes
7answers
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 ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Knight on the keyboard

You are given a QWERTY keyboard, and are allowed to choose where you wish to start. You are only able type in the same way a knight is able to move on a chessboard (but in this case, on the keyboard). ...
2
votes
3answers
177 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: ...
14
votes
3answers
769 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 ...
28
votes
7answers
14k views

The most words that can be made by successively adding one letter to the original word?

What is the largest number of words that can be made by just adding one letter to the original word, where each iteration is a meaningful word? E.g. ...
11
votes
11answers
5k views

Longest sentence with each letter repeated n times [closed]

Inspiration: This question was inspired by Word sets with no repeating letters Rules: Sentences can be of any length. Every letter used in this sentence, must be used n times. n can be any number. ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

From jafe to El-Guest

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 ...
61
votes
19answers
10k views

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

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 ...
11
votes
8answers
7k views

Longest sentence where all words are anagrams of each other [closed]

Won, now own. Rules: A “word” is an entry on dictionary.com. A “sentence” is any text that is grammatically correct, has a complete meaning in the English language, starts with a capital letter and ...
8
votes
10answers
6k views

There are polygons with only right angles which have an odd number of corners

One of the interesting myths about a certain building in our university is that it has 13 corners. One way to dismiss this claim is to point out that a polygon with right angles must have an even ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

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

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,...
1
vote
1answer
226 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 ...
20
votes
1answer
879 views

Peaceful Encampments

This math puzzle is due to Donald Knuth (as far as I know; maybe he got it from someone else) circa 2014. Consider a plain represented by the unit square. On this plain we want to “peacefully ...
-1
votes
1answer
132 views
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Pulling Apart a Jigsaw Puzzle

Assume you have a jigsaw puzzle that is also a tessellation. This means every piece has an identical shape and can be assembled into a 2D pattern that fills the plane with no gaps. Such a jigsaw ...
3
votes
2answers
934 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 ...
29
votes
9answers
5k views

How many consecutive positive integers can you make using exactly four instances of the digit '4'?

Starting at 1 (which is 4 - $\sqrt4$ - 4/4), how many consecutive integers can you make using exactly four instances of the digit '4'? Basic rules: Any operator symbol is "free". Any printed '4' ...
7
votes
5answers
814 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 ...
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...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

What is the longest rhymonym?

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 ...
-4
votes
3answers
2k views

I before E, except in the following sentences: [closed]

"I before E" is a common mnemonic that is taught for spelling certain English words, but this mnemonic is often wrong, as pointed out in this Language Log post. The aim of this question is ...
10
votes
2answers
325 views

Create a 1 meter measure

How many folding steps do you need to create a $1 \, \text{m}$ measure from an ideal DIN A0 sheet? This sounds easy, but consider that this paper has edge lengths of $\sqrt[4]{2} \, \text{m}$ and $\...
21
votes
9answers
4k views

Riddles/puzzles having answer hidden in the question? [closed]

Can you give any example of riddles or puzzles in which the answers are someway "cleverly hidden" inside the question? I think that such examples are more common in word-related riddles, but maybe ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
136 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Strategy to beat the casino over the long haul

$A$ and $B$ are attempting to beat the casino again, and the rules are the same: Each round, $A$, $B$, and the casino simultaneously decide to show a $0$ or a $1$. If all three numbers match, $A$ ...
1
vote
1answer
194 views

Wicked Winding Words!

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 ...
-5
votes
4answers
1k views

Longest Word made from Smaller Words [closed]

Objective: Find the longest word, which can be made from concatenation smaller words. Rules: * Words (and smaller words inside) must be findable at dictionary.com * Punctuation (for example ') does ...
3
votes
5answers
6k views

Longest Calculator Word? [closed]

Current Best; Babingtonites = 5371207621898; 13 letters We all know from fooling around with a calculator at some point in our lives, the when we turn a calculator upside down we can make words. For ...
21
votes
8answers
4k views

Craft the longest Scrabble sentence

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 ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

A Tic-Tac-Toe type game

I found this interesting game with no name: You have a 1x11 grid, like this. The way you play is similar to Tic-Tac-Toe (aka Noughts and Crosses). Players take turns to place Xs and Os on the grid, ...
10
votes
1answer
481 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
756 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
281 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
369 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 ...
-2
votes
4answers
430 views

What's my number? [duplicate]

I am thinking of an integer $1,2$ or $3$. You can ask me only a single question to which I can reply "Yes", "No" or "I don't know". I will be completely honest. What will you ask me to figure out what ...
-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
1answer
443 views

Picture a graph without words

You may have played/sung/heard a song without words in concert, in choir, and in a Sushi restaurant. Who hasn’t?! Well here is a picture without words, only axes: And here it is without JPG-...
6
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
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
884 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, ...