Friday Quiz #9

Here's a quiz derived from one that appears every Sunday in the New York Times Magazine:

quiz_9.png

The object is to find as many common English words of seven letters or more (not proper nouns) that can be formed using the center letter and the letters surrounding it, in any order. Letters can be used more than once. Score one point for each word you find, plus an additional two points for a word that uses all seven letters.

The objective is to do this from your head -- i.e. not by writing a program that scans an English word list. When you think you have enough words, post your score here. Please do not post the words you've found, so as to give everyone an equal chance.

-Phil

P.S. Once enough people have responded, I'll open it up to a programming "golf" contest and provide a word list to see who can come up with the shortest program that accomplishes the task.
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“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Comments

  • 27 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Can you repeat letters? And must the letters be next to each other? Or is the layout not significant?
  • I like this one. :)

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    Infernal Machine
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 21,017
    edited May 12 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Seairth wrote:
    Can you repeat letters? And must the letters be next to each other? Or is the layout not significant?
    ... that can be formed using the center letter and the letters surrounding it, in any order. Letters can be used more than once.

    The only significance to the layout is that each word must contain the center letter at least once. Otherwise, anything goes.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Seairth wrote:
    Can you repeat letters? And must the letters be next to each other? Or is the layout not significant?
    ... that can be formed using the center letter and the letters surrounding it, in any order. Letters can be used more than once.

    The only significance to the layout is that each word must contain the center letter at least once. Otherwise, anything goes.

    -Phil

    Dangit! Now I'm back down to four.... :(
  • In about 15 minutes while eating I got to 23, but totally blank the rest of lunch. 10 of them start with a P, the rest have it elsewhere. One word using all but the R. Longest is 9 letters.

    Will take another look later and see if I can drum up more, if not, I head to the scrabble solver to see what obvious words I missed....

    I am interested in other people's mental process in solving this. Here is what I was doing:
    Started with P and worked around each other letter as second to come up with words.
    Started with each other letter and worked around all letters as second
    Used some common letter combos to find words.
    Looked for double p, e, o, r and L words
    Repeated steps above a few times...
    Andrew Williams
    WBA Consulting
  • In about 15 minutes while eating I got to 23, but totally blank the rest of lunch. 10 of them start with a P, the rest have it elsewhere. One word using all but the R. Longest is 9 letters.

    Seven letter or more?

    I was able to find three defensible words and an additional four that are contrived.

    Re-inventing the wheel is not a waste of time if, when you are done, you understand why it is round.
    Cool, CA, USA 95614
  • Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi)Phil Pilgrim (PhiPi) Posts: 21,017
    edited May 12 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I was able to find three defensible words and an additional four that are contrived.
    Do the contrived ones end in "-er" or begin with "re-" by any chance -- or both? :)

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • I was able to find three defensible words and an additional four that are contrived.
    Do the contrived ones end in "-er" or begin with "re-" by any chance -- or both? :)

    -Phil

    Pretty much.

    Re-inventing the wheel is not a waste of time if, when you are done, you understand why it is round.
    Cool, CA, USA 95614
  • SeairthSeairth Posts: 2,169
    edited May 12 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm up to 9 10. None contrived. But 23? Wow! I need to read more books!
  • To give the first one away off the top of my head: (PROPELLER)
  • MikeDYur wrote:
    To give the first one away off the top of my head: (PROPELLER)
    There's a reason for my choice of letters!

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • MikeDYur wrote:
    To give the first one away off the top of my head: (PROPELLER)
    There's a reason for my choice of letters!

    -Phil

    Yeah, the style of the "P" was a bit of a gimme. :D
  • MikeDYur wrote:
    To give the first one away off the top of my head: (PROPELLER)
    There's a reason for my choice of letters!

    -Phil

    Pretty cool that the mother ship is really front and center.
  • MikeDYur wrote:
    Pretty cool that the mother ship is really front and center.
    Well it is Parallax's forum. Whenever possible, I try to keep things relevant and on-topic -- however tenuously.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • 9 words so far!
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,052
    Parallax and Propeller are both in the mix!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,052
    Loop before you Leap!
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • At this point, I would invite the entrants to display their word lists. 'Curious to see what you came up with!

    Here's a text file with 479K English words:

    https://github.com/dwyl/english-words/blob/master/words.txt

    If you use it with a program, it will produce 67 words, many contrived (re- and -er words), with one that uses all seven letters, also somewhat contrived.

    BTW, my Perl program that found the 67 words is five lines long, including a line with a single right brace. Viva la regexes! :)

    I wonder what the shortest Spin program reading the word list from an SD card would look like -- and how long it would take to execute ...

    -Phil

    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • poleaxe
    explore
    explorer
    repealer
    exraper
    reraper
    poleaxer
    

    Some are contrived.
    Re-inventing the wheel is not a waste of time if, when you are done, you understand why it is round.
    Cool, CA, USA 95614
  • Congrats: poleaxer is the only word in the word list that uses all seven of the letters. I would never have found it otherwise.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • ercoerco Posts: 18,052
    Congrats: poleaxer is the only word in the word list that uses all seven of the letters. I would never have found it otherwise.

    -Phil
    Mayhaps you forgot about loxpear, my favorite fish/fruit bagel topping. And oxpearl, the lesser-known cousin of rocky mountain oysters?

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • LOL! -P.
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Here's my post-it from the other day. After looking at a word solver I found several more obvious ones that I should have gotten. And, yes, I did start the second row bottom up.

    [img][/img]
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    Andrew Williams
    WBA Consulting
  • Andrew, the original rules state 7 letters or more...
    Here's a quiz derived from one that appears every Sunday in the New York Times Magazine:

    The object is to find as many common English words of seven letters or more (not proper nouns) that can be formed using the center letter and the letters surrounding it, in any order. Letters can be used more than once. Score one point for each word you find, plus an additional two points for a word that uses all seven letters.

  • Well, heck, that explains how I appeared to be smarter than others here, which we all know is far from the truth. I totally missed that piece of the rules.

    So, my 23 is now 2.
    Andrew Williams
    WBA Consulting
  • Here is the list of words my program found:
    alepole
    apoplex
    apparel
    appealer
    appearer
    appellee
    appellor
    appropre
    expellee
    expeller
    explore
    explorer
    lapeler
    palapala
    paleola
    pallall
    papelera
    paperer
    parallax
    parallel
    paralleler
    parella
    parelle
    parolee
    paroler
    parrall
    pearler
    pelopea
    peopler
    pepperer
    peroral
    perpera
    perplex
    perplexer
    poleaxe
    poleaxer
    pollera
    popeler
    poroporo
    preloral
    preloreal
    preoral
    prepare
    preparer
    prepeople
    prepollex
    proller
    propale
    propeller
    propellor
    properer
    proplex
    propper
    rapparee
    reapparel
    reappeal
    reappear
    reexpel
    reexplore
    relapper
    repaper
    reparel
    repealer
    repeller
    repeople
    reperplex
    reprepare
    

    Some are pretty questionable, IMO.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • MikeDYurMikeDYur Posts: 1,977
    edited May 18 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Phil, at first glance, some of words look foreign.

    EDIT: Could be Hawaiian and American Indian. Throw a little Mexican Spanish and French Canadian. The list goes on and on.. .
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