It’s the Friday Puzzle!


How are all these letters related?



As ever, please do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took.  Solution on Monday.

I have produced an ebook containing 101 of the previous Friday Puzzles! It is called PUZZLED and is available for the Kindle (UK here and USA here) and on the iBookstore (UK here in the USA here). You can try 101 of the puzzles for free here.


42 comments on “It’s the Friday Puzzle!

  1. physicalist says:

    A: Their combination gives me a headache.

  2. AMWhy says:

    Got it. Took about two mins. Tried a few things, googled for something on the Internet (which didn’t help) then spotted the answer.

  3. ben says:

    Is it the relationship of the letter sequence in the alpabet? It’s not backwards I don’t think, or a hidden code or message somewhere else on the page :/

  4. Mikael says:

    Got it. More like 15 minutes of trying and ruling out “the usual suspects”

  5. Hugh Janus: says:

    Easy. You cannot spell flagpole with them

  6. Mick says:

    Yes! in 2 min.

  7. Ophelia Balls says:

    Too me 0.56555524862285254365214566366333556698 secondds. To solve it

  8. Not a native english speaker says:

    This week, no way to do it (for me)

  9. Richard Wilkins says:

    Got it! In just a minute or so which is a first for me 🙂

  10. The mind-numbingly obvious answer, although far too obvious to be the official answer, is perfectly valid as far as I can tell. (Hint: note absence of Σ and Ω among others.)

  11. Goliath says:

    They are in alphabetical order.

    • JohnPF says:

      Yes, and I challenge anyone to show how this is incorrect.
      Ah! Unless we’re playing “Guess what thing I’m thinking of, no not THAT equally correct thing, it has to be THIS thing in particular or else you’re a loser”. I’m not a big fan of that game (mainly because I don’t win very often, I must admit).

    • “They are in alphabetical order” is not a relation, but “they are all members of the alphabet” is.

      (Incidentally, I’ve got the real answer, too, such as it is.)

    • JohnPF says:

      Their relation to each other does not break alphabetical order. Okay, a “negative” relation, when put like that, but still a relation.

  12. Tom Pedersen says:

    5 minutes, gave up. After 30 minutes I looked at it again, and 5 more minutes gave me the answer. (No, “They are in alphabetical order is not my answer” 🙂 )

    Feeling pleased now.

  13. RobJ says:

    Wow. I’m amazed that i got it! Probably took about 10 minutes. I got two answers, but wasn’t at all happy with the first one. I’m 100% sure the second is right.

  14. G-Man says:

    Ooooh about a minute, I used my method of working out how magic tricks are done – which without giving anything away is basically “why did they do that way” and like with many magic tricks I was disappointed by the answer.

    • Nice one! Took me about 20 seconds doing something similar on an intuitive level, but I had to read your comment to understand where that idea had come from! This time, not being a native English speaker can help.

    • Now I think of it, I actually wrote something on how using such a method can help you “see” the tricks involved in magic routines. Which might also have helped.

  15. A few false starts (Chinese year, days of Xmas, etc) but then got it (first comments helps). Perhaps 5 mins. Like it.

  16. Carlz says:

    Under ten seconds, most of that validating.

    I think I’m getting too familiar with how Richard’s brain works.

  17. Ian R. says:

    Got it. 30 seconds spent on wrong answers, then 15 secs with a pen and paper to check I was on the right track. I like this one.

  18. elsiem says:

    Heh. About two minutes, after reading the comments.

  19. Roland says:

    Took half a day not thinking about it, then 2 minutes of proper thinking and observing and then I got it 🙂

    And it isn’t Two Heralds 😉

  20. Chris Lee says:

    Got it in about a minute

  21. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, I got it too! Took me about five minutes, but I saw the answer after quickly scrolling through the text.

  22. Duncan says:

    About 5 minutes, all wasted – then got it with one glance.

  23. Lazy T says:

    I was distracted by anagrams, at least one of which holds water, but I’ve now got a sensible answer.

  24. ben white says:

    I have solved it! Took about 1 min of looking and thinking

  25. Mr. D says:

    They are all capital letters!

    Seriously though, I have no clue.

  26. Richard Wilkins says:

    What part of ‘do not post the answer did you fail to understand?

  27. Mickey D says:

    Looked at it this morning and put it away and now I looked about a minute and found a solution.

  28. Eddie (@edzeteito) says:

    Thank god he did. It was certainly doing my head in.

  29. Looked at it for a couple minutes, had a hunch, then verified it in about 20 minutes.

  30. Roberval de Oliveira says:

    Não sei escrever nem ler inglês. Espero que encontre alguém para traduzir meu comentário. NO caso da criança Molly você não fez uma pesquisa sobre reencarnação, pois Molly não está dizendo que aconteceu com ela, mas inventando uma história e você a está conduzindo sobre alguns detalhes, ela não diz naturalmente como nos casos do menino que fala do vovô Augie; no caso de Dilushi que afirmam terem tido outra vida. No seu caso, da Molly, você deveria pesquisar os 17 casos que ela descreveu e ver os locais e datas, pois ela pode estar mais propensa à premonição. Espero que alguém traduza, assisti seu comentário numa reportagem sobre a reencarnação.

  31. Paul Baird says:

    I hate puzzles.

    My son was messing about with trying one. How to make a clockface using just three 9’s for each number and any appropriate mathematical symbols. He got stuck on 5 and 7. After some minutes I asked him if this was a homework assignment. He said it wasn’t so I gave him the best advice I could think of.

    “Don’t mention this to your Maths teacher or one day it could be.”

    He went away happy to play on his Xbox.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Wrote it out on a Post-it note at work yesterday morning and left it in front of my keyboard, glancing down for a minute or so every couple of hours. Gave up and went to office Christmas party. Got drunk. Rudely awoken by toddler this morning, who I’ve looked after all day while wife is out. Got him to sleep. Spent an hour and a half catching up on comedy on the BBC iPlayer. Looked at Facebook. Nothing going down. Scratched around for something to occupy my mind – Guardian, Chortle etc. Remembered my irritating failure to solve this puzzle. Came back to Richard’s site and got it in an instant. No idea whether I’m in a better a frame of mind or my subconscious worked on it or both.

  33. WML says:

    I’m often stumped by these puzzles, but this time I came up with a hunch in about 5-10 seconds and then it took a minute to confirm that my hunch was correct. I attribute my success this time to frustration after being stumped with similar letter lists in previous puzzles which led me to seek a simple, sneaky, yet easily detectable source of the list.

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