Please do NOT post your answer, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

A linguistic one this week. Β Can you cross out five letters in the sequence below and still be left with two English words?


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.


  1. Oh – Eh?? The 2 English words leapt out at me. Yes. But surely there are more than 5 letters that have to be left out of the line to get that result ???

  2. There are 23 letters in that line and if I’m correct the 2 English words to be left contain 12 letters??? So that’s more than 5 that have to be crossed out of the line – it’s 11??? Or am I missing something??? (like possibly a few brain connections??) πŸ™‚

  3. Oh. I WAS missing something (both in the puzzle and in the brain cells department, obviously.) πŸ™‚ Got it. πŸ™‚ I was looking at it too much as just the numbers and not the other thing. And not actually writing down the letters that need to be taken out. Good one then. πŸ™‚

  4. About 30 seconds. Very good.

    Pity about people posting the answer: either they like spoiling things or they can’t understand the instructions.

  5. Why post a linguistic puzzle when some of your audience can’t even read the bit about not posting up the answer.

    Oh, and it took me about 5 seconds.

  6. Richard, from now on can you disable comments on your Friday puzzles please? It’s interesting to read different approaches but invariably someone spoils the puzzle by going too far or just posting the answer as in “Barry Goddard” above. It would better to read the approaches once the answer has been given to avoid unwittingly reading a spoiler.

    1. Yes Richard
      If you disabled comments we would not be subject to whingeing such as the above from Zippy week in week out

    2. Also the irony of people moaning about others spoiling the answer when they’ve done so themselves – and by doing so as a response, ensuring it’s seen further up the thread than the spoiler they’re complaining about…

    3. Richard, further to my post at 10:50 can you please also enable comments from authenticated accounts only, ie require sign up to post a comment. That will stop children like mittfh from pretending to be other people and generally trying to stamp their little egos in these comments.

  7. I’m in favour of disabling comments too. It’ll stop us having to put up with all those smug “solved it it 0.2536373 nano-seconds” comments. A complete waste of digital space.

  8. About 3 mins. The two words stood out – 20 secs. The rest of the time spent resolving apparent mismatch of No. of letters crossed out versus the limit of five. Then the penny dropped.

    Only then did I look at the comments and, as per usual, here are the trolls, hell bent on spoiling it for everyone else.

  9. Richard-Once you have finished doing what Zippy has asked please would you cancel my milk from the 22nd for 4 days -clearly you have nothing else to do with your time πŸ˜‰

  10. It only took me a few seconds to notice the intended pair of words hiding in the puzzle, then a few more to (a) realise the significance of the removed letters, (b) remember we’ve had similar puzzles before.

  11. Perhaps Richard needs to say “Please don’t post the answers or obvious clues to the answers and spoil it for everyone. Or else the Heavy Mob will come to your house and murder you in your bed so you can never do it again.”

  12. I have 28 solutions, 27 of which I will post on Monday, since the intended solution was already revealed by people dumber than me.

  13. Yet again the moaning hysterics are whingeing frenziedly about the nincompoopismatic people who bombastically write spoilers because they are too dim to understand the concept of trying the puzzle first before reading through the list of comments.

    1. For me it’s a case of play around with the puzzle, settle on an answer, note what track my mind went down to get to it (was it visual, equations, common sense, an a-ha realisation, etc), read comments to see what approaches others have used to see if they concur or reveal a simpler, cleverer or uniquely different approach… then before getting a chance to review or reconsider the approach used and the answer obtained, have it all suddenly short-circuited by some fool posting an answer “for the lulz”.

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