On Friday I posted this puzzle…

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


If you have not tried to solve it, have a go now.  For everyone else, the answer is after the break.

It’s easy, just cross out the letters spelling the words FIVE LETTERS, and you are left with…


Did you solve it?

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. I think if one of the words hadn’t been PUZZLE it might have been a little trickier,as that stood out. (Actually one of the words wasn’t PUZZLE – think about it)

  2. Once I saw “P T U Z E Z” I had a clue. Made me think of PUZZLE, then FRIDAY PUZZLE. At that point I didn’t care how many letters I needed to cross out. I knew it must be the answer.

  3. I saw PUZZLE but couldn’t work out the first word or the trick – it was obvious that you needed to cross out more than 5 letters, so I thought maybe you had to cross out all the Fs, all the Es, etc, but that didn’t work either. So I gave up. 🙂

  4. Didn’t solve it. The FRIDAY PUZZLE letters were easy to spot, but I thought it was a red herring (since removing 5 letters wasn’t enough), so I ignored it. Couldn’t find other candidates.

  5. I saw the word PUZZLE immediately, then saw FRIDAY before it. I knew that was highly relevant, and my eye was drawn to the letter V, at which point I realised what the question was actually asking.

  6. Like many people, I solved it “backwards” by easily spotting PUZZLE first. After that 5 seconds of effort, I went on to other solutions . . .

    The puzzle itself can be taken to mean many things. The given one is to remove F-I-V-E-L-E-T-T-E-R-S and create two words. The “trick” one is supposed to be our expectation of removing 5 letters. Another possibility might be to remove F-I-V-E letters.

    Going with the naive approach to remove 5 letters and form words, we welcome our friend the anagram! 🙂 I went to, which has an anagram generator. The easiest thing for me to do was restate the puzzle as: generate an anagram from these letters such that there are three words and one is five letters long. So I plugged the 3 word limit into their advanced option and got 147 results, which reduced to these 26 answers that contain 5 letter words:

    Averted Spitefuller Fizzy
    Dazzle Repetitively Ruffs
    Epaulettes Fervidly Frizz
    Fetal Purveyed Frizzliest
    Flattered Pulverise Fizzy
    Flattered Repulsive Fizzy
    Levitated Pilferers Fuzzy
    Platefuls Retrieved Fizzy
    Privateers Filleted Fuzzy
    Privatest Refuelled Fizzy
    Privatize Defer Zestfully
    Privatize Freed Zestfully
    Ravelled Prettifies Fuzzy
    Razzed Repetitively Luffs
    Revitalized Seltzer Puffy
    Splayfeet Duvet Frizzlier
    Superlative Feted Frizzly
    Superlative Frizzed Lefty
    Superlatively Feted Frizz
    Travelled Petrifies Fuzzy
    Travelled Putrefies Fizzy
    Traveller Stupefied Fizzy
    Vituperated Feels Frizzly
    Vituperated Fizzles Flyer
    Vituperated Flees Frizzly
    Vituperates Fizzled Flyer

    Naturally, even more answers could be generated if the 5 letters being eliminated didn’t have to make a word. For example, removing F-F-V-Z-Z gives us:

    Realities Reputedly
    Pearliest Eruditely
    Prelatise Eruditely
    Literature Speedily

    I leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out the anagram solutions to the F-I-V-E removal, or see what anagrams FRIDAY PUZZLE itself might generate . . .

    1. It might be the sign of someone with nothing better to do, but I’m well impressed with this extension.
      OK, it’s not up at the level of the first person who thought “I wonder what will happen if I separate the clear bit from the yellow bit of an egg and then beat it up – oh, look it’s turned out all fluffy and white” but it’s good nevertheless!

      However I’m not (at the moment) taking up the challenge(s) left…

  7. Sad? Nothing better to do? I admit to being Impossibly Stupid. What your excuse?

    In truth, it was maybe 15 minutes of extra effort. Some people spend more than that on a difficult Friday Puzzle. If you don’t enjoy this sort of thing, you shouldn’t be here in the first place.

  8. Hi Impossibly Stupid

    I was the author of the ‘sad’ posting on December 17, 2013 at 12:03 am.

    My apologies if my comments gave offence. It was not my intention, I was trying to be humourous and maybe a little ironic. I am Swedish, so maybe in future I should leave this this type of humour to you English!

    1. No serious offense taken, but I do usually laugh *at* negative/ironic attitudes rather than *with* them. Comedically, it’s generally better to show an understanding of the work you’re commenting on rather than just heckling with a generic insult. I’d have gone for something deadpan like:

      I’m voting for “Dazzle Repetitively” . . .

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