On Friday I posted this puzzle…..

What do the following words have in common?


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

Each of the words has 3 consecutive letters from the alphabet! 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. @jasontimothyjones

      I doubt you got it totally wrong. More likely you got an answer that was creatively different yet equally valid and probably superior to the official answer.

      It is a tragedy off this blog that answers not approved by a small coterie of self appointed guardians will be mercilessly pilloried. Thus the likes of you and me are discouraged from posting and creating a more creative community.

      If this were a 19th century physics journal the regulars would want to ban Einstein for daring to differ from Newton.If it were a 21st century astronomy blog they would pillory those who present the insights of astrology.

      Yet please be of good cheer and do not loose heart. I take comfort from the words of Sherlock Homes who observed that if we accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative then what remains (however improbable) is the truth.

      Please post your answer in the faith that it contains a path to a higher truth. I know this is not easy to do. The last time I did I was called a spazzer.

      Yet those who call names can still be serenaded by the truth and some of them may listen. Let us let our truths fall where they may and the detractors will be won over.

    2. Welcome back Barry. It’s been a long weekend without you. Your mashup of Sherlock “Homes” and Bing Crosby is pure genius 🙂

    3. Nice to see you back from your break Barry. Relaxed, refreshed, and ready to educate the “community” I hope. 🙂

    4. These answers that were apparently not accepted by this small coterie of self appointed guardians, were they interesting, amusing, alternatives that were still technically correct such as sushey’s below, or were they, you know just wrong?

    5. ….or are you trying to be “creatively different” with your spelling?

    6. It’s a fair comment (well, the first paragraph is anyway) – it may be that jasontimothyjones got a valid answer that wasn’t the official one, and often such answers can be proposed.
      But in many, if not most, cases the official answer has an edge or an extra element of truth in it that makes most people say ‘of course’ even when they’ve got something different.
      I would however refer you to Paddington Bear’s answer when asked ‘If you cut an 8-foot plank in half, and those pieces in half, and those pieces in half, how long would each piece be?’

    7. Hey, Barry! So you’re comparing yourself to Einstein now? Your delusions are getting grander and grander*.

      * Douglas Adams, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

    8. Thank you everyone for the support and kind words.

      Having been called a spazzer and worse by @steve and @jonno for daring to think thoughts that go beyond their limited span I was wondering if making my contributions to this community was worth the emotional pain caused by their hurtful thoughtlessness.

      Yet I have reflected that for every one of the angry men who (if they could) would be writing angry letters to the editor in green ink to complain that their entitlements have been infringed (even though they haven’t). For every one of those there is a freethinking iconoclast who revels in creative imagineering.

      As an irrepressibly creative person myself (I am an aquarian by birth and temprament) I wish to align myself with the others here who are likewise.

      The rest are an irritation yet I can take that in my strides.

    9. More of Goddard’s lies. You keep accusing Steve and myself of having done all sort of things from raving about pedants, to performing convoluted calculations on a puzzle on which I didn’t even comment, to calling you all sorts of names.

      None of that has been true. Go back and read my posts for the past couple of months. I have never called you a spazzer or worse, as you claim. You’re wrong for the umpteenth time but I don’t expect your hubris to allow you to admit it.

      What I and many others have objected to is your arrogant insistence on spoiling the puzzle answers despite the comments being turned off to try and prevent you from doing just that. You really are quite unpleasant.

    10. @Gabby – that’s a fairly dismissive and puerile thing to say. Jonno has every right to defend himself when wrongly accused.

      You might be entertained by Barry’s nonsensical rhetoric but, frankly, I find that it has become a bore. There is no justification for him to be continually making stuff up about people. I wouldn’t tolerate that sort of behaviour in the real world and I don’t see why Jonno should here.

    11. @steve

      The exact epiphet was “Spazzy Fucktard” posted on 11th July in direct response to your post of a day before.

      You acted as an enabler for the name callers. I call on you now to join with me in asking them to desist from such “unpleasant behaviour” (to use your own turn of phrase).

      You post as if some sort of community leader so please bat up to the plate and be one.

      I have never been anything other than unflailing polite and kind and understanding. Yet the behaviour you have gatekeepered is tiresome to many.

      Please be big enough to not have to big it up no more/

    12. I’ve been thinking about who Barry Goddard really is.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that he doesn’t exist, and this is all a social experiment conducted by Richard to see how people respond to an unpleasant and insistent character on the internet.

      No-one real could be that obtuse and self important.

    13. @Self Appointed Guardian. I thought that at first (i.e. it’s Richard’s experiment) but I’m not convinced now. I’d stake my reputation on Barry being a social construct (see for a quick intro if you are interested) but as to who is behind the name, that’s impossible to know for sure. (Only the bloke who posts as Hugh Janus knows who I really am in my real life, for example, even if I’m only an anagram.) Barry is a fascinating character, deep into a fascinating game/experiment. He’s good material and I’m keeping notes, but I actually hope that whoever he is will write a journal paper before I get around to it. I think his version (and I do mean *his* version) will be much richer than mine at third hand.

    14. Countries flinging bombs at each other and killing innocent civilians
      Inequality of wealth distribution
      Millions of children going without a proper meal

      …. and here we are all getting SO worked up about …. what?

      Perspective, dear readers, perspective

    15. Barry, I don’t know whether you meant to reply to me or Jonno, since Steve isn’t in this thread, but your contention that someone is somehow responsible for all of the comments from people who later reply in the same comment thread is just bizarre. Applying your “logic”, you yourself are also to be held to be at fault for what people say when they respond to you.

      You’re not from this planet are you?

  1. It took me a little while. I looked at the first word (DEFT) and thought “The letters are in alphabetical order”, and the second word (FIRST) supported this guess. But then CALMNESS spoiled that and I thought “Consonants and vowels are each in alphabetical order” and again CANOPY supported that guess. LAUGHING is the first word to have a repeated letter, so I gave on on tweaking my letter-order solution and for some reason the solution just popped into my head on HIJACK.

    I don’t know if these “distractor solutions” are in by design or just coincidence but it it’s deliberate – you got me!

    1. I had the same thought process as you. I think he does choose puzzles with false solutions sometimes so take nothing for granted until you checked every permutation!

  2. DFC, Here is the answer to the puzzle. I got lucky cuz word based puzzles usually stump me. Have a nice day, YFN

    1. @Anonymous. You might refer to the Urban Dictionary or some such. Neil’s down with a fam mash blood innit. 🙂

    1. Nope, John, this has been the case for a few months now. Richard has had to do this in an attempt to stop Barry G spoiling everyone’s fun with his arrogance.

  3. I’d put all this infighting and soul-searching among the followers down to the fact that Richard has been posting to his blog a lot less recently and is becoming more distant as a guru. We need leadership, Richard, now!

  4. Got this right immediately, before I had finished reading the list of words. Not proud, it makes me think I am a sad little person who enjoys these pointless exercises.

    1. if that’s a reply to the Friday puzzle of 18th July, I think you’re out by a bit.
      I’ve a slightly different answer; I had seen the puzzle before so just had to remind myself of the calculation given the figures involved this time.
      I won’t post a spoiler – let’s see how long we can go without anyone else doing so…

    2. I’m surprised I had to do some math to get an answer. I usually don’t have to break out a calculator to do Richard’s puzzles. I thought about it and it was the only way I could come up with an answer. I await that elegant answer from Richard that seems to be eluding me.

    3. @John D. – I won’t spoil it but a calculator is not necessary to get an approximate answer.

      @Hugh Janus – funny!

  5. With today’s puzzle (the world’s longest rope), the answer can be approximated without any calculations as somewhere between X and Y. With a little mathematical knowledge, I was able to calculate a more accurate approximation of the answer.

  6. Easy – about one second worth of thought. I had to do a similar problem a couple of decades past and when the answer was counter intuitive – I did the math to prove it. It’s an easy proof and really shows the beauty of mathematics to prove the counter intuitive realities of the Cosmos.

  7. personally, i think for the 7/18 puzzle, richard should have said that the length of the rope was extended by 22/7 feet.

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