Nov 27, 2021
I can see by that puzzled look on your faces that you know what time it is. Time for the new puzzler!
I was reading the other day and I came across an interesting word. Now, this is no joke, I'm not being facetious. The word is "facetious".
So there is something interesting about that word. And I can't tell you what it is. But if you write it down, you will notice that there is something interesting about it.
To the best of my knowledge, there is only one other word in the English language that has the same properties.
So this is again, a two-part puzzler column. Part 1: What is it that's peculiar, unique, or interesting about the word facetious? And Part B: What other English word has the same peculiarity?
Alright, it's time for [Ed. note: Ray pauses for trumpet fanfare] the new puzzler!
Now last week, I asked you what was unique about the word "facetious" and the answer is this word has all of the vowels.
Or at least what we commonly call vowels, not counting Y.
So "facetious" has each one of the vowels once and once only, and they're in the order they appear in the alphabet, so alphabetical order.
Once you figured out that that was the unique property of the word facetious, can you figure out the other word? That was Part B of the question.
So the second word that I came up with was "abstemious"!
I mean, I have a feeling that there have to be many more words because there are so many that ended i-o-u-s.
So all you have to find is one with an "a" and an "e" in the right place. So the problem is having them only ever each letter each vowel only once. We'll see in the weeks to follow whether anyone comes up with a word beyond abstemious.
Even if your old car doesn't start, it can start conversations that will help all of us learn more about the world. Donate your old car to your favorite NPR station. Here's how.