He’d said “drop a letter and anagram,” and FLING doesn’t seem to lend itself to that.

Anyway, here’s another hint. I’ll spoiler it in case I’m making this too easy for you:

I didn’t use FETED, because it could come at two different places on the list: after FACE or after FORTY.

Ah, I just came up with another three-letter word that can be added to the list: FAT comes after FORTY. (Which, alas, seems to be the case IRL as well. :wink: )

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

has spent the last few minutes doodling frantically on a notepad Yeah, I’m stumped.

So is it a coincidence that you can insert the letters LO in both FRET and FUR to make another word?

This is what I’ve been looking at. With the given words, you can insert other short words to make a new word. But I wasn’t very satisfied with URN or AD for FACE, or the aforementioned LO until you mentioned FRET<>FUR.

“Coincidence? I think not!”

My brain hurts.

Either I’m dumber than I thought, or…

Yeah, that’s it.

C’mon people – we’ve got a clear direction here. More specifically, what’s going on, and what is the significance of the order of the list?

I’m flummoxed…

I’m thinking it has something to do with the 1st vowel in each word, bit I’m not sure what.


Well, if I read the list backwards, I get Santaic propaganda.

Messages from Santa? What’s the ol’ hounddog up to this time of year?

Can I add a couple words to the list? I’d like to add “fro”.

Spoiler your reasoning – I’m not seeing it. Unless you’re thinking of a proper noun? I generally leave them out.

Well, my reasoning doesn’t need to be spoilered really…
I just wanna add a word to the list.

If you can’t explain why the word belongs on the list, you may not add it.

Got it, I think…

[spoiler]Every word on the list can have a short word interpolated into it to make a new word. The words are ordered alphabetically, in the order of the words to be inserted:


Regarding twickster’s subsequent hints:

She says “fat” could come after “forty.” I assume this is by making “fLOat,” which would come between “fortIFy” and “fLOret.” Personally, going by standard crossword rules, I would disqualify “fLOat” because “LO” has already been used in “fLOret.” You could also insert an “I” by making “fIat,” but then “fat” would come before “forty,” not after.

And she says that “fling” could go after “feign”: “Fling” can become “fRAMing” by inserting “RAM.” This would put it last on this list, after “feign.”[/spoiler]

So, am I right?

Looks like you are. Well done.

FAT -> faINt
FLING -> flOUTing. Or flOWing? flUTTERing?

Bravo, Jackelope! This was a hard one!

Commentary on your questions (and Usram’s – who also deserves serious props for figuring out which path to go down – and for that matter, for answering a couple of your questions already. :smiley:

[spoiler]faINt is in fact what I had in mind for FAT. FETED, as already mentioned in one of my hints, would work for “IN.”

“OW” is what I had in mind for the other FLING – it could actually be FOWLING or FLOWING. Note that your suggestion of inserting RAM doesn’t actually work; for it to be AM it would have to be elsewhere. (Actually, I had EX in mind for it for the original placement, but AY works just as well.)

BTW, Usram – what I had in mind was that all the inserts were two-letter words – so your FURNACE and FLUTTERING are impressive embellishments on what I was doing.

RE: LOUNE’s FRO suggestion – I was wondering if he was thinking of friTO, or if he didn’t realize it should be an insertion and was going for froDO.


And for those who haven’t peeked and are still playing along – here’s a word that could go in last place:


Now, Jackelope – enough frivolity! You have a bar exam to study for! Get back to work!

Two-letter words, of course. I overlooked flAYing (and for that matter flAMing) and thought instead that it was fIling or flAILing, which throws the order off. I had the other two-letter words, but also what I thought were the possibilities flaTIROn, fRont, foUnt, and forAge, as well as fURNace. Thanks to the word puzzle fan’s best friend www.onelook.com for those, btw :).

Anyway, thanks for the puzzle twickster!

Yeah, onelook is one of the first bookmarks I make when I’m personalizing a new machine.

What I was actually using for this was my favorite completer in book form, known in the biz as “Stan and Dan” – link. I went through the seven-letter words for this – was planning to do the sixes, but decided my list was long enough.

Glad you enjoyed it, Usram!

(And totally thrilled that I managed to stump y’all for as long as I did – usually I come up with these elegant little snippets and have someone guess it immediately.)

Great puzzle, twickster; thanks!