Peter Winkler discusses the bonus chapter, on the word game HIPE, in his book, Mathematical Mind Benders!


  1. konac0ffee said,

    October 14, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    For “tantan” try butantan, coinstantaneity, coinstantaneous, constantan, instantaneities,

    For “hmm” try ohmmeter, uhmmmm,

    Thanks for doing the podcasts.

  2. cthemann said,

    October 15, 2008 at 7:06 am

    I liked ‘ggp’:


    Since the show, I have found myself scanning words as I read them looking for unusual combinations; it is not as easy as one might think. The best I have is ‘sthm’.

    Anyone else try this?

  3. wobuzhudao said,

    October 16, 2008 at 9:36 pm

    A shorter one for tantan is … spoiler: instantaneous

    For sthm … spoiler: asthma

    For hipe … spoiler: archipelago

    Anyone want to try kbe?

  4. cthemann said,

    October 17, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    That was a better answer than I had for sthm…isthmus

    For kbe, I get blackberry

  5. strauss said,

    October 18, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    Eric Le Saux wrote to say he put together a Perl script to find unusual 3-letter strings in the official Scrabble wordlist, and gave some pretty neat ones: WKL, YXY, BZE and more.

    That was too good to resist, so I wrote a similar script; I stuck with a list of 20,000 common words (using only words with at least six letters). In those, there were nearly 900 3-letter strings that appeared in just one word. Some of these were kind of easy, or too obscure, but I did like:

    AKF, DHU, YSW, … well that’s all too easy to generate once you have the list, but fun anyway. I’ve put a file with all these three letter strings at http://mathfactor.uark.edu/downloads/threeLetter.txt and the strings + the words in which they appear at http://mathfactor.uark.edu/downloads/threeLetter2.txt

  6. CTMathTeacher said,

    October 20, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    This game is probably fun in other languages, too. The only other one I know well enough to play in is Russian.
    Not so difficult for Russian-speakers (but surprising to non-speakers): vstv
    Answer: chuvstvo (“feeling”)
    More difficult, even for native speakers: eee
    Answer: zmeeed (“snake-eater”) a three-syllable word!

  7. John Dalbec said,

    October 23, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Also for vstv: zdravstvyte

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