December 23, 2006

These troops, I tell ya

Boy, do I need to work harder on Will Shortz's Weekend Edition Sunday puzzles. I thought for sure that the answer to last week's puzzle was "troop~troops", given this post by Arnold Zwicky from earlier this month. But I was wrong, wrong, wrong: the answer Will had in mind, to be revealed on WESun tomorrow morning, was "these~theses".

I wrote to Will to ask him about the "troop~troops" possibility, and he wrote:

TROOP/TROOPS may work in a technical sense, but because the two words are basically the same, I don't think I'll accept this answer.

My apologies if I led any Language Log readers astray -- please write to me at Language Log Plaza for double your money back on your subscription.

Language Log reader George Pollard gets a free year-long subscription for pointing out how "Unix helps to solve linguistic puzzles":

$ grep "^t\w\w\w\ws$" /usr/share/dict/words
[...many words...]

...and I'm guessing these -> theses? :)

Personally, I like figuring the puzzles out on my own, but clearly that's not really working out for me ...

Posted by Eric Bakovic at December 23, 2006 04:47 PM