Alphabet Puzzle
[ Issue 36 ]

Alphabet Puzzle is a particular interest of Emily Bronto

Allow Bikwil to bring to light the enjoyment to be had from Alphabet Puzzle

Alphabet Puzzle

Harlish Goop provides the solution to a word puzzle he introduced in an earlier issue.

 

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A Word in Your Pink Shell-like — Harlish Goop

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Here’s the solution to the brain-teaser I set in Issue 33 (September 2002).

As you’ll recall, the 26 letters of the English alphabet were divided into four groups, as shown below, and the question was: “What is the principle on which the grouping has been made?”
Before letting you into the secret, I want to describe the situation in which I first heard of this puzzle, a lecture series called The Language of Communication. When the lecturer presented it, ten minutes elapsed before a hand was raised.

It was a lady of Chinese background who eventually solved it, and before you look at the solution, think about that fact. It holds an important clue.

Back in a sec.

Group 1:
F G J K L N P Q R S Z

Group 2:
B C D E

Group 3:
A M T U V W Y

Group 4:
H I O X

No luck?

Well, the Chinese clue points to the fact that the shape of the letters has determined the grouping, rather than their usage in English or their pronunciation.

Here’s the solution:

Group 2 has a horizontal axis of symmetry, Group 3 a vertical one, Group 4 has both, while Group 1 has none.

(Of course, you need to use an appropriate typeface, or the whole thing mightn’t work.)

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