Annotated Solution to the Jotto Puzzle of the Day

May 8, 2003

curbs - 1
swang - 1
cowps - 2
skimp - 1
ottos - 1
heles - 1
roped - 0
Yay, a zero. And with common letters, too. This promises to be quick. Let's start by reducing from the zero:

cubs - 1
swang - 1
cws - 2
skim - 1
hls - 1
Since (ts=1), that's only two options, so let's start by assuming the s. Reducing with that gives us:


We know it must be either the c or the w (cw=1). However, the c is out (cub=0), and so is the w (wang=0). We have a contradiction, so the s is out.

That means there is a t (ts=1). With the s out, we also know cw (cws=2). Reducing gives us:


Since there's probably a vowel, let's go with the i. That gives us 2 combinations, tcwih and tcwil. Anagramming turns up the solution: witch.

Jotto Puzzle of the Day
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Last modified: 08 May 2003