Quiz Question

Number 174 of a series

This is from the Mensa quiz that appeared in the September issue of American Way magazine.

First unscramble the following to obtain the five disguised words.

Then tell which of the five is least like the others. It’s semantics only, not form.


Submit your answer in the comments section below

Update and answer

Obviously the five words are

  • pigment
  • caper
  • house
  • dogma
  • scatter

Nicko comments (see below) that the odd word out is “house,” because all the others contain letters spelling an animal:

  • pig
  • ape
  • dog
  • cat

My answer is the odd word is “scatter,” because it’s a verb and all the others are nouns.

Quiz Question

Number 145 of a continuing series

I may never run out of these, and I’m piling airline miles in the process. Here is another Mensa puzzle from American Way magazine. The word for today is NEOTROPICAL.

Rearrange the letters in NEOTROPICAL to form another English word. Mensa believes there is only one such word. It took me less than two minutes to find the word, using the method I described in a previous Quiz Question post. Don’t use an anagram finder to solve this one. Submit your answer as a comment below.

Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

If you have ridden on an airplane recently, then you possibly already know this one. It’s from the Mensa quiz in American Way magazine.

Rearrange the letters in the word DOMINATION to form another English word. Post your answer as a comment below.

Update and solution

This might look difficult at first, and you do need to apply a healthy vocabulary. However, you can use an approach that gets the process going. Look at the clue word. It ends in “tion.” which a lot of English words do. A good start is to presume the solution also ends in “tion.” Then solve using the remaining letters, and soon you come to “ADMONITION.”

Quiz Question

One of a continuing series

More fun with word games…

37 years ago I was taking a course in database design, and the professor got onto the subject of data security. He discussed how contents of a file could be encrypted to protect your information from prying eyes. To illustrate, he wrote two lines of text on the board:



Then he turned to the class, pointed to the board, and asked, “What is this?”

I had been watching as he was writing and had started running some stuff through my head.

“Anybody?” the professor inquired.

I raised my hand.

He said, “Yes?”

I said, “Well the top one is a …,” and here I inserted an encryption technique. “And the second one is …,” and I mentioned another method.

The professor looked a little unsettled. “But what do these mean?”

So I told him.

Today’s question (problem) is, translate the two lines of text. Post your answer as a comment below. I will post a hint tomorrow if nobody has the solution by then.

Update and answer

Greg got it right. I was looking at the words. What had about that many letters? What course was I sitting in? Database Design. Bingo. Then my cruel nature emerged. The professor asked how I did that. I told him I had experience with that sort of thing, and I didn’t say any more.

Another update and correction

Mike has pointed out the obvious. The top line of text has an extra B. My bad. I scanned this line not enough times to spot the error. I apologize for posing a Quiz Question with no answer. Here are the two lines of text that make sense.