The following puzzle first appeared in February 2000.
Sometimes, when more letters are added to the end of a word, the meaning is totally changed. Examples with short words are numerous and generally unremarkable, e.g. CAT—CATALOG, FAN—FANTASTIC.
Often a second word can be added to the end of a first word to produce a third word, where all three words are totally unrelated in meaning, e.g., LEG + END = LEGEND, IMP + ACT = IMPACT. To keep your list to a reasonable length, give examples where the first word has at least five letters, and the second word adds at least four more.
The letter s is often added to make the plural form of a noun (horse—horses), the possessive form of a pronoun (your—yours), or the third person singular present tense of a verb (come—comes). However, s is not added (unless preceded by an apostrophe) for any of these purposes to a word already ending in s. How many examples can you find where s can be added to a word already ending in s to form an entirely new word? (You may want to divide your list into four categories, one for each of the three cases mentioned above for words ending in s, and a fourth for all other examples.)
+ PRONOUN + CEMENT
+ TEMPERA + MENTAL(LY)
+ DISCUS + SING
+ CASUAL + TIES
+ PROPER + TIES
+ ALTER + NATION
+ ALTER + NATIVES
+ CARES + SING(LY)
+ ENTER + PRISING
+ FINES + SING
+ PROSE + CUTE
+ TAPES + TRIES
(I don't think examples like UNDER + STANDING should count, even though the meaning of the combined word would be hard to deduce from the meaning of the parts.)
- Nouns: bras/brass; deadlines/deadliness; handles/handless; needles/needless; princes/princess
Verbs: cares/caress; kindles/kindless
Others: as/ass; discus/discuss
Tagged golomb's gambits