Thursday, December 20, 2007

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 16): Pronounced twice?

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Dec 16): Pronounced twice?:
Q: Think of a common six-letter word with the following unusual properties: The third and fourth letters are consonants, which are silent, and the fifth letter is a 'T' which is pronounced twice. What word is this?
I think I have the intended answer, but I would object to the contention that the 'T' is pronounced twice. I've checked 8 to 10 dictionaries and each time the pronunciation key has shown a single 'T' sound.

Edit: I was thinking "eighty"... but I'm pretty sure that isn't correct because all the dictionaries show it as pronounced "long A, T". But since I looked, I found a different answer which must be what Will was intending.



  1. I agree that a word with Will's specs and a double-T sound is very hard to find. If you relax the double-T requirement, then there are at least 5 words that would fit the bill. Since Will likely has in mind a unique word, I think we just have to look that much harder. Incidentaly, can anyone cite a word of any length where a single T has a double T sound?

    -- Jon from Park Slope

  2. Here's the list of words that came up matching the pattern:
    aughts baryta bights bursts dickty dights eighth eights eighty fallto fechts fellto fights firsts highth hights horsts humpty hursts karsts kirsty length lichts lights midsts mights mighty mulcts nights nighty oocyte oughts pakhto pakhtu pashto pights pigsty puncta puncto pushto pushtu richts righto rights roysts sights tempts tights tincts turnto veldts versts warmth warsts wechts wights worsts wursts yachts


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