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 Academia, defeated, yesterday (Posted on 2015-02-26)
a. What is the longest English word that begins and ends with the same letter?

b. What letters do not provide even one qualifying candidate having this feature?

c. Same as a, but no repeated letters except the first and the last (none of the title's word qualify).

 See The Solution Submitted by Ady TZIDON No Rating

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 computer solutions | Comment 2 of 6 |
DefDbl A-Z
Dim crlf\$, used(26)

Text1.Text = ""
crlf\$ = Chr(13) + Chr(10)
Form1.Visible = True

Open "\words\words.txt" For Input As #1
Do
Line Input #1, l\$
If Left(l\$, 1) = Right(l\$, 1) Then
If Len(l\$) >= mx Then mx = Len(l\$): Text1.Text = Text1.Text & l\$ & Str(mx) & crlf
If Len(l\$) >= mx2 And Left(l, 1) <> "s" Then mx2 = Len(l\$): Text1.Text = Text1.Text & l\$ & Str(mx2) & crlf
End If
Loop Until EOF(1)
Close

Text1.Text = Text1.Text & crlf & crlf

Open "\words\words.txt" For Input As #1
Do
Line Input #1, l\$
If Left(l\$, 1) = Right(l\$, 1) Then
used(InStr("abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", Left(l, 1))) = 1
End If
Loop Until EOF(1)
For i = 1 To 26
If used(i) = 0 Then
Text1.Text = Text1.Text & Mid("abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", i, 1)
End If
Next
Close

Text1.Text = Text1.Text & crlf & crlf

mx = 0
Open "\words\words.txt" For Input As #1
Do
Line Input #1, l\$
If Left(l\$, 1) = Right(l\$, 1) Then
good = 1
For i = 2 To Len(l) - 1
If InStr(i + 1, l, Mid(l, i, 1)) > 0 Then good = 0
Next
If good Then
If Len(l\$) >= mx Then mx = Len(l\$): Text1.Text = Text1.Text & l\$ & Str(mx) & crlf
If Len(l\$) >= mx2 And Left(l, 1) <> "s" Then mx2 = Len(l\$): Text1.Text = Text1.Text & l\$ & Str(mx2) & crlf
End If
End If
Loop Until EOF(1)
Close

End Sub

finds

Part a.: straightforwardnesses (21 letters), unless its plural nature makes us look askance at it, in which case transformationalist (19 letters) counts as the longest.

The output shows successively better answers, both with and without s ending kept track of separately.

a 1
a 1
aa 2
aa 2
aba 3
aba 3
abaca 5
abaca 5
abaka 5
abaka 5
abasia 6
abasia 6
abdomina 8
abdomina 8
acciaccatura 12
acciaccatura 12
achlorhydria 12
achlorhydria 12
achondroplasia 14
achondroplasia 14
agammaglobulinemia 18
agammaglobulinemia 18
chromolithographic 18
chromolithographic 18
dehydrochlorinated 18
dehydrochlorinated 18
deinstitutionalized 19
deinstitutionalized 19
electroluminescence 19
electroluminescence 19
sanctimoniousnesses 19
semiconsciousnesses 19
sentimentalizations 19
spectrofluorimeters 19
spectrofluorometers 19
spectrofluorometries 20
spectroheliographies 20
straightforwardnesses 21
transformationalist 19

b.: letters not eligible:

jqz

c.: stickhandlers and stylographies (13 letters each), if plurals are allowed, and godfathering (12 letters) if not.

a 1
aa 2
aba 3
abdomina 8
agrypnia 8
alopecia 8
amberina 8
amblyopia 9
ametropia 9
anchoveta 9
androecia 9
apothecia 9
archegonia 10
carbonylic 10
carboxylic 10
coenzymatic 11
cryptogamic 11
cryptogenic 11
cytomegalic 11
cytoplasmic 11
discouraged 11
disgruntled 11
downshifted 11
exhaustible 11
exorbitance 11
explorative 11
godfathering 12
spaceflights 12
speculations 12
stickhandlers 13
stylographies 13

 Posted by Charlie on 2015-02-26 12:07:52

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