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From ab to yz (Posted on 2015-07-06) Difficulty: 3 of 5
There are <qty> words containing <let1> and <let2>

For what pair of distinct letters is the quantity of non-proper words in the English language
a. minimal?
b. maximal?

Please specify your data base.

No Solution Yet Submitted by Ady TZIDON    
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Solution computer (word app) solution | Comment 4 of 5 |
Using the SOWPODS word list:

(minimum) there are 19 words having both J and Q

jerque, jerqued, jerquer, jerques, jonquil, jacquard,  jerquers,   jerquing,    jonquils,   quillaja, jacquards, jacquerie,  jequerity,   jequirity,  jerquings, quillajas, jacqueries, jequerities, jequirities

(maximum) there are 117058 words having both E and S

Excluding words ending in S,
the minimum is (J,Q) reduced to 10 words, and
the maximum is (E,I) 65019 words, followed by (E,R) 64237 words.

As the SOWPODS list used in the above figures and word app was not from the most recent update to the Scrabble(R) lexicon, the more up-to-date word list was used for the following results:
minimum (J,Q)  19 words
maximum (E,S) 117918 words
Excluding words ending in S,
minimum (J,Q) 10 words
maximum (E,I) 65502 words, followed by (E,R) 64664 words

Noting a difficulty in excluding only plurals, all words ending in s were excluded. By adding the counts for words ending in double-s to the respective totals (as these words likely would not be plurals), and though the counts [not shown] are different, the increases in the counts for (E,I) and (E,R) were relatively the same and did not change the order they hold in determining maximum.

Edited on July 8, 2015, 3:31 am
  Posted by Dej Mar on 2015-07-06 20:48:48

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