GeekDad Puzzle of the Week: Contiguous Consonants

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Over the past few weeks, my wife Allison and I have done our annual summer trip up north with the kids to visit family in northernmost New York and southern Ontario, Canada. During the Canadian segment, I went for a drive with my father-in-law so that he could speak at a local college. On the way, we passed signs for Arnprior, Ontario — an unusual town, I commented, because its name had four consonants in a row. That got me thinking… are there a lot of reasonably common words with four or more consonants in a row?

Having an almost 20-hour road trip back gave me a lot of time to work out several phrases that incorporated words with multiple adjacent non-vowels or “contiguous consonants.” For purposes of this puzzle, please consider the letter “y” strictly as a consonant. In parentheses, after each phrase is the number of words, and each word’s count of contiguous consonants.

  • Ice-free, super tall buildings in Scranton (3w/6c)
  • Encoding long words in a fixed orbit (3w/6c)
  • Crazy fish-studier’s two wheeled transport (3w/5c)
  • Melodic equivalents to the “Queen of Diamonds” (Condon)(3w/6c)
  • Sufficiently valuable magic during the America’s Cup (3w/5c)
  • Where playing Beethoven on your iPhone was invented (3w/5c)
  • Artificial disk-flip game (2w/5c)
  • Rotational energy “battery,” 10-10 meters across (2w/5c)

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