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Language brain teasers are those that involve the English language. You need to think about and manipulate words and letters.


Puzzle ID:#11920
Fun:**** (3.12)
Difficulty:** (1.73)
Submitted By:MrIxoliteAen****
Corrected By:BlackBelt




"Welcome back to the show. Before the break, Mr Ixolite here made it to our grand finale! How do you feel Mr.Ix?"
"Okay, now to win the star prize of one million pounds all you have to do is answer the following question in 90 seconds."
"Okay, I'm ready."
"Right. In 90 seconds name 100 words that do NOT contain the letter 'A'. Start the clock!"

Can you help?


I'm counting on your help.

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Apr 25, 2003

Is "Twenty-Five" really considered a separate word from "Twenty" and "Five"? I tried to look it up but didn't come up with anything. Other than that potential problem, I thought the answer was pretty cool.
Apr 25, 2003

I never noticed that these words don't contain the letter "A." That was fun and brilliant.
Apr 25, 2003

Very cool puzzle and a smart answer. What is the first number that contains the letter A?
Apr 25, 2003

I think many of the words are repeated. My answer was the first 100 words in an Arabic dictionary.
May 15, 2003

Brilliant and enjoyable. oh, and missiu, the first whole number is one thousand.
May 30, 2003

Great Teaser. For those thinking that the words are repeated. If the catagory was pets/pet items would you consider cat and catnip the same word. Compound words are seperate words.
Once again a unique teaser.
(user deleted)
May 30, 2003

The first number that contains the letter A is 1,000 Dang, I knew that and I STILL couldn't figure this out *sigh*
Good teaser.
May 30, 2003

This was good. I only figured it out after I read the hint.
May 30, 2003

(user deleted)
May 30, 2003

this one was almost too easy
May 30, 2003

I think the objection regarding "twenty" and "five" is valid. Catnip is a compound word and has a separate entry in the dictionary. "Twenty-five" is two words.
(user deleted)
May 30, 2003

very clever
May 30, 2003

Its a word....sorry
May 30, 2003

Hm, I never realised those words never had an A.
Jun 02, 2003

I love puzzles like this that you can spring on friends while sitting around a table and no paper or pencil is needed.

Surely the first number than contains an 'A' is One Hundred and One??
Jun 03, 2003

that was a great teaser. the answer was very unexpected
Jun 05, 2003

I agree with Bobbrt twentyfive doesn't exist on (or in Webster's itself) nor does twenty-five. Also grammar rules state when written as words, fractions and cardinal numbers consisting of two words are hyphenated. Examples: twenty-three, twenty-fifth, one-fourth, two-thirds. It is still considered two words.
There are a few exceptions where the hyphenated number has become part of the language, twenty-two (The bullet) is an example of a hyphenated two word combination bacoming one word in language.
I tend to trust Webster more than and the rules of grammar still apply. Technically wrong teaser but a great and fun teaser.
Jun 06, 2003

Surely the first number containing an A is 'one hundred and one'
Jun 18, 2003

Great teaser. But unfortunately the hint gave it away!
Jun 24, 2003

To ousgg:
Actually the first number that contains an "a" is "thousand" the "and" in 101 is actually a decimal. Math Class does teach you something!
Jun 25, 2003

good teaser! one to try on my friends!
Jul 02, 2003

The first number with an "A" is 1000, because in math I learned that the correct way to pronounce it is just One hundred one, it is not meant to have the word and.
Jul 10, 2003

i didn't know all these numbers didn't contain A. gd job!
Jul 15, 2003

read through all the comments agreed it is a good teaser, but I am too of the opinion that twenty five is two words and you do not therefore say 100 different words.
As for your response regarding dictionary . com and their explanation, it is a hyphenated entry in their website, hence 2 words. Also your argument falls down, as 99 ( or ninetynine ) does not exist in the very website you advise people to look in, to prove your argument
Jul 15, 2003

I still feel that the answer to the puzzle fits in that in various math texts that I have worked through in my education, hyphenated numbers are considered as a single word and still follow in that respect that twenty-five would be one word and not two. A similar puzzle was written in to a short murder mystery by Isaac Asimov and he used the similar "No A" answer to come up with the correct suspect in the murder. I believe the answer does fit, actually up to 999.
Aug 05, 2003

not bad of a riddle
Aug 24, 2003

Very clever. Good job.
Sep 22, 2003

wow surprising or not the answer popped into my head right away. Sometimes you dont know y but it just happens. Good tea┬žer tho
May 30, 2004

To set the argument straight about the hyphenated twenty-five
I saw that game show, and-whether twenty-five is a number or not-Mr. Ix did win the One Million Pounds so I guess it really doesn't matter now -----> he's rich.
May 30, 2004

I think this is a really great riddle -well done! Why is everyone getting so worked up about number 25? Remember this is supposed to be FUN!!!!!
May 30, 2004

Very cute teaser!! I guess I never realised that the numbers from 1 - 100 didn't have an "A" in them!! That was really good! It stumped me.
May 30, 2004

I'm an English teacher. Hyphenated words ARE unique words, not just groupings of their parts. "Mother-in-law" is a separate word from "mother," "in," and "law," for example. Granted, "mother-in-law" is also found in most dictionaries as a separate entry, but you won't find "cousin-in-law" - also a separate word with its own unique meaning. Sometimes the dictionary defines the most common occurrences of a certain type, and then leaves the rest to be understood from its definitions of prefixes, roots, and suffixes.

Our English language permits "temporary" compounds to fit the situation. They are real words, but they will probably never find their way into a dictionary, with few exceptions. "Know-it-all" was a temporary compound that made the cut and now most dictionaries include it.

The grammartips website says this: "There is a wide range of variation in the use of hyphens to join compound words. No rules govern all combinations, and the possible combinations are virtually limitless, so many of them will not be found in the dictionary. Furthermore, even dictionaries vary in their treatment of some compound words."


I say this teaser is valid.

(By the way, I would have thought people would have objected to "one hundred" before they'd object to "twenty-five" - but "one hundred" is also a compound word, two words serving the function of one word - like "high school" and "vacation home" - both of which mean something different than the sum of their parts)
May 30, 2004

Personally, I really dont think 25 matters because it does not say 100 DIFFERENT words! Also why get so frustrated about a teaser? It's not like they stole the million dollars from you or anthing!
May 30, 2004

Very good. I got it once I read the hint. Regaring previous arguments about the number 25: Why is it any different from the number 26 or 55? "And' isn't a number, therefore it shouldn't count against Mr. Ix. Great teaser!
Jun 03, 2004

Hey! I never noticed none of those numbers had an A. That's cool!
Aug 04, 2004

brilliant, no clue about the answer until i read the hint, that may have made it a lil too easy.
Sep 30, 2004

I like that one...I think I'll add it to my favorites list, since I thought it so clever, I told my friends!
Jan 05, 2005

Coulda done it without it... just use three letter words know, bet bit but bot pet put pit pot... etc.
Jan 14, 2005

You could donate the money you won to braingle
May 30, 2005

Wow!!! I never realized that!!! Awesome!!!!
May 30, 2005

yes yes yes
sorry but i was right
yes yes yes
May 30, 2005

cute one .. i never realized there were no As in the lower numbers before!! ya learn something new everyday!
May 30, 2005

Thanks Mrlx!! I love a teaser that makes you think, and provides a new view of common things. Even if it does bring out the "Detailers".
(user deleted)
May 30, 2005

I liked this one because it will at least teach people that "and" is not a number.
Along this same vein, "Misiu" will be happy to know that you do not hit an "a" number until 1,000 (one thousAnd).
For those who did not get this, simply put, it is one hundred one not one hundred AND one. "And" does not enter into number until you add a decimal, as in $10.01 (ten dollars AND one cent).
May 30, 2005

STOP ARGUING OVER 25! It IS a number. Just like the rest! Oh by the way, good teaser MrIx
May 30, 2005

I did not guess the answer, but I very much enjoyed the teaser, simply because other teasers I read was difficult for me to understand.
Thanks a lot for helping me enjoy something new and increase my data!
May 30, 2005

that was easy. liked it!
May 30, 2005

May 30, 2005

i never new that any number between one and one hundred didnt hav the lettr a in it!!! dats kewl!!!
May 30, 2005

Great teaser! I was stumped until I read the hint & then I remembered that there was no "A" until one thousand. Keep up the fun!
May 30, 2005

I love it. it was very clever.
May 30, 2005

i never realised dat all da numbers up 2 a thousand does not include da letter A. a clever and fun teaser.
May 30, 2005

Clever, I got it though with the clue.
May 30, 2005

I got it right!!! even before i read the hint.
May 30, 2005

Very nicely done. Never had thought about this until now
May 30, 2005

I didn't even bother trying this one. Haha! Excellent teaser!
May 30, 2005

I didn't even try. I just read the answer and I thought about it. That was a ver good one. Keep it up!
May 30, 2005

Good one, It's an awesome trick too. Very good.
May 30, 2005

i got it after the hint... otherwise I doubt I would have...good one!
May 30, 2005

Nice puzzle. I knew the answer, as I'd heard this question before. Possibly in an email joke. Good job.
May 30, 2005

Nice puzzle. I knew the answer, as I'd heard this question before. Possibly in an email joke. Good job.
May 30, 2005

that was cool- i never noticed that
May 30, 2005

I loved that one. Very cool!!!
May 30, 2005

that was very good 1 now thats what im talking about that was fun
May 30, 2005

Great teaser!!
May 30, 2005

I really didn't know that 1, until I saw the hint. I liked that 1 a lot!
May 30, 2005

I never noticed that and would not have thought of it in a million years!
May 30, 2005

i didnt get it
May 30, 2005

I would just like to say that Twenty-five is a word whether it's in Webster's or not, because pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovalcanoconiosis isn't in Webster's but it IS on and in the Oxford English Dictionary. And if it wasn't a word, then I would'nt have gotten it wrong on my spelling test last year when I didn't add in the hyphen...
May 30, 2005

THat WAS AWESOME!!! its like the first daily teaser i got right!!! AwEsOmE!!
May 30, 2005

I love it! And i actually figured it out! Great riddle! Lotsa' fun!
May 30, 2005

Wow! That's so cool! I had NO idea what the answer was!
May 30, 2005

it was kool!!
May 30, 2005

You know what, ignore all these comments on word technicalities.... I got the answer right and it was fun! Good job!
Jun 02, 2005

what about foar? (4)
Jun 03, 2005

My goodness you are right. I also forgot Juan, Sevan and Ate. Boy is my face red
Feb 15, 2006

great, one of my favorites
Apr 05, 2006

Jun 02, 2006

Jun 02, 2006

Hmm.. never thought of this.. a good teaser.

BTW, isn't the first one with an A one-hundred-And-one..?
Jun 02, 2006

Yo, Pal that was great
Jun 02, 2006

This was really a fun teaser. Well done.

A new game show question: "In 90 seconds give me your best excuse for how this teaser got you, not. Start the clock!"
Jun 02, 2006

I had to look at the hint, but then I got it.Good, fun teaser.
Jun 02, 2006

That was really really good!!!
A great teaser, and looking back on it, it seems easy but you had me stumped!
Jun 02, 2006

I thought this was one of the more brilliant teasers I've seen yet!!! I never would've thunk of just counting to a hundred!! I give this one a full five stars!! *****
Jun 02, 2006

This was pretty easy for me, but still a bit fun.

Jun 02, 2006

Okay I'm quite interested in the whole argument against saying, "one hundred and one." Can anyone tell me if this just applies to American English, or is it true of proper english too?
Jun 02, 2006

Really great teaser! I never noticed before that the basic numbers (before 1,000) don't use the letter "a" - AMAZING!!
Jun 02, 2006

"One hundred AND one" is not a number; it's a mathematical espression 100 + 1

If you mean 101, say "one hundred one."
Jun 02, 2006

Thought it was a great brain teaser.
Jun 02, 2006


Jun 02, 2006

I've heard this one somewhere too. Good one!
Jun 02, 2006

Heck yes!! I totally got that one after the hint.
Jun 02, 2006

I, too, could not have gotten it without the hint - I LOVED IT!
... and I am ALL FOR OldChinaHand's new game show. You are one clever Braingler, OCH!
... learningchinese, I love your new self!!!
Jun 02, 2006

a great puzzle, but alas, I feel it is yet another with dazzling wit, but pretty hard to solve deductively.
Jun 02, 2006

Good one, Mr. Ixolite! Very funny indeed.

Jun 02, 2006

Great teaser, MrIxolite!

*hugs* to LC.
Jun 02, 2006

I loved that one! And I actually got it! (Which is pretty unusual for a lamebrain like me ) Okay, so I did look at the hint... anyways, I liked that one!
Jun 02, 2006

This is a good one, although in your answer it might have been a good idea to explain that the first number to appear with the letter "A" is one thousand. I never would have figured it out if it hand been for a 'useless facts' e-mail I'd gotten.
Jun 02, 2006

A good one, although the hint gave it away.
I did enjoy it.
Jun 02, 2006

that was soooo cute! definetley going into my favorites!!!
Jun 02, 2006

loved it!

awesome job...
Jun 02, 2006

very very clever
Jun 02, 2006

This was one of those where either you already knew the answer or you didn't.
Jun 02, 2006

That was my favorite teaser so far Thats definately going on my favorites list. If I hadn't have looked at the answer i would have never got it I would have been stumped for days. who ever did this, it was great. Nice Job.
Jun 02, 2006

Good teaser! Quit nitpickin.(how many words is that?) Whether twenty-five is one or two words.....the 100 words were covered.
Jun 02, 2006

This was fun. I had to look at the hint though.
Jun 02, 2006

Good Teaser!

Learning Chinese (aka Imurray)
XIEXIE NI (for your new attitude)
Looking forward to seeing more of it.
Jun 02, 2006

That was EXCELLENT! And to all those Crabby Appletons who think they have to nitpick everything, get a life and enjoy it, before it passes you by.
Jun 02, 2006

Great teaser!
Twenty-five is a compound word, as defined: "a word composed of two or more words joined together by a hyphen." (

"One hundred" doesn't use a hyphen, so it doesn't fit this rule well.

Zero works, as do many other words without A in them.
Jun 02, 2006

WOW Excellent Great and easy to remember to pass on to my friends.
Jun 02, 2006

Great teaser I'll put it on my favorites.
Jun 02, 2006

Well this ol' granny didn't look at the hint. I sat for twenty-five minutes trying to count one hundred words in the story without an A. Ha ha! This is one great teaser and goes into my favorites. Wishing everyoe a good day.
Jun 02, 2006

My math teacher says that when you say 'and' it means that there is a decimal there. So 12.6 would be 'twelve and six tenths.

BTW I really liked the teaser. I wouldn't have got it in a million years.
Jun 02, 2006

Great teaser. Tough one. Although I needed the hint to figure it out I still gave it top ratings. Good job !!
Jun 02, 2006

Another one to put a smile on my tired Friday night face. Thanks Mrix...I loved it.
Jun 02, 2006

haha, nysss...

Jun 03, 2006

Once the show's lawyers got in on this one he never saw the million dollars. However, they made two million in an afternoon.

Great teaser.
Jun 03, 2006

A bit off, on a tangent: If one doesnt expect the answer to actually enumerate the 100 numbers without A, what about 'First Century of Numbers' for an answer?
This is a fantastic teaser. Learnt something new today.
Jun 03, 2006

Thought this was great. Should have hadit I 'm adding it to my faves so I can show friends
Jun 03, 2006

I got a lot of different words, but not 100 in the allowed seconds, I did not read the hint., Great one . fooled me. One of my favorites .
Jun 04, 2006

easy, but really cool. i thought of the answer right away
Jun 05, 2006

Got the answer and rattled them off within 90 seconds. And I didn't worry about the "one hundred and one" issue, because it's not within the scope of this. I wouldn't hyphenate one hundred though, so my final word was poo.
Jun 06, 2006

(at the comment above)
Aug 16, 2006

Very Clever!
Oct 04, 2006

I loved this one! Excellent! Hope you collected the prize money!
Feb 04, 2007

Very fun!
Apr 06, 2007

First number with an 'a' is one thousand.
Apr 24, 2007

I got this right away, but I didn't think it was too easy. Great job making a teaser out of a cool fact like that.
May 25, 2007

easy. was about 2 write one the same but was a dupey owell

P.s does hate comments count as 'offensive'? cuz im tempted to clik it
Jun 02, 2007


Jun 02, 2007

Wow. I started by counting all the words in the teaser itself, disregarding the ones containing "a"s. Then I realized it wasn't long enough, glanced at the hint, and duh-thwapped myself in the head as I got it.

Great teaser. I'm definitely using it with friends.
Jun 02, 2007

I read the hint and started thinking: one, two, three, four... maybe.

Then I clicked the answer.
Jun 02, 2007

Not sure how I got it but it just popped into my head. I'm gonna try it on my hubby when he wakes up.

Awesome teaser!!! Great job.
Jun 02, 2007

Great puzzler; however the rule didnt specify "different" words, so I could have used one word without an a and repeat it the required no of times to solve the puzzle.
Jun 02, 2007

very nice teaser for a saturday morning..
Jun 02, 2007

In 3rd grade my teacher taught me that you could count thru 999 without using an a . Another tough one. Ha Ha !!!
Jun 02, 2007

Never noticed that.
Jun 02, 2007

It took me a few seconds to remember that the first 100 Numbers (and more) didn't contain an "A," so I got it, but I would have lost the show!
Jun 02, 2007

Jun 02, 2007

Very clever! I never would have thought of that! I thought there was an 'a' somewhere in there but i guess i was wrong
Jun 02, 2007

No one ever told me and I never thought of it on my own, that there are no letter a's in the first 999 #s. I am amazed to find this out for the first time at my age, [which doesn't have an A]. I'm impressed.
Jun 02, 2007

kind of a no brainer
Jun 02, 2007

cool quiz and pretty easy
Jun 02, 2007

I would never have gotten this without your clue. I started counting and realzied there are no A's up to100. Twenty-five etc are 1 word just hyphenated as explained well by the English Teacher above.
It could be confusing. People need to ask questions, as long as they are not rude.

Fun, fun , fun, till your daddy takes you T-Bird away!

Vinyl Collector Rose
Jun 02, 2007

That's cool
Jun 02, 2007

very cool. I couldnt get it without the hint though.

Jun 02, 2007

The hint gave it away for me. Easy, but fun!
Jun 02, 2007

pretty cool.. and easy.

Why do people argue so much about minor technicalities and spoil the humor in these nice puzzles - twentyfive / twenty-five / twenty five who cares ! Either you got it when you looked at the puzzle or you went - be, bee, beg ... through your dictionary to find the first 100

Jun 02, 2007

the word twenty-five no matter how you spell it means 25 not 20 or 5 so it is its own word. good teaser!!
Jun 02, 2007

very very clever!!
Jun 02, 2007

Nice one. I agree with Kauphi1976, why all the tado over the number 25. It still equals to 100 words in 90 seconds.
No worries
Jun 02, 2007

Great! I was stumped Congrats on making Teaser of the Day, too!
Jun 02, 2007

good one!
Jun 02, 2007

i just did that in 35 seconds.
Jun 02, 2007

Jun 02, 2007

Glad I didn't spend too much time actually thinking of random words without the letter A. Very cute.
Jun 02, 2007

Nice one. I didn't know whether hyphenated numbers can be treated as seperate words or not, but apparantly they can. And yes, PLEASE don't say "one hundred AND one", just skip the "and" altogether. I remember they taught us that in grade school! (no offense to anyone who used it)

And what's with people telling people to stop arguing over whether hyphenated numbers are seperate words or not? Isn't that what the comment section is for? Furthermore, brain teasers should be held accountable when it comes to being accurate - otherwise the answer isn't really correct, and people could dismiss the right answer when they're trying to come up with it because of this.
Jun 02, 2007

Got this one right away. Fun and easy!
Jun 02, 2007 was kinda boring...but cool!!!
Jun 04, 2007

liked this one, not sure why, but the answer just popped into my mind as soon as I read it...Pumbani, I think it is just Americans who say 101 - one hundred one, most other people who use English say 101 is One hundred and one...maybe Americans should learn how to speak 'English'....I've got Shosaloza running through my head now!
Jun 04, 2007

Very interesting.. I had NO idea!! Great job though!!!
Jun 07, 2007

Completely stumped me. Great job!
Jun 13, 2007

Oct 25, 2007

hm....I just started listing words that I thought up that didn't have an "a"...I got about 20 in 90 seconds. This would be wonderful in the trick category, but I'm not sure it fits here.
And you can say the numbers from 1-100 in 90 seconds-35 seconds for me
(user deleted)
Apr 02, 2008

Oct 28, 2009

I never thought of that!
Mar 25, 2010

Good Teaser
Jun 02, 2010

Great teaser! It stumped me for a few seconds, but I got it.

To all the people complaining about 'one hundred', you could just say "one, two...ninety-nine, hundred.
Jun 02, 2010

I guess the editors are cleaning out their attic again.
Jun 02, 2010

for everyone that is saying that twenty-five is not in the dictionary that is because you can't put every number in the world in the dictionary gecause there is no end to all numbers. It amazes me how stupid people can be.
Jun 02, 2010

Good teaser...I remember it from grade school. Fun!
Jun 02, 2013

Nice one. I may win a drink or two next time I go to the bar.
Jun 02, 2013

Glad to have seen the hint-tried to think first & only thought of 'pretzel' after a couple seconds It was much more fun learning what the answer is!
Jun 02, 2013

Did not get it until I read the hint, and then the answer was obvious.
Not sure who says "twenty AND one", "twenty AND two" in English, but as I know they say it that way in other languages (In German for example), it may be the ESL members of the site commenting on that.
Jun 02, 2013

Not too hard with the hint. Without the hint I would have been lost.
Jun 02, 2016

They say you never stop learning, and now at my age I have to believe it as I learned something today. I was thinking it was words in the teaser like "First one hundred" which I think might have worked. Or not!!!
Jun 02, 2016

Fun teaser! And, I, too, know that the first A in numbers is "thousand". I forgot that! Thanks for posting.

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