In 1951, John Thurber was challenged by his friend, Michell, to a word game called “Ghost” or “Superghost”. The objective of the game is to think of English words which contain a given difficult letter combinations. For example, “NEHE” becomes “swineherd” and “CKLU” becomes “lackluster”.

When Thurber was asked to think of an English word that contains “SGRA”, he gave the following:

kissgranny. A man who seeks the company of older women, especially older women with money; a designing fellow, a fortune hunter.

blessgravy. A minister or cleric; the head of a family; one who says grace.

hossgrace. Innate or native dignity, similar to that of the thoroughbred hoss.

bussgranite. Literally, a stonekisser; a man who persists in trying to win the favor or attention of cold, indifferent, or capricious women.

tossgravel. A male human being who tosses gravel, usually at night, at the window of a female human being’s bedroom, usually that of a young virgin; hence, a lover, a male sweetheart, and an eloper.

In total, he was able to come up with 19 words which contain “SGRA”. However, none of them are official English words. Can you provide the solution?




About Edmark M. Law

My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. I blog at You can find me on Twitter @EdmarkLaw and Facebook. My email is
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13 Responses to Superghost

  1. Cory Melancon says:

    Love this always keeping me thinking Edmark great post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Natalie Lonabaugh says:

    neat game!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. WaltPage says:

    This is a great brain exercise. Thanks for posting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is also popular for teacher to teach English to the students while having game in the lesson. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Garfield Hug says:

    This is really fun! Never knew of this game till you shared😊

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jack Shalom says:

    If I recall correctly, it was in a Douglas Hofstadter book where I first came across this one: find a word which contains the combination ADAC within it.

    Additional fun word puzzle: find a word that both begins and ends with HE.

    Liked by 2 people

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