Four letter fish

I noticed that a recent solution word in the NY Times Spelling Bee was “goby”. I had never heard of a goby, but I ended up getting it right anyway, because there are only so many possible four letter words that start with “go”.

After I finished the puzzle, I looked up the word, and it turns out that it’s a species of fish. Which wouldn’t be all that notable except that today it happened again.

In today’s Spelling Bee, one of the solution words was “dace”. Again, I got it only because there are just so many possible four letter words that start with the letters “da”.

Turns out, a dace is also a species of fish. Which got me wondering: How many four letter words are used in the description of a species of fish?

Just to satisfy my curiosity, I used a combination of Web search and letter-based pattern matching, and here is what I found:


I know that solving this little puzzle is not going to change the world. But it makes me happy.

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