NOTE: This contest has ended, but feel free to see if your suggested word appeared in the comments!

When I have to wait for an appointment, I sometimes do wordplay to pass the time. I was recently working out some letter patterns to come up with future Brain Game puzzles, and found something odd. You're invited to help me test it out.

Find a word that fits the pattern

X...XX

where X represents the same letter of the alphabet
but does NOT represent the letter "S."

It's the "S" rule that throws things off. Off your head, you might think of sass and stress and success... maybe even straightforwardness if you've had your coffee. Yes, there are several "S" words that work well with this pattern, but very few using other letters.

Since I'm in a holiday mood, I'll even offer a prize today. Comment with ONE word that fits the pattern and rules as required; I'll choose a favorite and will post it on Thursday. That entrant will receive a prize... How about a book from our reference library? We'll set the deadline at 8 a.m. Eastern on December 17, 2008. Don't put it off, 'cause there aren't that many words to go around. And don't get greedy by posting multiples or you'll be disqualified and added to Santa's "naughty" list. 'Tis the season, folks. Good luck!