A word or phrase is broken into two or more shorter ones. Example: TOTAL = scarcity; ONE = scar, TWO = city. The spelling of each part remains the same, though pronunciation may change, as in: TOTAL = outreached; ONE = outré, TWO = ached.

A box of fudge, some gingersnaps
(Or other tasty ONE), a gay
Corsage (an orchid -- WHOLE, perhaps)
Might well have won her-yesterday.
But in this modern TWO, old ways
Of wooing leave her bored and cold.
You need a gimmick nowadays --
Though diamond rings still work, I’m told.
=Windjammer and Uncanny

The solution: WHOLE = Goodyera, ONE = goody, TWO = era.

Notice that only the enumeration of the longest word or phrase (WHOLE) is given. The solver has to figure out the lengths of the shorter parts. However, it is noted if any shorter part is capitalized, hyphenated, or a phrase.

In a phonetic charade, the pronunciation of each part remains the same, though spelling may change, as in TOTAL = haystacks; ONE = haste, TWO = axe. Again, only the length of the longest word or phrase (TOTAL) is given.

In a reversed charade, the parts are assembled and then reversed to produce the whole word or phrase. For example: ONE = red, TWO = rum, TOTAL = murder.


A word or phrase is broken up into two or more shorter parts. Each shorter part is transposed (separately) to make a word. (Thus the name: TRANSposed charADE.) For example: ONE = soul, TWO = into, ALL = solution. At the editor’s discretion, the shorter parts may be enumerated.

In our capital now,
The new kid on the block
(Bill Clinton, that is)
Is in for a shock.
Some scandals still pend:
Iran-Contra, Iraq.
In recent years, we
Have gotten a flock
Of indignant denials
Like “Heard, KEY, knew LOCK.”
Yes, welcome to TOTAL.
Though pols we may mock,
It’s time to have faith;
Ship of state -- let it rock!
=Corn Cob

The solution: KEY = saw, LOCK = nothing, TOTAL = Washington.

The transade was invented by Dirty Jack and introduced in October 1992.


A word or phrase is broken into two or more shorter parts, which overlap by one letter. For example: ONE = Phil, TWO = lately, TOTAL = philately.

Consult the WHOLE and books will tell
Of signs that augur ill -- ah, well;
It matters little, in my view,
If you be ONE and I be TWO.

The solution: WHOLE = libraries, ONE = Libra, TWO = Aries.


The last one or more letters of a word or phrase (LEFT) are the same as the first one or more letters of another (RIGHT); joining the remaining letters forms another (LOCK). For example: LEFT = norther, RIGHT = thermal, LOCK = normal; or LEFT = après-ski, RIGHT = press kit, LOCK = at.

PADLOCK (8, 7, 5)
Pancho Villa, our rebel band’s leader,
Is also, by far, our LEFT eater --
   Leaves stains on terrains
   From the LOCK to the plains.
He takes RIGHT while we make things much neater.
=Mr. Tex

The solution: LEFT = messiest, RIGHT = siestas, LOCK = mesas.

Notice that every letter must be used in exactly two words or phrases.

The combination padlock is the same as the padlock, with the added feature that overlapping LEFT and RIGHT produces a fourth word or phrase (WHOLE). For example: LEFT = scar, RIGHT = Arab, LOCK = scab, WHOLE = scarab.

In the progressive padlock, three or more words or phrases form an overlapping chain; the nonoverlapping pieces at the beginning and end of the chain form another word or phrase. For example: ONE = padre, TWO = retrench, THREE = trenchant, FOUR = anthem, FIVE = hemlock, LOCK = padlock.

WILLz introduced the padlock, based on an Italian puzzle type, at the 1980 convention.


A word or phrase is divided into two or more others by taking alternate letters in order. For example, TOTAL = schooled, ONE = shoe, TWO = cold; or TOTAL = lacerated, ONE = let, TWO = are, THREE = cad. The shorter parts need not be all the same length. (In the example, the asterisks indicate capitalized words.)

In *ONE’s the world’s most famous mausoleum;
Hawaii’s where they garland you with TWOs.
The nomads (I would rather see than be ‘em)
Of ALL remove Saharan sand from shoes.
=Corn Cob

The solution: ALL = Algeria, *ONE = Agra, TWO = lei.

When the shorter parts are single words-as in the above example-enumeration is given only for the longest part; it’s easy to deduce the lengths of the shorter parts from this.

The alternade was introduced by L’Allegro in June 1917.

Because there seem to be few good bases for alternades, this type has never been very common. However, it forms the basis for the more popular rebus alternade, or rebade.


Two or more words or phrases are interlocked to form a longer one; unlike the alternade, the parts aren’t combined in a regular pattern. For example: ONE = fig, TWO = rebus, WHOLE = firebugs. The part whose first letter appears first in the longer word (fig in the example) is called ONE, and the other parts are numbered in the order their first letters appear.

ONE, gee whiz!
A nasty night it is.
Rain pelts down.
The tavern’s two blocks down.
Shucks, why not?
Some TWO would hit the spot.
Muddy street.
I’ll put on my COMPLETE.
=Corn Cob

The solution: COMPLETE = galoshes, ONE = gosh, TWO = ales.

All words in an interlock must in fact interlock. None may appear unbroken, as urn does in ONE = tome, TWO = urn, THREE = ant, WHOLE = tournament; this is not an acceptable base.

In a reversed interlock, after interlocking the parts, you reverse the result. The parts are numbered in the order that their first letters appear in the unreversed result. For example: ONE = late, TWO = circle, ALL = electrical.

Even with easy words in the base, the interlock can be difficult to solve because the letters can be ordered in so many ways. In kindness to solvers, composers should be sure interlock parts are especially well clued.

The interlock was proposed as early as June 1945, but it caught on when Brutus introduced it in April 1977.