[<<] National Puzzlers' League [>>]

The World's Oldest Puzzlers' Organization

Under Construction

In the acrostical alphagram, the solution word is clued exactly as in a charade. Then there are sets of rhyming couplets, with the lines of each couplet numbered 1 and 2. Each line clues a word; the words clued by a given couplet are identical except for their first letters. These letters form the solution word; the first letters of each word that was a solution to line 1 of a couplet form the first half of the solution word; the first letters of the lines labelled 2 form the second half.

In an acrostical alphagram, the couplets' first letters change to form the solution words and in an acrostical omegram, the last letters are used for the acrostic. Thus an "omegram" replaces the "alpha" with "omeg[a]."

This comes from solving the example in the puzzle database (from 1 June 1910):

(To E. S. Crow)
Above the hilltop trees in gloomy rows
A wondrous blossom bloometh, blushes, glows;
No flower of earth but of the arching skies,
A blaze of glory, of unearthly dyes.
The water rushing on the sandy shore,
The crying of the sea forevermore;
The mighty ocean longing for the land,
The growing power of blue waves on the strand.
And now the Night has faded with each star,
And daylight showeth clearly near and far;
The world to new-born joy and life awakes,
The crimson glory of the TOTAL breaks.
1. The lake lies quiet neath the bending sky;
2. The sailor on his good ship sweepeth by
1. The gold and silver hidden in the earth;
2. Here anger smothers all our joy and mirth.
1. When good clothes ONE we often are dismayed;
2. By light of TWO our elders often prayed.
1. In Burma natives worship many a ONE;
2. Some gourmands say it is the only fun.
=Beech Nut

The solution: ALL = morntide, ONE = morn; TWO = tide
The couplets: mar/tar, ore/ire, ray/day or rip/dip , nat/eat

The word "ray" here is used in the sense found in Websters' Unabridged (NI1, 1913): "to mark, stain or soil; to streak; to defile (obs)." Alternately, the word "dip" is used in the sense of a noun referring to dipped candles, also found in Websters' Unabridged.

In all the available examples for both alpha- and omegrams, the couplets resolve to 3-letter words only. In the acrostical omegram published in April 2005 (#45), this rule was not the case.


This is an old puzzle type, the form of which was deduced (by Philana) by solving the sample flat. As such, the definition may be slightly in error.

In the acrostical omegram, the solution word is clued exactly as in a charade. Then there are sets of rhyming couplets, with the lines of each couplet numbered 1 and 2. Each line clues a word; the words clued by a given couplet are identical except for their last letters. These letters form the solution word; the last letters of each word that was a solution to line 1 of a couplet form the first half of the solution word; the last letters of the lines labelled 2 form the second half.

(To Ernest)
Purple as robes for royalty made,
Lurking in foliage, hiding in shade,
But when the sun sheds his riches untold
Glimmering bright in the ocean of gold.
Luscious to taste as well as to eye---
One of the things we would not let die.
Youth looks at Age and cries: "You are old,
All of your story is finished and told."
But with the vantage of ripening years
Wisdom smiles calmly and peace often cheers.
The flash of the flight of bluebirds in the air
as if TOTAL with colors the blue heavens wear.
1. A wry mouth or a mean grimace;
2. New Zealand bird, extinct, we trace.
1. In cornwall, wolramite---that's all;
2. A fishing-vessel rather small.
1. To be without one is no joke;
2. A wooden pail used with a yoke.
1. The sun sinks red behind earth's ONE;
2. To banish---and the verse is done.
=Beech Nut

The solution: ALL = plumaged, ONE = plum; TWO = aged
The couplets: mop/moa, cal/cag, sou/soe, rim/rid


Alternate letters are taken from a word or phrase. Each set of letters is then transposed into another word. For example: ONE = place, TWO = story, ALL = Polycrates.

Mary had a little flock that wasn't doing well --
The balance in her TWO was ONE; her income wasn't lush:
She eked it out by selling ALLs, although she'd never tell -
For when you fleece your charges, you must try to keep it hush.
=Xemu and Meki

The solution: ONE = bank, TWO = slim, ALL = lambskin.

The alterposal was invented by Xemu.


An enigmatic rebus with a reading that solvers may or may not agree with, as in the ambigram.

Marilyn Quayle
I moved my king's knight's pawn two squares.
He moved his king's pawn two.
My kingside bishop's pawn inched up.
His queen then dealt the coup
De grace: "Farewell to you."

The solution: fool's mate

The ambigmatic rebus was invented by Trazom.


A generalization of the Rochester Transaddition. You begin with an n-letter BASE word and an m-letter BANK word (note: n and m do not need to be equal, as they are here). The other solwords, numbered ONE though M, are formed by transposing all the letters in BASE plus each of the m letters from BANK in turn (so it's nice if BANK has no repeated letters). An example: BASE = cast iron, BANK = atone, ONE = raincoats, TWO = tractions, THREE = consortia, FOUR = transonic, FIVE = creations.

   BANK = *4 = not MW, ONE = *)
       Meki emailed
       to BANK (Who
       lives BASE):
       It's too tranq-
       uil; Let's write a
       weird flat type To
       TWO all the Krewe. Come, I'll
take no denial, Let's give it a trial
- I'm bored here in ONE: There's just
  nothing to do." Said the Yank to the
     Brit, "I've a type that'll fit -
       It'll torture the minds Of the
         cosolving THREE: Yes, we'll
         FOUR and we'll fry Their
           poor brains till they
              cry "Why couldn't
                 they just
                  Write a
=Xemu and Meki

The solution: BASE = east, BANK = Xemu, ONE = Texas, TWO = tease, THREE = teams, FOUR = saute.

The Bridgewater transaddition was invented by Xemu and named by Meki.


In a consonantcy deletion, consonants are deleted one by one from a starting word, and the basewords are consonantcies of the result. An example would be ONE = consonant, TWO = consent.

   (BLN = NI2+)
I was stuck in NB, near Ottawa,
With my car's NLB on the blink.
A bill BRLN to a C-note
Would have fixed it--I should have, I think.
"Ship me down to the warm Caribbean!"
I shouted. "I don't care what place!"
I expected an island like BN,
But the Mounties did not like my face.
So I landed in NLRB,
Hated neighbors nearby,
Made the locals real shy.
'Twas no sunny vacation for me.
Next time if I make a loud racket,
You should BLN me (or use Mace).

The solution: NLRB = Guantanamo, NLB = ignition, NB = Gatineau, BRLN = amounting, BLN = untongue, BN = Antigua.

The consonantcy deletion was invented by Newrow.


A consonantcy word deletion function much like a word deletion, except that only consonants are considered. That is, the inner word to be deleted is a consonantcy for some central section of the main base word; the remaining consonants are used in the outer word. For example, TOTAL = Massachusetts, INNER = schist, OUTER = mists.

Oh, highly OUTER Shakespearean actor,
Why end your career in a WHOLE?
(So sorry to be a detractor.)
Was TV's vast wasteland your goal?
How tasteless the INNER -- you know --
That soft drink they hawk on the show.

The solution: WHOLE = situation comedy, INNER = tonic, OUTER = esteemed.

The consonantcy word deletion was invented by Newrow.


A word or phrase is broken down into a series of shorter words and phrases by taking letters in order from the the original phrase - one from the front, then one from the back, then one from the front, and so on. For example, WHOLE = sapwort, ONE = star, TWO = pow. Enumerations for the shorter words, as with charades, are not given.

   MIDDLE, INNER; MIDDLE = NI3+ spelling)
I love to "Rome" in Italy--
I love their frothy cappuccino!
Their fountains sparkle prettily,
But I like WHOLE, with rum (not vino).
Nearby is Greece: in years gone by,
MIDDLE (shawls) were very chic,
And *OUTER ruled Olympus high,
(It's just too bad WHOLE isn't Greek.)
Oh, I like WHOLE with cake and custard,
Cream, and rum (not schnapps or INNER),
So Italy I've air- and bus-toured.
(No wonder I'm not getting thinner!)

The solution: WHOLE = zuppa inglese, OUTER = Zeus, MIDDLE = pepla, INNER = gin.

The convergence was invented by Lunch Boy.


An old name for a beheadment.


Most of the flat types in this section and in the Guide proper allow phrases in their bases only if they have dictionary nature: even if the phrase doesn't already appear as an entry in any of Merriam-Webster's dictionaries, it does mean more than the mere sum of its words. "Skeleton in the closet" is not MW (though it is findable in 11C under "skeleton"), but it means more than a collection of bones stored just off of one's bedroom.

Freewheeling refers to a flat with a base that not only has a phrase that is not in the dictionary, but that does not, should not, and will not appear in any theoretical dictionary ever. A freewheeling letter shift would be ONE = blustering, TWO = blue string.

Freewheeling bases were once exclusively used in Ralves (but not marked "freewheeling" to hide their Ralfish nature), but it was then argued that freewheeling bases often weren't Ralfish enough, and they began appearing (very) occasionally in the Enigma.

Freewheeling bases should not vary too much from MW words and phrases, since the idea can be taken too far. It is unlikely that a freewheeling well-mixed transposal would ever be printed, for example.

   (*3 *10, 7 1 5) (OPERA TUNE = not MW)
Here's a tip you should remember:
Try New York in late November.
Post-Thanksgiving, you can get
OPERA TUNE seats at the Met.
Then see Disney's huge balloon,
As Macy's workers OPPORTUNE.
= Mr. Tex

The solution: OPERA TUNE = Die Fledermaus, OPPORTUNE = deflate a mouse.

The concept of freewheeling flats is about as old as Ralves themselves. The term "freewheeling" was coined by Crax.


A word or phrase has every possible pair of letters deleted, and each time the resulting set of letters is transposed to form another word. The cuewords in the following example indicate which pair of letters has to be deleted; the original word must also appear in the flat. This flat type generates a very large number of solution words: a base word of length 5 would require eleven; the example given has a seven-letter base word, which results in twenty two words to be clued.

    10C word;THREE/FIVE, FOUR/SIX = NI3;
   *THREE/SEVEN = +, NI2-findable)

I study hard (or try to) but my roommate is a jerk:
He TWO/SIX round the room when I just want to sit and work.
He says I'm THREE/SIX when I ask for "Quiet, please, and peace!"
"Eat, drink, be merry!" says he, "Life's a jail with no release!"
I wish it were, for him, when he ONE/SIX my pile of candy,
That sometimes keeps me going till an open store is handy.
He makes me so FIVE/SEVEN--just how ONE/TWO he to do it?
I once ONE/SEVEN my views to him, although I knew I'd rue it.
But I FOUR/SEVEN, though he hates what he describes as ALL.
He nearly wrecked our college trip to Italy last fall:
The two of us, and friends were sitting drinking cheap red wine;
"La Vie En Rose" was playing--it's a favourite song of mine,
And also the proprietor's, who said "THREE/SEVEN! I love her!"
My roommate promptly said he TWO/FIVE Minnie Mouse above her!
I offered once to swap with him ONE/FOUR on my new horse;
I wanted quiet in return, but he refused, of couse.
I practiced my piano, (trying chords) the other day;
At the very first SIX/SEVEN, he knelt right down to pray.
(Sarcasm, since he's no THREE/FOUR.) One morning I arose,
And woke him--my TWO/SEVEN was too heavy, I suppose.
He got revenge within the hour: I had an invitation
To picnic with some local girls--he got an inspiration
And told them that I couldn't come, and went in my TWO/THREE,
And strolled off to the FOUR/SIX with them, happy as could be,
To sit beside THREE/FIVE down in the valley drinking beer.
Where does he get these ONE/THREE? I shall never know, I fear.
I met him on the FIVE/SIX just a night or two ago,
But he was barely decent--half-TWO/FOUR--and drunk, you know.
I'd exorcize him if I knew some FOUR/FIVE that would work;
I'm scared I'd ONE/FIVE demons, though. He really is a jerk!

The solution: ALL = tirades, ONE/TWO = dares, ONE/THREE = ideas, ONE/FOUR = rides, ONE/FIVE = raise, ONE/SIX = raids, ONE/SEVEN = aired, TWO/THREE = stead, TWO/FOUR = drest, TWO/FIVE = rates, TWO/SIX = darts, TWO/SEVEN = tread, THREE/FOUR = deist, THREE/FIVE = iteas, THREE/SIX = staid, THREE/SEVEN = Edita, FOUR/FIVE = rites, FOUR/SIX = strid, FOUR/SEVEN = tried, FIVE/SIX = stair, FIVE/SEVEN = irate, SIX/SEVEN = triad.

The Hutto Transdeletion was invented by Meki.

 IPA . . .

A phonetic flat in which the International Phonetic Alphabet accounts for the sounds in a way that MW dictionaries do not.

   (FARMER = 7)
I never wear a tie,
My students know it well:
I'm an informal guy,
The FARMER in the DELL.

The solution: FARMER = teacher, DELL = tee shirt.

The IPA modifier was invented by Hot.


All words in an isomorph base have the same pattern, so that if they were encrypted it would be impossible to tell them apart. For example: ONE = fulfil, TWO = Ionian.

Kids in tenth grade EARLY think they're great.
Bet you did too, brother, when you were LATE.

The solution: EARLY = usually, LATE = fifteen.

The isomorph was invented by Treesong.


In Italy, flats do not use cuewords at all. Instead they are divided into stanzas, and each stanza refers to one part of the base in a manner similar to our enigmas, referring obliquely to its subject while appearing to talk about something else.

Italian-style flats also have a secondary title that refers to the overall subject that makes the puzzle appear to hang together (but which, of course, is the layer of subterfuge that the solver must try to see through).

The following example was written for the article that introduced these flats and picture flats to the modern NPL in the August 1999 issue of The Enigma.

   (*6, 5) (*6 = RH2)
To a Young Boxer
When training, you must choose a coach --
A famous name will help a bunch.
A bell will sound; you'll see approach
A man. What does he bring? A punch!
If then you find you're laid out flat,
Just rise again. It's true, I see,
You weren't that good, but what of that?
Now you can sting just like a bee!
= Lunch Boy

The solution: Amtrak, karma.

Italian-style puzzles were introduced by Hot.


Take a word and change one letter at a time to get a series of new words, ending with a word related to the first word. All words except the first and last word must appear in the flat; the first and last word do not appear and must be deduced. For example, if the base were cat, cot, cog, dog, then the flat would contain ONE and TWO, which would be cot and cog respectively. The first and last words must be submitted with the solution to get full credit, however.


"While FIVEing at home, my foot turned on a rock,
And I twisted my ankle. It hurt just like TWO.
THREE me, how long will it take to, uh, ONE?"
"Stay off the leg for a month." What a shock!
And injuries take a harsh FOUR--yes, it's true.
Now how will I get all my garden work done?

The solution: ONE = heal, TWO = hell, THREE = tell, FOUR = toll, FIVE = toil; the first and last words are head and tail.


A set of words such that any two of them form a changeover base, with every possible letter position included. For example: ONE = that, TWO = heat, THREE = hart, FOUR = hats.

My brother is a junkie. Yes, I found out just last week.
He took me with him on a trip to *THIRD.
We'd visit shrines (in Greece, they'd call them SECONDs), so he said,
And I -- poor fool -- just took him at his word.
*FIRST, his name, means hunter, but he only hunted drugs.
He had a Palestinian supplier
Who smuggled FIFTH, concealing it in SIXTH that had been stuffed.
(Since I hate birds, that really roused my ire.)
*FIRST stole my cash. I spotted him, and heard his sorry tale.
Poor guy -- he didn't steal it out of malice.
I held my hand out -- "Place the cash FOURTH, if you would, at once!"
And shepherded him right back home to Dallas.

The solution: FIRST = Theron, SECOND = hieron, THIRD = Hebron, FOURTH = hereon, FIFTH = heroin, SIXTH = herons.

The Lakeway changeover was invented by Meki.


A letter bank where the minimal set of letters is not included in the base. This is most likely to be done because the minimal set will not transpose into a word. For example, ONE = princelet, TWO = Peter Principle.

LETTER BANKLESS (5 6 3 5, *8 *6 8)
The leaves you picked seem limp and pallid.
That's no way to build a salad!
Trust me. I'm from Perigueux.
Of salads, I'm a connoisseur.
Always start with heads of fish.
Fringe with pond scum, if you wish.
Heap lettuce up like so, and smother
You're looking THEATER-IN-THE-ROUND --
For health, please try this expert's mound.

The solution: IN ONE... = green around the gills, THEATER... = Thousand Island dressing.

The letter bankless was invented by ΧΕΙΡΩΝ.


A lock and drop is like a padlock, except that in addition, the overlapping letters form a word. For example, ONE = lethal, TWO = halter, OUT = letter, IN = Hal.

LOCK & DROP (5, 7, 4, 4)
The path you must LEFT for your college success
Is a simple enough one to walk:
DROP all your texts to be RIGHT for your tests
And you'll get in the uppermost LOCK.
= Dart

The solution: LEFT = tread, RIGHT = readier, LOCK = tier, DROP = read.

The lock & drop was invented by Wabbit.


Like a repeated-letter deletion, except that all occurrences of any repeated letters are deleted. For example: BIG = statism, SMALL = aim.

As a rule, in old Rome, early Christians would plug
Their deceased in a SHORT in a LONG they had dug.
= Endgame

The solution: LONG = catacomb, SHORT = tomb.


A pair of rebi, the rubric for each of which is the solution to the other rebus. Since this means there is no apparent rubric for either rebus when one starts solving, the type is extremely difficult, and the only example ever printed was KU'd (not required for solving credit).

MUTUAL ENIGMATIC REBUS (2 5 2 5; 5 [3 5] *1 6)
   (KLICK = 2 5 2 5, first 5 = NI2+; [3 5] in MILE = NI3)
Polly-O? Real string cheese has real strings!
The guitar-string Camemberts beloved mere
Would make for all our fetes acquired their zings
From all the G's, et cetera, in there.
'Twas vital that before each KLICK her cheese
In vessels made of fine black English clay.
"For double-bass-string Bleus, Aeolian Bries,
And such it doesn't matter," she would say,
"But Camembert? If I should use (I've heard)
Some ruddy cheapo clay to save six MILE
Might result, and with but four strings left, the curd
Just wouldn't be guitarish--merely viol."
= Ucaoimhu

The solution: KLICK = do chere ma ripen; MILE = pence red earth E damage

The solution to MILE is the rubric for KLICK, and the reading for that rubric is is "d [abbreviation for pence]; ocher [red earth]; E; mar I pen [mar = damage]". The solution to KLICK is the rubric for MILE, and the reading for that rubric is "pen C [the note C = do] ere dear [chere]; the dam [ma]; age [ripen]".

The mutual rebus was invented by Ucaoimhu.


Two letters replace each other each time they appear in a word. For example: ONE = sell, TWO = less.

"How are you doing?" "Oh, perfectly rotten.
I've had this darn hangnail for days! And this shirt's
Polyester--the saleswoman swore it was cotton!
I hate my new perm, and this paper cut hurts . . ."
"Well, I just spent seven weeks stranded at sea.
You should be thankful your EBBs are so BEE."
= Lunch Boy

The solution: EBB = travail, BEE = trivial.


A substring of one of the basewords is a proper name (such as Peter in Lampeter) and is replaced by another proper name to form another word. The proper names are not individually clued. For example: Avalon, Avedon; substituting Ed for Al.

FINAL NAME CHANGE (*5, 6) (*5 = not MW)
If cigarette firms had their way,
Would we expect to see, someday,
"I'd walk a mile" on cancelled stamps?
Would those be called STAR-5 REVAMPs?
= Quip

The solution: STAR-5 = Camel, REVAMP = cachet.

The name change was invented by Quip.


In the Permuted Consonantcy, all permutations of the consonant letters appear once, numbered in alphabetical order of the consonant sequences. For example, in a three-consonant flat, with all consonants different (which the following example is), the six squares might, in order, contain the following consonant sequences:
Consonants might also be repeated:

A concrete example is ONE = reroute, TWO = oratorio, THREE = tarry.

PERMUTED CONSONANTCY (6; *5 **2; 5; 5; 6; 5) (TWO
   = NI2, *5 is in 11C but not with the *5, **2 usage)
'Twas in Greece that I met
A FIVE of great renown
Midst ruins and SIXes of long-crumbled stone,
When excesses of ouzo then gave me a THREE.
So to TWO did I get --
Ohio River town.
Now I'm singing the FOURs of songs all home-grown,
And munching a ONE from a patisserie.
= Newrow

The solution: ONE = eclair, TWO = Cairo IL, THREE = ulcer, FOUR = lyric, FIVE = oracle, SIX = relic.

The permuted consonantcy was invented by Newrow.


Normal consonantcies are not necessarily phonetic; the consonants won't change, but their sounds might. In a phonetic consonantcy, the consonant sounds are retained from baseword to baseword, but the letters that represent those sounds may vary.

This example illustrates that difference.

CONSONANTCY (5, 4, *3) (NAME = 5, ENEMY = 4,
   NOM = *3 = not MW)
   SIGHT = 4 4, CITY = *8)
As a gourmet, this guy would fail:
He doesn't like cuisine that's NAME;
He ENEMYs both EAST and kale.
With his coffee, he'll take a SIGHT,
Or perhaps a gooey snail.
by NOM, who lives in CITY

The solution: NAME = haute, ENEMY = hate, NOM = Hot; EAST = broccoli, SIGHT = bear claw, CITY = Berkeley.

The phonetic consonantcy was invented by Hot.


The classic pig latin rule is that the initial consonants of the word are moved to the end, and then followed by a long A sound. Pig Latin puzzles are always phonetic.

An examples: ONE = bat, UNWEIGH = at bay.

PIG LATIN (8, 6 3)
This Stairmaster™ workout is torturing me;
I get SOL with every day.
I should try lipo or fat-burning pills.
There's just gotta be an ALL SAY.
= Forge

The solution: SOL = wheezier, ALL SAY = easier way

The Pig Latin puzzle was invented by Forge, first appearing in Apr 2003.


This puzzle type was published as a Ralf, and is unlikely ever to be published as a regular flat. The basewords are such that if you look up the first word's pronunciation, ignoring diacritical marks, you get the second word. For example: ONE = challis, TWO = shale.

I'd never eat a lime --
They give me acid indigestion.
An orange, every time,
Will lead to heartburn, there's no question.
To find out each fruit's LEASED
I must apply a litmus test.
On apples will I feast?
And do I dare to eat a LEST?
= Btnirn

The solution: LEASED = pH, LEST = peach.

The pronunciation was invented by Btnirn.


A modifier of other flats, like "phonetic". Qaqaq doesn't write U's after Q's; a Qaqaqian [sic] letter change on pick, clued as `rapid', would make qick. The tagging, or lack of it, assumes those U's to be there - that is, it treats qick as quick. I.e. as (4) and 10C because quick is. The name was changed to Qaqaqesqe soon thereafter by Qaqaq himself.

QAQAQIAN LETTER CHANGE (*5, *5) (*A, B) (*A = not MW)
A's flat took lots of reference work.
  I worked for weeks on tracking down
That D: who'd framed that thought so
  well? Was it Joe Broz or Marshall E?
And when with G I worked that sol
  into the H I still had half
The puzzle blank. I pulled out all my
  atlases and worked them through
In C. I L'ed of each where I might
  find the site I sought. From F
Down south in Ecuador to villes and
  and rues up north in B. It seemed
I looked through all the world until
  the island off the southern coast
Of Africa came to my eyes. "Ah, M, of
  course!" I cried with glee.
At last the K strange thing was
  solved and I beheld, unique, its charm.
So Ns to you, and kudos too; but next
  time spare my aching eyes!
= ΧΕΙΡΩΝ, Xemu and 100 Down

The solution: A = Xebec, B = Quebec, C = rotation, D = quotation, E = Tito, F = Quito, G = elation, H = equation, K = entire, L = enquire, M = Bouvet, N = bouquet.


Two cuewords are given, one for the reber and one for the subus. The solutions to each are palindromes. The first half of the reber solution and the second half of the subus solution provide a reading that generates a rubric, just as in a regular rebus. The second half of the reber, read backwards, followed by the first half of the subus, also read backwards, provides the same reading. For example: REBER = >Ono, SUBUS = tenet; with a rubric of T and a reading of one T.

REBER (*5'1 9. 2) (ADVANCE)
SUBUS (3; 2 6) (RETREAT)
Ne'er shall I leave thee, till Paris leaves France,
Till Havana quits Cuba, till Vietnam sees ADVANCE,
My love, I'm not speeding away like some guy
In a red hot RETREAT am I either, to fly
Off to some new Peruvian chickie. And so,
I'll be yours, my beloved, till--whoops, gotta go.
= Ucaoimhu

The solution: REBER = Hanoi's secession. Ah; SUBUS = rod. No condor; reading = H; an O is second; or.


The base of a reduplication is such that the letters in the first half are repeated in the second half. For example: "edited it". Further replications are possible: a triplication has also been published.

REDUPLICATION ([^5 *7] 2 3 4. 3'1 5 ^5 *5)
   (last *5 not MW usage)
I took my new 10C in hand,
And through the bios quickly scanned.
My eyesight's failing, so, alas,
I used a magnifying glass.
Saw Clare and Agnes--hey, alright!
I spied that mystic Carmelite
MAMA in this section? Nope!
(Maybe I should tell the Pope?)
She didn't make the cut, I guess.
(But if you add an extra S,
That holy gal can still be found in
Another section--as a mountain!)
= Xemu

The solution: Saint Theresa in the lens. Ain't there Saint Helen.


Like a repeated bigram (or trigram, etc.) deletion, in which the deleted string of letters forms a word and is clued in addition to the other parts.

For example: ALL = witherite, ONE = it, TWO = where.

   (ENTIRE = 11C-findable, OUT = not MW)
When I noticed an INS in the paper
For Casino Night down at the bar,
Well, I just couldn't wait to get going,
And that evening I jumped in my car.
At the tables I tried out my luck.
With the house at sixteen I ENTIRE
On my twelve I said "OUT", then "Aw, nuts!"
'Cause a jack made me go too much higher.
= Dart

The solution: ENTIRE = had it made, INS = ad, OUT = hit me.


Each letter in a baseword is added back to the word, in order, and the result transposed. For example: BASE = nacre, ONE = canner, TWO = arcane, THREE = cancer, FOUR = craner, FIVE = careen.

Too many young car FOUR, like you,
Just BASE me (I wish you were TWO!);
   Mad risks you all run
   For greed or for fun --
Our gladiatorial crew.
So "ave, great THREE, morituri
Te salutant," your sole judge and jury;
   A FIVE in his brow,
   His thumb down, and pow!
Thumbs up? Like a ONE from a houri.

The solution: BASE = scare, ONE = caress, TWO = scarce, THREE = Caesar, FOUR = racers, FIVE = crease.

The Rochester transaddition was invented by Hap.


In a split shift, two (or more) of the base words start and end with identical sequences of letters. Linking the dissimilar parts makes another word. For example: ONE = elegant, TWO = element, SPLIT = game.

On WACO I went to the SCOT
To roll eggs with celibate folks.
I gave them an offering of SWAT
But they gave me nothing but yolks.
= Slik

The solution: SWAT = money, monastery, Easter.

The split shift was invented by Maelstrom and Slik.


Instead of being palindromic when considered letter by letter, a syllabic palindrome works when taken syllable by syllable. For example: palindrome in pal.

Before Deep Blue there was Pale Pink,
The first machine programmed to think.
They tried to make this big mainframe
Unbeatable at a classic game.
But the designer's dreams were dashed
When Pale Pink's PINK'S PALE program crashed:
Despite ten thousand lines of code,
It always X'd and never O'd.
= Panache

The solution: tic-tac-toe tactic.


A synonym of the main base word has letters which are a subset of the letters in the main word. Remove those letters, and what remains, in that order, spells the second word. The synonym might be a synonym for a sense of the main word other than the one used in the flat.

For example: ONE = separate, TWO = see, with the removed synonym apart.

My next-door neighbors found, to their dismay,
Their house was filled with deadly radon. They
Filed suit FIRST WORD the builders, who, they reckoned,
Had erred. Alas, a court case is no SECOND.
= Endgame

The solution: FIRST WORD = against, synonym = anti, SECOND = gas.

The synonym deletion was invented by Endgame.


415 lb of Snake noticed that The National Puzzlers' League: The First 115 Years reports that there were 33 'Telestichs' published between 1910-1953 (p. 308) and apparently no others were published up until the printing of this book in 1998. 415 lb of Snake also suggests that, according to the book, AEs as we know them now, only began in 1952, so it leaves the possibility that all 33 were published in 1952-53. Unfortunately, he could find nothing regarding who invented the 'Telestich' type or when it first appeared.

The example given by The National Puzzlers' League: The First 115 Years is balD, tunA, burY for day and balM, tunE, burN for men. It's not clear why two examples using the same letter groups are given; perhaps it was the way it was done back then as only one example is used for the AE.


An old name for a terminal deletion. Note, however, that the cueword order in a terminal addition is the reverse of that in a terminal deletion. For example, in a terminal addition on tea and steam, tea would be ONE and steam would be TWO, whereas for a terminal deletion it would be the other way around.


An old name for a terminal deletion.


The first and last letters of a word are both changed. For example: ONE = Spider-Man, epidermal.

Those terrorists have struck again
(They seem so filled with rage);
Called "Sluices Have A Morbid End,"
They're off on a rampage.
Intent on ONE the thoughtless way
That floodgates seem to spread,
Last week they torched the concrete works;
Last night they bombed instead
The factory where TWOs are made.
I'm sure you see that that
Leaves us in dread. When will they strike
Another dam plant flat?
= 100 Down

The solution: ONE = curbing, TWO = turbine.


In a terminal rotation a pair of words becomes another pair of words when all four terminal letters shift position, in a manner analagous to rotating tires on a car--each front letter moves to the end, while the back letters move in front and switch words.

For example: ONE = tend, TWO = bums, THREE = sent, FOUR = dumb.

Willy Nilly TWO some cash.
Alas, he THREE his private stash
Till it was nil, then borrowed from
The Mob, which proved to be quite dumb.
Willy's ONE, with smart, trim looks,
But Willy's sloppy with his books,
Of debts outstanding, Will's lost track.
Will he, Nilly, pay it back?
Willy Nilly meets a hood
Who FOUR him up; now Nilly's good
Appearance is a bit diminished.
Pay your debt, Will, or you're finished.
= Bartok

The solution: ONE = dapper, TWO = sought, THREE = tapped, FOUR = roughs.

The terminal rotation was invented by Bartok.


An interlock in which one of the shorter pieces is tranposed.

TRANSINTERLOCK (2 9 6, 1 10, 6)
"A photograph is THREE WORDS,"--this quotation's really true;
It comes from Henri Cartier-Bresson--"a drawing TWO."
A photograph says, "Shoot me now!" as Now turns into Then,
While drawing needs a calmer hand that knows the way of Zen.
But neither form of artistry pays off in legal tender,
So if Henri would end his days in opulence and splendor
He should aim lights and cameras at adulteries and murders--
In short, head out to Hollywood and try his hand at HERDERS.
= Aesop

The solution: THREE WORDS = an immediate action; TWO = a meditation; HERDERS = cinema.

The transinterlock was invented by Aesop.


An old name for a metathesis.

This page was last updated on Thursday, June 18, 2015. /webmaster