What's That Flat?

Letter change

A specified letter is changed to make a new word or phrase. Example (a third-letter change): pastry, pantry.


B we’ll get some rain today
Or all my garden flowers will A.


The solution: A = wither, B = either. (The solution would appear as “w/e-ither.”)

Letter changes can have more than two parts. Example: boast, beast, blast. If the last letter is being changed, the flat is called a last-letter change. Example: molts, molto is called a last-letter, instead of a fifth-letter, change. In a reversed letter change, a letter is changed in a word or phrase and the result is then reversed to make another. Example (reversed second-letter change): twanger, regnant.

In a terminal-letter change, the first and last letters of a word are changed to different letters. Examples: Spider-man, epidermal and grimace, primacy.

In a palindrome-to-letter change, a group of three or more letters that form a palindrome are replaced by a single letter to form a second word or phrase. Examples: C(ana)da, c(o)da and Can(ada), can(e).

In the Brookline letter change, a word or phrase changes each one of its letters in turn to make others. Example: BASE = rice, ONE = nice, TWO = race, THREE = rile, FOUR = rich.


He C not to BASEWORD the girls any more;
That A of his life was now over, he swore.
But looking? To B that would leave a great E.
The very idea could make a man D.


The solution: BASEWORD = chase, A = phase, B = cease, C = chose, D = chafe, E = chasm.

The Brookline letter change was introduced by Newrow (from Brookline MA) in 1991.

In a Redmond letter change, change each letter of a word in order, forming a new word at each step. Example: risk, disk, desk, deck, deco.