What's That Flat?


A word or phrase becomes another when its letters are rearranged. Examples: sleuth, hustle ; Earl of Coventry , olfactory nerve . A transposal can have more than two parts, as in this example: blamed, beldam, ambled, bedlam, lambed .

Certain special types of transposals have their own names: the head-to-tail shift (the first letter becomes the last), the letter shift (one letter moves to a new place), the metathesis (two letters exchange places), the reversal (the letter order is reversed), and the transpogram (a word or phrase is divided into two pieces, which exchange places). These are described under their own titles.

When a transposal contains more than two parts, two of them might form a special kind of transposal without that being noted. For example, in one of the preceding examples beldam and bedlam form a metathesis, but this needn’t be mentioned with the puzzle.