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More purple turtles (Part 1).

Dan Tilque's The Purple Turtle in the August 2004 issue demonstrated that some of the simplest ideas are often the most appealing. There are 325 possible substitutions (not 375), and Dan listed 224 of these (not 277). By extending the search to include the Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition (oed), etc., and locations other than US place names, I managed to fill all the gaps. Not having a program for this particular exercise, I didn't find it a particularly easy task. Some letters are more difficult to substitute than others. The letter W is one such, and I note that WAWA occurs six times in Dan's list. Q and X substitutions can also pose problems, which is why in the list below RIQQ (an Egyptian tambourine) and FIXX (a surname), amongst other words, occur several times. Vowel-consonant substitutions can also be difficult and, again, some words are used more than once.
AT AREA / TRET (both Web2) AV AOA (Century Dic.-the Banyan
 tree) / VOV (9th letter of
 Yiddish alphabet--Web3)
AX AIA (ayah--oed) / XIX AZ AELA (Estonia) / ZELZ
 (Guatemala) (Poland)
BE BIRB (a minute barb or BQ BANAB (Iran) / QANAQ
 beard--oed) / EIRE (Greenland)
BU BEB (bib v. to drink--oed) /
 UEU (Angola)
CQ COROC (Laos) / QOROQ (see AQ) CU ICC (I pronoun--oed) / IUU
CX CERCES (= searces,
 sifts--oed) / XERXES
DE DIRD (shock--oed) / EIRE DO DAD / OAO (cemetery in Fiji
DQ RIDD (rid v.--oed) / RIQQ DU ADD / AUU (awe--oed)
DX FIDD (rid n.--oed) / FIXX
EF EIE (Scots eye--edd) / FIF EJ AEAEA (Circe--Random House
 (five--oed) Dic.) / AJAJA (roseate
EL IEE (eye--oed) / ILL EN EURE (destiny--oed) / NURN
 (to utter- oed)
EQ EAE (eye--oed) / QAQ (a god EV EAES (eyes--oed) / VAVS
 of fire) (OSPD)
EW WEWE (weave--oed) / WTWT EX AEIE (any--oed) / AXIX, Dar
 (without--oed) bou (Tunisia)
EZ IEE (see EL) / IZZ (Oman)
FQ RIFF (a string of FU HOFFS (houghs-oed) / HOUUS
 onions--oed) / RIQQ (house--oed)
FX COFFS (buys-oed) / COXXS FZ MUFFLE / MUZZLE (both Web2)
 (cock 1546 citn. oed)
GQ RIGG (rig--oed) / RIQQ GU HOGGS (hogs--oed) / HOUUS
 (see FU)
GX FIGG (the surname of a near
 neighbour here) / FIXX
HJ HUHU (a New Zealand HQ HANAH (a name-edd suppl)/
 beetle-oed) / JUJU (oed) QANAQ (see BQ
HR HUHU (see HJ) / RURU (New HX AHIHA / AXIXA (Brazil)
 Zealand owl--oed)
IJ IEI (Ethiopia) / JEJ IM IEREI (Somalia) / MEREM
 (Afghanistan) (Indonesia)
IN IUI (a language) / NUN IP IOI (joy--oed) / POP
IQ IAI (var of IAAl below) / IV IAI (see IQ) / VAV (=
 QAQ (see EQ) vau--oed)
IW IAAI (a language) / WAAW IX IEREI (Somalia) / XEREX (a
 (dial. wow--edd) Canadian Co.)
JO JIJIJ (a tree) / OIOIO (a JP HAJJ (hadj-oed) / HAPP (hap=
 plantain) chance- oed)
JQ JANAJ (Egyptian village) / JU JAJ (Ethiopia) / UAU
 QANAQ (see BQ) (Hawaiian petrel)
JV JAJ (see JU) / VAV (see IV) JW HAJJAH (Yemen)/HAWWAH
 (Hebrew 'Eve')
JX JANAJ (see JQ) / XANAX (a
 brand of alprazolam-Random
 House Dic. 2nd Ed. 1987)
KO KAK (dial. cack--edd) / OAO KQ RIKK (Web2--same as RIQQ) /
 (see DO) RIQQ
KU AKK (Akk Emma--oed) / AUU KX KERKES (kirks =
 (awe--oed) churches--oed)/XERXES
LO ILL / IOO (yea--oed) LQ SHILL (sonorous a.--oed)/
 SHIQQ (a jinn in
LU ILL / IUU (yew--oed) LX FILL / FIXX pre-lslamic
MO MUM / OUO (Mall) MQ RIMM (rim, a membrane--oed) /
MU IMMES (immeasurable--oed) /
 IUUES (Jew-oed)
NO INN / IOO (see LO) NQ RINN (run--oed) / RIQQ
OP OAO (see DO) / PAP OQ OIO (Hawaiian ladyfish) / QIQ
OT OEO (New Zealand) / TET OV OAO (see DO) / VAV (see IV)
OW DOOE (doe--oed) / DWWE OX OEO (New Zealand) / XEX (El
 (due--oed) Xex in Guatemala)
PQ RIPP (reap--oed) / RIQQ PU OPPER (Chile) / OUUER
PX FOPP (fop n.--oed / FOXX (a
QR SHIQQ (see LQ) / SHIRR (to OS RIQQ / RISS (rise--oed)
QT RIQQ / RITT (ride--oed) QU AQQ, Ra's al (Oman) / AUU
 (see KU)
QV AQQAL, Magharat al(Lebanon) / QW AQQAD, Al (Yemen) / AWWAD (S
 AVVAL (Uzbek) Arabia)
QX QAQA (Lesotho) / XIXI (China) QY RIQQ / RIYY, Jabal ar (Yemen)
QZ RIQQ / R1ZZ, Qoubbet Sahn er
RV REER (rear--oed) / VEEV RW RARE / WAWE (waw--oed)
RX FIRR (fir tree--oed) / FIXX
SU ASS/AUU (see KU) SX FOSS (force n.--oed) / FOXX
TU GROTTE (groat--oed) / GROUUE TX FITT (fit--oed) / FIXX
UW HOUUE (houve--oed) / HOWWE UX UEU (see BU) / XEX (see OX)
UZ IUU (see CU) / IZZ ad Din
VX VIV / XIX (see AX)
 (sixes--Middle English
 Dic., Ed. Hans Karath 1959)
XY NAXXAR (a Maltese town) /
 Muhsin an NAYYAR (Iraq)
YZ IYYAR (the post-exilic name
 of one of the Jewish
 months--oed) / IZZAR,
 Koudia Beni (Algeria)

Dan's longest set of PTs, based on the tautonymic letter pattern 2A2A, has 14 elements. However, the palindromic letter pattern 2A2 will accept all 25 substitutions from B through Z resulting in a set of PTs with 25 elements, the longest possible. All 25 2A2 words can be found in The Palindromicon 11 (Word Ways Monograph Series 6, 2002). It follows that 300 of the 325 possible substitutions can be represented by using the 2A2 pattern i.e. all except the 25 which would involve substituting only two of the three As in AAA to make BAB through ZAZ, which would break the rules of the game. But all this would be boring in the extreme. The palindromic pattern A22A is nearly as fecund, all except AOOA being in The Palindromicon H. I couldn't even find an acceptable AOOA on the internet!

References: edd-English Dialect Dictionary; edncm-Everyman's Dictionary of Non-Classical Mythology; OSPD-Official Scrabble Players Dictionary; Web2/3-Webster's 2nd/3rd Editions. Locations, taken from The United States Board on Geographic Names, are identified by country. Unreferenced palindromes can be found in The Palindromicon 11 (Word Ways Monograph Series 6, 2002).


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Author:Thorpe, Susan
Publication:Word Ways
Date:Nov 1, 2004
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