The annals of Anil.
"Power pyramids" are sentential step-triangles; the lines run together into a single coherent sentence or statement, ideally poetic, provocative or humorous. My favourite, already presented in up/dn and in Kickshaws, is the "other cheek" poem, I IN FIN FIND FIEND FRIEND. Both new poems below rely on equating O with zero, a common practice in anagrams and cryptic crosswords but making for a somewhat flawed result, required for the poetry. The first is "perfect", the second is semi-perfect (Is that a word or an oxymoron?)
HER GOT ERGOT ERGO E GO GO O.
Ergot here represents LSD, an ergot derivative and ego dissolver.
ZEROFICATION or WHEN JOHNNY GETS CARRIED HOME
The next pyramid, an ELEGY, mixes perfect steps with transadditions.
O On One, Done, Or end, Modern, Mourned, Unformed, Uniformed, Uninformed.
REREVERER, a banananame listed in Jeff Grant's Palindromicon II (WW monograph 6), is my nominee as one of the most interesting words in the language. Has this been pointed out before? It's a palindrome within a palindrome within a palindrome within a palindrome. Rever is defined in the Palindromicon as Scots dialect for a robber or plunderer, and a rereverer of course is one who reveres again or repeatedly. The innermost "pal" is the mirror image letter V itself. If only "erevere" were a word we'd have a perfect onion: REREVERER
EREVERE REVER EVE V.
If one considered it important enough one could coin a meaning for the void layer. I volunteer.
erevere = 1. email spelling of Paul Revere's descendant Elvis: E. Revere 2. to worship the internet or high tech generally: to e-revere 3. two competing version of a past event: ere v. ere (technically, ere1 v. ere2) Looking ahead, may the future make a word of, and ERE REVERE RE, DEREREVERERED, meaning "removed all rereverers", eg in a religious purge.
There are dozens and perhaps hundreds of perfect onions in Palindromicon II but it includes proper and commercial names, acronyms and other abbreviations, and foreign languages. A computer search of PII might quickly uncover the longest perfect onion. Using only Scrabble words I found no perfect onions with a symmetrical central letter longer than 5-letter triples, and only five of them in Official Scrabble Words (ANANA, DEWED, LEVEL, STATS, STOTS), and of these only LEVEL and STATS are in Official Scrabble Players Dictionary. (But REVER is in neither.) Can you or Jeff or other readers find a longer perfect onion of only Scrabble words? Or of Web-3 or other defined source words?
MORE PALINDROME ANAGRAMS
Tom Pulliam (89-221,222; after Darryl Francis earlier) presented a large list of long words that can be formed with the letters of the word PALINDROME, either by removing three letters and anagramming the rest or by adding increasingly larger groups of letters to "palindrome" to form increasingly longer words. Astute as he was, Pulliam surely noticed but failed to mention that many of these words, with an apt rearrangement of the other letters (which he presents only as alphomes), can make good anagrams about palindromes--definitives, antigrams and cognates. In tribute I present the solutions to several of his cryptic anagrams. His words are bold. Mine are more timid.
palindrome * in a premold / I pan remold. (I pan a camera across and back.)
* plainer mod dipolar men (men with reversible names like Bob and Judge Gduj)
* ran implode (self-centered, imploding from both directions)
My multi-anagram definition in up/dn (WW monograph 5, '02) unknowingly included variants of three of these:
"Palindrome: I'm polar end-on-mid relap, an imploder ... drawn inward. Gain palindrome in dipole anagram. Palindrome's a spin remold." * don impaler/nor impaled (weak synonym/antonym pair, symmetrically impaled at midpoint)
* Am line prod midplane, or do 'ramp' line. (polyanagram of "palindrome" extending previous explanation)
* meridional parts Is palindrome art. / meridional pair: I air palindrome. (symmetrical halves)
* imponderable be palindrome (by Francis; too often true!)
* retrodisplacement Palindrome set? Cert!
* preaccommodatingly Got my palindrome acc. (1st half of a pal makes a "reservation" for 2nd half.)
And three good ANTIGRAMS:
* hyperdimensionality Hip palindrome, yes? (No! Pals stubbornly stick to a single dimension.
Unless they're meaningful, whence they do gain an extra dimension--or two if of double meaning.)
* malproportioned Or opt palindrome. (No, pals are perfectly, symmetrically proportioned.)
* pseudoconglomeration Go scout one palindrome. (No, a pal is an ordered true conglomeration.)
THE CASE FOR INCOMPLETE ARGUMENT
It's true! If you had three markers and added four more and I asked you if you had six, you'd have to say yes, no? Plus one more, of course, if you insist on being a "completist". (Note condescending tone.) It's like the kids' riddle, How many months have 28 days? Answer: all of them!
1. What do you call a suicidal Australian stand-up comedian who bombs?
2. How many Aussies does it take to change the globe?
3. What weapon does a hit man for the establishment use?
ANSWERS AND SOLUTIONS
1. a Comic Aussie 2. only one, usually (The globe is what we down under call the light bulb.) 3. a machine gun.
ICE COOL HIGH SCHOOL REVISITED
Here's some more questions from students at said institution where I fail to teach, plus the best-I-could-manage answers to same.
Was Pavlov's dog a Klein bottle?
Sadly Martin Gardner isn't around to answer this tricky poser.
Was Androcles the first pussyfooter?
Yes, and pussyfooting paid!
Is "Homo" sapiens gay?
Is "earth" a dirty word? Yes, whenever dirt-cheap dirt costs the earth!
Is a stillbirth still birth?
If so, it's a mere charade.
Was Adam so named because he was motherless, a-Dam?
Sounds right, but backward thinking Germans and Russians reverse the myth to Ma da : Dam present (G); Dam yes! (R).
Is there anyone anywhere who actually believes Japan is killing all those whales for science? Yes! All Japanese scientists who like whale meat.
Why doesn't anybody ever wage peace?
"Because the wages of peace is death," say the war wagers. (Isn't that "sin"?)
What kind of super-stupor stupid duped two-bit sap/sucker species are we? (Oh-oh, what'd we do this time? Or not do?)
ALADDIN JOKES * Aladdin wished to survive for a million years. So the genii turned him into stone. * Aladdin wished to sleep with many beautiful women. So the genii turned him into a live-in harem eunuch. * Aladdin wished for the world's biggest muscles. So the genii turned him into a blue whale. On the spot. * Aladdin wished for a ton of gold. So the genii swished him off to the inner vault at Fort Knox, where he suffocated. * Aladdin wished to own the whole universe. So the genii did nothing, saying "You already do!" (So do you, sleeper!)
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL ACCOUNTS
These anagrams of the Australian capital cities are old and new mixed. A, B and C are from up/dn, the rest new. Naturally all but Perth get abused, but that's what they get for having those letters.
state capital descriptive anagrams __ South Australia Adelaide "Ale aided, I addle ea. lead idea." Queensland Brisbane Be brains? Na, bribes! nation Canberra barren A/C Northern Territory Darwin Draw in inward! Tasmania Hobart Bah! Rot! Victoria Melbourne mule boner Western Australia Perth Terph! ((The PR!)) New South Wales Sydney Dys-yen! Terph is a slang shortening of terrific, as in "The turf and surf in Perth are terph!" I also recommend TERPH to logologists as a catchall term for any anagram-challenged entity. Dys-yen Sydney means you don't want to go there.
These are early efforts at palindroming which in the end dropped off and fell short of success.
A man, a plan, an isthmus--Panama! (The man of course was Balboa.)
Abel was I ere I saw Cain.
Sums are not set as a test on Darwin. (Erasmus Darwin?)
Dennis and Edna behaved.
Are we not drawn onwards, we Jews, drawn onward to new heights? (Golan Heights?)
Delia sailed as a sad Elias got seasick.
Ma is as selfless as I used to be.
Madame, not one man is selfless. I name not one, bitch.
Mirth, sir, a gay asset? No, don't assay a garish homosexual.
So may Obadiah, even in Nineveh, aid a boy, Andy.
MORE DILETTANTE ETYMOLOGY ADVENTURES
Females and fetuses suck! That's not an opinion, it's the etymology. Both female (femina, suck-person) and fetus (fetus, offspring, sucker) come from fe- suck (L.). Felare, to suck, is also related to filius/filia (son/daughter, suckling). Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (1988) doesn't say so but it's tempting to speculate on a prehistoric relationship also between filius etc and filium (L., thread, string). Further, either or both may be related to the Greek phil- (love, philos, loved one, dear, friend; earliest meaning is one's own (ie, kin, one's blood line, offspring?) and to phylon (phylum, race, stock, tribe, clan, line; rel. to phyein, be, bring into existence, produce [offspring] <Sk. bhavati, exists, happens, <I-E bhew, grow, come to be, [spring off]). There's a strong temptation to add yet another sideways entry into this group, filly (<foal<G fulon, rel. to L. pullus, pullet, young animal [animal offspring]). Can a reader with a deeper knowledge of etymology answer these speculations?
SIGN OF THE TIMES I saw a TV ad shouting "AT CRAZY, FAIR PRICES!" In other words, if you're fair, you're crazy. IN-SIGHT JOKE He: "You look like a million dollars!" She: "How do a million dollars look?" He: "Out of all those eyes in the pyramids."
A TORTURED COINCIDENCE
Torquemada, famous Inquisitor and torturer, is named for his home town in Castile, meaning "burnt tower". Quite apt, but an even more apt coincidence is the fact that torquere is Latin for "to torture"!
THE INDETERMINATE NUMBERS
I included a couple of terms in How To Double.. (p.79) that might qualify if slightly modified to fit the category.
quadrillians indeterminately vast numbers of square dancers
cotillions even larger numbers of dance gatherings
SHE WAS ONLY
Here's another oldie of that genre, learned from my mother and the funniest of the lot in my opinion:
She was only a stableman's daughter, but all the horsemen knew her.
TOWNS AND CITIES
Bill Brandt, in a geographic mood, states that "I read an article about places someone had visited or wanted to visit. They wanted to go to Cahoots. But they couldn't go there alone because apparently you have to be in Cahoots with someone. They did go to Cognito but when they were in Cognito no one seemed to recognize them. That got me to thinking about some of the places that I have visited."
When I was in Accurate everything I had thought about it turned out to be wrong.
When I was in Capable everything I did seemed to go wrong.
When I was in Cense everything seemed to smell nice
When I was in Curable and again when I was in Operable I was diagnosed with a serious disease.
When I was in Decisive I couldn't make up my mind what to do next.
When I was in Delible it made a lasting impression.
When I was in Different I didn't care one way or the other.
When I was in Dulgence all I wanted to do was pig out at the restaurants.
When I was in Ebriated I often got drunk.
When I was in Edible the food at the restaurant tasted terrible.
When I was in Fantile the people there seemed to be acting childish.
When I was in Fantry I visited the military base.
When I was in Fection and also when I was in Fluenza I started to run a fever.
When I was in Ferior and when I was in Secure I started to feel the same as when I was in Adaquate.
When I was in Genuous the people did not seem very sincere.
When I was in Hospitable the folks there didn't make me feel welcome.
When I was in Jure I broke my arm.
When I was in Opportune it didn't seem like a good time to visit.
When I was in Nuendo every sign seemed to have a double meaning.
When I was in Quire and when I was in Quisitive people kept asking me questions.
When I was in Satible I was always hungry.
When I was in Scrutable and when I was in Explicative things there were very puzzling.
When I was in Sightful and when I was in Spriration I had some of my best new ideas.
When I was in Sipid everything seemed very bland.
When I was in Solvent I ran out of money and had to look for an ATM.
When I was in Surmountable I couldn't seem to get anything done.
When I was in Surrection a riot broke out.
When I was an Tensify everything seemed more real.
When I was n Terpret I had to ask my friend to tell me what everyone was saying.
When I was in Tervene I had to break up a fight.
When I was in Tolerant I couldn't stand the people there.
When I was in Undate I was overwhelmed by peoples' kindness.
When I was in Vective people kept shouting things at me.
When I was in Verse everything seemed to be done backwards.
When I was in Visible no one seemed to notice me.
Iowa City, Iowa