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Word ways article geographical palindrome contest.

Special thanks to Mark Saltveit for all of his work on it

A few years ago, GAMES magazine held a contest called "Palindromes with Personality." The goal was to create a palindrome that included the name of a well-known person, real or fictitious The contest drew a lot of attention to palindromes

In August, 2014, WORD WAYS held a "Geographic Palindrome Contest" in which the goal was to make a palindrome with the name of a geographic place (real or fictitious) in it.

The main purpose of this contest is to give people who are palindromically inclined the opportunity to publish as many of their own geographic palindromes as they want, thus creating a large body of new palindromes.

PRIZES: First place winner will receive 3 books of mine: A Visit from St Alphabet, Poetry City, and A Child's Garden of Grammar (by Tom Disch with cartoons by me) Runners up: A Visit from St Alphabert Finally, all 6 people receive an aluminum Dr Alphabet Token

JUDGE: Mark Saltveit judged this contest In the May Kickshaws, Mark's biography appeared Since it shows his wide range of interests and accomplishments, it is repeated here:
Mark Saltveit is the reigning World Palindrome Champion A true
    renaissance man, he has held jobs from movie location manager to
   laborer to computer programmer He founded and ran a computer training
   company for 9 years, worked as a barista, office temp and professor
   English in China, and writes about football and Taoism Let's
also not
   forget standup comedian, skimboarder, and dad He is responsible for
   creating and publishing the Palindromist Magazine and the Skeleton
   website Sources say he 

Debate: go nab Utah's art? Trash a tuba? No, get a bed!

Buns, no local poo! Homemade Liverpool gloop reviled--a memo hoopla: colon snub!

Morph surefire network row, Tenerife: rush prom!

Ha! Tunisia is sure: bury a wrong, Norway rube. Russia is in Utah!

Bedside Roman, email Apennine men in Nepal. I am enamored. Is Deb?

Date elf rats? No, Wyoming, Nimoy won Starfleet ad!

No slots? I prod Nevada vendor, pistols on!

Lapse? Well, Idaho had ill ewes, pal.

Spastic Illinois iced a decision, illicit saps!

Tuna to go, Bogota nut?

Dude, I reek! Alas, a Lake Erie dud!

Stifle Bern rebel fits.

I--mad, loose NOLA maiden, Madam Amy--wedded venial live volt, a fat love villain, evaded deewy mama. Damned, I am alone, so old am I.

Tip no lavatory rot, Avalon pit!

Keen, I stole macabre herb, a Camelot sin-eek!

Panned dirt bed, aristocrat? A Qatar cot, sir, a debt-ridden nap.

Nineveh ports Atacama catastrophe: venin!

Mad, aloof, I field dire Kalahari affair. Ah, a lake riddle if I fool a dam!

O Gypsy Son: Seville's mad! A damsel lives! Nosy spy, go!

Departure pass? A Peru trap, Ed.

I--mad, loose NOLA maiden, Madam Amy--wedded a venial live volt, a fat love villain, evaded dewy mama. Damned, I am alone, so old am I.

A diadem, a foe's reverse, mad art-fed Nile: Verdi did revel in deft Radames' reverse, famed Aida!

Sir, a pain, a madness! Elba gin in a pro's tipsy end? I know angst, sir! I taste, I demonstrate lemon omelet arts. Nome diet satirists gnaw on kidneys, pits or panini. Gab less: end a mania, Paris!

Rot! A renegade Surabaya bar used a generator!

Pupils zap a La Paz slip-up.

Park City, a menu tune may tick rap.

[Here's a new geographic palindrome in which the length of each word corresponds to the first 9 digits of pi ... because who doesn't want a palindromic mnemonic device for remembering pi?! Haha. Idappadi and Sagar are cities in India.]

Sir, a pain, a madness! Elba gin in a pro's tipsy end? I know angst, sir! I taste, I demonstrate lemon omelet arts. Nome diet satirists gnaw on kidneys, pits or panini. Gab less: end a mania, Paris!

[Here's a new geographic palindrome in which the length of each word corresponds to the first 9 digits of pi ... because who doesn't want a palindromic mnemonic device for remembering pi?!Haha. Idappadi and Sagar are cities in India.

Rag a Slav--I? Goons, Idappadi's no ogival Sagar! 3.14159265

[I made another pi palindrome, 32 digits of pi up to the first 0.] 3.1415926535897932384626433832795

"Sex: a trot, a noted desuetude to pained rages, Ute. Syria parterre flowerpot, seniles? Abandoned ode? No, DNA baseline, stop! Re-wolf, er, re-trap airy set! Use gardenia pot, Ed. Ute-used detonator taxes."

[I used quite a few "cheats" that I would normally avoid: re-wolf isn't really a word and Ute-used is less than optimal. And "er" ... And of course it has a most tenuous grip on sense. It does actually (well, sort of!) work as a mnemonic device to some extent, since one only has to remember the first 16 words in order to recall 32 digits, what with it being a palindrome.]

Rot! A renegade Surabaya bar used a generator!

Pupils zap a La Paz slip-up.

Park City, a menu tune may tick rap.

[I have a new geographic palimerick to submit for the contest. My current tongue in cheek description of it is "The plight of air pollution in the pacific islands, described in Tolkien metaphors since "smog" doesn't work well in a palindrome:]
 Guam's devil lives: drab odor fog. No garden olive, no grog.
Rob Erebor, Gorgon? Evil? One dragon! Go, Frodo! Bard's evil lived:
 Wales! Oppose law!
Wales, Rohan art ran a horse law. 

 [World traveller] Armenia man at: Nome, Morocco, Rome, Montana,
Maine ... Mr. A!
 [FIFA boss continues to plead ignorance] One K.O.-Jalapeno graft? Never
at a Qatar event! Far gone, pal; a joke, no?
[Frozen hunger] Stressed? Embolden idyll-a cold Alaska yak salad,
locally dined. Lob me desserts!
[Creative Polish inspiration] Warsaw nip? Oh, Chopin was raw.
[If King Arthur were alive today?] Set on to grail (Camelot's). No
Lava Iris, Siri. Avalon stole Mac; liar got notes.
[A vacation palimerick (of sorts)] I lampoon small, able Bali Laid a
track, ran at rally! Din? All an idyll Art? An ark-cart, a dial I label
ball (am snoop) ... Mali! 

Some Palindrome Place Riddles s.]

No 1: In response to his wife's suggestion for a retirement location, Cornelius was succinct: "_______?__,____." (7,2,4)

No 2: Where Cal Jr's glove was made (9,4,3, 3)

No 3: Siesta by the canal (6, 3)

No 4: Polynesian headpiece (6,3)

No 5: "Chosen land" of impressionable King (5,6)

No 6: Hurt of war-tom land (reaction) (6,4, (3))

No 7: Spanish love in a Bucharest downpour (7,4,4)

No 8: One Aykroyd show for his home (1,3,3,6)

No 9: To this California city, peon (6,2,4)

No 10: The pub by the Falls once more (7,3,5)

No 11 : Straight genes, Ohio (3,5,9)

No 12: It doesn't matter if we head for Nebraska.__ ______?____(2, 5,4)

No 13: Volcanic meal plan (5,4)

(Answers below)

[Here are the answers to the riddles. Along the same vein, I've created two crossdrome puzzles with "Cities and Places" as a theme. I don't think they're contest material but I could send those on, too, if you're interested. (A crossdrome is a type of crossword puzzle in which all the entries are palindromes.]

No 1 : Arizona? No, Zira!

No 2: Baltimore hero MIT lab

No 3: Panama nap

No 4: Tahiti hat

No 5: Lear's Israel

No 6: Bosnia pain (sob)

No 7: Romania rain amor

No 8: A Dan act, Canada

No 9: Fresno on, serf!

No 10: Niagara bar again

No 11 : DNA level, Cleveland

No 12: To Omaha? Moot!

No 13: Teide diet

"Espana morning is demo-domed" sign in Roman Apse.

"Yo! Ban an abode lot!"--Toledo banana boy.

[Ohio farmers' market opposes residential development]

Hal (lad) lost sense. Sold Alaska yak salad. Loses nest. Sold Allah!

Motto: "Toy koto to Tokyo tot."--Tom

Now you belt (tab/tag) Alf an Iwo Jima "mijo" win; a flag at battle. Buoy won!

Level set is Atapuerca fossil bliss of ... acre up at a site's level!
 [Poker, prayers and a peak] Won pot. It's ere vespers reps.
Everest I top now.
 [Rare weather on the "ice giant" calls for a jog] Sun? A run
on Uranus!
I label sin a Gilligan Isle: Bali.
[Ohio farmers' market opposes residential development.] --"Yo!
Ban an abode lot!"--Toledo banana boy.
Emits a photo: "Toy koto to Tokyo tot" ... Oh pastime! Motto:
"Toy koto to Tokyo tot."-Tom
[World traveller, part 2] Alamo rain, so ... Bogota, Togo, Bosnia, Roma,
[Solace for western Trekkies:] Pall? No, Wyoming; Nimoy won. #LLAP!
[Just can't beat the system ...] Stop now, sage. Vegas won pots.
[Probable reaction if the Jazz become 2016 NBA champs:] No, what? Utah
[Yearning for upgrade to Formula 1 ...] Race cart? Never at a Qatar
event ... Race CAR!
[Open to interpretation ...] No, Nasdaq; arid Iraq ads anon.
[Ravi's Indiana encore?] A Gary raga
In Illinois I vision Mini.
Sell Iowa raw oil, Les.
[Some random people in random places:]
A girl, Riga
La Paz, a pal
A pure Peru pa
Nat, Lusaka sultan
Lagos Sal, lasso gal
[They implored "The Greatest" before famous 1975 fight ...]
Ali, name Manila.
Stop now! Reno loner won pots!
Bologna man in a mango lob
Hanoi tome not so, Byrd; Sahara has dry Boston emotion ... ah!
Niagara fall afar again
Low at New York, Roy went AWOL
Naples mad damsel: Pan
Boston knot? Sob
A gal, a map, analytic? Yes; re: Jersey City, L.A., Napa, Malaga. 

[World traveller, part 3]

Anne, I vote "Grab a Roman." Erie nod? No Lord, I sin (ask Roy). Low at New York-row! ... Tennessee, Nicaragua, La Paz, Ibiza, Palau, Ga. Racine, Essen ... Network! Roy went AWOL) ... York, San Isidro, London, Eire, Nam, or a barge to Vienna. Maria, Ira, me ... lost in Madrid. A nadir-damn! It's ole, Maria. I ram!

On I varied. Am I Madeira vino?

[A palimerick love story]
 La Paz-I'll woo 'til I've won gal Feta, dessert,
sidecar, et al. Saw I was late Raced! I stressed, ate Flag now, evil
Ito? Owl Liza = pal 

Lived hell, eh Devil?

On a seaport ... Sea = Mississippi's sis? Si, Maestro; paesano!

See Rio soirees.

Dr. of X-O on cat city? Tic Tac No: Oxford!

Nod. No lot, sir, is to London.

Mars, ah, a moon. A Ganymede. My Nagano, Omaha's ram.

Won straw ... Go H. Potter! Fret?! Top Hogwarts now!

[Fictitious rule; real place] Hat use law; Wales, Utah

A buck-ride. Miami I'm aimed. Irk Cuba.

[National fraternity meets in Texas town for vacation send-off while I dream of black Christmas]

[At Nash to go en masse for Pi Nu Fiji fim, I profess am neo-goth Santa.


"Wales!" proclaimed Ness. "Endemial corpse law!"
 [Clamorous rural calculator] Wales' Ionic Abaci = Noise law!

 An ole! Crab food's a 'gas do' of Barcelona. [add
accent to 'e' of 'ole' if you like]
 Rae hides in a Brussels less urbanised, I hear. [perhaps Brussels in
Door County, Wisconsin?)]
Nil reboot still; it's too 'Berlin'! [German computer
Anne, I've esoteric ire to see Vienna.
Dolce Vita? Geneva? Gigi gave, "Negative, clod!" [No Swiss
bliss. Dolce Vita is a restaurant in Geneva]
Seville domain-a monetary rate, no mania, model lives. [Economic
stability in southern Spain]
Sir, a pot o' gold. Lo! Go to Paris.
Says aerial Riga girl, "Air-easy as!" [Confident Latvian
Back Roy went; safe, fast-New York cab. Salt at Mt Atlas
Infidels inisled Ifni. [Former Spanish state of Morocco]
Let Omar (aha!) stay so cosy at Sahara motel.
Tibet's a waste bit. [Chinese view?]
In evening, Israel casts a clear sign in even I. [bad grammar]
Airy Senegal (O gnash teeths!), Angola, Gene-Syria! [Travel boasting
with more bad grammar]
Nam to Nepal later; a bait, eye of a foe?
Yeti! A bare, tall ape, not man. [Search for the Snowman]
[One more slightly cryptic place name 'drome. A double language
one. Feel free to add the acute accent to die E of 'Etat' if
you like.]
Sin-U. States elicits it (rap artist). 'Ici, les Etats-Unis'.
[French connection] 


HELLLL.... Eh?


I made Waikiki. Awed am I.

Koo to Nepal a jalapeno took.

El, a Matamoras aroma: tamale!

Everglades acne encased Al Greve.

Nay, Al am I, Hal, a Himalayan.

Swen pools Oslo op news.

It's a media myth, Guantanamo man at naughty maid Em Asti.

Drat, Sumeria/Zaire mustard!

Rude Liverpool sloop reviled Ur.

Denver omelette? ... Lem or Ev? ... Ned?

Dieter cottons not to Crete i.d.

Stratford's Dr. of Tarts.

Sam, a hot damsel, was, I saw, Les, mad, to Hamas.

Say, Al, am I host on "Knots o' Himalayas?"

A watt of Ottawa.

Moor rep, Morocco Romper Room!

Suk, Libya may bilk us.

San Antonio poi not Nana's.

O, had I, Nan, an Idaho!

Seine Daisy, Alameda cafe facade Malaysia denies.

No, drat! ... Subtle fine dews (nine, ten?) in Sweden I felt, bus tar Don.

Sewanee, seen, awes.

Rae, his "Ellen" ad rad now, on Dardanelles, I hear.

Ma! Illinois secession! Ill I am.

No, Madrid Ana saw as a nadir, Damon.

Ma, in Aegean I am.

KO "as if Luxor/Exeter/Crete xerox, Ulf, is AOK."

Ramon, did a Havana Cuba Buc, An Ava had, i.d. Nomar?

Amana Panama.

Sell I as rev ordered, Ro, Versailles?

Aberdeen did need Reba.

Aberdeen, Ott, Pa saw, was apt to need Reba.

Rae hired Dusseldorf Lacy, a bay calf, Rod, less udder, I hear.

I rude Wanda S. Kramer, delivered a Mt. Sinai pianist, made reviled remarks, and awed Uri.

Emboldened, a Mt. Sinai pianist made Ned lob me.

Bo, Bret: Sam bewildered a Mt. Sinai pianist-made Red LI webmaster, Bob.

Burg's grubs' guano ,sir, is on Augsburg's grub.

No, Mississippi sip piss is, Simon.

Liz, arb Nixon, an ATO, got An an ox in Brazil.

Mate it, Nan, in Antietam.

Sax: ET, No! Sin! Ed nixes sex in Denison, Texas.

Saxe to sap Lew: I saw a ban on ABA was in El Paso, Texas.

No, Mac, I, Ratso, cotton not to Costa Rica, mon.

Di, did an ox in Denmark ram Ned Nixon ad I did?

Red, now is "Pooh Cannolis" Sam's Massilon nacho ops, I wonder?

Amy, Motel Bali Ava won's now available to my Ma?

Eureka, Motel Bali Ava won's now available to make Rue.

To Cairo EPA a Peoria cot.

Ai! No tse tse Ro fed did deforest Estonia.

At (in) Amityville horror, Ro! Hell!-Ivy, Tim, Anita

Egad, Alaska yak salad age?

Stacy, Art sure pondered no Peru stray cats.

LA to Teetotal!

'No' vote! Viet Nam ante I veto, Von.

Rio duo, bad, egged a boudoir.

Rio duo, banish tribe's Ubangi sign abuse births in a boudoir.

Surnamez O' Bozeman 'R Us.

Sup, my Lon, on Olympus?

On Augusta, Master Bret's, a Matsu guano.


"Tie Boston knots, Obama!" Jews say to Obama. "Jam a booty ass: we jam a Boston knot! So be it."

Niagara! Can I, in a car again, taste jets at Niagara? Can I ... in a car again?

Lee felt: "To be renal, Pa, nose Kansas ... it is a 'Snakes On A Plane' rebottle feel."

Wasted acts in a Tulsa slut's eyes Tulsa's lutanist cadet saw.

"Pasadena ... OMG!" moaned a sap.

"At a droopy arts task label," back-computed a coder, "a late senile line set a Laredo cadet up ... mock cable balks at stray poor data."

Strafe tarts, Nome duo; you demonstrate farts.

Ace births all lash Tribeca.

O sap, let a lion I deter refine men I ferreted in oil at El Paso.

San Antonio koi--not Nana's--live to pot evil San Antonio koi--not Nana's.

No, Geronimo, deer fret over a rare voter freedom in Oregon.

Revelatory America in a maniac ire may rot a lever.

Suborn action: I sack Roy, we nag a New York casino; it can rob us.

He went one parsec: nail-laden Rob kayaks Alaska; yak-borne dalliances, rape ... not new, eh?

Nadia's Essene killed Omaha model likenesses, Aidan.

Des, are some media led astray by all lay-by arts Adelaide memos erased?

"Reviled shahs rev Australia? Mere talk!" said I, "ask later; email art suaver shahs deliver."

Wangaratta fed a mix of deer fat as at a freed fox I made fat Tara gnaw.

No, Tasmania gained a den; I again am sat on.
       [Multiple locations] 

If I fret far, even a model Liberia zaps a Nigerian in ebony by no Benin air (e.g. in a spa); Zaire billed Oman ever after, Fifi.

To Grenoble, to Hanoi, to Mali ... and nail a motion a hotel boner got!

Won't a bar tab at a crap Morocco romp arc a tab at Rabat now?

"Sir, a pro seminar's abroad!" I remonstrate, "Live vile tarts? No, Merida or Basra, Nimes or Paris!"

Warn a morose lawyer: rush Surrey, Wales or Oman raw.

"Mad at Apulia, will I kill a Tupelo mafioso if a mole put all I kill", I wail, "up at a dam?"

"Paris to Peru tandem anti-Semites row nine men: in worse times it named nature pots," I rap.

"Levant, Lebanon, Italy or Troy": Latin on a belt navel.

An Italian is a Sinai Latina.

Lives in Italy: Rome masks a memory; Latin is evil.

Eh, can a primer of sex impugn Israel? Can a man ignite practised ire? Did a waning issue, a ripe note, yet abate? Yet one Piraeus sign in a wadi derides it, carpeting in a manacle, arsing up mixes for emir panache.

Tibetan royal piano revue I'd assess--"Adieu, Verona!"--I play ornate bit.

Did a nude Kansas bomber gazette Zagreb mobs as naked? ... Una did.

Many motion a hot dog seller on, a madness I fuss at as sufis send a man or Elle's god to Hanoi; to my 'Nam.

No rot in Oman, rut in a crew or gel in a Nile grower ... can I turn a monitor on?
       [Other geographical palindromes] 

Trade to obsess a gnat ... sh, Kazakhstan gasses booted art.

I label bits I serried in snide irresistible Bali.

An upset acolyte rusticates a base; tacit surety locates Puna.

Pull a big Nile eft ... ah, that feeling I ball up!

One can aim at, O pose-men, one Mesopotamian: I again aim at, O pose-men, one Mesopotamian ace, no?

Put rats at remote location A (Hanoi) to nab a notion a Hanoi taco let omerta start up.

In a cab, massless urban arborists I rob ran a Brussels samba: can I?

Pure Bosnia models in an isle domain sober up.

Elle, Canada had a nacelle.

Uh, Sid ... a go! Motor temerity, know a note, get on a wonky-tire Metro to Mogadishu.

Won't I, merely tsar of red Rumania, grab roses or bargain a murder for a style remit now?

Suez: a flan a cat elicited I erode; moody, doomed or eidetic, I let a canal faze us.

Was 'modless godless evil' a motto Mali vessel dogs seldom saw?

Set a raise, nod, nix a tax Indonesia rates.

Madder Albania gasps: "Again, a blared dam!"

Miasma here may fill unsexed Nigerian air e.g. indexes nullify a mere ham's aim.

Do rapids let O'Hara hastily let effetely-lit Sahara hotels dip a rod?

"Not Lesbos!" sobs Elton.

Man, I rust at Surinam.

But a node calf is at Lebanon; on a belt as if laced on a tub.

On idyllic snow, alas, it is a law on Scilly, Dino.

Amazed, I sniff inside Zama.

Gals net Lombardy lion in oily drab molten slag.

Aid a crass Arcadian; a crew or a rower can aid a crass Arcadia.

Des, I lit up a cigarette lighter, a zany Nazareth GI letter a GI cap utilised.

Won't Radio Nara prefer paranoid art now?

Sam rubs madams--Burma's.

Pull a llama, Dana Cabot, in a Manitoba Canada mall, all up.

Suborn actors in Ephesus, eh? ... penis rot can rob us.

Parcel truths in a Danish turtle crap.

Daedalus, nine pianists err as nuns arrest Sinai Peninsula dead.

Ali names it in a sottish tribe; he births it to sanitise Manila.

'Test Peking' is a sign I kept set.

A DNA guru on it, it upset one Kampalan: I plan a canal, pin a lap, make notes, put it in our Uganda.

Airy shahs to plan a canal: pot shah, Syria!

Air (e.g. inside canal path, girl) astir: it's alright; a plan aced is Nigeria.

Ai cults' damsels, it's a plan: a canal past isles! Mad St. Lucia!

Ais' sure canal passes say: "Assess a plan; ace Russia."

Yaw, Ron, no gnu had no canal an anal anaconda hung on Norway.

Aid nixing nine positions, Lana, cremate tamer canals ... no, it is opening; nix India!

"Del, Io/Ganymede made lots ill," a capo rued, "Europa/Callisto led a Mede my nag oiled."

Sun a rude vase nut pen; Saturn is Mars, uneven if as acidic as a fine Venus: rams in rut as Neptune saved Uranus.
unfortunately helped popularize the term "Whatever" with
his essay of
    that name in "The GenX Reader. " 

Here are his comments on the form, followed by the six winning palindromes:"It's a great honor that poetry champion Dave Morice has asked me to judge this contest. Criteria and aesthetics in palindromy have not been much explored, so I want to describe my judging criteria before I present the results. For a more detailed discussion, you might be interested in an article I wrote for Word Ways in 2013: Palindrome Aesthetic and Competitions ." (Volume 46: Issue #2). To make a long story short, here are my humble opinions."

1) It's better to make a long palindrome short.

Or rather, I give no allowance for rambling, bad grammar, initials and other flaws just because a palindrome is long. If you can "stay on the bull's back" for a full page, that's wonderful, but I've never seen it.

2) Complete sentences are better than fragments.

3) Initials, personal names, slang, foreign words, and acronyms are all flaws.

They count against a palindrome's worth in my judgment. It takes extra virtues to overcome these, and sometimes making it sound funny helps. A flaw at the end of an impressive palindrome is better than one at the beginning.

4) Palindromes should be evaluated like any other writing.

Reversing is not enough. All good writing features clarity, storytelling, humor, wit, originality and rhythm, while avoiding cliche.

5) I want to see the author add value.

"Paris? I rap" works but requires very little imagination from the writer. The palindrome is contained in the city's name. Much better is "Anne, I stay a day at Sienna" (from Leigh Mercer's list of 100 palindromes in Notes & Queries, and possibly originating from the Bletchley Park palindrome competition.) Note the elegance and the clever place to which the author took the basic "Anne is / Sienna" reversal. A less effective palindromist would have settled for the obvious "Anne, I see Sienna."

6) Contest-specific criteria.

I valued the name of a location (Rome) over an adjective (Roman), and both over a term for a resident of the location (the other sense of Roman.)

Also, I deprecated palindromes about overdone cities. People were writing palindromes about Rome when Rome was an empire ("Roma summus amor,") and probably when it was a republic. The world of palindromy has seen plenty of Tulsa sluts over the years, so it's very hard to impress me with more on that subject.

This was, oddly, the year of Alaskan yaks. Two different contestants submitted palindromes on "Alaska yak salad," and a third had one about an kayaking in Alaska amid "yak-borne dalliances." I published something a bit similar a couple of years ago:

"Oh, ocelots Impugn. I tan. A meek Alaska yak kayaks a lake, emanating up mist, Ole. Coho!"

Another contestant independently created a palindrome that I wrote independently and have never published:

"Niagara fall, afar, again." I think this can be improved a bit with a little punctuation:

"Niagara, fall--afar, again." Or even "Niagara, fall! (afar, again)." But the palindrome is pretty much right there in Niagara Falls, which is how we both found it.

Ideally, I think, a geographical palindrome should says something about the location's character or nature, rather than just mining it as a source of reversible letters.

As a final note, I want to give a shout out to the two contestants who each withdrew one of their entries because they found that someone else had published it earlier, though it was a case of independent, parallel creation. The first entry, by Lori Wike, was quite clever and a good example of a flaw turned into humor--"Aybil was I ere I saw Libya" --where "aybil" is an intentional misspelling of the first word in the old chestnut "Able was I ere I saw Elba." The second entry, by Jeff Grant, was both funny and true--"Toronto got no rot." Lori's and Jeffs integrity is even more impressive than their excellent palindromes.

That was a lot of "further ado" but now it's done. Here are my six winners, in reverse order.

#6. Emboldened, a Mt. Sinai pianist made Ned lob me.--by Win Emmons

"Mt. Sinai pianist" is an excellent center, and I have never seen anything like it before. That's rare. The rest is not that remarkable, and sounds very palindromy, but it's fun. This same contestant had another, excellent entry but it turned out not to be a valid palindrome (Wanda [??] Wadna).

#5. Oo, that UTAH too!--by Anil

Short, punchy and it raises an amusing question: "Wait, is there a second Utah somewhere that I should know about?" The "oo" is not great, and it may have been written in 10 seconds, but that's the beauty of a great short palindrome. It's likely that someone else has come up with it, but if not, the simple short ones pack the biggest punch.

#4. Warsaw nip? Oh, Chopin was raw.--by John Falcone

The famous classical composer Frederic Chopin was Polish and grew up in Warsaw. Either this describes him as a child prodigy or refers to his drinking habits. Either way, it's impressive.

I know that palindromes tend to ramble, but you would be surprised how few of the entries kept even this much focus on one subject.

#3. Lives in Italy: Rome masks a memory; Latin is evil.--by Martin Clear

This effort maintains remarkable focus and tells an enigmatic, elusive story. I'm troubled a bit by the terseness, the awkward grammar and the punctuation, all of which distract me. But it was very close to greatness.

It was also a bit serious, which makes it all surprising that the same author created this very fun reversal, which deserves honorable mention for its sense of humor despite not really making much sense at all:

"Tie Boston knots, Obama!" Jews say to Obama. "Jam a booty ass: we jam a Boston knot! So be it."--also by Martin Clear

#2. Sir, a pot o' gold. Lo! Go to Paris.--by Jeff Grant

This one is fun and speaks an important truth about the high costs of the City of Light. Only the apostrophe in "pot o' gold" kept this from winning. If it had been about a location in Ireland, that would probably not have been a deal killer.

And the First Place Winner:

#1. No slots? I prod Nevada vendor, pistols on!--Lori Wike

This fine effort is short, punchy, paints a picture and tells a story. We are situated in old West Nevada, get the conflict in a tight two-word sentence, and jump into a gun battle. The only flaw is the lack of an article after "prod." Well done.


All of the palindromes received for the contest appear in the list below--unless one or more missing due to an act of God (or my cat). They are arranged so that all the palindromes written by the same author appear uner their name.

[NOTE: For the rest of this list, brackets indicate that the bracketed material is not a palindrome. It may be a set-up for the palindrome, a message from the writer, a note from me, or any other non-palindromic thing.]


[Here are my (dozen) entries for the geopal contest, plus the one I already sent about Air Eginnitons. Like the latter, all have explanatory or enhancing notes attached (in italics). If not allowed, they can be omitted, but they all enrich or explain their palindromes. They're in alphabetical order, not in order of preference. If you want more I have some four dozen not-too-bad rejects.]

Cleveland: DNA level C ["as square as all Cleveland"]
 Espy LA, cop an apocalypse. Espy LA Cop--an apocalypse! [for
Rodney King--or Huey Long]
 Hair, a pro-Jamaica CIA major pariah. [Hippies and Rastafarians are
both anathema to the CIA.]
"Lexington, not Gnixel!" [Get my name right, idiot!]
Mexico Doc? I "X" 'em! [Cross out or X-rate Mexican MDs,
says a common US prejudice.] 

Not sob, DNA-nil Reb, nil bud! No BS ill aer t' nom! Or I a/c nod, no LOL? So a milk aid OK? Nurse it I can. It I did! ???Huh??? Did it in a cities run: Kodiak, Lima, Oslo, London, Cairo, Montreal, Lisbon, Dublin, Berlin and Boston.

[None is a real sob story, despite empty claims.
 No, Winston-Salem, I time LA snots 'n' I won!
[Cigarette City thought Los Angeles was faster.]
 O get Sumatra Art! A must, ego! [compulsory status symbol]
O, go to Togo! [a tourist ad, not a curse!]
Senegal = a DNA band (a la genes). [a tight genetic group of musicians?]
"Zibo robs new Owensboro biz!" [slogan bewailing competition
from China] 

[I decided to re-tackle the geopals challenge. Hope I'm not too late. I just finished an article on US state abbreviations so got in the frame of mind for palindroming them. I got reasonably good, mostly short ones for fifteen states and one Canadian province.]

[Some want an explanation, which is common for palindromes, but if they are not allowed in this contest, please pull those that don't make sense without notes--but perhaps save them for the later Kickshaws list you're contemplating. If the notes merely amplify the drome but aren't crucial, please delete just the notes if not allowed.]

Am a balafon of ALABAMA. [cheap American copy of a West African gourd xylophone]
 "A" is ARKANSAS! As 'n Akrasia [Akrasia is the
state of mind in which someone acts against their better
   judgment through
       weakness of will. Is this a reference to Ozark lazies?]
FLORIDA fad--I Rolf.
       [Rolfing is a new age type of deep massage.]
Eye KANSAS: a snake, ye!
To help MISSISSIPPI, sip piss. Is simple. (Hot!)
Not NEW MEXICO loci! X 'em went on?
       [(X-mark or "Ex!" them or give them an X rating.]
[This can be shortened to a drastic whole country rating, write-off or
  map-marking:] MEXICO loci? X 'em!
ONTARIO: I rat, no? [bunch of finks and spies!]
"S. DAKOTA oat OK!" [ads!]
[[Half of my sixteen afforded two pals each in POINT-COUNTERPOINT
"debates" that follow ...:]
Oh, a big IDAHO! Oh? A pig
"Si!" on ILLINOIS. [Latino migrant's pledge, with this
cynic's provision:] Si on ill
an aid-nil INDIANA [Helpless state, really. But by PUNC LIB it becomes
...] "An aid-nil Indiana!" [a Republican cry;
"Governments aren't meant to help us!"]
Ha, did all IOWA haw Oil la-di-dah! [Iowans laughed at the oil
drillers' hype ...] A wo, IOWA to their regret, say the would-be
drillers! Wo = woe, old and
  alternative spelling.]
MAINE yen I am! ["The Nostalgia State" and a pun on main]
 I am! [or just a giant bog?)]
OHIO I "Ho!" Oh, Ohio ho
! I ho-ho.
Hat UTAH! [No naked heads allowed in their religion?] Oo, that UTAH too!
[Yes, the land of heads naked-inside!] 


[Here are a few of my entries for your Word Ways palindrome contest. I'll probably send you another batch next month, but I thought I'd go ahead and submit these in case I lose track of the deadline.]

A buck, a yak, a plan, a canal: Pa, kayak Cuba!

So, a levee plan, a canal? Peeve Laos!

Turd? I mask Cornwall lawn rocks amid rut.

Wales, oppose law!

Did I finish a tureen? OI pioneer Utah sin if I did!

I made Kanab, Utah a tuba. Naked am I!

Toss up my loot to Olympus, sot!

So go nap, Mitt, at Timpanogos.


Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire, England
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Author:Morice, Dave
Publication:Word Ways
Geographic Code:1U8UT
Date:Nov 1, 2015
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