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Wednesday 12 May 2021

The pleasure of the senses Anagrams, what a passion!

Anagrams, what a passion!

Author of the content


"A te prìa / therapy / you seem / pious art / and pirate / equal to you / therapy / kidnapping you" is the epitaph of a doctor who fell at the hands of his own remedies.

Even the anagram, like the enigma and the charade, is a form of game of very ancient origins; it seems that the poet Licofrone was the inventor of it at the court of Ptolemy Philadelphus (XNUMXrd century BC): from the name of the king's wife, ARSINOE, he drew ERAS ION (Juno's violet). Since then the game has thrived in a very florid way with countless examples and sensation.

Giuseppe Aldo Rossi, enigmist and enimmology scholar, director for many years of the Roman magazine "Il Labirinto", in his History of puzzles (CEI, Rome, 1971), regarding the anagram, brings together this tasty succession of examples:

• the Latins from UCSOR ('uxor ', 'wife') earned 'orcus' ('hell');

• the Florentine poet Giovan Battista Fagiuoli (1660-1742) insisted:

Who made that pure and straightforward anagram
and that from 'wife' he got 'I bind'
he was more than a very wise subject!

• a more modern puzzle player, King's standard bearer, he reiterated:

The worst of evils
is to take a wife.

<br>• The Longobard, however, he balanced the contest by adding

And to take a husband,
do you think the best idea?

• encouraged by Guidone, who thus concluded:

Never take a wife again, never accept a husband
O blind human people, I think the best match.

(in these latter examples, of course, each verse is an anagram of the next).

In modern puzzles, even the anagram, like the other game schemes, constitutes the pretext for compositions with several parts ("connected puzzles"). Even outside of this use, however, it has always continued to exercise its charm, almost one of mystery and magic; and indeed there are surprising examples of anagram sentences called "continuous sense":

the Cyrene was escorting = Veronica and Christ
the mysterious afterlife = pestering of mortals
librarian = blessed with books
singing teacher = home torment
white, red and green = the passages of the heroic banner
at the Casino of Montecarlo = they leave us a lot of money

Read also
Papa Mastai's charade
The contrainte of the enigma

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