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Online Guide to the Engima

Preface to the Guide
History of the NPL
Membership Information
Sharing the Puzzles
      Sharing the fun
      Combining Talents
Composing
Editorial Verses
Flats
      Acrostical Enigma
      Alternade
      Ambigram
      Anagram
      Antigram
      Apt. . .
      Backswitch
      Baltimore Deletion
      Baltimore Transdeletion
      Beheadment
      Bigram. . .
      Brookline Letter-Change
      Change of Heart
      Changeover
      Charade
      Combination Padlock
      Consonantcy
      Curtailment
      Deletion
      Diastichal Enigma
      Double-Cross
      Dropout
      Enigma
      Enigmatic Rebus
      False derivative
      FWNFR
      Group flat
      Head-to-Tail Shift
      Heart Transplant
      Heteronym
      Homoantonym
      Homoconcominym
      Homonym
      Homosynonym
      Interlock
      Letter Bank
      Letter Change
      Letter Shift
      Linkade
      Literatim
      Metathesis
      Mutation
      Mynoreteh
      Order Takeout
      Overloaded. . .
      Padlock
      Palindrome
      Phonetic. . .
      Phrase Shift
      Picture. . .
      Progressive. . .
      Rebade
      Rebus
      Redro takeout
      Repeated-Letter Change
      Repeated-Letter Deletion
      Reversal
      Reversed. . .
      Riddle
      Sound Change
      Sound Shift
      Spoonergram
      Subade
      Suber
      Switchback
      Telestichal Enigma
      Terminal Deletion
      Transaddition
      Transade
      Trans-Cross
      Transdeletion
      Transpogram
      Transposal
      Trigram. . .
      Welded. . .
      Word Deletion
      Word Substitution
      Solving the Rebus
      Browse the Flat Pages
Introduction to Forms
      From A to O
      From P to Z
      Form Modifiers
Cryptograms
      Constructing Medium Crypts
      Solving Cryptograms
      Other Solving Approaches
Extras
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      Composing Cryptics
      Observations
Reference Books
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      Non-Guide Flats
      Non-Guide Forms
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      Where to Find It
      Form Notation
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      Abbreviated Guide to Flats
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Errata


© Copyright 2013 by
the National Puzzlers' League

[Webmaster's note: Also included in the on-line version of the Guide is a Luciferian diagram indicating the breakdown into squares and halfsquares, in the manner of his form notation. - Dart]

 PENTAGON

A pentagon with nine clues is shaped like one of the examples below. If there is a different number of clues, the length of each side is half that number, rounded up; for example, one with eleven clues would have sides of six letters. The right, and inverted right, pentagons are inherently double.

LEFT PENTAGON
T
W H O
K H E D A
W H E E D L E
T H E E N I G M A
O D D I T I E S
A L G I E R S
E M E R G E
A S S E T
RIGHT PENTAGON
D
M E M
G I M E L
P E L O T A S
S A N I T A R I A
I M I T A T E D
R E T A P E S
E L A T E S
D A L E S
INVERTED LEFT PENTAGON
C A M E L
A L I N E D
M I S D E A L
E N D E M I A L
L E E M A R V I N
D A I R I E S
L A V E R
L I S
N
RIGHT PENTAGON
L A P P S
C A T A L O
P A N A R A B
L A N D R A C E
D A Y T R A D E R
X E R O X E D
D A V I D
P E A
R
 PYGMY HOURGLASS

In a Pygmy hourglass (named for its creator, Pygmy), words read across and diagonally from top left to bottom right. Two diagonally adjacent, equal-length words form the basewords. To make a grid for a Pygmy hourglass, start with the middle Across entry; that will be two letters long. Then extend the grid pyramid-style one square at a time in each direction. (For example, in a Pygmy hourglass with 15 across clues, word 8 is two letters long; words 7 and 9 are three letters; and so on, up to words 1 and 15 at nine letters.)

PYGMY HOURGLASS
G A B L E E N D S
O G R E S S E S
O R I E N T E
D E A V E S
H E R E S
U T E S
M O D
O D
A R I
H U E S
K O R D A
B A N I N G
G A R O T E R
H A R A R E S E
P O L I T E S S E

Triple: A triple Pygmy hourglass is the same, except that it has three diagonally adjacent basewords; thus, its central across word is three letters long.

PYGMY HOURGLASS
S I C K I E S
A N O I N T
S T A N K
S E R E
A R C
P F F T
K O R E A
D E P A R T
G E N E S E E
 PYRAMID

The pyramid is inherently double.

PYRAMID
M
G A G
L A G O S
S E N N E T T
S H E D A T E A R
S E I Z E T H E D A Y
D O N N A R E E D S H O W
INVERTED PYRAMID
C O M B A T M I S S I O N
Y O U R E I N L U C K
B L I N D C O P Y
B A N D I T S
S I L T S
S E E
S
TRUNCATED PYRAMID
A R
B R A M
T R A V I S
C R I M E L A B
S H E N A N I G A N
R E E N G I N E E R E D
G I A N T S C A U S E W A Y
INVERTED TRUNCATED PYRAMID
C I R C U M S T A N T I A L
F E E L O N E S O A T S
C E N S O R I O U S
S A T U R A N T
R E T A N S
L E N S
D E
CONNECTED PYRAMID
M
S A D
S P R E E
F O A M P A D
C A R R O T T O P
T A K E S T H E R A P
W I R E L E S S R A D I O
F E L I X T H E C A T
D I S C A R D E D
S T E R E O S
S P E W S
T A D
T
 PYRAMIDAL WINDMILL

In a pyramidal windmill (or pyramill), one half of the longest word forms the baseword for a pyramid, and its other half forms the baseword for an inverted pyramid. In addition, a word will be formed on the long diagonal of the form; this word will always read from left to right.

LEFT PYRAMIDAL WINDMILL
S
H O T
P U R E E
M A N T R A P
P A R T E R R E S
B A R K S D A L E A I R F O R C E B A S E
S I B Y L L I N E
T I D A L L Y
E E R I E
R O E
S
RIGHT PYRAMIDAL WINDMILL
S
G A D
N I V E N
A E R O B I A
G R A T I T U D E
C O M I N G A P A R T A T T H E S E A M S
R I V E R S I D E
D E P O S E E
S A V E R
L E T
S

In the truncated version, the diagonal word starts at the first letter of the leftmost two-letter across word, goes up or down the diagonal as appropriate, and ends at the second letter of the rightmost two-letter across word. In the examples below, the diagonal entries are TENTDRESSES and PETESAMPRAS.

TRUNCATED LEFT PYRAMIDAL WINDMILL
T E
C O N N
H E G O A T
R E P U L S E D
M A L E P A T T E R N B A L D N E S S
E A G E R E S T
S E V E R S
S E E D
E S
TRUNCATED RIGHT PYRAMIDAL WINDMILL
A S
R I T A
P A L A T E
M A K E T T L E
D O U B L E B R E A S T E D S U I T S
S K I A R E A S
E E Y O R E
R U S T
P E
 RECTANGLE

Rectangles are inherently double.

RECTANGLE
S A D D E N
O R I O L E
D E N N I S
A S S E S S
 RHOMBOID

In a rhomboid, the number of clues is the same as the length of each word. The rhomboid is inherently double.

LEFT RHOMBOID
Q U A R T E R
T R O U G H S
S A N G O U T
D E N M A R K
R O B B I N S
G U L L E Y S
S E L E N I C
RIGHT RHOMBOID
R A W W O O L
T H R E E R S
B R O M I N E
S E A M I S T
S C R I B E S
P H A L L U S
C O Y N E S S
 ROKEBY STAR

A Rokeby star is a compound form consisting of two pyramids, two inverted pyramids, and four rhomboids. In this example, letters forming the border of more than one component form are shown in boldface.

ROKEBY STAR
V
S E A
S A B L E
R O L L O N S
M O U S E H O L E
D E N T I N E W S A N A L Y S T O O T O O
L O O S E D U O D E C I M O E R T E R
R E L A I D I L E M M A B L A T E
D E R A I L A D E N I E L L O
S E N S E I N S E N S E S
R A C I S T O T T E R
T E C H N O R B E A N E D
K A U R I S T I E D O D G E D
P A R S E C H A S S I S E G U E S
D O N E E S H O R T E N E R A C I E R
N O L E S S E E E Y E T O E Y E E L I E R
D E R I V A B L E
R I P E N E D
N E R D Y
S T Y
S
 SQUARE

Squares are the oldest and most continually popular type of form.

SQUARE
F O R M E R
O R I O L E
R I C H E S
M O H A V E
E L E V E N
R E S E N T
BIGRAM SQUARE
RE AR RE ST
AR MA TU RE
RE TU NI NG
ST RE NG TH
CONNECTED SQUARES
C L O M P A I R S
L A M I A R D E N
O M A N I D A H O
M I N E R E H A B
P A I R S N O B S
CONSONANTLESS SQUARE
O E E E I E on the defensive
E A E E E I peacekeeping
E E I A E E celestial sphere
E E A U E E beleaguered
I E E E A A ring-necked pheasant
E I E E A Y semilegendary
DOUBLE SQUARE
F O R M S
A R E A E
R A N I N
E L A N D
D E L E S
PROGRESSIVE SQUARE
I C E D
C E D E
E D E N
D E N Y
SEQUENTIAL SQUARES
E A S Y   R E U P   O L E O   A L E E
A G E E   E A S Y   L E A R   L Y R A
S E A T   U S E R   E A S Y   E R O S
Y E T I   P Y R E   O R Y X   E A S Y
TRIGRAM SQUARE
LOO SEN ESS
SEN TIM ENT
ESS ENT IAL
VARIOGRAM SQUARE
J UMP SHO T
UMP I R E
SHO R T C UT
T E UT ON
VOWELLESS SQUARE
T T R B T R attributor
T H N T T C thanatotic
R N S T T T reinstitute
B T T M L N bottom line
T T T L N G tattling
R C T N G L rectangle

Forms can combine some of these various types. For example, here is a bigram consonantless square (with original words shown):

CONSONANTLESS BIGRAM SQUARE
UE OO IA uneconomical  
OO UO EY colobus monkey
IA EY EA vintage year
 STAR

In a left star, the diagonal words slope from upper left to lower right; in a right star, they slope from upper right to lower left. If a star has nine clues, its word enumerations are: 1, 2, 7, 6, 5, 6, 7, 2, 1. If there are thirteen clues, it has the shape of the examples below.

LEFT STAR
C
S O
C A N
P O L A R I S T I C
O V E R E N T E R
L E F T S T A R
A R T I S A N
C R E S S E N T
S A I N T A N N A
C O N S T A N T A N
T E R
I R
C
RIGHT STAR
J
I S
G E P
J I G G E R P U M P
S E E D E A T E R
P R E S T I G E
P A T I L A S
U T I L I S E D
M E G A S E M I A
P R E S E M I N A L
D I N
A A
L
 WINDMILL

A windmill consists of two squares the same size linked by a long baseword that runs through them. The baseword's first half is part of one square, and its second half is part of the other.

LEFT WINDMILL
S T A M P
T I G E R
A G A T E
M E T E S
P R E S I D E N T
D I N E R
E N N U I
N E U M E
T R I E S
RIGHT WINDMILL
S M E A R
H O R D E
E X I L E
D I C E D
S H E D T E A R S
M O X I E
E R I C A
A D L E R
R E E D S