MUTATIS – Challenge No. 17



Note: To each of the exercises given below you need to be acquainted with the 

following rules with which the original MUTATIS rules were augmented.

Given a word comprising an even number of eight or more letters, solve each 

exercise in two stages as follows:


Rearrange all the letters in the given word into two words with length equal to 

half of the length of the given word.

Note that the words you use must be standard American English words or loan

word (words "borrowed" from other languages that have become standard 


Example 1:

For simplicity let's start with the eight-letter word "plethora".

Possible solutions include the words "role" and "path". 


Use the two words that you have found as head and tail words to a MUTATIS 

word-chain exercise or to a pair of two-directional chains (as specified in the 

exercises) according to the following rules.

Note: You may skip these rules if you are already familiar with them from 

preceding MUTATIS challenges.

Mutatis is a word-chain exercise game. Given the first and last word in the chain, 

you are challenged to fill in "mutant" words according to the following rules:

  1. From the second word on, each word comprises the letters of the word that precedes

    it except for one letter that is changed. The order of the letters may also be rearranged.

  2. You may fill in only standard English words and loanwords (words "borrowed" from other 

    languages that have become standard usage). Slang or colloquial words as well as 

    proper nouns and adjectives derived from them (that require capitalization) are not 


Example 2:

Given the words start and begin, the following chain demonstrates a possible 

solution to the exercise:



For each of the following exercises:

  1. Rearrange the letters of each word of the following into a pair of words according to STAGE 1 of the rules specified above.

IMPORTANT: If the length of each of the two words does not exceed five letters, the two words must not have any letter in common. 

However. for six or seven-letter words, one or two letters may, if necessary, be shared respectively (at least five must be different).

  1. Fill in the missing words to obtain appropriate Mutatis word-chains according to STAGE 2 of the rules specified above.

  2.   Interchange the head and tail words and fill in without any words used in b.

Exercise 1: resistance.

Exercise 2: benefactor.  

Note that all exercises were checked to make sure that they can be solved in 

standard American vocabulary and spelling according to the Merriam Webster 

online dictionary.


Answer to ex. 1: 

  1. elaborated  ->   aorta <- ->bleed

  2. aorta>abort>bloat>table>blade>bleed

  3. bleed>breed>bread>reads>roads>roast>aorta

Answer to ex. 2: 

  1. sanctorium ->  aunts<-> micro

  2. aunts>units>tunic>count>court>actor> macro>micro

  3. micro>comer>score>snore>stone> tunes>aunts

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