MUTATIS – Challenge No. 11



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 usage).

Example 1:

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

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

For this particular example, I easily found three more solutions. Try to do so too.


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 allowed.

Example 2:

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

the exercise:



  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: The two words in the pair must not share any letter in common.

  1. Fill in the missing words to obtain appropriate Mutatis word-chains 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: atmosphere.

Exercise 2: binoculars.  

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. "plethora"  🡪   role🡨🡪path

  2. role>pole>pale>peat>path

  3. path>>heap>help>hole>role

Other possibilities include:

heal 🡨🡪 port



for which I urge you to produce the MUTATIS word chains in both directions.

Answer to ex. 2: 

  1. "porcelains"  🡪   clone🡨🡪 pairs

  2. clone>close>slope>spore>pears>pairs

  3. pairs>rains>earns>learn>clean>clone

Other possibilities include: 




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