LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

## Letter Shifting, follow-up

Back in December I posted an entry to LOGOLOG about a letter shifting and indexing scheme. At the end of the article I mentioned that I wanted to find the largest possible triplet of words such that the "sum" of the first two equaled the third.

Well, now... 6 weeks later, I have an answer. It took longer than I had expected to determine the solution. True, my word crunching program was probably not as efficient as it could have been, but moreso the delay was caused by other factors, including: a couple of power outages (resetting my computer), dedicating my computer to other CPU intensive tasks, and the fact that I had to be out of town for two weeks.

Anyway, I knew there were some length six letter shifting tripets, but I wanted an example using the longest possible words. I was using the web2.txt wordlist (based off of Webster's 2nd edition New International unabridged). When I left on my fortnight trip to Europe I had already determined that there were no combinations using length 10 or higher.

I left my computer running while out of town, and, lo, and behold, when I returned, I was presented with the single solution of length nine:

```KOMINUTER + SPRITTAIL == DEERHOUND
```
(remember, this sum works based on A=1, B=2, C=3, ..., Z=26; add each letter to the other in the corresponding position, and if the sum is greater than 26, substract 26)

This is the only length-nine summation that works.

For those who are curious: a KOMINUTER is a mill used in grinding materials for portland cement, a SPRITTAIL is a river duck, and a DEERHOUND is a type of scottish dog.

So, that's that.

My computer is free to do other logological endeavors now.

-- Eric

[3 February 2006]

Archive

What about arbitrary 0-indexing? (I was going to ask about A=26, Z=1 encoding, but that's equivalent to A=0, Z=25.)

Posted by: Bryce Herdt

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