# This word chain will come back to me

I am a four-letter word.

My anagram's antonym's Rot(13)'s synonym's homophone is a portion of me.

What word am I?

Note: There are six separate words in this chain. Please list them all with explanation. I used popular sites like Thesaurus.com or Wordhippo.com.

Hint

There are not many words that transform to another word after Rot13. The Rot13 word is a 3 letter word.

Hint 2

This word is typically described by two separate colors

Hint 3

One of the six words in my solution is Stake

• (You say there's not many, but I've been working off this list of 75 options since this was posted and still haven't found the 'in' yet...! I daresay this list probably isn't even exhaustive...) – Stiv Jun 11 at 13:23
• More added to the Hint – DrD Jun 11 at 13:54
• Thanks, that will probably help get a foothold. Unfortunately the list I linked contains almost no eligible candidates now - d'oh! – Stiv Jun 11 at 13:55
• Here are some not-too-obscure ones. ant/nag, bar/one, fur/she, gel/try, vex/irk – Lukas Rotter Jun 11 at 13:59
• On the right track @LukasRotter – DrD Jun 11 at 15:23

With the third hint, it is now possible to see a cycle using:

MEAT

MEAT
is an anagram of
TEAM
is an antonym of
ONE
rot-13's to
BAR
is a synonym of
STAKE
is a homophone of
STEAK
is a portion of
MEAT

Re an earlier comment of mine on another answer, this interpretation makes linguistic sense of the OP's use of the word 'portion' rather than 'substring'.

Re Hint 2, the 'two colours' referred to are:

red and white meat.

• Nice one! Is there a way to get a notification, or follow a question, so one can know when there's activity on a given question, or at least when it's modified? – Kabir Kanha Arora Jun 14 at 12:51
• @Kabir Indeed - as of last year you can click 'Follow' where you see 'Share Edit Follow Flag' (or some subset of those depending on your current privileges) at the bottom of the question or answer :) – Stiv Jun 14 at 13:21
• "Portion"? Isn't Steak a type of (answer) itself? – Sid Jun 14 at 13:30
• In many places it is defined as "a thick slice" or "a portion" of meat @Sid – DrD Jun 14 at 13:49

While is a portion of, anagram, and ROT-13 are self-explanatory, the sources for the other three transformations are linked below:

Note:

LOSS is listed as the antonym of BAR, this solution assumes that this relationship is commutative.

• If this is the intended interpretation of 'is a portion of', I am surprised the word 'substring' was not used in place of 'portion'... – Stiv Jun 11 at 17:25
• No, no - I was unsure exactly how to interpret 'portion' (I didn't find it as obvious a word as you did, it seems!), and was really leaving it to the end to see if I could back-interpret the OP's intention. If anything I was erring on it being more of a linguistic thing depending on the meaning of the words e.g. SLICE is a portion of CAKE, CHAPTER is a portion of a BOOK. But if you've interpreted it correctly I was just querying the puzzle's vocab choice. If anything I would say rearranging the letters would definitely not be an acceptable use :) (that's just an anagram of sorts) – Stiv Jun 11 at 17:37
• Aah, now I get you. Actually, that does sound like a promising tangent too! Maybe it is what the OP intended, but somehow I never thought of it that way. – Kabir Kanha Arora Jun 11 at 17:40
• I don't really understand that alleged antonym relationship, whatever thesaurus.com may say. Can anyone explain to me what they might have in mind? – Gareth McCaughan Jun 11 at 18:22
• @Stiv's comments are kind of applicable with my answer. I was thinking similarly. However your interpretation is creative. +1 – DrD Jun 11 at 20:57

Ok, I'll throw my imperfect guess into the ring

MEAL
MALE (Anagram of meal)
SHE (Antonym of male)
FUR (Rot13 of she)
MANE (synonym of fur. I'd have preferred coarse, but that doesn't seem to show up as a synonym)
MAIN (homonym of MANE and the MAIN course is a portion of a MEAL)

• This is pretty good! Not entirely sure about the last line but the rest is fairly convincing. – Kabir Kanha Arora Jun 12 at 5:45
• I tried to get this to work but didn't think of rot13(ZNAR). Not sure it's quite a synonym, though. – Gareth McCaughan Jun 12 at 13:52
• @GarethMcCaughan yeah, it doesn't immediately spring to mind, but I found it on his wordhippo site listed as a synonym way too late last night. Then went to sleep thinking of rot13(n zvffvbanel jnagvat gb crg n yvba'f pbnefr znar naq orpbzvat gur znva pbhefr) – SteveV Jun 12 at 14:58

I don't find this terribly satisfactory, but it does kinda meet all the conditions.

PEON (i.e., a person with a junior position in some hierarchy)

has an anagram

OPEN (of, e.g., a door)

which has an antonym

BAR (i.e., block passage)

which ROT13s to

ONE (adj., as in "the one and only ...")

which has a synonym

SOLE (i.e., only)

which has a homonym

SOUL (i.e., alleged immaterial part of a person's being)

which is a part of

any person (if there are such things as souls at all), including in particular a PEON.

The last step is the least satisfactory one for me; the others all seem pretty good.

• Creative. Like you said all other steps are good. I wonder if we put a GENERIC question out there about any six different word changes (like the ones in the puzzle plus others like gramagrams) how many great answers we will get. No limit on the starting word. Just a thought. – DrD Jun 11 at 21:02
• I had already been thinking along the lines I suspect you are trying to hint at, but so far haven't been able to find good candidates for the last two words. But I'll think about it some more... – Gareth McCaughan Jun 11 at 21:46
• Heh. So, I thought it was curious that DrD emphasized the word GENERIC like that, and thought it might be hinting at the word ANY, which is a part of MANY both lexically and semantically; and MANY is an antonym of ONE which rot13s to BAR. But I can't get the pieces to line up properly. E.g., if I start with MYNA then I can anagram to MANY, antonym to ONE, rot13 to BAR, but I haven't found a homonym of a synonym of BAR that is a part of a MYNA or any other bird. Or we can start with MANY, preceded by its part ANY, anagram to MYNA ... but then finding a 3-letter synonym is tough. – Gareth McCaughan Jun 12 at 16:04
• And the thing that makes me not so sure that that's what DrD had in mind is the fact that elsewhere in that sentence the literal word "any" appears, which I would not expect from someone going out of their way to hint indirectly at that word. – Gareth McCaughan Jun 12 at 16:05
• But it still seems likely to me that DrD's comment was intended as a hint, and that I'm looking for a starting word hinted at by "GENERIC" and "no limit". Best I've found so far are SOME and EACH but SOME doesn't seem to have any usable anagrams and EACH has only ACHE which seems unhelpful. – Gareth McCaughan Jun 12 at 16:07