12
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STORY:

The land of Dictionaria was once a utopia where all words lived together in perfect harmony. Words respected each other and the big words always found a place among their smaller compatriots. The words worked together to weave letters into poetry and literature.

But just as every cheery summer is followed by a chilly winter, the good days of Dictionaria seem to be nearing an end as the newly powerful invaders from the dark depths of Chatsville go about destroying the natural beauty of Dictionaria. It started rather harmlessly when Laugh, Out and Loud found themselves marginalized as the petty thief Lol found his feet in Dictionaria. Brb came in and usurped the position long enjoyed by Be, Right and Back. There was almost no unease when these small time criminals began gaining recognition. But the worst was almost knocking on the door.

When Yolo and Twerking came charging through the gates, little did the natural words know that everything in Dictionaria would never be the same again. The popularity of these thugs grew by and large, and slowly they began claiming to be natural residents of Dictionaria. Led by the notorious mob boss Swag, the Usurpers from Chatsville have now decided to wipe out the older words of Dictionaria and claim the entire land as their own.

Swag has entrusted the task of complete domination to his two trusted henchmen - Xoxo, the sweet tongued monster and Asap, the swift executioner. Swag has ordered Xoxo and Asap to eliminate all words in an alphabetical order, killing words starting with a particular letter every day. Aardvark will be one of the first to go and millions more will soon follow.

Now, the henchmen are ruthless but not so bright and some of the words of Dictionaria have realized that they can escape the massacre simply if they manage to pass off as another word on their predestined day of execution.

These words are lucky to be born with such characteristics that they can contort their bodies to make their head appear where their foot is, and their foot appear where their head is. And once they escape their execution, they can live on because the henchmen will not remember which words have escaped their execution. These words hope to avoid death and one day drive out the Usurpers of Chatsville, but they need to know who their leader would be. As the natural words were respectful of those bigger than them, their leader would be the tallest one among them.

Who do you reckon will survive the massacre and lead the survivors?

PUZZLE:

Find the longest word in the English language that can be morphed into another word simply by switching its first and last letter. The word cannot have the same first and last letter. And the word cannot be an abbreviation or contraction. The word should be found on Dictionary.com and words that are valid in Scrabble are not counted if they do not appear on Dictionary.com.


EDIT:

Dictionary.com is the bible of the residents of Dictionaria (hence the inspired name) and all those who seek to nominate non-existing words as the leaders are distrustful pagans. Be gone infidels!

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The longest in Wolfram's wordlist is decompiler / recompiled, neither of which are on dictionary.com ("decompiler" is totally absent and "recompiled" redirects to "compile"). ...which kind of sucks since I've used both in real life before. $\endgroup$ – 2012rcampion Jul 13 '15 at 18:23
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    $\begingroup$ Same for the pair decommissioner / recommissioned (from my extended wordlist): one is absent, the other is present only in its base form. $\endgroup$ – 2012rcampion Jul 13 '15 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ Wouldn't they execute those words anyway? I feel like the criterion would be "morph into a word that belongs in Chatsville". $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Jul 13 '15 at 20:05
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The best in my word list is 13 letters:

resulphurized/desulphurizer

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  • $\begingroup$ I think this answer is the best one listed on Dictionary.com. Although it is present in the form 'resulfurized/desufurizer', so I am accepting this with a score of 12. $\endgroup$ – CodeNewbie Jul 15 '15 at 18:35
12
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Let's start things of with a word of length n=10:

DEFLOWERER / REFLOWERED

And here's another with length n=12 (the words are in my regex dictionary, but one is not on Dictionary.com):

DEMONSTRATER / REMONSTRATED

With a little bending of the rules, we can get up to length n=13:

DEMONOGRAPHER / REMONOGRAPHED

These are all with the de.*er/re.*ed pattern. I'm hunting for longish examples of anything else.


So far the longest I can find in another pattern is length n=7:

HOBBISM / MOBBISH

The search continues.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ demonstrator is spelled with two os $\endgroup$ – pacoverflow Jul 13 '15 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ The re...ed pattern looks promising. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jul 13 '15 at 18:24
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    $\begingroup$ A regex dictionary? Where did you get that? I'd love one as I use a lot of sample words. Is it online somwhdre, perhaps? $\endgroup$ – Conor O'Brien Jul 14 '15 at 4:26
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    $\begingroup$ There's dignifies/signified, which doesn't follow the de/er pattern, but still uses a pattern of common sufixes. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jul 14 '15 at 5:11
10
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To change from the pattern re/de

6 letters:

Taoism / Maoist

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ also try ripped / dipper $\endgroup$ – Nyk 232 Jul 14 '15 at 17:53
4
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Here are some examples of 14 length:

(not all are directly on Dictionary.com, but they are still words.)

enter image description here

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4
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Well, I found an 8-letter non-DE..ER word pair. They're not in dictionary.com, but they are in the Century Dictionary!

MELONIST - One who cultivates melons.
TELONISM - A pseudonym made by taking the last letters of the real name: as, N. N. = John Brown.

I am investigating other possibilities of the M..IST/T..ISM variety.

Edit: Apparently TANNERISM, despite not being in Dictionary.com, is actually a thing. Seems to be some sort of anti-Mormon belief system? Anyway, its pair is MANNERIST, which is in Dictionary.com, so now I'm up to 9 characters.

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3
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The longest non-DE/RE solution with words from the SOWPODS dictionary is a unique 9-letter solution:

DIGNIFIES / SIGNIFIED

There are also two 8-letter solutions:

DIPHONES / SIPHONED and DWINDLES / SWINDLED

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