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This is in the spirit of the What is a Word™/Phrase™ series started by JLee with a special brand of Phrase™ and Word™ puzzles.


If a word conforms to a special rule, I call it a Brutal Word™.

Use the examples below to find the rule.

$$\begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline \bbox[yellow]{\textbf{Brutal Words™}} & \bbox[yellow]{\textbf{Not Brutal Words™}}\\\hline \text{TIGER} & \text{LION}\\\hline \text{MILLS} & \text{FACTORIES}\\\hline \text{JOLLY} & \text{HAPPY}\\\hline \text{PECAN} & \text{CASHEW}\\\hline \text{INGOT} & \text{MOLD}\\\hline \text{CHEER} & \text{DELIGHT}\\\hline \text{CHAIN} & \text{STRING}\\\hline \text{SORRY} & \text{APOLOGIES}\\\hline \end{array}$$

CSV Version:

Brutal Words™,Not Brutal Words™
TIGER,LION
MILLS,FACTORIES
JOLLY,HAPPY
PECAN,CASHEW
INGOT,MOLD
CHEER,DELIGHT
CHAIN,STRING
SORRY,APOLOGIES

These are not the only examples of Brutal Words™, many more exist.

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Brutal Words are

words that yield other words under a ROT cipher (also known as a Caesar cipher).

For example,

TIGER is PECAN (ROT22)
MILLS is SORRY (ROT6)
JOLLY is CHEER (ROT19)
PECAN is TIGER (ROT4)
INGOT is CHAIN (ROT20)
CHEER is JOLLY (ROT7)
CHAIN is INGOT (ROT6)
SORRY is MILLS (ROT20)

This puzzle was obvious to me because

I used the TIGER/PECAN transformation in one of my own puzzles.

The name comes from the fact that

Julius Caesar was brutal.

I wonder what the longest Brutal Word is?

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  • $\begingroup$ You are correct! By the way, the Brutal Words I mentioned are all tied for the longest Brutal Word :) $\endgroup$ – suomynonA Jan 30 '17 at 3:34
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    $\begingroup$ Oh, I remember Caesar's tiger. The longest Brutal Words I could find are, NOWHERE / ABJURER and PURPURA / CHECHEN. They can all be found in the online OED. $\endgroup$ – M Oehm Jan 30 '17 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, I didn't find the nowhere/abjurer one. Nice! $\endgroup$ – suomynonA Jan 30 '17 at 7:01
  • $\begingroup$ ONE and BAR are the shortest Brutal words, I believe. $\endgroup$ – Feeds Apr 25 at 6:19
  • $\begingroup$ I'd think I and A are the shortest. $\endgroup$ – EagleV_Attnam Apr 25 at 11:55

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