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On this site, rot13 is often used to encrypt comments so spoilers can be spoken about. Rot13 is a cipher, in which each letter is shifted 13 letters forward (or backward) in the alphabet.

There are certain words in the English alphabet which once rot13ed, form a new word. Your task is to find the name for this type of word pair.

The following sentences clue a pair. For instance, the sentence...

’Muzzle the explosive.’

... would clue ‘gag’ and ‘tnt’, and rot13ing ‘gag’ gives ‘tnt’, and vice versa.


Find the pairs and place them in the given grid. The highlighted letters will give the name you are looking for... or will they?

  1. A colour of planet earth
  2. Someone renouncing a non-existent place
  3. A grenade was delivered
  4. Block the single
  5. A small insect will harass you
  6. Jealousy of transport method
  7. A flutter at the same time
  8. Old hum is measurement
  9. Covering recedes

enter image description here


What should these be called?

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    $\begingroup$ Fantastic puzzle!! This was very enjoyable to solve. $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 12 at 13:23
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1   A colour of planet earth

GREEN and TERRA

2   Someone renouncing a non-existent place

ABJURER and NOWHERE (this one’s pretty nice)

3   A grenade was delivered

FRAG and SENT

4   Block the single

BAR and ONE

5   A small insect will harass you

ANT and NAG

6   Jealousy of transport method

ENVY and RAIL

7   A flutter at the same time

FLAP and SYNC

8   Old hum is measurement

BUZ and OHM

9   Covering recedes

ROOF and EBBS

So then the red letters are

GURFR -> rot13ing gives you THESE

The green letters are

NER -> rot13ing gives you ARE

The blue letters are

EBGBALZF -> rot13ing gives you ROTONYMS

The message is

THESE ARE ROTONYMS. This is actually a really cool name for these pairs of words (note that you could clue the sentence above to be pieced together because RGB (Red-Green-Blue) is a common colour code format, and the sentence works together in that order.

Thus, you can call these pairs of words

ROTONYMS.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice work, El-Guest - I had all bar number 8 (never heard of that before) but I hadn't even begun a write-up so you must have nailed this really quickly to deliver a full answer in that time! +1 $\endgroup$ – Stiv May 12 at 13:23
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    $\begingroup$ Very nice :) I thought this would be solved quite quickly, but that was especially fast! Glad you picked up on the RGB too :P Rotonyms seems to be the unofficial name that I've seen online (I didn't make it up), and there's some pretty cool ones. Abjurer and nowhere is the longest there is, irk and vex are synonyms and gnat and tang are palindromes. Glad you enjoyed this :) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 12 at 13:24
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    $\begingroup$ Number 8 was definitely a tough one, I tried to find a measurement first and hoped that the hum would fall into place — thank you both for the kind words! $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 12 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ @El-Guest 8 is the one I was least happy with, the rot13 of the answer had a 'z' in it, so one of the words had to, and there were only a couple of options, so I had to go with it. Glad you managed to get it though! :) $\endgroup$ – Beastly Gerbil May 12 at 13:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yep, that makes sense — I’d figured as much that that was a toughie to include — I believe you that there’s probably not much else, @BeastlyGerbil $\endgroup$ – El-Guest May 12 at 15:43

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