Wordsmith.org : the magic of words

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Anagram Times Q&A with George Missailidis, our newest and youngest reporter

George MissailidisToday we introduce you to the newest addition to The Anagram Times staff: George Missailidis. He is our youngest reporter. He may be in high school, but don't let that fool you. His anagrams are heavyweight. And they pack a punch.

Q How did you get into anagrams?
A My friend and I love maths. He introduced me to the Mathematics Stack Exchange, a website full of people who enjoy maths and have many maths questions that need answering. From there, a year later, I came across the Puzzling Stack Exchange, which is another Q&A site, but with a different community of people. These had people who not only enjoyed maths, but they enjoyed puzzles -- a lot. I began making riddles and actually got quite good at it. Then, one of the people in the community came up with an "Anagram Puzzle".

The idea was that you are given at least ten sentences. In each sentence are two blank lines like this: _____. The length of the line depends on the word it replaces. The aim of the game is to figure out what the two words are, replaced by the lines, so that the sentence they are in makes sense after you substitute the words. (It is a fun game, give it a go!) However, there is but one rule they must abide by: the words must be an anagram of each other! For example: After we _____ for many hours we were very _____. In this case, the words are "tried" and "tired", respectively. Noticeably, these words are anagrams of each other.

I made four anagram puzzles myself, but some of the anagrams included were ones I didn't make. I found them on the internet. In my research, I stumbled upon the Internet Anagram Server and used that software to find anagrams (thanks Anu!), and then... The Anagram Times! That's when I decided to take on the challenge of making a full puzzle with my own made anagrams. I first wanted to try making an anagram for The Anagram Times, and my first one was actually published! However, it was honestly terrible. It used two of the same words twice in the input and output of the anagram, so they could have cancelled each other out. I therefore attempted to make a better one, but by this stage, I completely forgot about the anagram puzzle I wanted to make. For some reason, I kept making ones about Satan. I don't know why, but I'm out of the creepy habit. I still love maths, and so does my friend. Now, I love maths and anagrams.

Q Do you remember the first anagram you made?
A The first anagram that I made by hand was: Obey God = Goodbye
When I looked at the anagrams of The Anagram Times, I instantly believed it was something truly divine, and since I believe in God, I linked it to that.

Q Do you have a favorite anagram?
A Yes. Well, I got two, actually. My longest favourite:
And my shortest favourite:
Anagrams never lie. Everything said in this anagram is true (except the ones that I cannot tell if it will be true). I am a nerd: I love maths; I sing, act, and dance (and love geology); I play chess; I get good grades (when I am not distracted by maths or anagrams); I am a virgo (I was born in September); the Golden Ratio is one of my favourite maths constants; I love science and want to write novels when I am older (with the pen name "Simeon Galavar", where an anagram of that is "I love anagrams"); I am a happy person who believes in God; I have a friend who owns a YouTube channel called Void Eon, or VE (and funnily enough, one of the first videos he posted on it was of him in his front yard... with a lilac bush behind him); I am a "VE Theoriser" and am the biggest fan of his YouTube channel; I can't say anything about the last three anagrams.

How do you pick a news headline to anagram?
A I got no idea. Hauls a word, wacky phenomena?

Q How do you make anagrams? Manually, software, a combination, etc.?
A I use the Internet Anagram Server {I, Rearrangement Servant} and 'Anagram Genius' {Name is Anu Garg}. That is my anagram notation, by the way. If you write " 'A' {B} " then B is an anagram of A. I find it very easy and convenient.

Q Describe the moment when you are working on anagramming a phrase and the last few letters just fall into place and you realize that you have an outstanding anagram on your hand.
A What is the feeling of anagramming a lot? = Awesome, flattering. Haha, oft maligning.

Q Approximately how long do you spend on an anagram?
A Hmm... well, for The Anagram Times, about several minutes to an hour.

Q What do you do in your non-anagram life?
A I do many things: I sing, dance, act (filming or on stage), write (stories, riddles, poetry, nonsense literature), draw (rebuses, cartoons, grids, which are commonly my own puzzles), do maths (solve problems and form conjectures, to which I sometimes solve them) and currently read on a monthly basis.

Q Some people use anagrams for divination. Do you think there's a mystical angle to anagrams?
A My philosophy is that for every person's full name, there exists some kind of sentence that includes it for which an anagram of it somewhat reveals the person's true character. So yes, there must be some kind of divination involved lest this should be true. At least anugrams are, heheh. To any anagrammist out there who is reading this, you might be familiar with 'Anagram Genius' {Name is Anu Garg}, but trust me, there are many more I have found with his name. Let's see if you can find some of them ;)

Q Anything else you'd like to add?
A “Yes,” I tell. “Good day, the kind Anu!”

Selected anagrams from George Missailidis: