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Saturday, March 4, 2023

The Anagram Times Q&A with Steve Allison

Steve Allison, The Anagram Times reporter
From time to time we take you behind the scenes in the newsroom here at The Anagram Times and introduce you to our intrepid reporters. Today, let's meet Steve Allison.

Q How did you get into anagrams?
A A long-ago magazine article about you and your website - I loved it!

Q Do you remember the first anagram you made?
A No, but I remember thinking that it would be a near impossible task for me.

Q Do you have a favorite anagram?
A Having grown up with Vietnam and the Nixon/Agnew White House, I'm a fan of the classic "Spiro Agnew" anagram - "Grow a spine." The off-color variant makes me laugh, too...

Q How do you pick a news headline to anagram?
A I read news daily, and every once in a while a news caption strikes me as having a hidden angle - sarcasm, irony, and the like. If the caption is missing an essential letter or two, I use Google News to look for related articles which have the missing letter(s).

Q How do you make anagrams? Manually, software, a combination, etc.?
A I always start out manually, but after I've chopped it down about half way, using the essential words I want, I use the anagram engine to look for other candidate words, then finally anagrams with the remaining letters.

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 Like getting to the last piece in a large jigsaw puzzle and, miraculously, it fits the rest of the puzzle perfectly!

Q Approximately how long do you spend on an anagram?
A Usually about 30 minutes (but I throw away about 80% of what I start)

Q What do you do in your non-anagram life?
A Making music, writing poetry, woodworking, and hanging out with my wife, children (4) and grandchildren (8).

Q Some people use anagrams for divination. Do you think there's a mystical angle to anagrams?
A Writing of any form seems mystical - we can leave words as a legacy for future generations and we have benefited from the same! To me, anagrams overlap a bit with art, comedy, and poetry.

Selected anagrams from Steve Allison:

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