How Lewis Carroll's 'Syzygy' Puzzles Worked (Infographic)
By Karl Tate, Infographics Artist |
In addition to his famous creations portrayed in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," Lewis Carroll was known for his fondness of word puzzles and logic games.
In 1879, Carroll noted in his diary that he had created a new type of word puzzle he called “syzygies.” The objective was to turn one word into another by changing letters according to logical rules. For example, “walrus” can be turned into “carpenter,” like so:
When two words both contain the same set of one or more consecutive letters, a “syzygy” is formed. A set of four or more words with syzygies between every two is called a “chain,” with each word between the two end words called a “link.”
Here are some more of Carroll’s syzygy puzzles, as they appeared in a pamphlet published in 1893:
Karl has been Purch's infographics specialist across all editorial properties since 2010. Before joining Purch, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web. He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University.