On March 16, Will Shortz hosted the World Palindrome Competition, matching up seven of the world’s top palindromists in a fight to the death — well, actually a fight to find out who can make up reversible phrases the most quickly.
The competitors were all men, and included MIT professors, software analysts, stand-up comedians, and one former employee of the Harvard bookstore. Each had 75 minutes to complete palindromes with at least one of the following constraints:
- Use an x and a z in the palindrome;
- Write a palindrome on a person or event prominent in the news during the last 12 months; or
- Write a palindrome about this competition.
Some of the winning phrases below:
“I tan. I mull. In a way, Obama, I am a boy — a wan Illuminati.”
“Devil Kay fixes trapeze part; sex if yak lived.”
“Not Newt,’ Ron’s snort went on.
“Sex attacks,” I rewrote, “misuse jazz if I fizz a Jesus I met or we risk cat taxes.”
See the full list of palindromes (and the winners) here.
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