Winners of the December 2014 Palindrome Contest: TWO!

I am pleased to announce that there were two (returning) winners for the December Palindrome contest.
The requirement was: In addition to Elba, one word: Math

(or maths; mathematics, for anyone brave enough).

The winners in alphabetical order are:




Karthik Durvasula
Visiting Assistant Professor in Phonology & Phonetics at Michigan State University

Palindrome: Ha! Am I at natal bash? tame lives, ol’ able-stats Elba. “Lose vile maths!” a blatant aim, aah!

(This was in honor of my birthday–thanks Karthik!)

Bio: I’m a Visiting Assistant Professor in Phonology & Phonetics at Michigan State University. My work primarily deals with probing people’s subconscious knowledge of (abstract) sound patterns. Recently, I have been working on auditory illusions that stem from the bias that such subconscious knowledge introduces.

Statement: “Trying to get a palindrome that was at least partially meaningful was fun and challenging. Plus I get an awesome book for my efforts. What more could a guy ask for! I also want to thank Mayo for being excellent about email correspondence, and answering my (sometimes silly) questions tirelessly.”

Book choiceAn Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (K. Staley 2014, Cambridge University Press).


lori wike falls



Lori Wike: Principal bassoonist of the Utah Symphony; Faculty member at University of Utah and Westminster College

Palindrome: Able foe rip menisci? Tam, eh? Tam-tam? GMAT mathematics in empire of Elba!

(Lori was brave enough to use “mathematics”–successfully! The only reason I know meniscus is from working in a knee clinic as a graduate student to supplement my Fellowship at U Penn. Congratulations!)

Bio: Lori Wike is principal bassoonist of the Utah Symphony and is on the faculty of the University of Utah and Westminster College. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and a Master of Arts degree in Comparative Literature from UC-Irvine.

Statement: “I’m very happy to be a third-time winner in this palindrome contest. I definitely appreciated the challenge of trying to work “mathematical” into a palindrome, and I must thank my dear friend, Luke, whose recent knee surgery brought “menisci” to my mind. Here is a picture of me visiting Akaka Falls, a necessary stop on any palindromist tour itinerary! I’ve been fascinated by palindromes ever since first learning about them as a child in a Martin Gardner book. I started writing palindromes several years ago when my interest in the form was rekindled by reading about the constraint-based techniques of several Oulipo writers. While I love all sorts of wordplay and puzzles, and I occasionally write some word-unit palindromes as well, I find writing the traditional letter-unit palindromes to be the most satisfying challenge, due to the extreme formal constraint of exact letter reversal–which is made even more fun in a contest like this where one has to include specific words in the palindrome. Lately I’ve been writing a lot of palindrome limericks (“palimericks”) and I’d like to attempt to write a palindrome sonnet in iambic pentameter.”

Book choice:  What is this thing called science? (A. Chalmers 1999 (3rd ed), Hackett Publishing Company).

CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH! And thanks so much for your interest!

Mayo’s December attempts/examples included:

Elba, I, math girl, let racecar stats = sexes = stats racecar, tell right, amiable!
Elba, I, math, gin, stats = testset = stats night, amiable.
Elba, I, math, gin = night amiable!

Elba saw, aimed a cadet fight. A math gifted academia was able.
Elba fan I, “stats goddess” I, math girl, right. A missed dog stats in a fable.
A nut on Elba, I rave: “No stats goddess I. Math gin night. A missed dog stats, one variable, no tuna!”

JANUARY: IRONY, IRONIC, IRONICAL. Extra points for using any two forms of these words in your palindrome. See rules.



Categories: Palindrome

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2 thoughts on “Winners of the December 2014 Palindrome Contest: TWO!

  1. When I click on the link to see the “rules”, I get to a page that simply states:

    “You are not allowed to edit this item.”

    I thought I’d let you know, and, I was wanting to know the rules and know if this is an open competition? I would enjoy submitting one, and I’ll write whether you want it or not! (Likely.) And, the incentive of being in competition sounds delightful…

    One of my names is T.M. Nilap, and you should know what the T and M stand for. 😀 You can call me Mord, or Michael, or any other thing that you so desire.

    * * *

    Here is one of my favorite quotes about palindromy, followed by one of my favorite palindromes, followed by one of my own creations (if you’d enjoy doing so, please share and build on it):
    Alastair Reid:
    “The dream which occupies the tortuous mind of every palindromist is that somewhere within the confines of the language lurks the Great Palindrome, the nutshell which not only fulfills the intricate demands of the art, flowing sweetly in both directions, but which also contains the Final Truth of Things“.

    * * *

    in girum imus nocte et consumimur igni

    * * *

    Wondere vere volution sitson!? Evow! Woven ost is noit u lover ever-ed now?


    One vow!
    One dragon!
    No garden?
    O, woven.
    “O no!?”
    “I, tu lover,” eve Red Now.


    Wonder ever evolution sits?
    One vow.
    Woven O’s.
    ‘Tis “No, I tú love!” revered Now.

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