Occam’s Safety Scissors
by Lex Parsimoniae
Get out your Occam’s safety scissors, boys and girls—it’s time to get crafty! To solve this puzzle you will need to use your Occam’s safety scissors (8th graders and up can—with care!—use their Occam’s razors) to cut out the shapes below.
In order to avoid multiplying puzzle pieces without necessity, each of the three sets below can be assembled in two different ways—each revealing a phoneme. The two phonemes hidden in a particular puzzle have a special relationship to each other. Of course, there are many ways to put the pieces together, but the correct assemblies should stand out a bit from other candidates.
In order that hints not be multiplied without necessity, we’ll give one hint that covers both the relationship between puzzle-paired phonemes and the shapes of the assembled puzzle pieces: regular.
If you have discovered the three pairs of phonemes, send your solutions to the editors of SpecGram by December 15th, 2018, and you could win some SpecGram merch. If you can also identify the relationship the phoneme pairs have to each other, you are more likely to win!
Winners will not be multiplied without necessity, but the correct solution and any such winners will be announced in the upcoming January issue of Speculative Grammarian.
Some plausible answers to November’s query concerning the batch of L’Ishing du Gwujlang XII/Mịʀʀŏ̯яяịm mnemonically merged definitions (MMDs) are presented below:
- An expired fellow is a dead dude.
- Territorial figures are states stats.
- To deify vivaciousness is to revere verve.
- A temple magistrate is a church judge.
- To have educated a cramped barge pusher is to have taught a tight towboat.
- An authoritative Canadian is a canonic Canuck.
- To once again perceive an uncommon bellow is to rehear a rare roar.
- To prepare a breadish dessert made with joint sealant is to cook a caulk cake.
- Interjections of invention and assent are aha and uh-huh.
- An effortless bringer of bacon is an easy earner.
- A famous midday substantive is a known noon noun.
- One more than, or eight less than, eight are nine and none.
- A canvas bag for a woodwind is an oboe tote.
- Cheeky salsa is sass sauce.
- The kaMalandela’s people, and their menageries are Zulus and zoos.
- A UK scalper is a ticket tout.
Thanks to Olivia Doherty, Vincent Fish, Eemil Pölönen and Kerstin Werner for their contributions to the decipherment. Each will receive a prize for their help.