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Abstract

In the November 1979 Word Ways, the editor explored the subject of letter-shift words (words which can be trasmuted into each other by constant shifts along the alphabet, as CHEER to JOLLY or PECAN to TIGER). Confining himself to the Merriam-Webster Pock Dictionary, he showed that letter-shift words come in 13 varieties, according to the distance shifted along the alphabet. More recently, the topic of letter-shift words was reopened by Dave Morice (who exhibited an analogue device for more quickly finding such pairs) and Anthony Sebastian (who showed how it could be done using a spreadsheet program). About the only thing Sebastian's method for finding letter-shift words can do for a logologist is give him eyestrain. In fact, computer facilities require for the job are less than needed for the spreadsheet. I wrote a program in QUICKBASIC 4.0 which attacked the problem as follows:

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