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No. 3452: Garflat

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Permanent URL: https://mezzacotta.net/garfield/?comic=3452

Strip by: Manyhills


Garfield loves lasagna
But he's not a ONE WORD eater,
Which makes him rather OTHER.
(His circumference: one meter.)
=LINKO, London UK

The author writes:

A puzzle by me, originally published in The Enigma, the magazine of America's National Puzzlers' League. The puzzle is of a rather recherché type called a "flat", hence the title. What does it mean? OK, this is going to require a little bit of explanation.

Basically, you're aiming to find two words, both five letters long, linked by the fact that you can make one word in the other by changing its third letter (and obviously vice versa). That's what THIRD-LETTER CHANGE (5) means.

Now, there are lots of word pairs that fit that description, like water/wafer, dulce/dunce, and so on. That's why there's a little poem as well: it indicates something about the meaning of the two words by showing how they might be used in context, so that you can nail down the correct answers. "But he's not a WATER eater, which makes him rather WAFER"? That doesn't make any sense at all. It must be a different pair. "But he's not a DULCE eater, which makes him rather DUNCE"? That's still obviously not right.

I'll cop to this: one of the words is not in very common use, and it's frankly generous of neither the Oxford English Dictionary nor Merriam-Webster to mark it as 'obsolete'. Hopefully the other is obvious enough that you can work it out anyway - after all, once you have one word, there are only 25 possibilities for the remaining word...

Oh, and by the way, they're called flats because you can write the solution on one flat line - as opposed to, say, a crossword puzzle, where your answers would usually be in a 2D grid.

[[Original strip: none.]]