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Enjoy a biweekly test of verbal tomfoolery. WWW fame is at stake! Confused? Read all about Word Games in this brief introduction. Brought to you by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon, the creators of The Atlantic Puzzler.

Presidents' Daze

This contest is now closed. But enjoy!
(Click here to go directly to the winning entries.)

Most Presidents love cooking, so they probably feel at home on A RANGE.

Bob Dole and Jack Kemp bobbed for apples, while Bill Clinton AND AL GORE RAN the three-legged race.

Never trust an INSANE ANGLO WARLORD with your home-made nuclear device.
The three sentences above have something in common, which you insatiable anagram-lovers may have noticed already. Each sentence contains in full capitals the anagrammed name of the 40th President of the United States -- first as REAGAN, then as RONALD REAGAN, then as RONALD WILSON REAGAN.

The object of our game is to make an anagram of any U.S. President's name and work it into a sentence having some sort of political sense (funny, if possible). You may anagram a President's last name (HAYES), first and last names (RUTHERFORD HAYES), full name with middle initial (RUTHERFORD B. HAYES) or entire name (RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES).

Please capitalize fully the anagrammed Presidential name as we did above in our REAGAN examples, and indicate the solution somewhere in your entry. Restrict yourself to one sentence per anagram if you possibly can. To give one more example:

When accused of being a sick, pot-smoking buffoon, the President retorted: "ME ILL? A JOINT-SNIFFER CLOWN?"
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Suggest a contest for your fellow wordplay lovers. If we can use or adapt your idea, we'll bestow upon you any book from The Atlantic Store.

(We'll let you figure that anagram out for yourselves.)

Mail your contest entry to puzzles@theatlantic.com. Multiple entries are acceptable, but for our convenience put your Presidential anagrams into one piece of e-mail whenever possible (and please don't use attached files). Senders of our three favorite entries will each receive our write-in votes in the next Presidential election -- either that, or a free book from The Atlantic Monthly.

Presidents' Daze will remain open through Friday, February 28. Winners and full results will be posted on Friday, March 7.

--EC and HR

Presidents' Daze Results

Some peculiar things happened when we unleashed this word-game contest. Anagrammatists, being free thinkers, sometimes added their own twists to the festivities. One tactic was to invent a Presidential anagram that could stand on its own. Here are two examples:

A SAD OLLIE N. RAN WRONG. (Ronald Wilson Reagan)

(Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in a valentine card sent to his first cousin and future wife)

A particularly novel variation was sent by usgispla@ibmmail.com, who placed the anagrams so that they overlapped with other words. Usgispla's eight examples below all refer to First Ladies:

1. Barbara's HUSBand. (Bush)
2. Nancy's mANAGER. (Reagan)
3. MarTHA'S OWN, IN Government. (Washington)
4. Why Hillary was NOT IN CLass, at Yale. (Clinton)
5. EleanOR'S VOTE ELected him. (Roosevelt)
6. Good Humor MAN IS DOlly's hubby? (Madison)
7. He flippeD FOR Betty. (Ford)
8. They swore in Lady Bird'S HON ON Jet. (Johnson)

And from Timothy_J_Gaul_at_~PGRLVD3P, we received an interesting entry in which the Presidential anagram was separated into several pieces in a rhyming couplet:

What he needed around the HARBOR GREW more and more clear,
So he hopped into the limo to HUSTLE a KEG of BEER.
(George Herbert Walker Bush)

We'd like to sing a rousing chorus of "Hail to the Chief" in honor of contestant Paypete1st@worldnet.att.net, who forged anagrams for all 42 of the U.S. Presidents (well, almost, sort of) in strict historical order. At the same time we'd like to fire a twenty-one gun salute in honor of Zincats@aol.com, who sent us nine tabloid headlines exposing hanky-panky in the FDR household. We've chosen one entry from PayPete1st's historical set and one from Zincats's batch of headlines as winners in this contest. A comical zinger from fheaney@dcdu.com brings the election to a laughing climax. Congratulations, winners -- and thank you, everyone!

The Winners

*For all his efforts, ONLY NINE HANDS-ON JOBS were created. (Lyndon Baines Johnson)


*Washington innkeepers OFT LINK ELEANOR AND LOVERS. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)

*When seeing the President, people often wondered if he was on some sort of DRUG--HE'D DROP OR FALL with alarming regularity. (Gerald Rudolph Ford)

And Our Other Top Favorites

*Even though he considers himself an advocate of change, Bill Clinton was GLAD VELCRO NEVER replaced his Teflon shield during the campaign. (Grover Cleveland)

*"What I said was that my toast needed SOME JAM, RENO, not that I wanted you to put me in a jam with more special prosecutors," President Clinton told the Attorney General. (James Monroe)

*Bill Clinton never inhaled, but he found a source of an even greater HIGH: NEWT'S DIRE WOE at his plight due to the House Ethics Committee investigation. (Dwight Eisenhower)

*Years later, Dan Quayle's mother realized that she'd misread the message in the fortune cookie: Instead of "some dim sum," she was to have "A DIM SON." (Madison)


*He fought on even with three horses GONE, SHOWING GREAT promise for the future. (George Washington)

*The red-and-blue-clad smithy, finding himself in a JAM, SHOD AN albino pony to ride in the Fourth of July Parade. (John Adams)

*Some politicians will always be but HAM JESTERS OFF ON a tear. (Thomas Jefferson)

*Ah! Is that the aroma of JASMINED SOMA at the White House morning coffee? (James Madison)

*Some DRAWN JOKES CAN tell more about elephants, donkeys, and a certain uncle than whole collections of word-filled columns. (Andrew Jackson)

*Dorothy hoped to see the BRAVE TIN MAN RUN for President. (Martin Van Buren)

*The House Bank, a NICE PERK, FRAIL as it was, helped a Solon or two cope with the cost of living high in Washington. (Franklin Pierce)

*"YES, GLASS TURNS to sand, its original source!" the environmental candidate gleefully proclaimed. (Ulysses S. Grant)

*The TRUTH SEARCHER would find Washington DC unbelievable. (Chester Arthur)

*IF A TWILL MAT covered the floor of the Rotunda, how many elephants could stand on it? (William Taft)


*When told that he was far too puritanical and drab to get votes, he intoned, "MIND--JOY CAN QUASH righteousness." (John Quincy Adams)

*The President's wife is none too bright, yet THIS SLOW WOMAN runs the country. (Thomas W. Wilson)

*Murderous GLANCES HELPED VENT the fury of the Presidential candidate not invited to the debates. (Stephen G. Cleveland)


*"Do you know me? I'm the lovable commander-in-chief who RAN ON ALL-WRONG IDEAS." (Ronald Wilson Reagan)


*They say it was no JOKE--PALMS were lined before the election. (James Polk)

*Cabinet members around the table thought he was stonewalling when he said, "DRAW NONE," JACKS full having been dealt to him. (Andrew Jackson)

*Impeaching the janitor's work, the President exclaimed, "If you don't do a better job cleaning up around the White House, I'll need a NEW HAND SOON, JR!" (Andrew Johnson)


*This President, a country boy, told us that his favorite dish is HAM IN A CORNBALL. (Abraham Lincoln)

*This President refused toast because the inn HAD NO JAMS. (John Adams)

*"TRY SUNGLASSES," this President ASSERTS SNUGLY. (Ulysses S. Grant)

*This First Lady claimed her life-long dream was to MARRY RASH NUT. (Harry S Truman)


*"Mr. President," said the Admiral," I wish you wouldn't call the USN 'GRASSY SIMPLETONS'!" (Ulysses Simpson Grant)


*Congressional TRUTH REACHERS appear to be fairly rare. (Chester Arthur)

*"If you had MORE ON, you could let more in," according to doctrine. (Monroe)

*Sitting Bull urged his braves "HURRY, HORDE, BE FAST. RUSH YE TO FAR HERD." (Rutherford B. Hayes/Rutherford Hayes)

*He also admonished the great beasts of the plains, "OH, FURRY HERDS! EAT all the tall grass, before the Great White Father sends another foolish general." (Rutherford Hayes)

*Many Americans HATED FORBES' HURRY to change the income tax structure. (Rutherford B. Hayes)

*HURRAY! FORD BETS HE can make it around the course without hitting anyone. (Rutherford B. Hayes)

*Paula claims WEIRDO WAVED THING, HIDES behind Presidency. (Dwight David Eisenhower)

*He was like a SHORN EWE, I.E. bald. World War II? He WON HER, I SEE. (Eisenhower)

*WHERE IS ONE general who could run for President? (Eisenhower)


*WAR LOOM'D. SO, WHO'S WON IT? (Thomas Woodrow Wilson)

*SO, WON WWI? O, LORD! (Woodrow Wilson)

*"IRAN LOAN DEAL'S WRONG."--George Schultz
(Ronald Wilson Reagan, represented in a conversation between two members of his White House)


*He is, like the Liberty BELL, AN ICON of America. (Abe Lincoln)

*President who used to be ONE SHREWD WHITE G.I. (Dwight Eisenhower)

*In Germany, they call this PLODDER A RUHR GOLF sensation. (Gerald Rudolph Ford)


*At last, the war of the WORLD IS WON! OW! Am I having a stroke? (Woodrow Wilson)

*I've said it before, and I'll say it again! This Doctrine means NO MAS, JEROME! (James Monroe)

*In order to diffuse an increasingly difficult foreign affairs situation, the President tried a piece of the Prime Minister's wife's SQUID-HAM CANDY. JON! Are you alright? (John Quincy Adams)


*"This proclamation means 'I'LL BAN ONCE' and that should settle the issue once and for all." (Abe Lincoln)

*There was NO WHIG ANGST among the dissidents. (G. Washington)


*Leon's ICKY, MINIMAL, WELL-placed shots did not help his cause nor the President at all. (William McKinley)

*Old Hickory WARNED we could take them by surprise if we didn't fire our muskets till we looked them in the eyes. (Andrew--i.e. Jackson; with apologies to Johnny Horton)

*After he GLARED and dropped a few bombs on them, the Cambodians surrendered the "Mayaguez" and her crew. (GERALD--i.e. Ford)


*CLEVER LAD, GOVERN at least two out of three terms. (Grover Cleveland)

*Garfield HURT, CHEATS ERR in taking over presidency. (Chester Arthur)

*HA! MARTYRS RUN, they cannot escape my bombs. (Harry S Truman)

*WHAT? "FAT ROD" President, how did he beat T.R.? (Howard Taft)


*Did the sound man at the 1928 Republican convention say, "This acceptance speech has too much echo" OR "OH, THE REVERB"? (Herbert Hoover)

*When the President's tee shot hit a spectator on the head, his son remarked, "Gee, you made a GOLF ERR, DAD!" (Gerald Ford)

*On the eve of the Normandy invasion, Franklin and Eleanor inquired of the general, "WE WONDER--HIGH TIDES?" (Dwight D. Eisenhower)


*Gennifer Flowers probably classifies Clinton as the LOVE E SORT. (Roosevelt)

*Do you think Clinton goes for the HOOTERED LOVE E SORT? (Theodore Roosevelt)


*The AP quoted Bill Clinton on the emerging budget crunch, "Use IRS income as NET, ASSESS UGLY "R" deficits, subtract my salary, and remember a negative plus a negative equals a positive." (Ulysses S. Grant)

*Clinton's Memo to the Pentagon exploded, "REFER: LACK PIN IN hand grenades. Such shoddy workmanship besmirches the reputation of the US munitions industry, which can blow us away." (Franklin Pierce)


*Have ideas for eliminating VICE? GOOD! CALL IN: 774-469-3223 (Sphinx-face) (Calvin Coolidge)


*Senator Packwood saw the writing on the bathroom wall: "WHAM! I'M IDA, AN ILLEGAL GIRL." (William Gamaliel Harding)

*Dick Morris, that finicky FONDLER, RAN INTO LAKE'S LOVE nest and made talk-show history. (Franklin Delano Roosevelt)


*The President, a New Yorker, explaining why Dodgers should stay in Brooklyn, UNEARTHS L.A. CHARTER, exposing city as Tinseltown; team moves anyway. (Chester Alan Arthur)


*On ELEANOR, FDR'S KIN ALL VOTE "NO"; but wedding is still on.
*ELEANOR DRANK FILL; NO VOTES won at *this* Washington fundraiser!
*ELEANOR IN OLD TAVERN; FOLKS say the First Lady's at it again!
*ELEANOR LOVES DRINK, FLAT ON back most of the time.
*ELEANOR VIOLENT, LANDS FORK in President's shoulder.
*"That ELEANOR'S DARN VIOLENT!", FOLK are saying.
*ELEANOR'S VILLA NO FDR TOKEN; was gift from former lover.
(Franklin Delano Roosevelt)


*For George NOTHING WAS too much for his soldiers, and that's what they got. (Washington)

*John, MAD AS a patriot, settled down in office. (Adams)

*Tom OFFERS JEN, his slave, a room in the big house. (Jefferson)

*Jim's wife lectures MAIDS ON White House desserts. (Madison)

*James declared, "NO MORE forts on Canadian border!" (Monroe)

*John began politicking IN YMCA SQUAD, eventually expanding executive power beyond reach. (Quincy Adams)

*Andy, not knowing what to do with the Navy, told JASON, "WARN DECK that party is about to begin!" (Andrew Jackson)

*Marty took the advice of a BRAVE NUN and declared, "Free the soil!" (Van Buren)

*If William hadn't indulged IN RASH OR stupid behavior he would have survived his inauguration. (Harrison)

*John couldn't JOLT HENRY into sanity so he took over himself. (John Tyler)

*James' MONK PAL'S X JOKE entices west coast missions to join the union. (James Knox Polk)

*Zeke's CRAZY ROYAL HAT wasn't ready so he roughed it in office. (Zachary Taylor)

*Millard thought acting as president was a FILM ROLE, even if it hadn't been invented yet. (Fillmore)

*Frank's support for the Kansas-Nebraska act was a RECIPE for disaster. (Pierce)

*James gave the Texas BUNCH AN "A" for annexation. (Buchanan)

*Abe thought the Liberty BELL AN ICON; that's what made him so ap-peal-ing! (Abe Lincoln)

*Andy rubbed a peach and ate it, leaving SHORN END ON JAW, thus saving his Presidency. (Andrew Johnson)

*Under Ulysses, A GRUNT'S life wasn't very civil. (U.S. Grant)

*AH YES, we remember him well? (Hayes)

*James GLARED IF any cat touched his food. (Garfield)

*Art's goal is within REACH: TRUTH SERA for Presidential candidates! (Chester Arthur)

*A not so GRAND LEVER CLOVE Grover's Presidency into two separate terms. (Grover Cleveland)

*Ben left no BORN HAIRS but did admit to six states of union. (Harrison)

*No Spaniard WILL LICK MY MAINE and get away with it! (William McKinley)

*Teddy was the SOLE VOTER at the fish market. (Roosevelt)

*Will passed a "FAT LIMIT" LAW for trusts, but could have used one himself. (William Taft)

*After the war IS WON, WOO WORLD into party where the host doesn't attend. (Woodrow Wilson)

*Warren HEARD WARNING but missed "Last Call!" (Warren Harding)

*Under Cal's NAIVE LOGIC, COLD cash could be saved and the debt reduced. (Calvin Coolidge)

*Herbert would come HERE, COVER BROTH, and drink from a teapot instead. (Herbert C. Hoover)

*It was Franklin's trip to the LOVE STORE that future presidents would emulate. (Roosevelt)

*In a HURRY, "STAR" MAN posted story prematurely. (Harry S Truman)

*USING WIDE THREAD HE sewed up the election. (Dwight D. Eisenhauer [sic])

*Campaign HEAD FRENZY JINGLED "KNOT vigor, just vetter!" (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)

*Richard appointed a different KIND IN COX, steering the shell of a Presidency into uncharted waters. (Dick Nixon)

*Start with W.I.N. buttons, ADD GOLF, ERR, and you get a headache. (Gerald Ford)

*A TRACER of history would probably find Jimmy out of place. (Carter)

*Ron would arrange A GRANDER LOAN for his cast of thousands. (Ronald Reagan)

*George picked Dan because HE BUGS GORE. (George Bush)

*Bill, feeling NO CHILL, LIT NARY a fire because he had warm Socks. (Hillary Clinton)


Copyright © 1997 by The Atlantic Monthly Company. All rights reserved.