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|Misc. Puzzle Elements
Letter Banks are a puzzle element in which strings of letters are broken down into their components. Depending on the style of letter bank used in a particular puzzle, they may be very similar to Anagrams, in that they may be able to be fully rearranged to form the original string.
Puzzle Application[edit | edit source]
In many cases, letter banks are either arranged alphabetically or arranged to form new words/phrases with their contents. Letter banks have a few different forms, each containing a different amount of letters.
A unique letter bank consists only of a single copy of each letter contained in a string. Any duplicates found in a string are removed so that there is only one of each in the final result.
LETTER BANK --> LETRBANK (or ABEKLNRT)
A total letter bank consists of all letters in a string, regardless of duplication. A letter bank like this is functionally an anagram of the original string, albeit usually distinguished by the alphabetized presentation.
LETTER BANK --> ABEEKLNRTT
Lastly, a mass letter bank consists of all the letters in a series of strings, combined into one large list of letters. While other letter banks may be solvable to their original strings by themselves, mass letter banks are more likely to use clues or other ways for solvers to identify the original strings, with the letter banks being a confirmation method.
LETTER BANK + PUZZLE ELEMENT + ANSWER --> AABEEEEEEEKLLLMNNNPRRSTTTUWZZ
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Notable Examples[edit | edit source]
Played Straight[edit | edit source]
- I Love These 80 (MITMH 2007) (web) - Straightforward use of many unique letter banks, reducing bands and musical artists down to their unique letters and rearranging them into new words (although many don't work nearly as well as band names).
Notable Twists[edit | edit source]
- Rack 'em Up (MITMH 2022) (web) - Another case of unique letter banks, but all of the banks (found in the first column) are themselves words. They can be used to create new, slightly longer words in each of the other columns, but in two of the three, a letter is also dropped from the words.
- How To Have It All (MITMH 2022) (web) - The letter banks in this puzzle are not arranged like normal banks. Instead, they're treated as letter counts, which fits well as the strings being created from them are all pangrams. However, each bank is actually slightly off, with one letter purported to be there being conspicuously missing.