Back in the 17th century, anagrams actually had a useful application. Scientists, or natural philosophers as they were then called, would often write down a discovery in the form of jumbled letters to notify colleagues about their achievement before they were ready to reveal it to the world at large.
Probably the most famous example in the history of science was by Robert Hooke, one of Newton's enemies, who proclaimed the following version of his discovery in 1676...CEIIINOSSSTTUV
Don't bother even attempting it unless you know Latin, because the answer is...UT TENSIO SIC VIS
which translates into English...As the extension, so the force
Or, as you may have met it back in science class, Hooke's Law of Elasticity. Hmmm... I didn't mean to turn that into a history lesson, but it was a bit interesting don't you think?
Anyway, today, this ancient art has pretty much lost its practical importance. Instead, it remains a mysteriously addictive pastime for crossword lovers, Scrabble players, and other word-buffs. Not to mention those of us who just take private pleasure in seeing
nasty name anagrams
of people we don't like. Ok... guilty as charged ;-)
If you enjoy making anagrams out of words, phrases, and names - nasty or otherwise! - whether for crossword clues, or just for the heck of it, you might like to take a look at this
rather clever beast.
In fact, you'll probably need it if you want to create truly ingenious examples like...Clint Eastwood = Old West Action
And if you are really serious, as tournament Scrabble players tend to be, I recommend you practice these
Once you've mastered these strategies, you'll be able to unscramble racks like this one in a matter of seconds...
See the spoiler* toward the bottom of this page if you had to give up!
*Need to be put out of your misery with the A-B-L-N-O-T-Y example? The common word that can be formed from these letters is ... NOTABLY. Kicking yourself? Don't. Just follow the link above so it doesn't happen again!