last update 03.09.2006 12:01
Introduction Online Articles Download Section Special Links About
Top Runners' Quarterly
Frisky's Corner
Neal's Last Words

[Close file]

Did You Know?
Bits and Pieces from the NR Trivia Collection
#12: Anagrams in Netrunner

by Jens Kreutzer

Looking at the title of this article, you might ask: So what's an anagram? The word comes from New Latin anagramma, that in turn coming from Greek anagrammatismos ; ana- meaning "up, again, back, new", and -gram meaning "letter". An anagram is a rearrangement of the letters of one word or phrase to form another word or phrase. Sometimes, you can find amusing results in this way. A simple example is to rearrange the letters of evil to get vile, a more complicated one, changing Clint Eastwood to Old West action. Or, Proteus to top user (or our pest)!

The easiest way of forming an anagram is simply reversing a word, but most often, you only get gibberish. This is what happened to Larry Niven, a famous science-fiction novelist, who is also Richard Garfield's favorite author. Niven is probably best known for his book "Ringworld". If you spell Niven's name backwards, you get "Nevinyrral". This not only appears on the Netrunner Corporation card of the same name, but also on the card Nevinyrral's Disk in Magic: The Gathering.

On to more complex anagrams, of which there are quite a few in Netrunner (maybe there are still more to discover!). Scaldan rearranges to form "scandal", which seems fitting for the bad-publicity nature of this virus.

Ever wondered what "MIT West Tier" is supposed to mean? Well, MIT is short for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and tier (which rhymes with beer, for non-native speakers of English) means roughly, "level". But you might have heard that MIT West Tier is an anagram of "Timetwister", a card from Magic: The Gathering with a very similar game effect.

The two masterminds behind Netrunner also hid their names in anagrams within the game. "Omni Kismet, Ph. D." is an anagram of Mike Pondsmith, designer of Cyberpunk, the roleplaying game that lent Netrunner its background story. The picture on the card is (quite recognizably) a portrait of Mike. And finally, "Filched Radar Rig" (found on page 9 of the Netrunner Rulebook) is an anagram of Richard Garfield himself.

It appears that the Wizards of the Coast design team is very fond of anagrams, and indeed you can have lots of fun with them. At, you can find a collection of famous anagrams ("Internet access" gives "ancient secrets") as well as an anagram generator to check out whether your name or any other phrase you might choose contains any hidden messages. In honor of the "third pillar" of Netrunner, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, I tried to find an interesting anagram for her name, but "A jewel fencer: link risk", "A new ice rink: jerks fell", and "A Finn's jeweller: kicker!" is about all the generator came up with. Sorry, Jennifer! But do note the Neuromancer reference involving Finns and jewels.

Next question: What's a palindrome? A palindrome is a word or phrase that can be read from front to back as well as from back to front. Some easy examples:


Evil olive.

Some longer examples:

Cigar? Toss it in a can, it is so tragic.

A man, a plan, a canal - Panama!

Unfortunately, there are no known palindromes in Netrunner, but perhaps we can hope for further expansions to see to that. :-)

[Previous Did You Know] [Close file] [Next Did You Know]

TRQ #24
- 2005 -
TRQ #23
- 2004 -
TRQ #22
TRQ #21
- 2003 -
TRQ #20
TRQ #19
- 2002 -
TRQ #18
TRQ #17
TRQ #16
- 2001 -
TRQ #15
TRQ #14
TRQ #13
TRQ #12
- 2000 -
TRQ #11
TRQ #10
TRQ #09
- 1999 -
TRQ #08
TRQ #07
TRQ #06
TRQ #05
- 1998 -
TRQ #04
TRQ #03
TRQ #02
- 1997 -
TRQ #01