Chameleon Word

A chameleon word riddle presents you with a small set of words. You must find one "chameleon word" that can be added or inserted into each word to form a new word. The result will often (but not always!) be a compound word—it just has to be a valid word. For example, the following are all valid ways to add the key:

Bath + room = Bathroom
Bit + Rib = Ribbit
Load + Downer = Downloader

See? It's like the chameleon word has camouflaged itself in the other words! In chameleon word riddles, the spelling is what counts! Don't be too distracted by what the words sound like, as the pronunciation may change when the chameleon is added!


A doublet is a word puzzle invented by Lewis Carroll, in which you transform one word into another by changing one letter at a time. Each time you change a letter, you must create a valid word. Example:

Question: Change COD to FRY in as few moves as possible.

Answer: COD → COY → CRY → FRY

Try to make the change in as few turns as possible. There are often many possible paths to solving a doublet, so try to match or beat my score! I suggest solving doublets by hand on a piece of paper.


A rebus is a word or phrase depicted via some combination of illustration or arrangement of letters in a pictographic way. For example, here is a classic rebus. Can you figure out the phrase that it represents?

the word reading with lines drawn above and below it.

A: Reading between the lines

There are many different types of rebuses, which you may read more about on Wikipedia.


A spoonerism is when you switch the first sounds or letters between two words. For example, "a blushing crow" is a spoonerism of "a crushing blow". A spooneriddle is a riddle whose answer is a spoonerism. For example:

Question: What's the difference between a bashful corvid and a devastating attack?

Answer: One is a blushing crow, the other's a crushing blow.

The answer will always be in this general format: "One is an X, the other's a Y" although there might be slight variation to make the answer sound better or funnier. In general, I prioritize how it sounds aloud. The answer should always sound like a spoonerism, regardless of what letters are used in spelling the two words.

One classic spoonerism is "Someone is occupewing my pie" for "Someone is occupying my pew". In this case "Occupewing" is a nonsense word, and also mixes up the middle syllable, not the first. I will avoid tricky spoonerisms like this, as it would be hard to guess a nonsense word as the answer to a riddle. Spooneriddles with short, snappy clues tend to be difficult, so I will try to use illustration to provide more hints and make things fun.