Gah! I used to be the brilliant one at Verba Retorta University, but ever since that damned Professor Wordberg showed up, there's been nothing but trouble. And it's all his confounded machine's fault! He's a fraud – he has to be – I just needed enough evidence to prove it. So, last night, I... Look, it's not important how I got in there, but purely by happenstance, I found myself in Wordberg's lab after everyone else had left (and, as a tenured professor, I can assure you, I have every right to be there). Anyway, with no one else around, I took the opportunity to gather the proof I needed. I grabbed four words I happened to have in my pocket, loaded them up and started up his alleged "word transformation engine"... Here's the video footage I took of the process (sorry for the poor quality, my phone's a little dated):
Anyway, after a lot of show, the machine's output was unceremoniously dropped into the bin at the bottom. But this is where things went wrong, and where I'm hoping you can help... The most obvious problem is that the machine appears to have actually worked(!), but right now that's not my concern. The immediate issue is that there were already words in the bin at the bottom and I don't know which are mine and which were already there. To make matters worse, some of them have been broken in the fall, and again, I don't know if they're mine:
Now, under no circumstances can Professor Wordberg know I was in here, so in order to hide the evidence, I need you to help me work out:
- Which words from the bin are the, now transformed, words that I loaded in?
- If either of the two broken words are not mine, what word can I put through the machine again to create an unbroken copy?
The Rube Wordberg machine has several components.
- The one on top splits the words in two parts.
- The blue component on the first row rotates a single letter.
- The green component on the second row takes a letter from the word and changes its place.
- The small square component on the third row takes a letter and increments it by 1, i.e. turns a into b, b into c, etc.
- The bottom component on the fourth row stretches the word, making space between two of its letters.
- In the meantime the red square component in the left-middle turns the word into its antonym.
- The yellow component in the left-bottom takes the word and sticks it (reversed) in the empty space created by the stretching component.
The machine is working perfectly, except for the word "apron", when the incrementing component malfunctions (as seen on the animation).
smallscale -> small+scale
RIGHT: scale -> snale -> sanle -> tanle -> tan le
LEFT: small -> big
When "big" gets sticked to "tan le", you get "tangible".