Neurobics: Back Words

Kim, Scott Ph.D.

Neurology Now:
doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000370184.22547.a7
Departments: The Waiting Room

    Here's a puzzle that exercises your ear for language. We recorded the names of a dozen famous movies, played them backwards, and transcribed the resulting nonsense words. For instance, Star Wars (s-t-ah-r-oo-oh-r-z) backwards is Zuroh Oorots, and E. T. (ee-t-ee) backwards is the same.

    Figure. No caption a...

    Can you identify the backwards movie titles below? Some are recent blockbusters, while others are older classics. Hint: Listen carefully to the actual sounds in each word. Sometimes the sounds don't match the spelling. For instance, the long “i” in “lie” is really made of the two sounds “ah” followed by “ee,” so “lie” backwards is “yawl,” not “aisle.”

    This puzzle was adapted from the book The Playful Brain: The Surprising Science of How Puzzles Improve Your Mind, by Richard Restak and Scott Kim, to be published this fall by Riverhead Books.

    1. ZAHJ

    2. SHAM

    3. ZROCK

    4. NARCH

    5. E-CAR

    6. JACE YAW

    7. OAK YOSS

    8. KINA TIGHT

    9. SAFE ROCKS

    10. POOH SCUD

    11. TOE BOESH

    12. CHOKE JATES

    13. TEA ALL ME ALL

    14. RAW TAVA

    15. LA HEENA

    16. ARAB BACK

    17. NO LUHMO

    18. SKIRT A METH

    19. EAR OATSY OAT

    20. O MEAN NEED KNIFE

    21. TEA ON CRAW DEATH

    22. I'M A MOM

    23. CROP KISS A ROUGE

    24. WANTS PILL A COP A

    ©2010 American Academy of Neurology