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O.V. Michaelsen, also known as Ove Michaelsen (born Ove Ofteness [Jensen] in Bergen, Norway, March 2, 1954), is the author of three books on word play, including puns, humor, repartee, anagrams, palindromes,[1] and limericks.[2]

Ove Michaelsen

Writing career

Michaelsen ran a word-puzzle column in the Mensa International Journal ("Puzzle Matters") from 1994 to 1995, was a contributing editor for Collier's Encyclopedia ("Anagram"): 1992 until it was discontinued in 1998, and has been a regular contributor to Word Ways: The Journal of Recreational Linguistics (since 1990).[3]

In Who's Who in the World, the 17th (Millennium) Edition, and Who's Who in America (subsequent editions to date), he is listed as an author, singer, songwriter, and musician.[4]


His writings and discoveries have been cited in several books, including

  • Palindromania, Who Ordered the Jumbo Shrimp, and Elvis Lives, by Jon Agee,[5]
  • The Word Circus,[6] by Richard Lederer, Alphabet Avenue: Life in the Fast Lane,[7] and
  • The Dictionary of Wordplay,[8] both by Dave Morice. Material from Agee, Lederer, and Morice are also cited in his collections.

The earliest of his writings (humorous poetry) were published in two local newspapers when he was nine in 1963, living in the Ballard district of Seattle.

He has successfully submitted a dozen anagrams to the Anagram Genius website.[9]

Notable works

His publishing credits include the following, distributed internationally by Sterling Publishing Company,[10] Incorporated (now owned by Barnes and Noble), and/or its subsidiaries, Chrysalis Books and Main Street Press:

  • Never Odd or Even: Palindromes, Anagrams & Other Tricks Words Can Do (2005)[11]
  • The Word Play Almanac (2002)[12]
  • Words at Play: Quips, Quirks and Oddities; Foreword by Richard Lederer (1998)[13]

Music career

In 2005, a collection of sessions (Suzy Fischer, Featuring the Dinosaurs[14]) was released online, produced by Fred Catero, containing tracks recorded by Daniel Levitin, on which Ove provided 12-string acoustic rhythm guitar, tambourine, and vocals.

He's been an active musician since 1973, and continues to occasionally write music and perform.

Recently he has devoted a Website to his interpretations of mainly early obscure songs by Bob Dylan.[15]



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