Thanks for your patience on this - I want to understand it properly. BTW I'm using [DOMAIN] to shorten the post - it's not in the code!
g1smd wrote:Your latest code is for a 302 redirect because you have included the domain name in the rule target. That rule will change the URL shown in the browser URL bar when the redirect forces the browser to make a new request for that new URL.
Yes, I get that (BTW now using / instead of the domain).
g1smd wrote:You now have [...] two URLs with the same content and if you're not careful you'll also have an infinite redirect loop.
Yes, that happened when I added a \d pattern for the integers and left the '131-' part in the destination.
g1smd wrote:You need an external redirect from [DOMAIN]/wishlist-for-retail/131-16-local-shops.html to [DOMAIN]/wishlist-for-retail/16-local-shops.html
Understood - that's my original pattern (with some corrections).
g1smd wrote:You need to link to [DOMAIN]/wishlist-for-retail/16-local-shops.html
Yes, am doing that. The part I don't yet get is the internal rewrite...
g1smd wrote:You need an internal rewrite from [DOMAIN]/wishlist-for-retail/16-local-shops.html to /index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=984&Itemid=2564 (or whatever the real internal server path and file is).
So (apologies for my pedantic understanding but I want to get this right - I have 139 similar URLs) - I need to:
1. have a link on the site to [DOMAIN]/wishlist-for-retail/16-local-shops.html (understood, done)
2. external redirect [DOMAIN]/wishlist-for-retail/131-16-local-shops.html to the above (understood, can do for all 139 links with a pattern match)
3. internal rewrite [DOMAIN]/wishlist-for-retail/16-local-shops.html to get content from (e.g.) /index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=984&Itemid=131 (not fully understood!)
Dumb but necessary question:
for the internal rewrite
at point  above, do I use another RewriteRule
? If so, for a generic rule that matches multiple instances I first need the article and item ID (131 from point  above) so I can do e.g.: /index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=$1&Itemid=$2