Friday, February 12, 2016

Resource Friday: Wordsmith Anagram Solver

Many of you already know this resource judging from the response to this week's puzzle, but I thought I'd feature the "Advanced" settings of the Wordsmith Anagram Solver.

With the advanced settings you can tell the solver anything you may know about the result you are looking for. For instance, in the puzzle from earlier in the week, you knew that the correct response should contain the word RED, so you can put that in the box marked "Anagram must contain:" and you would get back only results with the word RED in them. This is useful in geocaching puzzles where you might know that the word NORTH is in the anagram, or a number.

Then next thing to pay attention to is the "Maximum number of words." Again, in this week's puzzle each result was only three words.

By setting the maximum number of words to 3, and forcing the results to include the word "red" the number of results from the first phrase in the puzzle, (GLADE FORCED) drops from 943 to just 20. That's a much more reasonable number to work with.

The one downside to Wordsmith is that they keep a limit on the number of characters that can be anagrammed based on the load on their servers at any given time. So if your anagram contains 25 letters, and the limit is currently 20 letters it can get frustrating.

Anagram puzzles can be annoying if they have no guiding principle. The large volume of anagrams that can be made from any source are daunting to look through. Hopefully having a way to limit the results can help with that.

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