charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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November 1st, 2022 at 7:13:32 AM permalink
Someone gave me this puzzle last weekend. It does require coding but the fun element is how to develop a reasonable approach, using brute force would probably take too long. Personally I used a combination of spreadsheet and running looping coding. The code, HTML script, took just over 6 hours to run and find a handful of solutions.

The aim is to find five five-letter words that between them have no letter repeated; i.e. 25 out of 26 letters are represented.

One issue is to find a list of five letter words, as you'll need to include some obscure ones. To make this simple I used the following website: https://www.bestwordlist.com/5letterwordspage15.htm (some of the words that came up in the solutions I found seem to be included in some dictionaries but not all of them). A friend of mine included another 300 words, but this didn't seem to add any new solutions. However you may find a long list of words, if so feel free to add them!

The following spoilers give a brief description of some of the obscure words that came up. Thus you should be able to confirm your words might match mine!
obsolete past tense, also name of a pop group

Russian leader

Islamic endowment


The first plan of attack is to find all the words which do not repeat letters, i.e they use 5 different letters. The list I had created just over 8000 of these.


I admit you can find some of the solutions by googling, but the challenge is to find some more solutions.
Dieter
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November 1st, 2022 at 8:29:00 AM permalink
Start with the vowels.
May the cards fall in your favor.
DRich
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November 1st, 2022 at 8:49:05 AM permalink
I took a much simpler approach and just Googled it and the very first site I looked at had five words that met the criteria.
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gordonm888
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November 1st, 2022 at 10:07:02 AM permalink
Quote: Dieter

Start with the vowels.

link to original post




Yep, we need 5 words with only 6 available vowels (counting y). So, any word with 3 vowels can be removed from the list of 8000 words.

Then focus on the 6 rarest consonants, probably q, j, x, z, v and k (?) Almost any 5-letter word with Q will have a u and another vowel, and almost all 5 letter words with an x will have 2 vowels - 'winxs' may be the only exception. So most 5-word solutions will not have both a Q and an X.

Extract from your word list any word that has two or more of those letters ( q, j, x, z, v and k) and only one a,e,i,o,u vowel. Example: 'jinky' or 'jocks' (neither of which is compatible with "winxs") or 'jacky'. And try to build on one of those words in combination with words that have one of the rare consonants and only one a,e,i,o,u vowel.
So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.
Dieter
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November 1st, 2022 at 10:48:09 AM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

Quote: Dieter

Start with the vowels.

link to original post




Yep, we need 5 words with only 6 available vowels (counting y). So, any word with 3 vowels can be removed from the list of 8000 words.

Then focus on the 6 rarest consonants, probably q, j, x, z, v and k (?) Almost any 5-letter word with Q will have a u and another vowel, and almost all 5 letter words with an x will have 2 vowels - 'winxs' may be the only exception. So most 5-word solutions will not have both a Q and an X.

Extract from your word list any word that has two or more of those letters ( q, j, x, z, v and k) and only one a,e,i,o,u vowel. Example: 'jinky' or 'jocks' (neither of which is compatible with "winxs") or 'jacky'. And try to build on one of those words in combination with words that have one of the rare consonants and only one a,e,i,o,u vowel.

link to original post




You can probably remove Q to speed things up. I could be wrong, but I can't think of any Q(U) words that don't involve another vowel or a doubled letter.
May the cards fall in your favor.
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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November 1st, 2022 at 11:42:10 AM permalink
The discussion on vowels is on the same track I took. There are some words with no vowels (AEIOU) and at least one which doesn't even have a Y! As it happens, for the words I had and looking at the non-vowel words, one could have worked out you can't have a word with three vowels since there aren't two non-vowel words using 10 letters.
Also as you probably know, not all words with a Q have a U.
DJTeddyBear
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November 1st, 2022 at 12:38:31 PM permalink
A couple months ago, I downloaded the Wordle word list.

Doing a quick grep search, I found 5 words with no vowels, but only 1 of which doesn't repeat. I also found 1 qu word that has no other vowels. None have q without and vowels.


crwth
qursh


I did a Google search on them. In the common questions section, both have "Is --- a Scrabble word?" Both are.

Unfortunately, there is one common letter between them. ☹️

There are also 15 words that have q but not u (but do use other vowels).
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charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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November 1st, 2022 at 1:52:09 PM permalink
I got my second list of words from a friend, so it might have been the wordle list. The tallies I get, ignoring whether they have repeated letters, match yours:-
Q with U plus 0 vowels :1
Q with U plus 1 vowel : 52
Q with U plus 2 vowels : 38
Q with U plus 3 vowels : 1
Q sans U plus 1 vowel : 5
Q sans U plus 2 vowels : 10
btw I'm assuming Y is not a vowel as I had assumed any words without AEIUO could be considered as a "non-vowel" group.
DogHand
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Thanks for this post from:
charliepatrick
November 1st, 2022 at 3:18:40 PM permalink
Oddly enough, just the other day I saw a YouTube video about solving this problem using a computer. That video was followed by another, where the host Matt Parker talks about improving the efficiency of the code. Enjoy!








Dog Hand

Moderator change: I placed the upper youtube video in a spoiler box because the picture reveals 4 of 5 words in the solution - even without playing the video. - gordonm888
Last edited by: unnamed administrator on Nov 2, 2022
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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November 2nd, 2022 at 2:51:21 AM permalink
^ Thanks for the above videos, who knew this puzzle had been around for so long? In the second video he also discusses several approaches to improve the algorithm/time; this aspect was very interesting.
Personally I didn't rip out anagrams as I wanted all solutions, but I guess once you've found one you could check whether one of the words had an anagram. One example I found was CYLIX and XYLIC. The other topic is bit manipulation. I didn't actually use bits (as using java) but did use the technique of determing, into an array, which letters a word had and then checking the total for two words wasn't 2. I might see if it's faster using bits.
Some of the words he found, to come up with hundreds of solutions, aren't in the wordle list; I think he says he found 15920 original words before whittiling them down to 10175 then 5977. In the second video he adds there are eleven solutions using the wordle list, and this matches the number (and words) I found.

btw my code took about 6 hours, but then I was only looking for at least one solution.
Dieter
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November 2nd, 2022 at 4:05:58 AM permalink
After watching that video on improved solutions, I can hear Homer whining "500 microseconds? But I want it now!"
May the cards fall in your favor.
gordonm888
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November 2nd, 2022 at 6:25:37 AM permalink
In the TWL06 word list there are only 9055 five letter words. TWL06 is a scrabble word list. Scrabble word lists are highly organized and TWL06 has probably been updated since 2006.

If someone has found 15920 five letter words, one can only imagine what those extra 6800+ 5-ltr words are like.
So many better men, a few of them friends, are dead. And a thousand thousand slimy things live on, and so do I.
charliepatrick
charliepatrick
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November 2nd, 2022 at 7:48:07 PM permalink
Quote: gordonm888

...If someone has found 15920 five letter words, one can only imagine what those extra 6800+ 5-ltr words are like.

He lists a few of them in his videos and several are quite weird e.g. expwy, hdqrd, vingt. Only the former is in ... https://www.thefreedictionary.com/expwy It would be interesting to see his list of words.

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