Programo por trovi anagramojn en Esperanto
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Wordplay Version 7.22     Evans A Criswell   03-20-96


This program was written for fun and is free.  Distribute it as you please,
but please distribute the entire package, with the original words721.txt and 
the readme file.  If you modify the code, please mention my name in it as the
original author.  Please send me a copy of improvements you make, because I
may include them in a future version.

I may be contacted by email at

Evans A Criswell
Research Associate
Computer Science Department
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, AL  35899


Wordplay is an anagram finder.  What is an anagram?  Well, let's turn to
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition:

Definition:  anagram:  a word or phrase made by transposing the letters
		       of another word or phrase.  

Each letter in the anagram must appear in the same frequency as in the 
original string.

For example, the letters in the word "stop" can be rearranged to spell
"tops" or "pots" or "sotp".  "sotp" is not a word and is not of interest
when generating anagrams.  "stop" has four letters, so there are 24 ways
to rearrange its letters.  However, very few of the rearrangements actually
spell words.  

Wordplay, by using a list of words, takes a specified string of letters and 
uses the list of words to find anagrams of the string.  

By the way, "Wordplay" anagrams to "Rowdy Pal", and the program really can
live up to that particular anagram.  I have been able to come up with
anagrams of most of my coworkers' names that are humorous, descriptive,
satirical, or, occasionally, quite vulgar.  

Compiling the program:

The only version of Wordplay that requires compilation is the UNIX version.
The PC versions contain a pre-compiled executable since most people do not
have 32-bit C compilers on their PC's.  The source is provided in all the
packages.  I recommend the Gnu C compiler for DOS for compiling it.  There
is a file in the DOS package that tells where to get the package, as well as
how to set environment variables for the GO32 extender.

Under UNIX, the program should be compiled with an ANSI C compiler.  Never
fear; it's easy.  If you have the GNU C compiler, use it as follows:

  gcc -O -o wordplay wordplay.c

If you do not have "gcc", or for whatever reason, wish to use your machine's
native compiler, use "cc" in place of "gcc", as follows:

  cc -O -o wordplay wordplay.c

This assumes your native "cc" is an ANSI compiler.  If not, it WILL NOT WORK.
If your compiler does not support the optimization option "-O", leave it out.

Feel free to use optimization options that your particular compiler offers.
They do make a significant difference with some compilers.


To use the program, simply invoke the program with a combination of options
that make sense together.  Here is the format:

     wordplay string [-slxavnXmXdX] [-w word] [-f wordfile]

where the capital X's represent integers.  Please see the examples below
the option descriptions.  The square brackets are not part of the command
line.  They simply are used to show that the options they surround are

wordplay:              This is the name of the executable (under UNIX) after 
		       you have compiled the program.  Under other 
		       environments, method of invocation may vary.

string:                This should be seen to the program AS A SINGLE
		       ARGUMENT.  If you feel you must put spaces in the
		       string, under UNIX, you will have to put backslashes
		       in front of the spaces or just put the entire string
		       in double quotes.  Just leave the spaces out because
		       the program throws them out anyway.  Under environments
		       other than UNIX, you may be forced to omit them anyway,
		       like under MS-DOS or OS/2 .

Other options:

  s:  Silent operation.  If this option is used, the header and line
      numbers are not printed.  This is useful if you want the output to
      contain only the anagrams.  Use this option with the l (and x) option
      to generate a wordlist which can be piped or redirected.
      This option does not suppress error messages that are printed to 
      stderr.  Finding zero anagrams is not an error.

  l:  Print list of candidate words before anagramming.  This is the list of 
      words that can be spelled with the letters from the specified string,
      with no letters being used more often that they appear in the input

  x:  Do not perform anagramming.  Use with l if you just want the 
      candidate word list without anagrams.

  a:  Allow anagrams containing two or more occurrences of a word.

  v:  Consider strings with no vowels as candidate words and do not give
      up when there are no vowels remaining after extractions.

  m:  Limit candidate word length to a maximum number of letters.
      Follow by an integer.  m12 means limit words to 12 letters.
      m5 means limit them to 5 letters.

  n:  Limit candidate word length to a minimum number of letters.
      Follow by an integer.  n2 means limit words to 2 letters.
      n11 means limit them to 11 letters.

  d:  Limit number of words in anagrams to a maximum number.  
      Follow by an integer.  d3 means no anagrams should contain more
      than 3 words.  d12 means limit anagrams to 12 words.  This is
      currently the option that I recommend to limit output, since
      an optimization has been added to speed execution in some cases
      when this option is used.

  w:  Specify a word which should appear in all anagrams.  This is useful
      if you already have a word in mind that you want in the anagrams. 
      This option should be specified at the end of the command, followed
      by a space and the word to use.

  f:  Specify which word list to use.  See example!  This option should
      be specified at the end of the command, followed by a space and the 
      alternate wordfile name.  This is useful if you have other word lists
      to try or if you are interested in making your own customized word

      New feature:  Use a hyphen as the filename if the wordlist should
      be read from stdin. 

Examples of usage:

wordplay persiangulf 

     Anagram the string "persiangulf" .

wordplay anagramming -lx

     Print the list of words from the wordlist that can be spelled by using
     the letters from the word "anagramming".  A letter may not be used more
     often than the number of times it occurs in the word "anagramming".
     No anagrams are generated. 

wordplay tomservocrow -n3m8

     Anagram the string "tomservocrow" .  Do not use words shorter than 
     3 letters or longer than 8 letters.

wordplay persiangulf -ld3m10 -f /usr/dict/words

     Print the candidate words for the string "persiangulf".
     Print anagrams containing up to 3 words, without considering any
     words longer than 10 characters.  Usr the file "/usr/dict/words"
     rather than "words721.txt".

wordplay soylentgreen -n3w stolen -f w2     or
wordplay soylentgreen -n3 -w stolen -f w2   or
wordplay soylentgreen -n3f w2 -w stolen     or
wordplay soylentgreen -n3 -f w2 -w stolen   (get the idea?)

     Print anagrams of "soylentgreen" containing the word "stolen" and
     use the file "w2" as the wordlist file.  Discard candidate words 
     shorter than 3 characters.

wordplay university -slx

     Print the candidate word list for the string "university".  The
     output will consist of just the words.  This output is more useful
     for redirecting to a file or for piping to another program.

wordplay trymeout -s

    Anagram the string "trymeout" and print the anagrams with no line
    numbers.  The header will not be printed.  This is useful for piping
    the output to another process (or saving it to a file to be used
    by another program) without having to parse the output to remove the
    numbers and header.

wordplay trymeout -v

    Anagram "trymeout" as usual, but in case vowel-free strings are in
    the wordlist, consider them as possible candidate words.

cat wordlist1 wordlist2 wordlist3 | sort -u | wordplay trymeout -f -

    Anagram "trymeout" and read the wordlist from stdin, so that, in
    this case, under UNIX, the three wordlists "wordlist1", "wordlist2",
    and "wordlist3" will be concatenated and piped into wordplay as
    the wordlist.  The "sort -u" is there to remove duplicate words
    from the combined wordlist.


Using the "f" option to specify a word file:

If the option specifiers are combined, as in "an7m7d5f" or "d3n5f", the f 
should come last, followed by a space and the word list file, as shown in 
example number 4 above.

The "w" option is used in the same manner.



Limit the number of words to consider, if desired, using the n and m options,
or better yet, use the d option to limit depth, when anagramming certain 
time-consuming strings.  The program is currently optimized to speed execution
in some cases when the d option is used.

Plurals and past tenses

The words721.txt does not contain plural forms of nouns obtained by adding "s"
or "es".  It usually does not contain verb forms obtained by adding "ed" or
"d", and it does not contain many adjective forms obtained by adding "y".
If the string you are anagramming contains an "s", try anagramming the 
string without the "s" and add an "s" in the output.  This trick may also
work effectively with "d" and "y".

Apostrophes, hyphens, and other non-alphabetics

All non-alphabetic characters in a word are preserved, INCLUDING BLANKS!!!
If you have a dictionary with words like "DON'T", "ONE-EYED", and
"ATOMIC NUMBER", each will be correctly processed.  Note that words
like "ATOMIC NUMBER" or "KNOW IT ALL" in your word list will be considered
as a single word by the program!  If "ATOMIC" and "NUMBER" appear as 
single words also, "ATOMIC NUMBER" will appear twice in the output, once
as a one-word anagram and once as a two-word anagram.  This is not a flaw
in the program.  The words721.txt word list does not contain "double words",
but other dictionaries, like web2/web2a, do contain such things.

The "words721.txt" wordfile:

If no wordfile is specified, "words721.txt" is used.  It is highly 
recommended that the "words721.txt" file distributed with the program be 
used, since many nonsense two and three-letter combinations that are not 
words have been eliminated.  This makes the quality of the output slightly 
better and speeds execution of the program a slight bit.  Any word list may 
be used, as long as there is one word per line.  Feel free to create your 
own custom word list and use it instead.  The word list does not have to be 
sorted in any particular way.

Program development history:

Version 1.00

In a restroom in the building I used to work, in the last stall, one person
had written "roll tide" and someone else had responded with "war eagle".
(University of Alabama and University of Auburn rivalry).  Well, some people
started rearranging the letters of the two scribbles and soon there was quite
a long column of anagrams below each.  People then wrote other things, like
"tomatoes" and "boredom" and those got anagrammed by everyone.  I thought as I 
sat there one day, "How hard would it be to write a program to do that?".  
One night, I decided to give it a try.  On March 29, 1991, I tackled it.  
I coded one little step at a time and got it working.  I anagrammed 
"Persian Gulf" and wrote 30 anagrams of it in that restroom stall.  I took 
the code and tried to run it under VMS.  I had to change one line to make it 
work.  It also worked on a Stardent UNIX computer after changing that same 

Version 1.00 was written in one night.  I sat down at my PC at home, and using
Microsoft Fortran 5.0, coded it up.  It just read the words into an array, and 
prompted for strings to anagram or a "." to terminate.  Each time a string was
entered, the number of occurrences of each letter was counted and stored in
an array of size 26.  The word list was then filtered, with the result going
to a second array.  Any word containing a letter that did not appear in the
string being anagrammed was not copied over.  This eliminated many of the
words in most cases.  

Lengths of the words were checked while doing one and two word anagrams.
If the length of a word was not equal to the length of the string being 
anagrammed, there was no need to check it.  Likewise, with two-word anagrams,
there was no need to check them if the sums of the lengths did not match the
length of the string being anagrammed.

This program did the job, but was quite slow.  

Version 1.10

I had two main thoughts in my head when I worked on the program again five
days later on April 3, 1991.  First, it needed to run faster, and second,
if the program takes a while to execute, it would be nice if it could give 
an indication of how long the anagramming would take.

The speed increase came from inserting a second word filter into the program.
Basically, if a word contains more of a particular letter than the string
being anagrammed, it can be tossed out.  Note than any word thrown out in
pass one would be thrown out by this second pass, but since the second pass
is much more "expensive" timewise to execute, the first pass was not changed.
The second pass simply works on the list produced by pass one, and eliminates,
on the average, one third to one half of the words remaining after pass one.
The result of pass two is the list of words that can be spelled using the 
letters of the string being anagrammed.  The result of the second word filter
being inserted was an average three to four times faster execution.

I inserted a loop similar to the loop the program executes while anagramming 
and timed it when the program started to see how long it took on whatever 
machine it was being run on to get a rough idea of the machine speed.  This 
number, whatever it was, was multiplied by the square of the number of 
candidate words remaining after filtering in order to produce an estimate.  
This speed test only worked under OS/2, though.  Running the program on any 
other system required commenting out that code.  

A small but nice thing I did is automatically converted all letters in the
user's input strings to upper case so the user wouldn't be forced to use all
upper case.  Blanks were automatically stripped out of the user's string so
that they wouldn't have to run things together.

I decided at this point to go ahead and give the user some commands that
could be run by using a "/" as the first character of the string.  Most were
trivial to implement.  "VER" (print program version), "WORD" (print last
string anagrammed), "HELP" (print commands available), "EXIT" (same as 
entering a "." as the first character), and "LIST".  "LIST" printed the
candidate word list after pass two.  Remember in elementary school where
the teacher would write a word on the board and ask you to find as many
words as you could that could be spelled using the word's letters?  That's
what the "LIST" command provided.

Version 1.11

This version was written on April 11, 1991.

An array containing the lengths of the filtered words was added to the
program to keep from having to repeatedly recompute lengths of the words.
The length-based optimizations from version 1.00 ran faster this way.

Version 2.00

One day after writing version 1.11, on April 12, 1991, I made a major
upgrade.  I decided the program was running efficiently enough to 
possibly handle three word anagrams.  I coded the three word anagram
using basically the same technique I used for the two-word ones.  I
checked to see if the lengths of the three words being tested added to
the length of the string being anagrammed before testing the number of 
letters, etc.  

More commands and options were added in this version.  Since three word
anagrams took a lot of time and produced lengthy output, I figured most
of the time, users would not want to do the three word anagramming.  I
decided to make various steps of the program options that could be enabled
or disabled.  The steps that could be disabled or enabled independently
were the pass two word filter, one word anagrams, two word anagrams, and
three word anagrams.  The three word anagrams were disabled by default.
The new commands were "DIS" and "ENA" to enable and disable options, along
with "STAT", which showed the settings of various options.

Version 2.10

Only four days after writing version 2.00, I improved the program again
(4-14-91) by adding the minimum and maximum candidate word length restriction
options.  This allowed the user to specify that words shorter or longer than 
a specified number of letters should not be considered as candidate words.
This weeds out a lot of small words and speeds things up when anagramming 
longer strings.  Obviously, if the length of the string being anagrammed
is less than twice the minimum word length, no two word anagrams will be
found.  Also, if the length of the string being anagrammed is more than 
twice the the minimum word length, no two word anagrams will be found, so
those checks were put in.  Similar checks were put in for the three word
anagrams.  The "MIN" and "MAX" commands were the new commands added to
allow the user specify minimum and maximum word lengths.

Version 3.00

The version 2.10 was satisfactory for quite a while (8 months).  
On December 16, 1991, however, I upgraded it again, and to users of the
program, except for the new version number "3.00", the program looked
and behaved exactly the same way, except for a couple of things.  The output
was no longer in alphabetical order and the program was faster, especially
when doing three word anagrams.  Losing alphabetical order was a small
price to pay for the substantial speed increase, which was accomplished by
sorting the word list by word length, using the combsort algorithm from BYTE 
magazine.  A reprint of the article describing combsort appears in the book 
THE BEST OF BYTE.  Anyway, this was the second optimization.  Let me first
describe the first optimization:

After reading the user's string to anagram, the least and greatest letters
occurring in the string were stored.  For example, if the user entered
"boredom", then the minimum letter was 2 for "b" and the maximum was 
18 for "r".  The array containing the numbers of occurrences for each letter
of the alphabet was then processed into two "parallel arrays", called 
nlasci and nlascl.  The arrays were created in such a way that, for example,
if nlasci(1) was 4 and nlascl was 1, this meant there were was one "d" in the
input string.  nlasci(2) being 9 and nlascl(2) being 4 would mean there were 4
occurrences of "i" in the input string.  Note that the sizes of nlasci and
nlascl never exceed 26 and the number of elements used in each is equal to
the number of distinct letters in the input string.  For example, "boredom"
contains 6 distinct characters, so the nlasci and nlascl arrays only contain
6 entries each, with the empty slots in nlasci being filled with "-1" and
empty slots in nlascl being filled with "0" .  Why create these arrays?
Because the anagram procedure now has a list of which letters to check for
equal numbers of occurrences instead of having to check all 26 letters of
the alphabet every time!  A huge speed increase for shorter strings!

Now back to sorting the word list by length.  I then created indexes into
the sorted word list by length.  For example, the program now easily "knew"
that words of length 7, for example, were in, say, elements 234 through 327
of the candidate word array!  If I'm doing two word anagrams, and my first
word to consider is 5 characters long, and my anagramming string is 11
characters long, I can obviously scan the candidate words that are 6 
characters in length and ignore the rest.  The indexes make that very easy.

A change was make to the three-word anagram procedure.  It was faster to
modify the two word anagram procedure a slight bit and concatenate the
first two words being considered and call the modified two word anagram 
procedure with two words consisting of the word1 + word2, and word3.

Version 4.00

I felt much more comfortable with C at this point, so I decided I'd try
to tackle porting the program.  On April 30, 1993, in one night, I ported
everything except the three word anagrams and a lot of the interactive
options.  The new version was command-line based instead of interactive 
and was more typical of a UNIX-style program.  About a month later, on
May 25, I added the three word anagram code and got the program in a 
fairly stable state so it could be distributed.  Actually, I don't think
I ever took the word "Beta" out of it.  :-)  The program printed its
command line parameters (debug statements).  That was never taken out.
The C version was invoked as follows:

wordplay string_to_anagram -123l -f word_file

The 1, 2, 3, and l options were obviously the old one, two, three, and word
list flags.  The new option was allowing the user to specify an alternate
word file on the command line.  This program was a straight port, for the 
most part, of the FORTRAN code as far as the anagramming went.  Since I
had a 32-bit C compiler on my 386/33 system, this program ran much faster
than the FORTRAN version using the same algorithms.

Version 5.00

Sick of being limited to three word anagrams, since C supports recursion,
I added a recursive algorithm that almost makes the old iterative routines
obsolete.  They're still there, though.  The "r" option tells wordplay
to use the recursive algorithm, which basically works as follows 
very much oversimplified).  Read the actual code for details.

int recursive_anagram (string, accumulation, level):
  if no vowels in string, decrement level, return   (dead end)
  go through list of important candidate words:  for each:
    attempt to extract the word from the string passed into the function.
    if extraction not possible, continue (try next word)
    if extraction was perfect (left no letters), print the anagram
		       (accumulation plus the word), then decrement the level, 
    if extraction was successful, but left some letters, add the word to
		       accumulation, increment level, and call the function
		       with args (<<whatever is left after extraction>>,
				  accumulation, and level)
  if no extractions were a success, decrement level and return.
  decrement level and return anyway, since we're at the end.  :-)
Boy, that was a cheesy description.

Version 5.01

Later during the night of writing 5.00, I realized that I should eliminate
strings of anagrams like "A A ..." or "A I I ... " or "I I ..." or "THE THE .."
because such anagrams are seldom of interest.  Taking them out makes the
program run more quickly and slightly increases the quality of the output.
The check was easy to put into place, so I did it.  I had already given the
code to some friends as 5.00 without that check, so I called this one 5.01.

Version 5.02

November 30, 1993
Thanksgiving!  While anagramming "Thanksgiving", I found a bug that both 
5.00 and 5.01 had.  Those versions would occasionally miss some anagrams.  
It had to do with the fact that if there were no words in the word list with 
length equal to the string being passed to the recursive anagram function, no 
words would be used for extraction in the loop.  The bug was fixed my 
adjusting a variable called "max_important length" by decrementing it until
there are some words in the word list having that length or until it reaches
zero, of course.

Version 5.10

April 11, 1994
Newsgroup alt.anagrams created.  I thought, "I should tell everyone about my
program and make it available".  I didn't have much of a documentation file,
but I posted the information.  In the first 40 hours, after April 9 at 21:00, 
60 people had taken the code!  I improved the readme file and added the 
minimum and maximum candidate word restriction options back in.  They can
really be of help when anagramming longer strings.

Version 5.11

On April 14, 1994, I rewrote the "extract" function, and did not really change
the algorithm, but changed from using arrays and subscripts and integer loop
control variables to using pointers and pointer loop control variables.  
Depending on the compiler, this change may or not speed execution of the 
program.  My results so far have ranged from no speed increase to a quite
dramatic 40 percent reduction in execution time, just by using different 

Version 5.20

April 17, 1994

Note:  There was no version 5.12.  It became 5.20 before release.

Since the program was ported to C, it only anagrams one string per run.
Storing the entire wordfile into an array is unnecessary and takes a lot 
of memory.  The reason I left it in there so long is because I felt 
eventually I would have the program fixed somehow so it would anagram
more than one string per run.  I changed my mind since anagramming a new
string requires going back through the entire word list to make a new
candidate word list.  The extract routine I originally added in version
5.00 for use by the recursive anagram procedure, I realized, could be used
to eliminate unnecessary words just as well as the pass1 and pass2 filters
I had been using before.  I made that change and applied it to the words
as they were being read in, directly storing them in the words2 array.
The "words" array was removed from the program.  Now, if MAX_WORDS is set
reasonable low enough, the program might run under MS-DOS without much
work.  The program now starts much more quickly and uses less memory.
It is only storing the candidate words and associated information.

Version 5.21

April 21, 1994
Bug fixes:

Ron Gregory found a simple fencepost error in the one-word iterative
anagramming.  When porting from FORTRAN to C in version 4.00, the error
was made and it was not discovered until a year later!  When using the
indexes into the word list which say "the words of a particular length
are in elements x through y of the candidate word list (the words2 array),
the loop needs to go from x to and including y.  I used a less than instead
of a less than or equal to in the for statement, stopping one short and
missing the last word.  When doing one-word anagrams of a single word, the
last word in the list is usually always that word, so the most obvious one
was getting missed!  Thanks Ron!  I fixed a similar problem in the
recursive algorithm, except it was caused by a decrement of a variable
and a return appearing where I should have had a continue in one of the

However, I discovered a much worse bug, in a way, when I tested the program
with a different wordfile.  I discovered that if the words were lowercase,
it would not be processed correctly.  This problem came in with version
5.20 with its new read routine.  I apologize for that one.  

Yet another bad bug.  Try wordplay aiai -r .  It blows up any wordplay
5.xx up to 5.20 .  Fewer candidate words than recursive anagramr calls
caused that one.  Solution:  place a #define MAX_ANAGRAM_WORDS at the
top of the program that the user can increase to suit his needs.  Going
deeper than that value crashes the program.  The number of candidate words
was the value previously used, which is too small when anagramming strings
like "catcatcatcatcatcatcatcat" or "aiai".  Another one fixed!

Version 5.22

April 25, 1994
No bug fixes.  Just a speedup.  If the string returned by exts has 
character zero as the first character, go ahead and continue (try next
word) instead of going through the remaining body of the for loop.  Duh.

Version 5.23

May 13, 1994
A tiny bug fix.  The statement
while ((wordsn[curpos] == curlen) && (curpos < ncount)) curpos++;
should keep curpos within bounds.  curpos does get incremented to the
value of ncount however, in some cases.  Evaluating wordsn[curpos]
with curpos == ncount could cause a crash, since wordsn is of size
ncount (max valid subscript = ncount - 1).

Version 5.24

May 16, 1994
Anu Garg at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland OH found that, on
his machine, if there are no candidate words loaded, the program prints
an error message about malloc() returning NULL.  Evidently, there are some
versions of malloc() that do not like being passed zero as the amount to
allocate and return a NULL pointer if they do.  This has never caused a
problem or an error on any C compiler I've used, but at the end of the
word loading/filtering routine, I now check for zero candidate words and
exit with a different error message.

Version 6.00

On May 16, 1994, I decided to try a new approach that I previously had
tried to work into the program without much of a speed increase.  This
time, though, I did it more thoroughly.  I made a second copy of the
words2 array (wordss), and sorted the characters of each word 
alphabetically.  I experimented with this idea a long time ago in one
of the old FORTRAN versions, but never went through with it.  I then
sorted this second list in alphabetical order, maintaining a pointer
to the associated words in the words2 array as I sorted.  I then created
indexes into this new array by first letter as I did earlier with lengths in
the words2 array.  I then made some modifications to the recursive procedure 
to take advantage of this new indexing scheme.  It was much faster.  I had
seen several other public domain anagram programs that seemed much faster
then mine, and they seemed to be using an algorithm nearly identical in
functionality to mine.  I finally realized that indexing by least letter
can possible divide the word list into 26 parts, which are each indexed.
Doing it the version 5 way, by length, since the average word length is 
7 characters, with few words longer than, say, 10 characters, would divide
the word list into only a dozen parts or less in many cases.  Dividing the
list into finer parts was not the only speed increase.  The new algorithm
should not generate all permutations of a given anagram.  This means far
fewer operations.  This was one of the main requests from some of the local
wordplay users, "Can you get rid of the duplicates?".  I am not sure if
100 percent of the duplicates are removed in all cases, though, but it seems
to get nearly all of them.  It is much faster, also.

Version 7.00    5-26-94

All redundant permutations are eliminated by not trying any words having 
keys less than the current key we're dealing with at the current level.
Also, the user can now specify whether anagrams containing more than one
occurrence of a given word are acceptable.  This option is more important
now that only one permutation of each anagram is printed.  The recursive
algorithm is now used for everything, and the "1", "2", "3", "o", and "r"
options were removed.  Anagram depth (number of words) is now specified
with the "d" option ("d3" for three words maximum).  The major version 
number was changed because of the command line option changes.  
The "r" is no longer required.  The "x" option is used to turn off 
anagramming, if all you want to do is generate a word list with the "l"
option.  A word may be specified with the "w" option to start anagrams, if
you have a word in mind that you want the anagrams to contain.  Dictionary
words containing apostrophes, hyphens, or other non-alphabetics retain
their internal punctuation when displayed, but only the alphabetic characters
are significant when processing anagrams.  "DON'T" = "DONT", "ONE-EYED" =
"ONEEYED", "KANSAS CITY" = "KANSASCITY", and is processed as a single word.

Version 7.01    6-3-94

A user at could not get wordplay to work.  It would load the words 
and not generate any anagrams.  The uppercase conversion was not working.
For the toupper macro to work properly on BSD/386 (their operating system),
the ctypes.h file needed to be included.  That's all.  Nothing more.  It
should be included everywhere, though.  BSD/386 is the only environment
where that omission has caused a problem, though.

Version 7.02     7-14-94

A user, Ulf Lunde, suggested a mode of operation where only the anagrams
are output, with no header, line numbers, or other messages, so they
could be piped or redirected without having to filter anything.  I added
the "s" option to accomplish that.  Adding this option to any command 
simply turns off numbering of output and turns off the header.  If used
with the "l" and "x" options (as in -slx), a word list can be generated 
that is directly useful.  I had thought of this option before, but never
got around to doing it until a user actually requested it.

Version 7.10   08-14-94

Wordplay was up until now, a serious memory hog!  Now, I've made several
significant changes to reduce the memory usage.  I allocate one contiguous
block to store the words (and another for the keys).  The word block is
reallocated (using realloc()) to increase its size dynamically as more and
more words are read in.  That way, it does not need to be made a "maximum"
size that is big enough to handle the largest dictionary.  It can now start
small and grow as needed.  The vowel index arrays were not being used, so
I deleted them, and their associated code.  The word length indexes (the
ones that say "words of length i are found in positions a through b" are
allocated to be as big as the maximum word length (plus one), instead of

After making these changes, I brought the code to an MS-DOS machine and
it compiled under Turbo C ON THE FIRST TRY!!!  It ran fine, unless I tried
to anagram something that required storing too many candidate words.

Version 7.11

Thanks to Dan Ingalls at Interval Research ( for a suggestion!
Create integer masks representing the occurring letters in each word:

33222222222211111111110000000000    Bit of integer (tens digit)
10987654321098765432109876543210    Bit of integer (ones digit)
......ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA    Letter positions  (only 26 bits used)

Example:  intmask ("ACE") is 00000000000000000000000000010101 = 21 decimal

Before the main loop in anagramr7, the intmask of "s" is computed and 
stored (in "s_mask") and inside the loop, the first thing that is
checked is  "if ((s_mask | wordsmasks[i]) != s_mask)"  skip the rest of
the loop body on this iteration of the loop.

Version 7.20

Bug fixes and improvements:

1.  The "4" bug.  :-)
    Numbers are no longer treated as punctuation.  Strings with digits
    are no longer considered equivalent to the string without the digits.
    That is, "4th" no longer is equivalent to "th".

2.  Wordplay now is capable of taking the wordlist from stdin by using
    a hyphen as the input file name.  For those of you familiar with
    the "tar" command, it'll come natural to you.  This will allow users
    to break their wordfile into several parts, one with common words,
    one with places, one with people's names, and concatenate the 
    desired ones together and pipe the combination into wordplay.

3.  An option to override the vowel-checking is available.  When this
    option is used, the "anagramr7" routine will continue trying to
    anagram, even when there are no vowels left in the string after
    an extraction.

4.  When the "starting word" specified with the "w" option is an anagram
    of the initial string, that "starting word" is printed as an anagram,
    instead of saying "No anagrams found".

Version 7.21

In the anagramr7 function, the current depth is subtracted from the
maximum allowable depth and then multiplied by the length of the longest
candidate word.  If this product is less than the length of the string
passed into the function, then the case is treated as a dead end, causing
the program to run faster in many cases when the "d" option is used.

Version 7.22

In a couple of places in the code, my malloc statements were not taking 
into account the space needed to store the trailing NULL in a character 
string.  This bug has rarely affected anyone, but I have now received two
mail messages about it.