Q:

How does Andy's Anagram Solver work?

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Quick Answer

Andy's Anagram Solver is a program by Andrew Gay that searches the dictionary for anagrams of any word entered into the search box. An anagram is a rearrangement of the letters of a word or phrase that produces a different word or phrase without adding or removing any letters.

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Full Answer

Andy's Anagram Solver uses a 132,000-word English dictionary, although there is also an experimental version of the solver that uses a larger 209,000-word dictionary. The user can limit the number of words that the solver uses in its anagrams. Once the user establishes the dictionary and word limit settings, the program gives a list of the possible anagrams of the given word or phrase, sorted alphabetically.

Speed is the primary design consideration for Andy's Anagram Solver, so alphabetization is the only organization the program does. However, the type of anagrams that word enthusiasts search for are usually related to the original word or phrase. For example, rearranging the letters in "William Shakespeare" creates "I am a weakish speller." This anagram can be construed as a joking criticism of the original subject, and is the type usually used by newspaper games and crossword puzzles. Andy's Anagram Solver and other online services can't filter out nonsensical combinations, though, limiting the program's usefulness for players of anagram-related games.

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