What's everyone working on this month? (September 2015 edition)

dunbarx at aol.com dunbarx at aol.com
Mon Sep 28 16:42:12 EDT 2015

This weekend I wrote a gadget to solve a wooden puzzle that my daughter gave me.

The puzzle is four rotating concentric rings, each with a letter of the alphabet from A to Z going all the way around it. If you rotate the various wheels, you can create a four-letter word reading, say, from the outside going in, as letters align. Kind of like a circular slide rule but with four rotating scales instead of one.

It is trivial to make any arbitrary word, you just choose letters one at a time from outside to inside, and line them up. The puzzle to to find words that also create other valid words somewhere else around the rings. 

So "deed" would also set "noon" (the two central letters are one more than the two end letters).

My program found all possible combinations where a word set at least one more word. No word made three additional words, though many made two more, and lots made one more.

I was far too lazy to actually work the puzzle.

Craig Newman

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