November, 2015 browsing by month


Jumble revisited

Saturday, November 21st, 2015

Here is a jumble example in Perl.

use strict;
use warnings;
use Algorithm::FastPermute ('permute');
use Text::Aspell;
my $arg = shift or die "takes one arg";
my @arg = split(//,$arg);
my $speller = Text::Aspell->new;

permute {
	if ($speller->check(join("",@arg))) {
		print "@arg\n";
} @arg;


Saturday, November 21st, 2015

I have always been interested in the jumble program that is in the paper. A long time ago, I wrote one of my first programs to provide a list of possible words. I am including that “C” source here. I have written several variations on the theme in several different languages. I am fond of this version, as it was the first. After writing it, the first modification I made was to pass all of the results through the dictionary aspell. What was always amazing to me was that there was always one and only one solution to the Jumble.

You may need to install apt-get install libaspell-dev for this to work. I also use a Makefile to build this.

gcc -O -laspell -c jumble.c
gcc -O -laspell jumble.o -o jumble

 * Created by: Kenneth Lee (
 * Created on: May, 1993
 * jumble - finds permutations of letters
 * Updated by:
 * Updated on: 20-Apr-2009
 * Added ability to only display correctly spelled words by running each
 * word through the aspell spell checker available on Linux distibutions.
 * To compile, needed to get the aspell-devel libs to have the aspell.h 
 * header files available. 
#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>
#include "aspell.h"

void perm(char temp[], int r_value) {
  int count;
  char temp1[20];
  char temporary;
  int correct;

	// int correct = aspell_speller_check(spell_checker, word, size);
	AspellConfig * spell_config = new_aspell_config();
	aspell_config_replace(spell_config, "lang", "en_US");
  AspellCanHaveError * possible_err = new_aspell_speller(spell_config);
  AspellSpeller * spell_checker = 0;
  if (aspell_error_number(possible_err) != 0) {
  } else {
    spell_checker = to_aspell_speller(possible_err);

  // prints first case
  if (r_value==(strlen(temp)-1)) {
     correct = aspell_speller_check(spell_checker, temp, strlen(temp));
     if (correct > 0) {
	     printf("%s\n", temp);
  for (count=r_value;count>=0;count--) {
     strcpy(temp1, temp);
     if (r_value != count) {
		    correct = aspell_speller_check(spell_checker, temp1, strlen(temp1));
		    if (correct > 0) {
	        printf("%s\n", temp1);
     if ((r_value-1)>0)

int main() {
  char data[20];
  printf("\nEnter letters to be unscrambled: ");
  scanf("%s", data);