9 letter words with several anagrams

While perusing the statistics of wordcube, I was wondering how many 9 letter words have multiple anagrams (using all the letters in a single word) and what was the maximum number of anagrams. So I wrote a quick and dirty python program to find out. I will first show the results as they are interesting followed by my coding and methods to improve the efficiency of it.

Here are all the nine letter words with more than 2 anagrams:

  • 1. auctioned cautioned education
  • 2. beastlier bleariest liberates
  • 3. cattiness scantiest tacitness
  • 4. countries cretinous neurotics
  • 5. cratering retracing terracing
  • 6. dissenter residents tiredness
  • 7. earthling haltering lathering
  • 8. emigrants mastering streaming
  • 9. estranges greatness sergeants
  • 10. gnarliest integrals triangles
  • 11. mutilates stimulate ultimates
  • 12. reprising respiring springier

I only found 12 sets of 3, there may be more with a larger dictionary. I was also disappointed that there were no words with 4 anagrams yet not entirely unsurprising. My personal favourite is number 10

[poll id=”11″]


I recycled an anagram checking function that I have used before:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

# Anagram checking function
def anagramchk(word,chkword):
	for letter in word:
		if letter in chkword:
			chkword=chkword.replace(letter, '', 1)
			return 0
	return 1 

First program

Firstly I created a dirty program that created a loop to cycle through the 9 letter word dictionary and another loop nested inside to check against every word in the dictionary again. This is a terrible and inefficient method and will create duplicates, I will follow with a more efficient method.

g=open('eng-9-letter', 'r')
for l in g:

	f=open('eng-9-letter', 'r')
	for line in f:
		if anagramchk(line,wordin):
			w+=" "+line
	if count>2:
		print wordin, count, "(",w,")"


This program took 80.42s to find the 12 solutions. On the path to better coding I decided to load the dictionary into memory, this sped the code up about 20s to 63.88s.

# Load dictionary into memory
f=open('eng-9-letter', 'r')
for line in f:

I then attempted to create a method that loops over and removes words from the dictionary as it loops, however I don’t know the correct way (if there is one?) of modifying the loop variable while inside the loop without causing problems.

for word in dic:
	if ....:

If anyone knows a good method of doing this please let me know! I did managed to hack together something using slices so that I could modify the dictionary each time, however I imagine this is still quite inefficient.

for word in dic[:]:
	for word2 in dic[:]:
		if anagramchk(word,word2):
			w+=word2+" "
	if count>2:
		print w

Even so this method now avoids duplication of results and completes in 31.87s (machine running at 3.15Ghz). Please let me know of any improvements you think can be made and I’ll happily benchmark to see how much better it is.

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