As I was driving home last Sunday, listening to NPR on the radio, I heard the “Sunday Puzzler listener challenge:”
“Name a creature in six letters. Move the first three letters to the end and read the result backward to name another creature. Clue: If you break either six-letter word in half, each pair of three letters will themselves spell a word.”knew I could solve this puzzle in a few lines of code, provided the Merriam-Webster/Proximity spell-check dictionary contains all the words of the puzzle.
Back home, unfortunately after the submission deadline of Thursday 3pm, but just in time for my Updates “NPR Tip” deadline, I wrote a quick NPR report to solve the puzzle as follows:
- Loop thru the spell check dictionary, checking just the six letter words L(WORD)=6
- Make sure the first three letters (WORD$3) and the last three letters (WORD%2) are words
- Rearrange the letters from ABCDEF to DEFABC and make sure the re-arranged string is also a word
- (Use #n to extract each character and _ to rebuild the new string)
Or... in MAGIC code:
In just a few seconds, the program produces these words that meet the puzzle criteria:
Is there a practical use for the spell check dictionary in a report?
I wrote a report years ago for a hospital that does not encrypt passwords, and has a policy that a password cannot be a word, part of your name, a date or your phone number or extension.
Apparently, there are still a few violators of the policy, although most of the user mnemonics look like training, scripting, or other not-real-user users.
Names and passwords have been removed from this screen shot, to protect the innocent. I’ve not put the report in the library as I don’t want to post the code that gets passwords. If you have a legitimate need for such a report, let me know.
Read Joe's blog posts at MEDI-Talk.
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(This originally appeared in the November 2010 issue of Iatric Systems’ Updates! newsletter.)