In this game you have 1 minute to figure out what 9-letter word was scrambled. If you run out of time, you can still keep going.
Play Unshuffle <<<<< Click to play
- Each is a valid English word.
- Plurals are allowed, for example "solstices".
- If the word was, for example "seconding", but you enter "encodings", which is its anagram, you still get it right. In this case "consigned" will also work.
How to play
- Click the letters in the bottom row to form a word in the top row.
- Click a letter in the top row to send it back to the bottom row.
- When you have found the word, click Done.
- To randomly rearrange the letters in the bottom row, click Shuffle.
- Use the keyboard, this is faster!
- If you type 'E' on the keyboard and there is an 'E' in the bottom row, it will be sent to the top row. The same applies to all other letters 'A' to 'Z'.
- Press the space bar to shuffle.
- Pressing Enter is the same as clicking Done or Next.
- After you have submitted, the word(s) that were hidden will be revealed.
- For a new word, click Next.
There is a log of all rounds played during a session. It is below the game screen.
On an iPhone or iPod Touch, the game is designed for playing in landscape mode.
- Double-tap the lower-left corner of the playing area for Safari to zoom in and centre the game automatically.
- The log of messages can be scrolled by using the two-finger scroll gesture (emulating a mousewheel): two fingers moving synchronously up or down.
More about the game
I started with a list of 10579 nine-letter words, and manually took out about 27% of them, which I didn't know the meaning of (such as "plashiest", "repechage", and "bailiwick"), technical terms ("zoophytes", "gelignite", "thyroxine"), or the kind of word I wouldn't intuitively expect to find in the dictionary ("shellfire", "backwoods", "continuer"). I rather be saying "I can't believe I didn't see that!" than "What! Is that even a word?!".
There are now less than 8000 words in the list.
By the way, "continuer" came back because it's an anagram of "centurion".
I wrote this game because I was fascinated by the Conundrum round, which is the last of the five rounds in Anagram Magic on Miniclip. I wanted to practise just this round without having to go through the other four.
The result is a free game that helps you appreciate that 9! = 362880 is a large number.
Facts about the words
Various observations, some of which can be turned into heuristics for guessing the words.
These are all about 9-letter words only.
Note: asterisk (*) marks a word which has been excluded from the game's list, so you wouldn't be asked to guess it.
Words with scarce vowels
There are 10 words with just one vowel:
dystrophy hydroxyls * klystrons * lynchings * skylights sprightly strengths stylishly synchrony triptychs *
Note that the only word without a "y" is
There are 1091 words with 2 vowels, of which 375 contain a "y". These are usually easy to guess.
Words with scarce consonants
There are five words with only three consonants each:
audacious audiotape beauteous * equipoise * ideologue
There are 498 words with 5 vowels. I think these are generally hard to guess.
Least number of different letters
There are 16 words with only 4 different letters:
arrearage * assassins denseness peeresses * possesses redressed redresser * redresses regresses reordered represses resellers senseless sleepless successes tenseness
These tend to be easy to guess.
Letters occurring multiple times
- There are 1193 words with all letters unique.
- There are 7876 words with one letter repeating. That's a large majority of all words.
- There are 3 words where a letter repeats 5 times. In each case it is the letter "s":
assassins assessors possesses
- The eight-letter word "assesses" has 5 occurrences of the letter "s"!
Common suffixes, prefixes, and substrings
After testing this game for a while, I immediately see if there are the letters I, G, N anywhere in the word, and then try to form a word which ends with "ing". I tend to do the same with the letters for the suffix "TION". However, the following shows that the heuristic for "TION" is a bit misleading: most words which contain the letters T, I, O, N, do not end with "TION":
|Suffix||Words with suffix|| Words containing the
letters of the suffix
|Prefix||Words with prefix|| Words containing the
letters of the prefix
|Substring||Words with substring|| Words containing the
letters of the substring
This shows, for example, that if the letters "FULLY" jump out at you, then there is a 92% chance that it appears in the word as a substring. On the other hand, if you see "LESS", then there is only a 16% that the word has that suffix.
- There are 279×2 words which are an anagram of another word.
- There are 13×3 words which are an anagram of two other words:
cruelties cutleries reticules estranges greatness sergeants brushfire furbisher refurbish consigned encodings seconding creditors directors recordist reprising respiring springier dissenter residents tiredness assorting organists roastings endearing engrained grenadine grandiose organdies organised auctioned cautioned education countries cretinous neurotics importers misreport reimports
Small words in large words
- Which word has both UNDER and OVER? ENDEAVOUR.
- GLADIATOR is an anagram of GOLD TIARA. Also:
- GLADIATOR = AORTA + GILD
- GLADIATOR = RAID + GLOAT
- AEROSPACE = PEACE + SOAR
- AGGRESSOR = GROSS + RAGE
- ALCHEMIST = MATHS + LICE
- ASTRONOMY = TRAYS + MOON
- DIRECTORY = CITY + ORDER
- EDUCATION = COUNT + IDEA
- MODERNITY = MONEY + DIRT
- SACCHARIN = CAR + CHAINS
Rotations are when you take N letters from the start of the word and put them at the end, and that makes another word from the dictionary:
boathouse houseboat elections selection electives selective housework workhouse lightings slighting oversleep sleepover ownership shipowner peculates speculate printings sprinting straining trainings strapping trappings swordplay wordplays
I especially like that
elections are a one-letter rotation of
selection and that
EARTH is a one-letter rotation of
HEART. Someone should make rings out of that last one.
Have you ever noticed this anywhere:
J. Jason, DJ, FM/AM