Help Optimizing Word Search

Paul Rubin http
Tue Jan 11 21:18:53 EST 2005

"Case  Nelson" <case.nelson at> writes:
> Basically, the program needs to take in a random list of no more than
> 10 letters,  and find all possible mutations that match a word in my
> dictionary (80k words). However a wildcard letter '?' is also an
> acceptable character which increases the worst case time significantly.

For that size pattern and dictionary, simply compiling the pattern to
a regexp, joining the dictionary together into one big string ("abc
def ghijk..."), and matching the regexp against the big string, may
well be faster than using some fancy algorithm coded completely in

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