Help Optimizing Word Search

John Machin sjmachin at
Tue Jan 11 21:36:21 EST 2005

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

Paul, given the OP appears to want something like words that match any
(per)mutation of any substring of his query string -- and that's before
factoring in wildcards -- I'd like to see an example of a regexp that
could handle that.

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