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Words, Please

April 19, 2014

I've been playing the Android game Wordiest recently, which requires making two words out of a hand of letters given to you. Although it might take the fun out of the game, I made a tool that comes up with the longest words that can be made out of a given set of letters. That's what Words, Please is: a Perl script to find all words in a dictionary containing specified letters. A live demo is available at


WordsPlease works with text files with one word per line.


1. Create an instance of WordsPlease


  1. Directory: The directory with your dictionary text files
  2. Word limit (optional): If a limit is specified, WordsPlease stops after finding that amount of words in whatever order they were found in.
  3. Time limit (optional): If a limit is specified, WordsPlease stops looking after the specified number of seconds.
use WordsPlease;
my $wordsPlease = new WordsPlease("dictionaries", 1000, 3);

Word list text files can be downloaded online from your source of choice. The live demo uses the SIL International list.

2. Get an array of matched words


  1. Letters
  2. Exclusivity (optional, default is 0): If 1, no letters not listed can be in the word
  3. Match Quantity (optional, default is 0): If 1, only as many of each letter as appear in the letters string can be in the word
my @matchedWords = $wordsPlease->wordsWith("abcde", 1, 1);