LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

## V for Very Difficult

In my ongoing task of memorizing all of the words (8 letters or less) that are playable in tournament Scrabble, I recently crossed the halfway point in the sevens.

There are just over 20,000 unique "alphagrams" for the 7-letter words. An alphagram is an alphabetized string of letters from a particular word (and its possible anagrams). For example, the alphagram of the word BIOTECH is BCEHIOT, and the alphagram for the words BURGLES, BULGERS, BUGLERS is BEGLRSU.

Just before the depth of 10,000 in this 20,000 or so long list (I have the alphagrams sorted by probability... the ones most likely to be drawn from a bag of tiles I study first), I came across a spate of alphagrams that seemed particularly tricky. All of them unscramble to a single word, and all of those words begin with the letter "V". How many of them can you identify?

```AACDINV
AACILTV
ACDITUV
ACIILNV
ACILNSV
ACILNUV
ACILTUV
AIILMNV
GIINRSV
```
What really makes this set difficult is that most of those words are unfamiliar to me, so I don't have a definition in my brain to act as any kind of "hook". I could, of course, learn the definitions... but I usually just end up creating some pattern recognition trick for each one ("oh, VICINAL is very close to FINICAL... just a different initial letter and switch the N & C").

Easy enough for a set of about ten words... but like I said... I've reached the 10,000 mark. And am only halfway through. The sevens. There are more eights than that.

The answers to the alphragrams are below.

-- Eric

```VANADIC = AACDINV
VATICAL = AACILTV
VICINAL = ACIILNV
VICUNAS = ACILNSV
VINCULA = ACILNUV
VICTUAL = ACILTUV
VIMINAL = AIILMNV
VIRGINS = GIINRSV
```

[27 November 2007]

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