In the Crossword section of the New York Times lives my favorite daily puzzle. The Spelling Bee provides seven letters, one of which must be included in every word. The ultimate goal is to get all the possible combinations that match the word list.
Proper nouns are not considered valid, and there’s handsome points available for getting the panagram(s), using all available letters in one word. Words must be at least four characters in length.
My partner Kelley and I play daily, and I am her pinch hitter to find the elusive panagrams, which for me I do a quick exhaustive combination in my head, jumbling word roots and endings.
The software engineer in me realizes I could pretty easily write code to solve all possible combinations for seven letters with one mandatory in all words, eliminate words less that 4 characters, and cross-match what’s left against database dictionary tables, and pop out a list. I’m sure someone probably has. But where’s the fun in that?
There’s a point scale for levels, Genius is our daily goal. Getting every possible word bestows you the highest score of Queen Bee.
Your progress is automatically saved online so you can return to it during the day when you have time.
It’s a super vocabulary builder, sometimes really challenging to hit our goal. It’s a really good mental agility game, I find it really helps build focus.
After all, who wouldn’t want to be Queen Bee for a day? 🐝 😁