Spring Thing back garden game testing?


Hello everyone,

I have a relatively small game (with walkthrough) I’d like to send to Spring Thing, and I thought I’d cold-call if anyone was up for testing it any time before the end of the month. I’d be glad to return the favor later.


I could do a few testing runs through your Spring Thing game before the end of the month.

Also, I was reading your word ladder post and recalled that I’d written a similar program in Python a while back after reading Letters to a Young Mathematician by Ian Stewart, in which word ladder puzzles were mentioned.

My initial naive algorithm (BFS through a graph constructed from the dictionary in /usr/dict/words) was fine for shorter words, but building the graph could take several minutes for longer words. I did some research and found a better algorithm: basically hashing an n-letter word into n distinct buckets using wildcard characters for each letter position. For example, the word BREAD would be hashed into five buckets using keys *READ, BEAD, BRAD, BRED, and BREA. So, words separated by a single letter would all be hashed to the same hash bucket.

I could dig up the program if people are interested, but it may be a bit sloppy as I was only writing it for my own amusement at the time and not for public consumption.

Edit: originally wrote this as if it were a PM, but posted it publicly. Oops. There’s nothing especially private in it, so I’ve mildly edited it and decided to let it be.


Well, I think I’m not the only one interested! So I’m glad I read about it.

I was able to google a site that said what you did was the best algorithm, and it’s what I followed (without figuring it for myself.) So you should feel smart about that.