Five Letter Words
What Is It
Five letter words is a set of (surprise!) five letter words, created by Donald Knuth as part of the Stanford Graph Base. This set of words contains 5757 common five-letter words, which meet the following criteria:
- no proper nouns
- no punctuation, hyphens, or accent marks
- no extremely rare words that would only be useful to Scrabble players
Several exercises from Art of Computer Programming ask us to manipulate/analyze the five letter words in various ways. Volume 4 exercises 26 through 37 are recommended by Knuth as warm-up exercises for interacting with and getting to know the five-letter-words list.
Code for each of these exercises is contained in the repository here: https://charlesreid1.com:3000/cs/five-letter-words
These are not extraordinarily difficult problems (each took less than 10 minutes to implement), but some of them do take a while to run, and a few get more complicated (need to utilize Algorithms/Dynamic Programming techniques).
In the text, Knuth also mentions letter coverage - finding the number of five-letter words that can cover the first N letters of the alphabet. This is a more complicated task that requires some dynamic programming. See Letter Coverage.
The Art of Computer Programmingnotes from reading Donald Knuth's Art of Computer Programming
Part of the 2017 CS Study Plan.
Volume 2: Seminumerical Algorithms
Volume 3: Sorting and Searching
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