h a l f b a k e r y
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This is a feature of an alphanumeric search function for an online dictionary (including proper names) using wildcards ("*" would match an indeterminate length string of letters, "?" would match a single letter.)
I should be able to enter "a*a" and get results. e.g. Alaska, alpaca, alopecia, Amanda,
Andrea, Altadena, etc.
"r*e" would return rose, ride, rye, reference, etc.
"r??e" would return rose, ride, rice, etc.
I think if the the number of missing letters is known, perhaps a crossword dictionary would work, but I don't think I've ever seen "*" used in this fashion.
||Looks like [bigsleep]'s link has what I'm looking for. Thanks!
||Further thought: subscripts on question marks (?1, ?2, ?3) could be used to search for palindromes.
||e.g. "?1?2?3?4?5?5?4?3?2?1" would search for 10-letter palindromes. Should be extensible to ignore spaces.
||This functionality is built-in to Unix, actually. Every
Unix system comes with a word list (usually in
/usr/share/dict/words) and the grep program which
allows you to search any text file using regular
||Regular expressions are awesomethey're basically
wildcard matching on steroids. Your palindrome
example (or rather, one to find a five letter
palindrome) would be written as the following
||I see a movie of a sad little robot wandering door to door asking to check the house dictionary for "a*a" and reporting back to a big sad robot every new hit.
" Have not had a hit in days" it sobs "down to my last backup battery" it sniffs.