I have just finished revising the top 8000 probability sevens with one anagram. I failed to get 194 of the answers. Embarrassingly some of what I missed a complete novice would get. It is not that I do not know the words (in many cases) but because of how I test myself - at least that is my excuse. I am trying to get to almost automatic recognition of the alphagrams and their solutions. There is no point staring at the alphagram for 5 minutes to get the answer - you will lose the game on time penalties...
One problem is I often see a non-word immediately that should then trigger the actual word. However, sometimes I do not recognise the phony as being a trigger. It does help if it is an obvious nonsense word but that is not always the case. A couple of examples where I failed to recognise the trigger for what it was:
ABDEORV - trigger OVERBAD = BRAVOED
ADEMOSY - trigger SAMOYED = SOMEDAY
And an example of a trigger that works:
CENRSTU - trigger very rude = ENCRUST
Another problem is that I can get into a mindset. If I have had a run of two or three words that follow a pattern, then frequently when the next alphagram pops up my brain just follows that pattern and comes up automatically with the wrong answer.
Example: ACEGINZ AEFGINZ AEGHINZ...
CEAZING FEAZING HEAZING WRONG! GENIZAH
Hopefully this would not happen in a game situation...
I also find words that do not fit to the standard 'scrabble players' way of anagramming incredibly hard to solve. They can be 'everyday' words that just throw you completely. Amongst those I failed dismally on were ACHIRTU and BCEHIOR... HAIRCUT and BRIOCHE. Hopefully they will come screaming at me from now on.
Sometimes the problem is a muddling of known words: PECTATE SPECTATE SPECTATOR SECTATOR therefore logically SECTATE.... missing the everyday word CASETTE.
I also find it fascinating that changing just one letter can give amazingly different word structures. Take AAISTT? This rack yields the following nine very different solutions:
aBattis astatiC satiatE saGitta astatKi tataMis attaiNs stRiata and ataVist
The English language is a truly amazing thing...
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