Jelbum -- The Jumble™ Puzzle Solver

Back in the late 1980's I wrote a program to help solving the Jumble™ puzzles in the newspaper. That program is still available to download on this website, but it is a command line program and was written in a time when 640kB of RAM was considered a luxury, and perhaps, more than anyone would ever need. So I have rewritten the program in Java and taken advantage of the extra memory available in modern computers. It now also has a Graphical User Interface, and I've written an additional version, called Jelbum Pro, that more directly solves the puzzles.

If you haven't caught on, "Jelbum" is a scrambled version of "Jumble".

I do need a disclaimer -- Jelbum won't necessarily find a solution, and on the other hand it might find hundreds that you will have to pick the correct one out of. The problem is in the dictionary. The free dictionary files seem to contain plenty of non-words, of which I've deleted hundreds, and don't contain plurals and different tenses of verbs. So it both will find occasional jiberish answers and miss correct ones. If anyone knows of a dictionary file which would work better, please let me know!

Is this actually a "Lazyman Jumble Solver"? Well I'm not making that claim. I suggest that if you just want to use Jelbum to help if you get stuck solving a Jumble, that you use the more basic Jelbum program and not Jelbum Pro.

Download Java executable (JAR file) for Jelbum here (1.7MB).

Download Java executable (JAR file) for Jelbum Pro here (1.7MB)

Download the source code with Netbeans project files here (2.2MB)

Heres a quick rundown of how it works:

The basic Jelbum program can be effectively used in three ways. The first way is to un-jumble a word. Enter the characters and press Solve. The potential answer(s) will appear.

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A pattern, consisting of hyphens for characters in a word and spaces to separate words, can be specified. When the pattern is shorter than the list of characters, all of the words of that length that can be formed from the characters are displayed.

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Here is an example where the characters need to create a pair of 6 character words.

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Jelbum Pro tries to solve an entire Jumble puzzle. Up to six words can be unjumbled. The patterns must be of the same length of the word and consist of hyphens for letters not used and o's (lower case letter o) for letters to be used. This is done like the Jumble puzzles in the newspaper, books, or websites. The pattern field at the bottom is the pattern for the final puzzle answer. Press Solve Words to unjumble the single words, make any selections necessary when there are multiple solutions, then press Solve. You may need to change your selections and I find that it won't solve many puzzles because of the problem with plurals and tenses.

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Tom Almy
Last Modified July 2018.

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