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Software by Andrew Trevorrow

Alchemy logo

Alchemy is a nifty little program for finding word ladders. A word ladder is a sequence of words made by changing one letter at a time. Given any two words, Alchemy will find the shortest ladder between them (using the current word list), or beep if no ladder can be found. The following screen dump shows how to turn FLOUR into BREAD:

Alchemy window

Alchemy has a number of handy features:

  • You can find random ladders and longest ladders.

  • Word lists can be modified. The Edit window lets you find, add or delete words. Grep-like patterns can be used to select one or more words; the following example shows how to find all words without any vowels:
Edit window
  • Read a given text file and add new words to the current word list; very handy for creating a new word list from scratch.

  • Find all isolated words in the current word list and remove them. (An isolated word cannot be changed into any other word and thus can't appear in any ladder.)

  • Word lists contain user-definable characters. The default character set includes accented letters and other 8-bit characters used in most languages based on the Roman script.

  • Save your favorite ladders for later recall.

  • Detailed help is provided in the Help menu.

Send all your bug reports, queries and suggestions to andrew@trevorrow.com.

Additional word lists can be downloaded:

Danish- 310,000 Danish words
Dutch- 160,000 Dutch words
English- 170,000 English words
French- 235,000 French words
German- 200,000 German words
Italian- 90,000 Italian words
Shakespeare- 20,000 words from the works of Shakespeare
Spanish- 245,000 Spanish words

Alchemy is a Carbonized app that runs fine on OS X. It also runs on OS 8.6/9.x if CarbonLib 1.3 or later is installed.

To download the latest version of Alchemy (1.5), click here.

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