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Puzzle Solving Tools

If you're wondering how the top teams are able to solve so many puzzles so quickly, part of the answer is that they're probably not relying solely on their brainpower. Puzzles in the Puzzlehunt often involve anagramming, deleting, or otherwise manipulating letters and words to discover new words. This is a task well-suited to computers. Since we can't effectively ban the use of such tools, the least we can do is share the locations of some of them to help level the playing field.

Built-in tools

If you're using the browser to look something up, don't forget that there are multiple search engines to try, and all have the possibility of giving different results. Don't like what you find on Google or Bing? Try Seekr, Mojeek, or Qwant. You also don't have to search with just words; you can use reverse image search to upload an image and look for ones just like it. Even the browser itself has tools to help you. For example, Microsoft Edge has built-in screenshotting tools that allow you to draw directly on the screenshot, or web selection tools to only select the relevant parts of a page. Just right-click and look for Web Capture!

The Electronic Alveary (TEA)

TEA (The Electronic Alveary) allows you to search word lists for words that match a pattern. TEA's pattern language supports simple template and anagram searches, but also has the flexibility to perform many more complicated queries. Check the Quick Reference page on the help menu to see the kinds of things TEA can do for you. Typing ;STIN for example will product all anagrams of the letters STIN (ISN'T, NITS, TINS, SNIT).

Nutrimatic

Nutrimatic is another powerful anagram solver that's backed by Wikipedia's database, so modern words are likely to be found.

Qat

Qat is a more modern analog of TEA.

LeXpert

LeXpert is a software program designed to assist word game enthusiasts in expanding their knowledge of words. It offers more than 3500 word lists and different ways of viewing these lists. Customized lists can be created based on patterns, cryptograms, anagrams, number of vowels, etc. It offers similar functionality to TEA.

Cryptogram Helper

Cryptogram solver which not only provides a helpful interface for replacing letters in a cryptogram, but can also solve the cryptogram for you. You don't really think we'd give you any cryptograms that can be solved this way, do you?

One Across

Database of crossword clues.

Cryptic Crossword Solving Hints

Detailed hints for solving cryptic crossword, including explanations and samples of all the major clue types.

National Puzzlers League Base Finding Tools for Flats

Search tools for all kinds of word forms, including many you never knew existed.

tools.qhex.org

A set of puzzle solving tools by Dany Qumsiyeh designed for puzzle hunts. Great for wordplay.

Shazam

Shazam is a search engine for music. It will listen to a song that's currently playing using your microphone and tell you what it is. In addition to its Android and iOS apps, it also has a browser extension for Chrome and Edge.

Internet Movie Database

Did we really need to tell you about this one?

Puzzazz

various puzzle solving techinques.

Zyzzyva

An app on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS. Zyzzyva is the word judge program of choice at major events such as the North American SCRABBLE Championship, the North American School SCRABBLE Championship, the Canadian National SCRABBLE Championship and the World SCRABBLE Championship, as well as at smaller events, clubs and gatherings around the world.