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Detailed Finder Instructions

Standard matching

Patterns use ? for unknown single letters.For example, P??CH will find both POOCH and PEACH.

Use * to mean any number of letters. A*Z finds both ADZ and ALCATRAZ, *CRY gets words that end with CRY, etc.

The Finder page searches words from New York Times Daily, Sunday and Variety puzzles, Scrabble words, Jeff Chen's word lists, and also from two external dictionaries. See FAQs for details.

You can use $v to mean a single vowel or $c to mean a consonant. The v and c must be lower case. For consistency with other search engines, Y is always considered to be a consonant. Try these sample links:

$c??$c displays 4-letter answers that start and end with a consonant.

$v$v*$v$v returns words of any length that start and end with two vowels.

Some extensions are available using standard matching. For example, [QJXZ]???[^A-M] finds 5-letter words starting with Q, J, X, or Z and ending with a letter not in the first half of the alphabet.

Regex (advanced)

You can now choose to use full regular expression (regex) syntax in your searches. You must explicitly click the RegEx button to perform a regular expression search. Results from the combined databases (Shortz Era, Variety, Pre-Shortz, Dictionary, Scrabble) are returned in a single list. Standard matching patterns will not work in regex mode. The syntax is completely different. XWord Info cannot help with regex syntax but the web is full of helpful sites about this. The Regex Dictionary has a particularly good tutorial. The one extension we provide is that $c and $v can be used as shorthand for any consonant and any vowel. Queries can be arbitrarily complex but here are a few to get you started.

Find words that include the string ABC somewhere inside: ABC
Words that can be spelled using only the names of musical notes: ^[A-G]+$
Entries that do not include a vowel: ^[^AEIOU]*$
Words ending in c + 2 vowels + a single consonant: C$v$v$c$
15-letter words containing neither A nor E: ^[^AE]{15}$
Words containing at least one Q and one V in any order: (V.*Q)|(Q.*V)
Words that start with a consonant then a vowel, followed by that same consonant and vowel, followed by from 4 to 7 other letters (so from length 8 to 11 in total.) Click it and you'll see. ^($c)($v)\1\2\w{4,7}$

Technical note:
Our regex searches are always case-insensitive, meaning letters match lower- or upper-case.

Try it yourself

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