Laurent Rosenfeld Weekly Review: Challenge - 038

Sunday, Dec 22, 2019| Tags: Raku

Raku Solutions Weekly Review

Task #1: Date Finder

This is derived in part from my blog post made in answer to the Week 38 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar as well as answers made by others to the same challenge.

The challenge reads as follows:

Create a script to accept a 7 digits number, where the first number can only be 1 or 2. The second and third digits can be anything 0-9. The fourth and fifth digits corresponds to the month i.e. 01,02,03…,11,12. And the last 2 digits represents the days in the month i.e. 01,02,03….29,30,31. Your script should validate if the given number is valid as per the rule and then convert into human readable format date.


1) If 1st digit is 1, then prepend 20 otherwise 19 to the 2nd and 3rd digits to make it 4-digits year.

2) The 4th and 5th digits together should be a valid month.

3) The 6th and 7th digits together should be a valid day for the above month.

For example, the given number is 2230120, it should print 1923-01-20.

My Solutions

This time, rather than concentrating on a test suite, I decided to focus on trying to provide useful warnings and error messages when the input value is not valid, which led me to test the input data piece by piece. The following program is basically a port to Raku of the program I had initially written in Perl 5 for the same task:

use v6;

sub MAIN ($in where * ~~ /^\d ** 7$/ = '2230120') {
    my ($y1, $y2, $m, $d) = ($in ~~ /^(\d)(\d\d)(\d\d)(\d\d)/)[0..3];
    die "First digit should be 1 or 2\n" if $y1 !~~ /<[12]>/;
    my $year = $y1 == 1 ?? "20$y2" !! "19$y2";
    die "Digits 4 and 5 should be a valid month number\n" unless $m ~~ /(0 <[1..9]>) | (1 <[012]>)/;
    die "Digits 6 and 7 should be a valid day in month\n" unless $d ~~ /(<[012]> \d) | (3 <[01]>)/;
    try {
        my $test =$year, $m, $d);
    die "$in is equivalent to $year-$m-$d, which is an invalid date\n" if $!;
    say "$in is equivalent to $year-$m-$d.";

Running it with the default value produces the following output:

$ perl6 date_finder.p6
2230120 is equivalent to 1923-01-20.

This is the output with a correct argument:

$ perl6 date_finder.p6 1191210
1191210 is equivalent to 2019-12-10.

And with an invalid argument:

$ perl6 date_finder.p6 1191310
Digits 4 and 5 should be a valid month number

  in sub MAIN at date_finder.p6 line 7
  in block <unit> at date_finder.p6 line 1

We first validate that each data piece. For example, I’ve decided that the first digit should be 1 or 2 (although the requirement is not explicit about the possible second value). Then, digits 4 and 5 should be a valid month number, so it should be anything between 01 ad 12 and digits 6 and 7 should be a valid day within a month. After these checks, the program attempts to create a Date object within a try block and will die with the appropriate error message if the date is not valid (i.e. if an exception is caught into the $! error variable). The initial tests are not strictly necessary, as the creation of the Date object construction will catch any date error, but they make it possible to provide the user with a more explicit message about the input error. Having said that, I should add that the validation of the data pieces is not as exhaustive as it could be (for example 00 would pass the day digit test), but I didn’t care too much about it, since the try block will catch any remaining error:

$ perl6 date_finder.p6 2230100
2230100 is equivalent to 1923-01-00, which is an invalid date

Rather than having the relatively complicated regexes above for checking the month and day digits, we have tried to use subsets, for example:

subset Day of Str where * eq ("01" .. "31").any;
subset Month of Str where * eq ("01" .. "12").any;

But this turned out to be somewhat inconvenient, as it leads easily to pesky type check errors.

Another way to do it would be to use a grammar, for example:

use v6;

grammar My-custom-date {
    token TOP { <y1> <y2> <m> <d> }
    token y1  { <[12]> }
    token y2  { \d ** 2}
    token m   { 0 <[1..9]> | 1<[012]> }
    token d   { 0 <[1..9]> | <[12]> \d | 3<[01]> }

sub MAIN ($in where * ~~ /^\d ** 7$/ = '2230120') {
    my $matched  = so My-custom-date.parse($in);
    say "Invalid input value $in" and exit unless $matched;
    my $year = $<y1> == 1 ?? "20$<y2>" !! "19$<y2>";
    try {
        my $test =$year, $<m>, $<d>);
    say "ERROR: $in is equivalent to $year-$<m>-$<d>, which is an invalid date\n" and exit if $!;
    say "$in is equivalent to $year-$<m>-$<d>.";

But, in this case, the advantage of using a grammar is not obvious, except for the fact the parsing is possibly slightly clearer. It might even be argued that using a grammar for such a simple case is sort of a technological overkill. The example may still provide some guidance with a very simple example to anyone beginning with grammars.

These are some sample runs:

$ perl6 date_finder.p6
2230120 is equivalent to 1923-01-20.

$ perl6 date_finder.p6 2230228
2230228 is equivalent to 1923-02-28.

$ perl6 date_finder.p6 2230229
Use of Nil in string context
ERROR: 2230229 is equivalent to 1923--, which is an invalid date

  in block  at date_finder.p6 line 17
Use of Nil in string context
  in block  at date_finder.p6 line 17

Alternative Solutions

TIMTOWTDI. Even for such a relatively simple task, the challengers have implemented the task in many different ways. For parsing the input string, people have used standard regexes, named captures, named rules, grammars (including even a grammar with an actions class), the substr built-in function and even the polymod method. Similarly, for catching an exception when creating a date object, challengers have used try block (with or without a CATCH clause within it), try prefix statements and bare CATCH blocks. There is really more than one way to do it in Raku.

Arne Sommer used named captures to collect the input data pieces and a try statement prefix followed by a Date object creation to perform date validation:

if $date ~~ /^
    $<century> = (<[12]>)
    $<year>    = (<[0..9]><[0..9]>)
    $<month>   = (<[01]><[0..9]>)
    $<day>     = (<[0123]><[0..9]>)
    my $datestring = "{ $<century> == 1 ?? '20' !! '19' }{ $<year> }-{ $<month> }-{ $<day> }";

    if try$datestring)
        say $datestring;
say "Not a valid date.";

Note that Arne provided several other implementations, together with a detailed test suite, in his interesting blog post.

Daniel Mita used a named rule:

my token date-number {
  ( ( <[12]> ) ( <[0..9]> ** 2 ) )
  ( <[0..9]> ** 2 ) ** 2

to parse the input data, and then used the make and made methods of the Raku Match class to handle the necessary transformations:

sub MAIN(
  $number where * ~~ &date-number, #= 7 digit number starting with 1 or 2 followed by YYMMDD
  --> Nil
) {
  given $0[0] {
    when 1 { .make(19) }
    when 2 { .make(20) }
    year  => $0[0].made ~ $0[1],
    month => $1[0],
    day   => $1[1],

So far, I had always used the make and made methods solely in the context of grammars, and had just not realized that it could be used on any match object. Quite an interesting discovery for me. Thank you, Daniel.

Kevin Colyer wrote a validate subroutine to check the input data, and constructed a DateTime object within a try block with a CATCH clause to validate the date:

sub validate($d where *>0) {
    my $s=$d.Str;
    return "Input must be only 7 digits in length" if $d.chars!==7;
    my ($day,$month,$year,$mill) = $d.polymod(100,100,100);
    return "First digit must be either 1 or 2" if 0 > $mill > 2;
    $year+=$mill==1 ?? 2000 !! 1900 ;
    my $date;
    try     { $date = => $year, month => $month, day => $day);
        CATCH   { return .Str }
    return $date.Date;

I find that using the polymod method to split the input into data pieces is a quite interesting idea which I did not think about. Kevin also made a small test suite to test the validate subroutine.

Noud used a grammar with a ConvDate actions class to handle the input data:

grammar DATE {
    token TOP { <century> <year> <month> <day> }
    regex century { 1 | 2 }
    regex year { <digit>**2 }
    regex month { <digit>**2 }
    regex day { <digit>**2 }
class ConvDate {
    method TOP ($/) { make (if ($<century> == 1) { 20 } else { 19 }) ~ $<year>
                      ~ '-' ~ $<month> ~ '-' ~ $<day>; }
say DATE.parse(2230120, actions => ConvDate).made;

Simon Proctor used named captures within a constant regex and also was able to use a subset without encountering the problems I mentioned above. He then constructed a Date object and used a CATCH block to catch any error.

constant $DATE-MATCH = rx/^ $<century>=(<[12]>) $<year>=(<[0..9]>**2) $<month>=("01"|"02"|"03"|"04"|"05"|"06"|"07"|"08"|"09"|"10"|"11"|"12") $<day>=(<[0..3]><[0..9]>) $/;
subset PossData of Str where * ~~ $DATE-MATCH;
multi sub MAIN($s) is hidden-from-USAGE {
    say "{$s} doesn't match the valid string condition\n$*USAGE";
#| Parse the data string format
multi sub MAIN(
    PossData $date #= Date in the format (1/2 2000/1900), year, month, day
) {
    my $match = ( $date ~~ $DATE-MATCH );
    my $result;
        $result = :year( $match.<year> + ( $match.<century> ~~ 1 ?? 2000 !! 1900 ) ), :month( $match<month> ), :day( $match<day> ) );
        CATCH {
            default {
                say "{$date} is not a valid date\n$*USAGE";
    say $result;

Javier Luque used a regex to parse the input data and constructed a Date object within a try block with a CATCH block to validate the date:

sub parse-date(Int $date) {
    # Regex to test date format
    return "Invalid date format"
        unless ($date ~~ /
            ^^            # Start of string
            (<[12]>)      # 1 or 2
            (\d\d)        # year 00-99
            (0<[1..9]> || # month 1-12
            (0<[1..9]> || # day 1-31
            $$            # End of string

    # The date string
    my $date_string =
        ( ($0 == 1) ?? '20' ~ $1  !! '19' ~ $1 )
        ~ '-' ~ $2 ~ '-' ~ $3;

    # Make sure the date is valid
    # even if it passed the format check
    try {
        my $date_check =$date_string);

        CATCH {
            return "Invalid date";

    return $date_string;

Roger Bell West used a series of regexes to check the input data and then constructed a Date object within a CATCH block to validate the date:

for @*ARGS -> $dc {
  unless ($dc.chars==7) {
    warn "$dc is wrong length\n";
  unless ($dc ~~ /^<[0..9]>+$/) {
    warn "$dc has non-digit characters\n";
  $dc ~~ /^(.)(..)(..)(..)$/;
  my ($cen,$year,$month,$day)=($0,$1,$2,$3);
  if ($cen==2) {
  } elsif ($cen==1) {
  } else {
    warn "$dc has invalid century digit $cen\n";
  if ($month < 1 || $month > 12) {
    warn "$dc has invalid month $month\n";
  my $d;
  unless (defined $d) {
    warn "$dc has invalid day $day\n";
  say $d.yyyy-mm-dd;

Ruben Westerberg used a quite interesting method to construct his regexes:

my $m=(1..12)>>.fmt("%02d").join("|");

Just in case you don’t get it, the value of $m is now:


He also used the same method for building a regex for days in the 01..31 range. Ruben’s program is fairly compact:

my $m=(1..12)>>.fmt("%02d").join("|");
my $d=(1..31)>>.fmt("%02d").join("|");

for @*ARGS {
    if /(1|2)(<[0..9]>**2)(<$m>)(<$d>)/ {
        put "Input $_ OK";
        put ($0==1??"20$1"!!"19$1",$2,$3).join("-");
    print "Input $_ invalid";

Ryan Thompson rolled out manually the whole validation process:

sub MAIN( Int $date ) {
    $date ~~ /^
        $<cent> = [ <[12]> ]                         # Century (1:1900,2:2000)
        $<yy>   = [ \d \d  ]                         # Year    (2-digit)
        $<mm>   = [ 0<[1..9]> | 1<[012]> ]           # Month   (01..12)
        $<dd>   = [ 0<[1..9]> | <[12]>\d | 3<[01]> ] # Day     (01..31)
    $/ or die "Usage: $*PROGRAM Cyymmdd";

    my Int $yyyy = ($<cent> + 18 ~ $<yy>).Int;

    die "$yyyy-$<mm> does not have $<dd> days"
        if days-in($yyyy, $<mm>.Int) < $<dd>;

    say "$yyyy-$<mm>-$<dd>";


# Return the number of days in the given month (with year specified so
# we can check if it is a leap year)
sub days-in( Int $y, Int $m ) {
    my @days = (0, 31, 28, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31, 31, 30, 31, 30, 31);
    @days[2]++ if leap-year($y);

I skipped the code of the leap-yearsubroutine (probably copied from Ryan’s Perl 5 implementation of the same task), since it could be replaced with the is-leap-year built-in function provided by Raku.

Task #2: A Scrabble-Like Word Game

This is derived in part from my blog post made in answer to the Week 38 of the Perl Weekly Challenge organized by Mohammad S. Anwar as well as answers made by others to the same challenge.

The challenge reads as follows:

Lets assume we have tiles as listed below, with an alphabet (A..Z) printed on them. Each tile has a value, e.g. A (1 point), B (4 points) etc. You are allowed to draw 7 tiles from the lot randomly. Then try to form a word using the 7 tiles with maximum points altogether. You don’t have to use all the 7 tiles to make a word. You should try to use as many tiles as possible to get the maximum points.

For example, A (x8) means there are 8 tiles with letter A.

1 point

    A (x8), G (x3), I (x5), S (x7), U (x5), X (x2), Z (x5)

2 points

    E (x9), J (x3), L (x3), R (x3), V (x3), Y (x5)

3 points

    F (x3), D (x3), P (x5), W (x5)

4 points

    B (x5), N (x4)

5 points

    T (x5), O (x3), H (x3), M (x4), C (x4)

10 points

    K (x2), Q (x2)

So, the game is essentially similar to Scrabble, except that there is no game board.

My Solution

I don’t see any way to solve correctly this task without a brute-force approach, i.e. trying all possibilities to find the best score.

Just as for some previous challenges, I will use a words.txt file containing 113,809 lower-case English words usually accepted for crossword puzzles and other word games. The words.txt file can be found on my Github repository. The original list was contributed to the public domain by Internet activist Grady Ward in the context of the Moby Project. This word list is also mirrored at Project Gutenberg.

For the purpose of testing the programs below, the words.txt file is located in my current directory.

The solution is essentially as follows: read the file of authorized words, normalize the words by putting their letters in alphabetical order and store in a %word-list hash the normalized versions as a key, and the original word as a value.

Store the available letter tiles in a Bag. Then pick seven tiles (or any other number) from the bag, use the combinations method to produce all tile combinations from the drawn letters, sort each combination alphabetically and look up for the result in the hash. If the result is found, compute its score and retain the word with the highest score so far. At the end, print the word with the highest score.

use v6;

constant %tile-values =
    A => 1, B => 4, C => 5, D => 3, E => 2,
    F => 3, G => 1, H => 5, I => 1, J => 2,
    K => 10, L => 2, M => 5, N => 4, O => 5,
    P => 3, Q => 10, R => 2, S => 1, T => 5,
    U => 1, V => 2, W => 3, X => 1, Y => 2, Z => 1;

constant %tile-count =
    A => 8, B => 5, C => 4, D => 3, E => 9,
    F => 3, G => 3, H => 3, I => 5, J => 3,
    K => 2, L => 3, M => 4, N => 4, O => 3,
    P => 5, Q => 2, R => 3, S => 7, T => 5,
    U => 5, V => 3, W => 5, X => 2, Y => 5, Z => 5;

my $tile-bag = (map {$_ xx %tile-count{$_}}, keys %tile-count).Bag;

sub MAIN (Int $count = 7) {
    my %word-list;
    for "words.txt".IO.lines -> $line {
        next if $line.chars > $count;
        my $ordered = $line.uc.comb.sort.join("");
        my $line-value = [+] ${%tile-values{$_}});
        %word-list{$ordered}<word> = $line;
        # Note we will keep only one word for anagrams, but
        # that's OK since anagrams have the same value
        %word-list{$ordered}<value> = $line-value;
    for 1..10 {
        my @picked-tiles = $tile-bag.pick($count);
        my $max-combination = "";
        my $max-value = 0;
        for @picked-tiles.combinations -> $candidate {
            my $ordered = $candidate.sort.join("");
            next unless %word-list{$ordered}:exists;
            if %word-list{$ordered}<value> > $max-value {
                $max-value = %word-list{$ordered}<value>;
                $max-combination = $ordered;
        say "The best candidate for list ", @picked-tiles.join(""), " is:";
        say "    No word found!" and next unless $max-value;
        say "    %word-list{$max-combination}<word> (score: $max-value)";

Note that the program is not very fast (2 to 3 seconds for 7 tiles), but that’s mainly due to time required to read the 113k-word list and store the words into a hash. One the hash is populated, finding the best solution is quite fast. This is the reason for which I decided to run the solution-finding part ten times once the hash is populated. If I were going to make a real-life solution for the challenge, I would store the hash in a file, as I have shown previously, notably on the word ladder challenge in May of this year.

This is an example run:

$ time perl6  scrabble.p6 7
The best candidate for list MESWAAG is:
    wames (score: 12)
The best candidate for list XPSPBAG is:
    paps (score: 8)
The best candidate for list KISCPAC is:
    spick (score: 20)
The best candidate for list BMRPSPU is:
    bumps (score: 14)
The best candidate for list LZRYVBY is:
    byrl (score: 10)
The best candidate for list KHEBLZP is:
    kelp (score: 17)
The best candidate for list FHIOUHI is:
    foh (score: 13)
The best candidate for list VXAWSJH is:
    wash (score: 10)
The best candidate for list LIXMPGZ is:
    limp (score: 11)
The best candidate for list AJSFBOF is:
    boffs (score: 16)

real    0m2,751s
user    0m0,000s
sys     0m0,031s

I know that some words found above may seem funny or uncommon, but they belong to the words.txt file that is one of the official sources of words for word games.

Alternative Solutions

Arno Sommer populated a %value hash and a %count hash with, respectively, the letter values and the time count. He then populated a %dict hash with the uppercase versions of the words of his word file. The program then generates an array of combinations of the picked tiles and keeps the combinations that exists in the dictionary, and finally look the the most valuable combination.

sub get-dictionary ($file where $file.IO.r)
  return $file.IO.lines.grep(* !~~ /\W/)>>.uc.Set;
my %dict = get-dictionary($dictionary);
my @letters ={ $_ xx %count{$_} }).sort.flat;
my @legal-words = @letters.combinations(1 .. $length)>>.join.unique.grep({ %dict{$_} });
my %candidates;
for @legal-words -> $word
  %candidates{$word} = ${ %value{$_} }).sum;
my $max-val = %candidates.values.max;

say "Most valuable word(s) at $max-val points:";
say %candidates.keys.grep({ %candidates{$_} == $max-val }).sort.join(", "), ".";

I may misunderstand something, but some code lines seem to be missing from Arne’s code on the GitHub repository, at least the one where the tiles are picked from the tiles bag. Also, I’m afraid this program misses some candidates: to me, either you must order the letters of words inserted in the %dict hash, or you must use the permutations method rather than the combinations method (using bags is another solution). Note, however, that Arne’s blog post has much more than this code sample, so look at it.

Daniel Mita created a %value hash and a %tiles bag to store, respectively, the letter values and the time count. His program then picks some tiles, loads them in a bag, and reads the words file and keeps the words which are contained in or equal to the bag of picked letters. Finally, it sorts the candidates by value to find the most valuable one:

sub MAIN (
  Int $amount where * > 0 = 7, #= Number of tiles to pick (default: 7)
  --> Nil
) {
  given %tiles.pick($amount).Bag -> %picked {
    "Tiles: %picked.kxxv.join()".say;
    # source:
    "Winner: $_.key() for $_.value()".say with
      .grep({ .chars ≤ $amount && .comb ⊆ %picked })
      .map(sub {
        given $^a => ${ %values{$_} }).sum {
          sprintf("%-{$amount}s: %u", |.kv).say;
        given $^b.value <=> $^a.value {
          when Same { $a.key.chars <=> $b.key.chars }
          default { $_ }

Kevin Colyer wrote a fairly long program doing all kinds of interesting things, but I’ll quote only the subroutine doing the most important work. Kevin’s program first populates a %points hash and a %tilebag BagHash with letter values and tile counts. His program then loads the word list into a %wordlist hash where the keys are strings containing the words’ sorted letters and the values the original word and the score. Kevin’s program then uses the drawTiles subroutine which uses the roll method to select some tiles (using the pick method would have been easier). His program then sorts the picked letters, generates combinations and looks up the hash of presorted words:

sub makeWords(@tiles) {
    my @result = "", 0;
    for @tiles.combinations -> @cand {
        next if @cand.elems < 2;
        my $cand=@cand.sort.join;
        next unless %wordlist{$cand}:exists;
        my ($s,$w)= %wordlist{$cand};
        if $s > @result[1] and $cand.chars => @result[0].chars {
    return @result;

Noud first populated a %points hash and a %num_tiles hash with letter values and tile counts. Noud’s program then reads sequentially the word file and retains all the words whose letters are a subset of Bag containing the picked letters. This is Noud’s subroutine doing the bulk of the work:

sub get_best_word(%picked) {
    my @picked_words;
    for "/usr/share/dict/words".IO.slurp.uc.words -> $word {
        if ($word.comb ⊆ %picked) {
            @picked_words.push(((%points{$_} for $word.comb).sum, $word));


Simon Proctor first populated a constant %SCORES hash with the letter values and a constant $BAG Bag with the tile counts. He also built a Tile class providing a number of utility methods. He then picked some letters and inserted them in the $match-bag Bag. The bulk of the work is done in the MAIN subroutine:

sub MAIN(
    Int() $tile-count = 7 #= Number of tiles to draw from the bag (Default 7)
) {
     my @tiles = $BAG.pick( $tile-count );
     say "Tiles drawn {join(",", @tiles)} max possible score {[+] @tiles}";
     my $match-bag = @tiles );
     my $data-channel =;
     my @p;
     @p.push( start check-words( $data-channel, $match-bag ) ) for ^3;
     $data-channel.send($_) for "/etc/dictionaries-common/words".IO.lines.grep(*.codes <= $tile-count);
     await @p;
     my $result = @p.sort( { $^b.result.value cmp $^a.result.value } ).head.result;
     $result.value ?? say "{$result.key} scores {$result.value}" !! say "I couldn't find a word";
sub check-words( Channel $input, Bag $match-bag ) {
    my $result = ( "" => 0 );
    react {
        whenever $input -> $word {
            my $checked = valid-word( $word, $match-bag );
            my $score = [+] $checked.kxxv;
            if $score > $result.value {
                $result = ( $word => $score );
    return $result;

Note that Simon is using channels for parallel processing. In my tests, it took 2.7 seconds to process 10 letter selections (most of which presumably to load the word dictionary), so I’m not sure we really need parallel processing here, but it is always very interesting to look at these possibilities (I must admit that I haven’t really worked with them over the last two or three years and that I don’t really remember how to use them).

Javier Luque first populated a %tile_metadata hash containing both the values and time counts. Most of the work is done in the following subroutine using the permutations method::

sub find-best-word(@tiles) {
    my $top_score = 0;
    my $top_word;

    my @combos = @tiles.combinations: 1..7;
    for @combos -> $combo {
        for $combo.permutations -> $perms {
            my $word = $perms.join;

            if %valid_words.{$word} {
                my $score = calculate-score($word);

                # If this is the best word store it
                if ($score > $top_score) {
                    $top_score = $score;
                    $top_word  = $word;

    return $top_word, $top_score;

Roger Bell West first populated a %tilecount and a tilevalue hashes. He then used the grab method (which I did not know about before) to pick the wanted number of tiles from the %tilecount hash. Then, he populated a %w hash with uppercase versions of the words in the word list having less characters that the wanted number of tiles. Finally, his program computes all permutations of the picked letters and tries them against %w word hash, and looks for the best score:

for @bag.permutations -> $n {
  my @candidate=$n.list;
  while (@candidate) {
    my $candidate=join('',@candidate);
    if (%tried{$candidate}:exists) {
    if (%w{$candidate}:exists) {
      my $score=sum(map {%tilevalue{$_}}, @candidate);
      if ($score > $maxscore) {
      if ($score == $maxscore) {

print join('',sort @bag),"\n";
print "$maxscore: ",join(' ',sort @maxcandidate),"\n";

Ruben Westerberg also populated various data structures for letter values and letter counts, but did it in an impressively compact way:

my @c=(8,3,5,7,5,2,5,9,3,3,3,3,5,3,3,5,5,5,4,5,3,3,4,4,2,2);
my @v=((1) xx 7, (2) xx 6,(3) xx 4,(4) xx 2,(5) xx 5,(10) xx 2).flat;

my BagHash $tileBag.=new-from-pairs((@l Z @c).flat.pairup); #Bag of all tiles
my %values=(@l Z @v).flat;  #Letter value map
my BagHash $drawBag;        #Bag of drawn tiles

Ruben’s way of selecting tiles is impressively less concise:

for 1..7 {
    my $i=$;
    my $t=0;
    my $selected;
    for "A".."Z" {
        if $t > $i {

Using the pick method could have reduced all this to a single code statement.

The bulk of the work is then done as follows:

#Find all words which can be made from the drawn bag
"../words_alpha.txt"{.uc}).grep({$_.chars <= 7}) ==>
grep({ .comb.BagHash (<=) $drawBag; }) ==>
map({|($_, %values{.comb}.sum)})==>
my %contenders;

#Print sores of all possible words in asscending order
my @sorted=%contenders.keys.sort({%contenders{$^a} <=> %contenders{$^b}});

put "Contenders (word: score):";
put "$_: %contenders{$_}" for @sorted;
put "\nDrawn tiles: $drawBag";

Ryan Thompson first populated a %val hash, a @bag array, and a dicthash with, respectively, the letter values, tile counts and words of the word list. The bulk of the work is then done in the following subroutine using permutations of the selected tiles:

sub best-word( @seven ) {
    my %best = ( word => '', score => 0 );

    for @seven.permutations -> @p {
        # Here we check every 1..7-length prefix of the permutation
        my $word = @p.join;
        while $word.chars {
            if %dict{$word}:exists {
                my $score = word-score($word);
                %best<word score> = $word, $score if $score > %best<score>;
            $word = $word.chop;



Only two blog posts (besides mine) this time:

Wrapping up

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