AskDefine | Define jumble

Dictionary Definition



1 a confused multitude of things [syn: clutter, muddle, mare's nest, welter, smother]
2 small flat ring-shaped cake or cookie [syn: jumbal]
3 a theory or argument made up of miscellaneous or incongruous ideas [syn: patchwork, hodgepodge]


1 be all mixed up or jumbled together; "His words jumbled" [syn: mingle]
2 assemble without order or sense; "She jumbles the words when she is supposed to write a sentence" [syn: confuse, mix up]
3 bring into random order [syn: scramble, throw together]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. To mix or confuse.


To mix or confuse


  1. A mixture of unrelated things.
  2. Items for a rummage sale.


A mixture of unrelated things
Items for a rummage sale

See also

Extensive Definition

This article is about the word game. For other meanings see jumble (disambiguation).
Jumble, is a word puzzle in which a player is given a set of letters which, when arranged in the correct order, give the un-jumbled word. A simple example would be the set of letters "lbujme," which can then be rearranged to spell "jumble". Thus the solution to a Jumble is an anagram of the puzzle word. Jumble is also similar to the Round Robin game from Supermarket Sweep.
Jumble was created in 1954 by Martin Nadle (aka. Naydell or Dell & Nadel), and is one of most important properties of Tribune Media Services, which holds the rights to the JUMBLE trademark. Daily and Sunday Jumble puzzles are featured in hundreds of newspapers.
Jumble puzzles found in newspapers often have four-base Jumbles. Once these base Jumbles are solved, a player uses the circled letters of each base Jumble word to obtain a new set of letters. This set of letters will then complete a phrase or sentence. The correct answer usually involves some sort of visual or verbal pun, relating to an illustration and its caption published with the puzzle.

Computerized solution

Algorithms to solve jumbles exist, which make use of a dictionary. Commonly found algorithms work as follows; given an input of jumbled letters it outputs the set of possible words. Then the person can pick up the right word from the list (if it exists).
  1. Begin
  2. Input: J , all the jumbled letters that form an unknown W word(s), we want.
  3. Assign the weights for each letter A-Z = 1 - 26, (i.e: A=1, B=2, ... Z=26).
  4. Compute the sum of the jumbled letters, S.
  5. Now using a sorted dictionary of letters stored in a hash-table mapping sums to words [S => W],we can pick up the list of words W that have the same sum as S.
  6. Print the words in W
  7. End
This algorithm is a particular instance of the speedup using binary search, and using ordering of alphabets. It is a 'generally-known' algorithm, gleaned off the web.
Here is another algorithm
  1. Begin
  2. Input: J, all the jumbled letters that form an unknown W word(s)
  3. Frame a word list Y with all different combination of J
  4. For each word in Y check if the word is existing in the dictionary
  5. If a match is found then collect it in word list W
  6. Prints the words in W
Algorithm to write J in all different combination
1.Begin 2.Initialize a string with first character of J denoted by J(1) 3.Add the second character of J denoted by J(2) in either side of J(1)to get two strings J(1)J(2) J(2)J(1) 4.Add the third character of J denoted by J(3) in either side and in between of the above 2 strings in above step to get 6 strings J(1)J(2)J(3) J(1)J(3)J(2) J(3)J(1)J(2)
J(2)J(1)J(3) J(2)J(3)J(1) J(3)J(2)J(1) 5.Same way add J(4) to each of the above string in either sides and between two characters to get 24 strings 6.Continue this until all the characters are completed
Though the algorithm looks complex it can be easily implemented in a program.
Douglas Hofstadter developed a program called Jumbo that tackles jumble problems in a way similar to the hypothesised manner in which the human mind does. The program doesn't rely on a dictionary and doesn't try to find real English words, but rather words that could be English, exploiting a database of plausibilities for various combinations of letters. Letters are combined non-deterministically, following a strategy inspired by chemical reactions and free associations.

In Other Media

Various electronic versions of Jumble have been released, including a version by Hasbro Interactive for Microsoft Windows. The game features 5 modes of play ranging from classic Jumble to crossword puzzles to an easier Jumble mode for kids.
TextTwist, a Java game by GameHouse, is similar to Jumble. Players form words from a set of six scrambled letters, and must find at least one 6-letter word using all the letters to get to the next round. Additional points are granted for words using at least three letters.
A TV game show based on Jumble aired in 1994. It was hosted by game show veteran Wink Martindale, and aired on The Family Channel (now called ABC Family).
In the 'Seinfeld' episode "The Pez Dispenser", Kramer, upon hearing that George Costanza was doing crossword puzzles with his girlfriend, stated he "likes to do the Jumble".
In the Strong Bad email from Homestar Runner entitled "Caper," Strong Bad and The Cheat break into Homestar's house to steal the Jumbles from his newspapers. Strong Bad refers to this in song as "The Jumble Caper."


See also

Jumble (game show)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Aesopian language, Babel, Boston cream pie, Greek, admix, all sorts, alloy, amalgamate, angel cake, angel food cake, argot, arsy-varsiness, assemblage, assortment, babble, baked Alaska, ball up, befuddlement, bemingle, bewilderment, blend, blur, blur distinctions, bollix up, bother, botheration, broad spectrum, cake, cant, chaos, cheesecake, chocolate cake, cipher, cloud, clutter, coalesce, code, coffee cake, combine, commingle, commix, complicate, compose, compound, concoct, confound, confuse, confusion, conglomerate, conglomeration, cryptogram, cupcake, daze, deform, derange, disarrange, disarray, discombobulation, discomfiture, discompose, discomposure, disconcertion, dishevel, disorder, disorganization, disorganize, disorientation, distort, disturb, disturbance, double Dutch, embarrassment, emulsify, entangle, farrago, flummox, flurry, fluster, flutter, fog, fog up, foul up, frenzy, fruitcake, fuddle, fuddlement, fumble, fuse, gallimaufry, garble, genoise, gibberish, gift of tongues, gingerbread, glossolalia, gobbledygook, hash, haze, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hodgepodge, homogenize, honey cake, hotchpot, hotchpotch, hysteron proteron, immingle, immix, integrate, interblend, interlace, interlard, intermingle, intermix, intertwine, interweave, jargon, jelly roll, jumble together, jungle, knead, knock galley-west, layer cake, litter, magpie, make unintelligible, marble cake, mash, maze, medley, melange, merge, mess, mess up, mingle, mingle-mangle, miscellany, mishmash, mist, mix, mix up, mixed bag, muck up, muddle, muddlement, muss up, mystify, noise, obfuscate, obscure, odds and ends, olio, olla podrida, omnium-gatherum, overlook distinctions, pasticcio, pastiche, patchwork, perplexity, perturb, perturbation, pi, play hob with, pother, potpourri, pound cake, pucker, riffle, ruffle, rummage, salad, salmagundi, sauce, savarin, scramble, screw up, secret language, shadow, shortcake, shuffle, slang, snafu, snarl up, spice cake, sponge cake, stew, stir up, sweat, swivet, syncretize, tangle, tea cake, throw together, tizzy, topsy-turviness, topsy-turvydom, toss together, tumble, turmoil, unform, unholy mess, unsettle, unsettlement, unshape, upset, welter, what you will, white cake, work, yellow cake
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