I recently published an analysis on the Master Lock 4 letter combination locks. They have an unusual letter distribution and I was curious how many English words could be generated with those locks. It turned out that those Master Locks could create a lot more words than I had anticipated.
This lock seems to have fewer clichéd words, but there are a few that pop up a little too often including:
This analysis is focused on the most current 5 disk WordLock model, the PL-004. There are 3 older models with somewhat different letter distributions and WordLock has other 4 disk products.
The fixed-disk WordLock uses the following letter configuration:
Disk 1: L S W B P F M D T A
Disk 2: A P O R I L C E T N
Disk 3: S E R I L A N U T O
Disk 4: E L D A O S K N R T
Disk 5: R L S N T H Y D _ E
There are two particularly interesting things about this letter distribution.
First, the blank spot on the fifth disk (represented above with an underscore) cleverly allows the WordLock to represent 4 or 5 letter words.
Second, the lock has asymmetrical disks that, when all aligned, defaults 7 of the 10 lines of the lock into words:
- BRIAN … if you consider a name to be a word
- ANOTE … while it does have a definition, this more looks like a word than is a word
While the remaining three lines are gibberish, it’s still a nifty and thoughtful feature as the lock looks cool with all of those words on its face.
What Words Can This Distribution Generate?
Here’s the spreadsheet. The left-most column contains 1,652 core English words. These are the best words that the analysis found. The further right you move, the less useful the words generally are (and the farthest right is mostly nonsense).
Analysis Methodology & Column Explanation
Absolutely everything about this analysis and its outputs conforms to the same information presented in the last letter lock analysis, so I won’t rehash it. It’s on the Master Lock post if you’re interested.
Odd Letter Distribution Hypothesis
After publishing the last analysis some members of the room escape community proposed a hypothesis about the odd letter distribution on those Master Locks:
It seemed like Master Lock may have been trying to make it impossible to spell curse words.
This seems like a valid answer for both Master Lock and WordLock’s letter selection. I cannot prove this one way or another, but you cannot generate the most popular American English swear words with these locks… so that’s probably not a coincidence.
Nevertheless, sifting through the wordlist revealed a few “vulgar” or degrading words… and I’m including them because my inner 10 year-old thinks this list is hilarious:
ANAL, ANUS, BALLS, BONER, DORK, PANSY, SISSY, and PENAL (That last one isn’t at all vulgar, but it sure feels like it should be.) You can also generate the word MOIST… which apparently is a word that a lot of people hate.
There are also TONS of innuendo-y words that I didn’t include… because I’m an adult.