# Wrapping Interval Notation for Take

I'm trying to implement the solution to a math problem in Mathematica, but my code can't handle a particular boundary case. I think that I could implement a function that would do what I want it to, but it would be kind of ugly.

Here is the problem: letters = {"a", "b", "c", "d", "e", "f", "g", "h", "i", "j", "k", "l",
"m", "n", "o", "p", "q", "r", "s", "t", "u", "v", "w", "x", "y", "z"};

GetIndexInAlphabet[letter_String] := Position[letters, letter][[1, 1]];

GetIndexInAlphabet["a"] (* 1 *)

AofAlpha[letter_String] := Module[{startIndex, endIndex},
startIndex = GetIndexInAlphabet[letter];
endIndex = startIndex + 2;
Take[letters, {startIndex, endIndex}]
];

AofAlpha["a"] (* {a, b, c} *)

AofAlpha["z"] (* {z, a, b} *)


Does anyone have a clean way to implement the wrapping behavior that the function should have?

x = Partition[letters, 3, 1, {1, 1}];

x[]


{"a", "b", "c"}

x[]


{"z", "a", "b"}

Generalization:

fun[letter_String, n_Integer] :=
With[{cr = CharacterRange["a", "z"]},
Partition[cr, n, 1, {1, 1}] [[ToCharacterCode[letter] - 96]] // Flatten]

fun["y", 4]


{"y", "z", "a", "b"}

• Thank you! I see that Partition is the way to go here. Unfortunately, even Partition has kind of an ugly syntax having to define the {1,1} for the cyclic behavior, but sometimes that's the way it has to be. – Brady Hunt Sep 8 '14 at 16:01
S = First /@ Partition[CharacterRange["a", "z"], 3, 3, 1]
(* {"a", "d", "g", "j", "m", "p", "s", "v", "y"} *)


It's minimal because:

3*Length@S
(* 27 *)


and any $S$ with less cardinality will have at most $3*8= 24$ characters in it's union, so it won't cover the full letter set.

• Thank you as well @belisarius. I appreciate the added explanation of why it is minimal. Also, CharacterRange[] is very convenient for defining this set. – Brady Hunt Sep 8 '14 at 16:02