Six previous studies of the variables affecting anagram solution are re-examined for the evidence that number of syllables contributes to solution difficulty. It was shown that the number of syllables in a solution word was confounded with imagery for one study and with diagram frequency for another. More importantly it was shown that the number of syllables has a large effect on anagram solution difficulty in the re-analysis of the results from the other four studies. In these studies, the number of syllables was either more important than the principal variable examined in the experiment or the second most important variable. Overall the effect size for the number of syllables was large, d = 1.14. The results are discussed in the light of other research and it is suggested that anagram solution may have more in common with other word identification and reading processes than has been previously thought.