Sorted is unnecessary: the range function generates them in the right order.
The last ')' character is missing. Sorry about that. I have been spoiled by show-paren-mode.
The DRY principle is great when applied to large swaths of code but in this case, seriously, it is faster and more concise to just write it again. Either the language optimizer will optimize out the extra work (not in CPython though...) or it will not. Either way, your functions would be slower as they have to explicitly allocate either two lists or a list and a tuple unless they are optimized further, not to mention that the added structures will make optimization challenging.
Principles are great in theory but try considering practical aspects once in a while.
The whole point of the example is to demonstrate that chaining of expressions is cumbersome in Python, so imagine some other function instead of `sorted()` and use it.
DRY is not about performance; it is about: I've changed here some code and oops I've got a bug because I forgot (or didn't know or it is impossible to decide whether it is the same code or not and therefore should we change it or not) to change it in other places.
$ python -mtimeit -s"import re" "''.join(sorted(chr(i) for i in range(256) if re.match(r'\w', chr(i))))
1000 loops, best of 3: 1.29 msec per loop
$ python -mtimeit -s"import re, string" "''.join(sorted(re.findall(r'\w', string.maketrans('', ''))))"
10000 loops, best of 3: 60.8 usec per loop
My variant is 20 times faster. However performance doesn't matter in this case.
I'm all for practicality but principles are condensed experience and it is dangerous to ignore them without a good reason.
$ python -m timeit -s 'import re' '"".join(chr(i) for i in range(256) if re.match(r"\w", chr(i)))'
1000 loops, best of 3: 841 usec per loop
$ python -m timeit -s 'import re' "''.join(sorted(c for c in map(chr, range(256)) if re.match(r'\w', c)))"
1000 loops, best of 3: 792 usec per loop
$ python -m timeit -s 'import re' "''.join(sorted(c for i in range(256) for c in (chr(i),) if re.match(r'\w', c)))"
1000 loops, best of 3: 921 usec per loop
Your DRY variants (against which my complaint was) are not faster.
As to the principle of DRY: Which is easier to debug? my code or your code? mine is certainly easier to read. Principles are the average of large amounts of experience. Its never a good idea to ignore them completely but just blindly following them without keeping in mind the context they were formulated in is just as stupid.
PS: Your version with the re.findall is faster but requires the user to bring up a definition of string.maketrans and re.findall, both things that an experienced python coder would know but its another little thing that they now have to track. OTOH, the generator expressions (especially mine) are straightforward and blindingly obvious as to their purpose.