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Word Solvers, Cryptography, & Creativity Tools
This site started as a quick hack one Thanksgiving weekend; after a long drive to the beach, I wrote a little computer program
to solve a riddle from a movie we were discussing on the way down. This little program grew into our first solver, a web page which you can use to guess hangman words. We've expanded our collection since then, adding solvers for many common
word games (Scrabble, Boggle, Word Scrambles) and some basic cryptography tools.
Our most recent addition is our caesar
cipher decoder, which automates the decryption process by analyzing which of the possible keys produces a plaintext which has a high proportion of English words.
We've also started creating practical versions of our tools for use by
writers, educators, and marketers. Interested in finding out what words
can spell from a phone number? We've got a solver for that. We also built a word pattern finder, which helps find variations on a common "root word". You can also use our generic word solver
which helps you find full and partial anagrams of a word.
Finally, we have a blog (articles here) which covers a wide range of topics related to word game analysis.
Some of our favorite articles from the blog include:
- The results of some computer modeling on
the hardest words for hangman , based on simulating
240,000 rounds of hangman. Our twist on this topic involved the assumption
that the player was using computer assisted search. We identified words
which were able to maintain a high level of "statistical uncertainty"
through multiple rounds of optimal guessing; each correct guess did very
little to reduce the pool of possible word candidates. Interestingly enough, many of the "powerful" words identified are in "everyday english"; they hide inside large groups of words with common root words and suffixes.
Switching gears for a moment, are you curious about how many points worth of words you should expect to find in a typical Scrabble rack? We tackled
this problem by modeling scrabble like a card game (poker, etc.). Scrabble has more possible "playable words" than the typical card game has "playable hands", but the code behind our
Scrabble Helper maps this
space relatively well. We built a simulation to explore this...
- We encountered some challenges in our effort to develop a
practical solver for online boggle games. Developing the analytics behind the actual solver was straightforward: basically a scrabble solver with a couple of twists. But packaging these analytics into something a user can
use within a time limit proved much more interesting. We share our tale of UI design
as we try to hack boggle....
Word nerds might also find our article on anagram families interesting. We mapped a dictionary
to identify large sets of words which were direct anagrams of each other.