Is your essay or sales letter starting to sound boring? Need another word for amazing?
Let’s face it. Even if your product or idea is actually AMAZING, there’s only so many ways you can say this before your reader starts to tune out and thinks you’re full of meaningless hype. This is also an overused title on article sharing sites and news stories (“10 amazing ways to say amazing! Yay!”). It’s time to find another word for amazing by looking at synonyms and alternatives.
The list below gives you the word (another word for amazing) and some context about when to use it. Ideally, you want to use a synonym for amazing which is a good match with the context of the topic; there’s always a small shift in meaning when you move between words so this is critical to good writing.
Continue reading “Another Word for Amazing – 20 Awesome Ideas”
Getting ready for a job interview at a big company? Meeting your girlfriend’s parents, a couple of Harvard professors? Got a hot date with an English major? May we suggest using words that make you sound smart?
You’re gonna need to step up your game in the language department….
The trick to using words that make you sound smart like a pro is to make sure you’re completely on point and use them sparingly. Know that fool who managed to drop the word strategy in every paragraph at work? Yeah, we all think they’re a bozo too. Everything isn’t a strategy and you don’t need to demonstrate you can turn strategy into a verb, adjective, adverb, and pronoun (we’re pushing it with that one, but you get my point). Say it ONCE and be completely right….
So without further preening, her’s our list of a dozen words that make you sound smart:
Continue reading “Words That Make You Sound Smart – 12 Ideas”
We’re in the final stages of a site-wide redesign, focused on upgrading our solvers to deliver a better experience on mobile phones. The project used a web-design technique known as responsive design to rebuild our solver pages around several standard views (mobile phone, small tablet, larger tablet, desktop). We then modified the content shown in each of these views to better suit the expected audience.
Continue reading “Sitewide Redesign: Responsive Design To Improve Mobile Experience”
We’ve moved forward with launching our first game this past month, a cryptogram game where players compete to solve puzzles based on famous quotes. The game is played on an interactive screen where you are presented with the secret message and can guess what different letters may mean. Scoring is based on the amount of time you need to figure out the puzzle and the number of hints (free letters) the player asks for.
Naturally, after hitting the hint button a couple of times, many new players are curious about how to solve a cryptogram puzzle. Here are some helpful hints…
Continue reading “How To Solve A Cryptogram: Some Helpful Hints”
Over the past several months, I’ve started playing Google’s Ingress, a mobile-phone based video game which is cross between capture the flag and a militant version of foursquare. One of the key features of the game is “decoding” secret messages hidden in documents and media given to the players that can be redeemed for special supplies. This prompted an interest in what I call “puzzle cryptography”: identifying and solving puzzles which incorporate elements of classical cryptography systems. And as regular readers of this blog are aware, once we get interested: Python programs get written…
Puzzle cryptography is based on testing methods and spotting clues vs. a more formal “rigorous” approach to cryptography associated with military and security applications. You’re presented with a snippet of material – generally text or images containing text – and called upon to extract a code from that material. Many snippets would actually be viewed as unsolvable in traditional cryptography: they are too short for statistical techniques and usually designed to defeat letter frequency and word pattern analysis. They are, however, a lot of fun to fiddle around with. The purpose of this article is to walk you through some of the common types of “obfuscation” which can be done to a message using classical cryptography and introduce tools to make the process easier.
Continue reading “A Quick Guide To Classical Ciphers For Cryptography Puzzles”
This site started as a casual programming project. Actually, the code behind our first word solvers wasn’t even intended as a website. It was a collection of small python scripts (”code doodles”) which I threw together to play with some word game ideas. It wasn’t until later that I realized these programs could be delivered as a website.
Continue reading “Cub Scout Cryptography: Using Python For Puzzles & Codes”
My first serious contact with computer code occured in the early 80’s, using a drawing program known as Logo. Our elementary school had a small computer lab, which we were allowed to use a few times per week. The premise of Logo was simple: the user controls a “Turtle”, which was moved around the screen to draw lines and fill in shapes. Kids being kids, we started off drawing the nice shapes suggested by our teachers and things quickly devolved into a contest to see who could make the turtle move fastest…
One recent Saturday morning, I introduced my children to the ideas behind Logo, using Python’s turtles library. This is a good (free!) recreation of the program I remember and, better yet, is included as part of Python’s standard library. To use it, type “import turtles” at the interpreter prompt and you’re good to go…
Incidently, this was not a hardcore programming lesson. While I dearly hope my kids will someday debate the merits of using object oriented vs functional programming, we had a simpler set of goals. With young kids, you’ve got to keep the lesson fun and tangible. There were a couple of basic programming ideas I wanted to slip in along the way:
- Using variables to store a value
- Using if-then statements to control the flow of a program
- Looping / Iteration (just for loops for now)
- The importance of good comments…
Continue reading “Kids Coding Lesson Using Python Turtles: Today YOU be the computer…”
One of the most enjoyable things about developing a site like this is you get to look at a lot of different word games and figure out what makes them tick. Once you get past the cosmetic differences and gimmicks, most games still revolve around a handful of basic vocabulary challenges.
Continue reading “Word Game Design – From a Distance…”
We’ve started rolling out a series of changes in our visual design and layout which are intended to make our word game solvers easier to use from a mobile phone. This will occur in waves through the summer, as permitted by my work and family schedule…
Continue reading “We’re going mobile….”
It’s always interesting to find words lurking inside other words – so we went hunting. For this exercise, we used our word unscrambler to find anagrams and word fragments. We also used a word pattern analyzer to find words which contained that fragment. The results have been assembled in a narrative (more or less) for your general amusement.
Lets start with a handful of direct anagrams:
Continue reading “Unscrambling Words – Some Surprising Results…”