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September 29, 2009 12:57 AM   Subscribe

Scrabulizer lets you enter the current state of your game in Scrabble and shows you all possible moves. They've also discovered a move worth 2044 Points
posted by minifigs (57 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Yeah, what happens when you make the 2044 point play, someone challenges you, and the word isn't in your dictionary? Then you're screwed. (<--bitter Scrabble player)
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:12 AM on September 29, 2009


You hit them with the fucking board. What kind of pansy-ass Scrabble do you play?
posted by Mikey-San at 2:24 AM on September 29, 2009 [10 favorites]


Never play Scrabble against a Welshman, unless you want to lose.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:25 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeh, you get 2044 points, but do you need it? For this to work some of your opponents must have already played the words "do", "in", and "un". I'm guessing they're not the greatest players in the world. This might be akin to cracking a nut with a the proverbial.
posted by Sova at 2:30 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm deeply distrustful of this 2044 point move's possibility - for instance, it relies upon the word 'JABBERWOCK' being in play. Even allowing for the C and K already being there, that's J-A-B-B-E-R-W-O. My dictionaries doesn't have 'ABBERWOCK', 'BBERWOCK', 'BERWOCK', 'ERWOCK', 'RWOCK', 'WOCK' and only have 'OCK' as a particle suffix, which is a pretty damn suspicious move, so unless someone at the table plunked down 8 tiles at once something's a bit off.

The site is pretty awesome, though part of me assumes that everyone playing Literati is suddenly going to do amazingly well at it.
posted by stelas at 3:34 AM on September 29, 2009


So, it's an excellent cheating resource?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:41 AM on September 29, 2009


Metafilter : Opacifying Prequalified Brainwashing Ejaculations
posted by mannequito at 3:55 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


I love the first comment on that blog post:

---
For nearly two years, I have been trying to get some acknowledgement for what I believe to be record play and game in the variant SuperScrabble, as offered on the website www.thepixiepit.co.uk (and also available for "real life" play, face to face).

An image of the game can be seen here:

http://www.geocities.com/rexbickers/FourSuperBingosMay27.jpg
---

You've been trying to get acknowledgment for your online scrabble game. For two years. I have no words.
posted by bertrandom at 4:09 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher So, it's an excellent cheating resource?
Only if used during live games, and in that case not much more so than a dictionary. Simply making the highest-scoring possible play is not the best move in Scrabble, because your opponent is often benefited more. It'd be a pain to use it at any decent speed - stepping through the various potential moves to look for the best ones would take ages. It's an excellent study resource though.

stelas I'm deeply distrustful of this 2044 point move's possibility
It's not possible as such, it's an experimental exercise that assumes you and your "opponent" are fully collaborating to maximize a score, and are both able to choose tiles face-up each turn rather than drawing at random from the bag.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:12 AM on September 29, 2009


Wasn't there a rule against foreign words in Scrabble at one point? Did this just completely get cut from the rules?

These examples contain words like "Jambeaux," "Improvisatori," and "Bortz," which look suspiciously French, Italian, and Yiddish, respectively. I can kind of see giving a hand-waving pass on "Portmanteaux" due to its use in English, though a "proper" English pluralization would be "Portmanteaus." (Funny, Firefox didn't underline the latter with a red line!)

I know English is a remarkably adaptive language that readily accepts loan words, but for purposes of Scrabble, it seems like just about any "word" can be allowed. I still need to resist the urge to punch someone when I realize "ZA" is somehow a legal Scrabble word. WTF Scrabble?
posted by explosion at 4:13 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, I see what you mean, stelas - my bad. "Jabber" is valid though.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:14 AM on September 29, 2009


explosion Wasn't there a rule against foreign words in Scrabble at one point? Did this just completely get cut from the rules?

Since 1978 the rule has been that words contained in at least one of the following five dictionaries should be in the OSPD: Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, Eighth Edition (1973), Funk & Wagnalls Dictionary of the English Language (1973), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969), Webster's New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (1970), and The Random House College Dictionary (1968).

What is and isn't "English" is a hard problem. If it helps, think of it this way: Scrabble is played using an official list of valid words. What words are and are not on that list has some relationship to the vocabulary of an educated English-speaker, but the bottom line is that the relationship is not relevant; they could be sequences of colors or numbers or shapes, for all it matters. (In fact there is such a game, and it's said to be quite good, but its name escapes me at the moment.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:21 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn, I'm too tired for MetaFiltering tonight ... stelas is even more right - how the heck can you play "JABBERWOCKS" across the top?
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:28 AM on September 29, 2009


They could be sequences of colors or numbers or shapes, for all it matters. (In fact there is such a game, and it's said to be quite good, but its name escapes me at the moment.)

Oh, yeah. I remember summers at the lake, spending all those nights playing strip ◯▶◉◼◼◯▼.
posted by rokusan at 4:57 AM on September 29, 2009 [4 favorites]


Only if used during live games, and in that case not much more so than a dictionary.

Anyone want to play an online game using Scrabulizer? I use the Scrabble App on Facebook/iPhone.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:24 AM on September 29, 2009


"Jabber" is valid, I suspect. But that doesn't matter because there's no way for it to get there!
posted by madcaptenor at 5:29 AM on September 29, 2009


I still need to resist the urge to punch someone when I realize "ZA" is somehow a legal Scrabble word. WTF Scrabble?

Must... use up... all tiles...! Quick, get me a pencil and the dictionary, we'll just scribble crap in there!

Aside from Jabberwocky being functionally impossible as far as I can tell - unless you allow '-ock' in the same manner as you allow the foreign words and chemicals - I'm also kind of suspicious about how you'd piecemeal some of the other words together and some of them are just weird - one of the earlier boards has 'rainwashing'? Really? 'Requalified' feels kind of suspect too. And if you stop to try to work out how OVERCOMPENSATED got there you start having to try to account for the presence of that block of 3x4 tiles, which similarly doesn't work - the three letter words can't all have been there beforehand since 'ENSA' or 'ENS' or 'NSA' isn't valid, though at least that one can go via E-SATED -> COMPENSATED -> OVERCOMPENSATED or something. Nrrg.
posted by stelas at 5:52 AM on September 29, 2009


A dig through the SOWPODS homepage and more specifically the four-letter wordlist reveals that WOCK is apparently a valid word, though I can't find a definition anywhere on the internets. It's a good page to read if only to see how often your eyebrows twitch in indignation.
posted by stelas at 6:02 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wock: the sound caused by someone hitting his or her own forehead with a Scrabble board.
posted by Phanx at 6:16 AM on September 29, 2009 [6 favorites]


Jabberwok? Wasn't that the name of that Chinese cuisine talk show?
posted by dhartung at 6:40 AM on September 29, 2009


No, no, no. Wock is not allowed. It's foreign. It's one of those deep Chinese skillets. The "c" is silent.
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:48 AM on September 29, 2009


ONPREVIEWDHARTUNG

275 points!
posted by Cookiebastard at 6:49 AM on September 29, 2009


In my experience and as far as board games go, Scrabble tends to be more hateful and tedious than Monopoly, but less so than Trivial Pursuit.
posted by arcolz at 7:04 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure 'ENS' is just the plural of 'EN,' which is a measurement used in typesetting (as in 'endash').
posted by box at 7:25 AM on September 29, 2009


In my experience and as far as board games go, Scrabble tends to be more hateful and tedious than Monopoly, but less so than Trivial Pursuit.

More hateful and tedious than Monopoly? How can that be, given that Monopoly doesn't actually require any thought, but can be played more or less mechanically (roll dice, move counter, collect card/money)?
posted by acb at 7:28 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


In Monopoly you don't have to wait 10 minutes for someone to take their turn.

Does anyone know what kind of algorithm they're using to generate the answers? The performance seems too good for a brute force attempt.
posted by demiurge at 7:31 AM on September 29, 2009


Yeah, za is defined as 'short for 'pizza' in the official Scrabble dictionary.
posted by notswedish at 7:48 AM on September 29, 2009


Someone needs to create an iphone app where you photograph the board, photograph your tiles, upload both photos and get suggested moves.
posted by tippiedog at 8:09 AM on September 29, 2009


notswedish: Yeah, za is defined as 'short for 'pizza' in the official Scrabble dictionary.

Which just goes to prove my theory: the official Scrabble dictionary is a piece of crap.
posted by koeselitz at 8:17 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


bertrandom: I love the first comment on that blog post...

I liked the comment from the guy who plays the Slovak version. Jesus, it's an entirely different realm of high scores when you can play words like NEEXKOMUNIKUJÚC.
posted by koeselitz at 8:21 AM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


More hateful and tedious than Monopoly? How can that be, given that Monopoly doesn't actually require any thought, but can be played more or less mechanically (roll dice, move counter, collect card/money)?

Speaking as someone to whom anagrams come naturally while arithmetic is a challenge: Bah!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:25 AM on September 29, 2009


There's a big divide between casual scrabble players and the pros. My friends and I love to play the game, but we just never try to get the crazy 2 and 3 letter words, or study the rarely known compositions. That part doesn't seem like fun to us.

Interestingly, the other night we were playing Trivial Pursuit. The question was: what 2 letter word would be the first legal scrabble move if in alphabetical order?

The answer is aa, a dry form of lava resembling clinkers.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:31 AM on September 29, 2009


lazaruslong, I'm too lazy to look it up, but if memory serves there was a long askme thread about that exact problem; I think it was a bf/gf combo where one saw it as a word game, the other saw it as a point game. All serious players see it as a point game.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:44 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


House rules state that you can only use a word if you can give a (normally vague) definition of it. None of this "I'm sure there's a word XQ... look it up if you don't believe me... What? No? Well, it must have been in the Scrabble word dictionary then..."

Mind you, house rules also allow picking the blank off the board if you have the relevant tile; ban my mother-in-law from playing unless she's drunk; and automatically disqualify anyone who claims that you've just put a word where they were about to.

It's a touch fuzzy on the legality of stabbing with a cheese knife anyone who wins by more than 150 points...
posted by twine42 at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2009 [5 favorites]


Never play Scrabble against a Welshman, unless you want to lose.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:25 AM on September 29


Nowhere near enough Ls.
posted by Sphinx at 8:49 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


For the original scrabble simulator, that not only calculates all the possible plays at a given moment, but weights their likelihood of winning by simulating a statistical game based on remaining tiles after that, see . Quackle.

i.e. the highest scoring play is not necessarily the most likely to win.

E.g. if you have AAINUUX o your rack, then NIX may play well (esp if the X hits a 2x or 3x tile score) but leaves you with a horrible AAUU left. Often it will be better to play UNAU, leaving a much friendlier NAXI on your rack.
posted by lalochezia at 8:58 AM on September 29, 2009 [3 favorites]


What words are and are not on that list has some relationship to the vocabulary of an educated English-speaker, but the bottom line is that the relationship is not relevant; they could be sequences of colors or numbers or shapes, for all it matters. (In fact there is such a game, and it's said to be quite good, but its name escapes me at the moment.)

Qwirkle
It's a fun game - no arguing about weird two letter words, and the blocks are bigger so they make much better projectiles (=
posted by radicarian at 9:01 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, looking at the site, it looks like this algorithm is present in some form in the "strategic move" section.

Also see Maven, another simulator
And Opponent Modelling In Scrabble (pdf)
posted by lalochezia at 9:04 AM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


As we generally play scrabble while backpacking, no dictionary is handy, SOWPODS or otherwise. Our house rules therefore include an informal subset of rules revolving around persuading the other players that the word you played was valid.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:08 AM on September 29, 2009


If anybody wants to play Scrabble online, we've got a MeFi Facebook group going! If you need to add people in order to start games, then I would recommend adding a friend, but include a note stating that you're from MeFi and want to play Scrabble. So far it seems that 3-person games work best. It's been super fun. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'll never tire from playing Scrabble, so please feel free to start up a game. Turns happen about 1 per day, but there's no pressure to keep up. We all have busy lives.

Sadly, I think there may be some problems with inter-country games and technology to make it work. We've got a pretty good US contingency so far, but (I believe) we've been unable to add any UKers or otherwise (have only attempted to play with UK people so far).

Who's game?

I've also found that Facebook's 'friend list' feature is great for adding friends in a 'MeFiScrabble' category, so that you can remember who these people are any why they're in your feed(s).
posted by iamkimiam at 9:25 AM on September 29, 2009


Since I'm playing on facebook now (just one friend actually) I'm happily playing according to the relatively official dictionary. I find it soothing to have hard and fast rules. Both the web and iphone clients give a list of two-letter words and we don't consider using that cheating. I keep meaning to print out the two-letter word list and throw it in with board so that it'll be more fun to play OTB with regular folks. Za is a stupid word but it's just a game.

(By relatively I mean I wish they'd kept in the dirty words.)
posted by Wood at 11:13 AM on September 29, 2009


Here's a list of the words removed between OSPD2 and OSPD3.
posted by box at 11:57 AM on September 29, 2009


"COLORED" and "JESUIT" are considered potentially offensive? One would have to be desperately keen to take offense to actually do so.
posted by acb at 1:28 PM on September 29, 2009


"COLORED" and "JESUIT" are considered potentially offensive?

Jesuit, I don't quite understand.

But, jeez, how white are you that you don't know about the offensiveness of "colored"?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:50 PM on September 29, 2009


That's the sort of thing that makes me want to stop using scrabble, maybe play that other brand. If it weren't for the cute red-colored box I'd be able to quit.
posted by Wood at 2:12 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Honestly to make myself utterly clear it pains me to use a word game produced by someone who obviously fucking HATES WORDS.
posted by Wood at 2:13 PM on September 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, that's where those Jesuits got their Jesuit Scrabble high scores.

Those Jesuits.
posted by Copronymus at 2:43 PM on September 29, 2009


Ah, c'mon Wood - a love of words and consequential large vocabulary is a definite advantage in Scrabble. It's just not the only thing.

(By relatively I mean I wish they'd kept in the dirty words.)
AFAIK they have. I've played JEW and LEZ in Facebook Scrabble with no problems - and FUCK is valid, I just checked. Might be different between the non-US and US versions.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:46 PM on September 29, 2009


more hateful and tedious than Monopoly, but less so than Trivial Pursuit.

So I'm not the only one whose box of Trivial Pursuit cards includes a couple dozen flipped over to signify that THE ANSWER IS WRONG, then?

Anyone?
posted by rokusan at 3:10 PM on September 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


Back when anti-Catholic prejudice was more common (see PAPIST and POPISTRY, on that same list), Jesuits, among the most intellectual of Catholic religious orders, were seen as smartasses, wise guys, scheming crooks, like that (there's definitely a parallel with SHYSTER, though that one is in OSPD3).

(Also, LEZ is nice, but I get a lot more miles out of BI.)
posted by box at 3:15 PM on September 29, 2009


aeschenkarnos, my all caps are about the word colored and the implications of removing it from the wordlist.

Of course according to the facebook/dictionary on my iphone "jew", "colored" and "fuck" are all legitimate words, so I'm not sure maybe I'm wrongly condemning someone. I'm going on rumors right now and I can't quite recall the word that pissed me off enough to post a nasty review on itunes, maybe I'll look it up when I get home. It's of course possible that the facebook uses a different dictionary than the single-player game on the phone.
posted by Wood at 3:17 PM on September 29, 2009


Speaking of offensive words, I wonder why pontificate isn't considered more offensive?
posted by Wood at 3:18 PM on September 29, 2009


I wonder why pontificate isn't considered more offensive?
Good question, let's think about that for a good long time, and then issue a reasoned declaration. :D
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:48 PM on September 29, 2009


Also, LEZ is nice, but I get a lot more miles out of BI.

I have a friend with a hand-made "LEZ Dispenser" full of tasty candy.... but I don't get any.
posted by rokusan at 5:23 PM on September 29, 2009


I wonder why pontificate isn't considered more offensive?

It doesn't sound nearly as rude as rectify.
posted by rokusan at 5:23 PM on September 29, 2009


House rules state that you can only use a word if you can give a (normally vague) definition of it. None of this "I'm sure there's a word XQ... look it up if you don't believe me... What? No? Well, it must have been in the Scrabble word dictionary then..."

I'm a point player myself, but I can do this if someone challenges me (and I tell upfront that SOWPODS is the ultimate arbiter). Except that, my friends still give me grief for making 'quoi' in one late-night session. :-)

Who's game?
Moi! How do I sign up?
posted by the cydonian at 1:17 AM on September 30, 2009


Wood: Speaking of offensive words, I wonder why pontificate isn't considered more offensive?

Pontificate isn't considered more offensive because it's so similar to a word that sounds much more offensive: pontifice.
posted by koeselitz at 1:06 PM on September 30, 2009


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