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September 30, 2019 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Cheating Hangman [via mefi projects] Avapoet has created an app that perfectly recreates the infuriating feeling of playing hangman with your older sibling who was *definitely* cheating and also knew way more words than you. It is rage-inducing and tremendously fun.
posted by jacquilynne (16 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aspish was the only one I found it couldn't change it mind on once I started.
If they ever reboot Monkey Island they should definitely build this in as an infuriating challenge.
posted by Damienmce at 10:41 AM on September 30 [3 favorites]


I'm finding I get the best results by starting with less common vowels. It seems to keep the computer from jumping over to those less common vowels and then it gets stuck giving me words that actually have an E in them.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:56 AM on September 30


This is like playing with my 4-6 yo nieces. Always changing their words or making up new ones. What the fuck is a smaho...nini anyways?? At least with hangman there ain't a board to hulk smash because they aren't winning 100% of the time DESPITE CHEATING AF
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:57 AM on September 30 [3 favorites]


Cool! I am glad to see someone finally built something like this, because I've been wondering how much you could cheat since playing hangman with my son when he was learning to spell.
posted by fings at 11:02 AM on September 30


I started approaching the game with a simple ruleset: i pick A E I O U Y and then proceed through the alphabet. I got to a word without any of the vowels or Y that started with a C. I then went to Google and looked up "list of english words without any vowels or y" and saw the Crwths (a type of lyre) was a commonly used one and went for it, knocking the computer out with only a single change. So I guess it takes a cheater to catch a cheater?
posted by codacorolla at 11:25 AM on September 30 [3 favorites]


It seems like unlike normal hangman, you may be better off strategically denying the computer certain letters early on. Normally I would always start hangman with vowels, then move on to more common consonants like S, D, R, etc. But this tends to leave me stuck on weird things like proper nouns or Welsh loanwords that are hard to guess. By "guessing" some of the letters that appear in more obnoxious consonant clusters (like W, N, and C) at the beginning, the computer can't "change its mind" to any word using them, and I think I'm having a slightly easier time of it after that.
posted by biogeo at 11:37 AM on September 30


_ E L L S
Your guess: F
I was thinking of FELLS, but now I've changed my mind.
Unlucky. There's no F.
Your guess: H
I was thinking of HELLS, but now I've changed my mind.
Unlucky. There's no H.
Your guess: W
I was thinking of WELLS, but now I've changed my mind.
Unlucky. There's no W.
Your guess: B
I was thinking of BELLS, but now I've changed my mind.
Unlucky. There's no B.
Your guess: D
I was thinking of DELLS, but now I've changed my mind.
Unlucky. There's no D.
Your guess: J
Good guess. J found.
You win!

To be fair, this didn't exactly happen to me (only one iteration), but only because I knew to guess most of those uncommon letters in the beginning.
posted by J.K. Seazer at 12:00 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


___A___Y

Already Guessed: A E W I O U Y

I'm going to have to think on this one.
posted by donpardo at 12:38 PM on September 30


SCRABBLY.

How ironic.
posted by donpardo at 12:40 PM on September 30 [5 favorites]


Proud that I managed to guess 26 letters before I got ZADDIK
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:58 PM on September 30 [1 favorite]


I started approaching the game with a simple ruleset: i pick A E I O U Y and then proceed through the alphabet. I got to a word without any of the vowels or Y that started with a C. I then went to Google and looked up "list of english words without any vowels or y" and saw the Crwths (a type of lyre) was a commonly used one and went for it, knocking the computer out with only a single change. So I guess it takes a cheater to catch a cheater?

Yeah, I tried that, and it hit me with PHPHTH.
posted by darksasami at 1:57 PM on September 30


If you wanted to make this more game-y, I wonder what the best way to assess score would be? Maybe fewest changes possible (with 0 changes being a 100%), or would it be better to use fewest guesses? Maybe some combined metric?
posted by codacorolla at 2:04 PM on September 30


It seems like unlike normal hangman, you may be better off strategically denying the computer certain letters early on. Normally I would always start hangman with vowels, then move on to more common consonants like S, D, R, etc. But this tends to leave me stuck on weird things like proper nouns or Welsh loanwords that are hard to guess. By "guessing" some of the letters that appear in more obnoxious consonant clusters (like W, N, and C) at the beginning, the computer can't "change its mind" to any word using them, and I think I'm having a slightly easier time of it after that.

This seems to be a good approach. I tried a slightly modified strategy where I started with the least common letters and worked up (Z, Q, X, J, K, etc.) and then once I forced a switch guessed all remaining vowels until I was out, and then went back to where I was in the frequency method until I was pretty sure it couldn't change any more. That tends to result in a victory with only two changes, but also lots and lots of guesses as you eliminate the lower frequency possibility space.
posted by codacorolla at 2:25 PM on September 30


With hangman I usually go for ETAONSHIRDLU because, well, that's the 12 most common letters in English. And yes, it's very much a better approach to deny it certain uncommon letters first rather than going for the approach I'd take with a non-cheating hangman.
posted by sotonohito at 6:34 PM on September 30


How timely! It’s Rosh Hashanna, and traditionally my older brother and I would secretly play hangman under our prayer books during the sermon. And he always cheated, and I always fell for it. So... happy new year!
posted by Valancy Rachel at 10:38 PM on September 30 [2 favorites]


Apparently it was originally thinking of BRRR but then ended up settling on PFFT. I'm giving this a THBPBPTHPT.
posted by FatherDagon at 7:58 AM on October 1 [2 favorites]


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