I started playing competitive Scrabble in January, 1999. Programmer/hacker that I am, I started writing programs to help me work puzzles and stufy words. Here are some of the programs I have written and word lists I have generated.
Several months ago I bought Joe Edley's Scrabble Puzzle Book and began working through the puzzles. I found it a little tough to work the puzzles in my head, and it was a pain setting up Scrabble board for each puzzle. I thought it would be nice to have a computer program for working the puzzles. I wrote ScrabbleTool in Delphi to help me work those puzzles and others I have found on the net. Just download scrabbletool.zip and unzip it (you'll need to create a directory to unzip the file into), then run ScrabbleTool.exe.
ScrabbleTool.exe can load and save files in its own native format (.STB) or in a format I call .CGP. James Cherry sometimes posts Scrabble puzzles on the Crossword-Games-Pro mailing list. ScrabbleTool understands the format he uses (at least for a single board position). You can load James' puzzles with the import feature.
I have recently added the ability to import and export saved games from the Hasbro Scrabble CDROM game. To import a game, select "Import" from the File menu, then for the file type, instead of CGP choose "Scrabble CDROM Game" and go to the directory where Scrabble is installed. Select the file "SCRSAVE.DAT". It should then ask you which of 10 saved games you want to import. Select the game and press OK. Exporting a game works exactly the same way. Using this mechanism, you can now set up a board for Maven to sim for you.
I had also spent some time trying to figure out the format of the Hasbro CDROM Scrabble game in the hopes of making a dictionary with all the TWL98 words rather than the OSPD dictionary built into the Hasbro game. As I started figuring out how to store the DAWG in a file, I realized that I could easily write out the DAWG in the same format used by the Hasbro game.
Here is a TWL98 dictionary that can be used with the Hasbro Scrabble CDROM.Download WORDLIST.DAW
To install the dictionary, copy it into the Scrabble dictionary on your hard drive. The file must be called WORDLIST.DAW and you probably will not have the file there already, since the program normally reads the dictionary off the CDROM.
If you have the newer Scrabble CDROM (Scrabble Version 2 with the reddish-brown
cover), you need to rename the file and copy it to a different place. In the
directory where you installed Scrabble, you should find a directory called
"MavenNA". In that directory is a file called NAList.DAW which is the new
name for the word list. Here is the word list with the proper name:
Just download the file and copy it into the MavenNA directory. You should make a backup copy of the original NAList.DAW file just in case anything goes wrong. The newer Scrabble CDROM also protects its word list from being overwritten, so you need to remove the "read-only" flag for the file. From a DOS window, you can CD to the \Scrabble\MavenNA directory and type "chmod -r nalist.daw" or from Windows Explorer, right-click on the nalist.daw file, select "Properties" and uncheck the "Read-only" flag.
Here is a Delphi program that lets you convert a list of words into a file you can use in the Hasbro Scrabble game.Download DictConvert.EXE
Here is the zipped source code to the conversion program. You are welcome to use the code in any program you wish, both commercially and non-commercially.Download DictConvert.ZIP
If you're curious about what a DAWG is and how to make one, I have included this writeup.
I've seen some various rack shuffling utilities, and my only complaint is that I prefer seeing the tile as I move it. I extracted the rack shuffling code from the ScrabbleTool and created a standalone Scrabble rack.
Just download rack.exe and run it. There is no setup program required. The "New" button lets you change the rack letters. Use '?' for blank. The rack should hold up to 10 letters.
One of my other hobbies is solving cryptograms - both by hand and by computer. In doing a computer-analysis of a cryptogram, you often score letter sequences by their likelihood of occurring in English. For example, TH is very common in English, while XQ is not. It occurred to me that if I were to score the list of Scrabble words according to the likelihood of letter sequences, the words with the lowest scores might be pretty unusual.
My scoring system for this list was to take each word two letters at a time and sum the probabilities of each two-letter sequence. Then, I also took the words three letters at a time and added in the probabilities of each three-letter sequence. The result was a list of words that includes some very strange words:Top 1000 Statistically Unlikely Words
I was playing an instructive game against Maven and asked for a hint. Maven suggested TEIID. I wondered why I hadn't seen such an odd word before. I did a search through TWL to find other words with three vowels in a row and came up with some really neat ones!Three Vowels In A Row
I love words like OGIVE - a strange word hooked onto a very common one. I have a list of common words that isn't perfect, but usually does the job. I did a search that finds uncommon words made by putting a letter in front of or behind a common word.
Here are the four-letter words:Uncommon Hooks on Common Threes
Here are the five-letter words:Uncommon Hooks on Common Fours
I overheard Ray Smith and Ron Tiekert talking about 5-letter words that begin and end with high point letters (high point in this case being 3 or more points). There are only about 900 of them, and here they are:Five Letter Words With High Points on Both Ends
Anagrams are an interesting way to remember words. I saw the UMIAQ-MAQUI anagram in the Scrabble News one time, and I have never forgotten MAQUI because of it. It took a bit of letter-crunching, but I have created a list of all anagrams in TWL98. The list is sorted in order of the number of anagrams a word has. APERS, incidentally, is the most anagrammable word in the list.
The list is too large to put here in HTML, so here is the zipped file (152K):ANAGRAMS.ZIP
I hope to add more Scrabble tools and information to this page in the future. Until then, Happy Scrabbling!
Requests? Feedback? I'd love to hear! E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org