Word Twiddle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you add a dictionary lookup feature to Word Twiddle?

Theoretically, I could. But it is technically quite difficult and I am currently inclined not to do it. There are a variety of reasons (both technical and legal) that I don't want to explain in detail. But the main reason is that any such feature would almost certainly be inferior to what is already available via free browser plugins.

There is no shortage of similar tools, but the first two that I tried were both excellent (and free): Dictionary Tooltip (Firefox, Chrome), Google Dictionary (Chrome). With either of these plugins, you just double-click the word to do a lookup, and the definition appears in an infobox inside the browser. It looks a lot better than what I would likely be able to implement.

I am told that Mac users don't need to install a special plugin to do a dictionary lookup. Just move your mouse cursor over the word and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Cmd+d to lookup the word using the built-in dictionary feature.

The font size used by Word Twiddle is too small.

The font size is a compromise between legibility and the number of words you can fit on the screen. However for those who find the default size too small, there are a couple of options. Firstly, your browser probably has a built in option to increase or decrease the font size on the current page (e.g. on Firefox use Ctrl + and Ctrl - to increase/decrease the font size). Secondly, if you go to the user preferences page to change your game settings, you will find that one of the available skins is called "large fonts".

What are the dictionaries used in Word Twiddle?

Word Twiddle can be played using a number of different dictionaries, though only the OAFD and OSPD dictionaries are featured in the daily challenge. OAFD is a custom dictionary developed specifically for Word Twiddle by Laura Miller. OSPD is a standard Scrabble dictionary, whereas TWLPODS is the intersection of two different Scrabble dictionaries: TWL and SOWPODS. 2of12inf is a word list that was created primarily for use in word games.

The dictionary you choose will have a strong impact on the gameplay. Most casual players will enjoy using OAFD, which contains relatively few archaic or foreign words. However, if you are a competitive Scrabble player then you will find that playing with the Scrabble dictionaries will help to build your vocabulary of obscure words (that are nonetheless legal in Scrabble).

Can you add word X to the dictionary?

The OSPD, TWLPODS, and 2of12inf lists are all maintained by external authorities. As such, I do not intend to edit them. The OAFD dictionary was developed specifically for this site, so naturally I will incorporate any future revisions into the game. The goal of the OAFD word list is to cut out some of the obscure, foreign and archaic words that are present in the Scrabble dictionaries. Laura has her own criteria for deciding which words make the cut, but if you think there's been an omission then I'm sure she'd love to hear about it. There is also a message board reserved for discussing the dictionaries.

When does the "day" end for the daily challenge matches?

The daily challenge resets every day at 12 midnight (in the timezone where the server is located). This is UTC-0600 at the moment, though I suspect it may switch to UTC-0500 in the summer.

How are the points awarded for the Daily Challenge?

At the end of each day, the points for the daily challenge rounds are calculated and added to the totals in the monthly leaders. The current formula is as follows: For sets 1 & 3 you get 40 points for 1st place, 38 points for 2nd... all the way down to 2 points for 20th place (with linear interpolation). For set 2 it's 20 points for 1st and 1 point for 20th. Ties will be handled properly when I get around to it someday. And some day in the future I will come up with a different formula entirely.

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Last update: Tuesday Feb 07, 2012 by Andrew K