How to Cheat at Scrabble

Go away for a long time.

When you come back, tell your friends that you have contracted a rare disease that requires that you stay in bed, shut out from the light and germs. Your only link to the outside world is your computer. Tell your friends you only have a few more days to live.

If you have done your part convincingly, your friends will take pity on you and ask you how they can help you. Tell them you wish to play scrabble with them over the Internet. One place to start is the IRC (newnet) channel #scrabble. Another good scrabble-like game can be found at the WordOx website.

WordOx (and some other online scrabble systems) uses an electronic dictionary called ENABLE (The Enhanced North American Benchmark LEexicon). This is a public domain list of 172,000+ words suitable for tournament level scrabble. Of course it happens to be available online.

Using a copy of ENABLE,and the unix pattern matching utility grep, you can search the dictionary for various useful things, such as lists of legal two letter words:

  aa ab ad ae ag ah ai al am an ar as at aw ax ay ba
  be bi bo by
  de do
  ed ef eh el em en er es et ex
  ha he hi hm ho
  id if in is it
  la li lo
  ma me mi mm mo mu my
  na ne no nu
  od oe of oh om on op or os ow ox oy
  pa pe pi
  sh si so
  ta ti to
  uh um un up us ut
  we wo
  xi xu
  ya ye yo
Short words with no vowels:
  hm mm sh brr cwm hmm nth pht shh tsk
Short words with no consonants:
  aa ae ai oe eau
Short words that use Q without a following U:
  qat qaid qats qoph faqir qaids qanat qophs tranq   

But why do all this work? Download the program Scrabble TEA, which does word searches of the ENABLE dictionary and will also do anagram lookups. Now you should be able to play against the Scrabble masters.

Remember, you only have a few days to live. Perhaps your friends will be willing to play for money?

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