‘Guess My Word’ November 18, 2019 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Metafilter favorite Guess My Word was out of commission for almost all of 2019. Now it’s back! (previously previously previously previously)

[Warning edit: Daily spoilers in comments!]
posted by bq to MetaFilter-Related at 10:57 AM (122 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

SIXTEEN GUESSES. Oh I love this stupid game, thank you.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:29 AM on November 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


32 - a poor showing but my first time.
posted by Glinn at 11:46 AM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


14 guesses, but at a somewhat glacial pace.
posted by zamboni at 12:00 PM on November 18, 2019


First outing, 19 guesses to arrive at town.
(I had things to do today, bq, thanks a ton)
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:04 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


First outing, 19 guesses to arrive at town

Weird I had town (18 guesses) as well.
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:06 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


Guys I did the hard one and I got it in 13 guesses and it was proletariat. This is my crowning achievement of 2019.
posted by something something at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2019 [11 favorites]


Mine went
after: melon-rig-sarsaparilla-thoroughfare-tooth-toucan-touch-tour-tournament-towel-towline-
before: toxic-toxin-toy-track-uvula-waterfall-xenon

Does everyone start with an "M" word to divvy the alphabet?

preview: that's really quite something, something something
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2019 [2 favorites]


14 guesses for town placing me firmly in the middle of the pack! I’ve missed this game!
posted by HotToddy at 12:11 PM on November 18, 2019


I just got 'town' in one guess!
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:28 PM on November 18, 2019 [9 favorites]


Also got proletariat in one go.
Let's all meet here tomorrow.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:30 PM on November 18, 2019 [6 favorites]


Does everyone start with an "M" word to divvy the alphabet?

I did, then I realized that wouldn't be ideal from a word frequency perspective. Using the slightly-scientific method of dividing the page count of a Canadian Oxford Dictionary I had to hand into eighths, something like this might be a little more efficient:
                     long
                 ↙          ↘
          draw                  safe
         ↙    ↘                ↙    ↘
     cape      half        part      tall
Some of the letter chapters in dictionaries are real bears. New lexicographers got the long ones to edit at Collins Dictionaries as a bit of a tradition.
posted by scruss at 1:22 PM on November 18, 2019 [7 favorites]


Thanks, scruss. And my sincere apologies, bq, for not reviewing how the game works and specifying today's word.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:30 PM on November 18, 2019


Another 'town' here ...
posted by WCityMike at 1:41 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


No way! I was literally just thinking about this site last night and wondering if it would ever come back. Yay!!!
posted by widdershins at 2:04 PM on November 18, 2019


So funny to see all the same names as before. I felt distinctly rusty, but got the regular in 18 and difficult in 16. Yay, this game makes me stupidly happy...
posted by widdershins at 2:11 PM on November 18, 2019


18 guesses for the normal word
posted by soelo at 2:13 PM on November 18, 2019


18 guesses for normal, fortunately I clicked before I read the thread :P I seem to have missed this before, but it was fun!
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:52 PM on November 18, 2019


Top 'o the board! Look at me, why don't ya.
posted by pipeski at 2:56 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


16 for normal, can't try the hard word now it's been revealed (I'm so honest) but only an hour til midnight and I can try tomorrow's word! (or does it run on US time?)
posted by penguin pie at 3:03 PM on November 18, 2019


(14 guesses in 3m 45s)
posted by Gotanda at 3:04 PM on November 18, 2019


13 guesses for 'town' in 2 minutes and 2 seconds.
posted by Chairboy at 3:41 PM on November 18, 2019


How can there just be two words? I want to play this for the next three hours!
posted by Don Pepino at 3:46 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


I used prole as one of my interim guesses so it took a while to narrow the answer down to proletariat
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 3:55 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


It works on local time! Just got "tomorrow's" easy word in 17 and am temporarily top of the leaderboard! (which has only 2 people on it rn but I'M TAKING IT).
posted by penguin pie at 4:05 PM on November 18, 2019


Aw and in at second place with 16 on the hard word behind pipeski - good work!
posted by penguin pie at 4:09 PM on November 18, 2019


I just went to look for this last week and was so bummed I couldn't find it. How great that it's back!!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 6:17 PM on November 18, 2019


Ha well I've had a glass of wine and went back for more and cluelessly did the town one again except this time it took me 17 tries instead of 14.
posted by HotToddy at 6:24 PM on November 18, 2019 [7 favorites]


18! Two minutes!
posted by thivaia at 6:38 PM on November 18, 2019


4 guesses, same as in 'town'. I mean, 4 guesses to guess 'town'.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:46 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


3 guesses to guess 'proletariat,' because I forgot how to spell proletariat.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:51 PM on November 18, 2019


Logged in from another browser. It took me 3 guesses to guess 'proletariat,' because I still can't spell proletariat. Then it took me 13 guesses to guess 'town,' because the drugs have kicked in. This is a fun game.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:02 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


Town in 13.
posted by bookmammal at 7:11 PM on November 18, 2019


I should have read below the jump before I tried the game. Then I would have gotten ‘town’ in less than 21.
posted by bkpiano at 7:38 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


What the heck. I’m usually terrible at these things but I guessed the “normal” difficulty word in 15 guesses. That was fun! I’m sad I have to wait till tomorrow because I read this thread (after making my guesses) and now I know the difficult word.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 8:05 PM on November 18, 2019


cortex is currently top of the hard word board, above Tyler Hinman from Wordplay fame.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:25 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


On the hard one, I said to partner "it's between prolate and prolific." Partner, without missing a beat, "Is proletariat between those two words?"

It was apparently the very first word they thought of.
posted by brook horse at 8:25 PM on November 18, 2019


Thanks. This has always been like a nice warm up to start my brain for the day. I posted it to the front page.
posted by not_on_display at 8:45 PM on November 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


17. I haven't played before, so I was aiming for more complicated words. This was so much fun!
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:51 PM on November 18, 2019


And 20 for a hard word in 2:56. I can see this will be my new addiction.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:58 PM on November 18, 2019


14 guesses for picture:

hyrax
pentagon
pfennig
phone
phonics
piastre
-----
piffle
pile
pole
pyrotechnic
quota
square
woot
posted by mdonley at 12:15 AM on November 19, 2019


29 guesses, first-timer. Messed up when I somehow forgot P and Q exist.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:47 AM on November 19, 2019 [5 favorites]


Should one of the mods maybe add a note above the fold: "don't come in, spoilers" and "there's only two words per day. Please no spoilers"?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 5:42 AM on November 19, 2019 [7 favorites]


18 guesses for picture:

kiss
look
napkin
onion
pattern
pen
penis
phone
picket
pickle
-----
pidgin
pie
pine
play
pretty
quick
watermelon
posted by Pineapplicious at 6:22 AM on November 19, 2019


I've added the spoiler warning.
posted by taz (staff) at 7:21 AM on November 19, 2019


12 guesses to picture - I'm on the board! 21 to sundry.
posted by capricorn at 7:29 AM on November 19, 2019


got stuck between sundown and sunrise, which was nifty
posted by gaybobbie at 8:06 AM on November 19, 2019 [3 favorites]


I got today's hard word in 14 guesses in less than 2 minutes. I managed to do that much more easily than the easy word!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 8:33 AM on November 19, 2019


20 guesses in two and a half minutes for the normal word. On to the hard word. This was surprisingly satisfying and I hadn't seen it before; thanks for sharing!
posted by Mizu at 8:52 AM on November 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


I failed at both words today, somehow. I will have to wait on my words until after lunch next time.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:54 AM on November 19, 2019


Sigh... over for the day. I guess it's good that there are only two words.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:10 AM on November 19, 2019


This game is awesome! I got the hard word in 16 tries, the easy one in 22.
posted by grumpybear69 at 2:23 PM on November 19, 2019


Easy word in 15. Hard word in 14.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:29 PM on November 19, 2019


cortex is currently top of the hard word board, above Tyler Hinman from Wordplay fame.

It is absolutely absurd that I got (safe to confirm a day later: proletariat) in 8 guesses like that. I was doing a dumb "try to only guess words that have similar sounds" thing for my own amusement that made all my guesses multi-syllable words with t's in them, and, heh.

I didn't know about this thread until now because it was my day off yesterday, but I think I got pointed to the game by a MeFi friend who didn't mention why it had come up. I took like 25? guesses to get to town, guessing more and more unlikely specific compounds of "tow" because I had fairly quickly determined it was after "tow" and before "tows" and the sheer concept that here might be a simple, unrelated word in that gap got away from me entirely.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:34 PM on November 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


12 for normal, 23 for hard today.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:38 PM on November 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


" Guess must be an English word. (Scrabble-acceptable) "

"Ozark" is a perfectly cromulent word!
posted by madajb at 7:03 PM on November 19, 2019


Oh no, I’m never going to get anything else done again. On the first try with a normal word I got it in 12 guesses in two minutes. Excuse me while I stay up all night doing this...
posted by centrifugal at 10:10 PM on November 19, 2019


Drat, didn’t realize it was only two words a day. 19 guesses for the hard one.
posted by centrifugal at 10:23 PM on November 19, 2019


15 for normal. That was surprisingly stressful. And I felt longer too.
posted by lemon_icing at 1:57 AM on November 20, 2019


Embarrassingly proud to be genuinely top of the table on today’s hard one with 10 guesses. Must retire from the Internet forthwith, my place in history is secured!
posted by penguin pie at 2:32 AM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Got "volume" in 7. I'm sure this is an aberration, but what other "v" word is there.
posted by rhizome at 3:58 AM on November 20, 2019


WTF, on hard mode I got "transom" in 2. I'm a natural!
posted by rhizome at 3:59 AM on November 20, 2019


Someone else is playing with the name PenguinPie! It's not me (I'm penguin pie)! Now it looks like I've somehow cheated and played twice and that's how I've got to the top of the list... :/
posted by penguin pie at 7:33 AM on November 20, 2019


Oh man, I had a good streak going despite being a buffoon yesterday regarding words that start with sun-, then today I got demolished by the daunting expanse of words between theocracy and theorize.
posted by midmarch snowman at 8:44 AM on November 20, 2019 [2 favorites]


First time - 27 guesses!
posted by hydra77 at 1:54 PM on November 20, 2019


Oh man, I had a good streak going despite being a buffoon yesterday regarding words that start with sun-, then today I got demolished by the daunting expanse of words between theocracy and theorize.

Both yesterday and today I had to use up a whole lot of guesses because I had guessed a word that was a root/related to the actual word
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:27 PM on November 20, 2019


I am (currently) at the top of the leaderboard today! 7 guesses in 53 seconds. This is my moment!!
posted by Literaryhero at 4:49 PM on November 20, 2019 [3 favorites]


12 for normal in 1min9, and 30 guesses in 11m56s. Geeze louise that hard one was tricky!
posted by Mouse Army at 5:17 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


Welp, I blanked and literally forgot that today's easy word even existed. Redeemed myself on the hard one (13 guesses in 2m 49s). Such a cool game!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 6:02 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


21 for normal and 24 for hard. Worst I've done, and first time it's taken me more guesses for the hard one. Interesting pattern seems to be emerging for me, although we'll see if it holds. I seem to be taking longer when I get close early on. This is a fun game for a word nerd like me, so I'm really glad that you can only do two a day.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:39 PM on November 20, 2019 [1 favorite]


I lucked into today's on five guesses in 26s and am for a brief shining moment #2 on the board and clasping a silver medal. It'll never happen again! On the other hand I did poorly (23 guesses) on the hard word.
posted by misteraitch at 3:47 AM on November 21, 2019


13 on the easy word, I'm starting to get the hang of it. Had to give up on the hard word... I actually had a longer form of it, but it didn't occur to me to remove the suffix.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 4:51 AM on November 21, 2019


13 on both the easy and hard words. I'm 9th on the hard word scoreboard right now! *basks in glory*
posted by capricorn at 5:00 AM on November 21, 2019


Seven guesses!!! (on the first link) I really missed this game, thank you for posting :)
posted by bunderful at 5:47 AM on November 21, 2019


10 on normal, 13 on hard after a real solid freeze-up-and-stare after having guessed a substring already and staring dissatisfiedly at it and not really wanting to come up with a bunch of derived forms.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:28 AM on November 21, 2019


Ah, it's good to play this again! I am enjoying the added strategy of trying to suss out what they would consider a "normal" or "hard" word.
posted by fussbudget at 12:01 PM on November 21, 2019


12 for normal and 18 for hard for today's.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:08 PM on November 21, 2019


9 guesses on normal, 17 guesses on hard. This game is fun.
posted by hootenatty at 2:17 PM on November 21, 2019


I think I just figured out why I should feel dumb right now!
posted by rhizome at 2:37 PM on November 21, 2019


Normal: 11 in 1:52
Hard: 23 in 12:32, a real case of chipping away at an answer

OK, I like this better now.
posted by rhizome at 2:57 PM on November 21, 2019


10 guesses for zero in 2-ish minutes. Should have been less that close to the end of the alphabet, guessing words logarithmically is much harder than numbers!
posted by cgg at 4:56 PM on November 21, 2019


OK, there used to be a way to play words from prior days. There's a link about that in one of the previouslies, but it's dead. Anyone remember?
posted by bunderful at 5:13 PM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


9 guesses til Zed.
Then bailed.
posted by clavdivs at 5:34 PM on November 21, 2019


This is so awesome! My favorite new game to play, thank you!!
posted by riverlife at 9:31 PM on November 21, 2019 [1 favorite]


15 and 23 this morning. I can't decide yet if it's good to do it earlier as a brain kickstart or just setting me up for worse performance than midday when my brains already been kickstarted.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:27 AM on November 22, 2019 [1 favorite]


Today was hard for me. 11 for the easy one, but 27 for the hard one. Damm!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:20 AM on November 22, 2019


Six guesses to get today’s easy word. Quitting while I’m ahead.
posted by bkpiano at 6:19 PM on November 22, 2019


12 for normal, 21 because I got lost in the weeds near the end, probably could have done it in two or three fewer with a slightly clearer head. I keep thinking about the game and my own search process for it as navigating a binary tree search, which is a sensible approach but if I overgeneralize it to "the next word I guess is always approximately halfway between my two last best guesses" it can force me to a middle several guesses in a row when really I'm just baaaarely off the mark to begin with. Hard to get away from that instinct and just think more about likely words as an endgame strategy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:21 AM on November 23, 2019


I just know there's going to be a Sajakesque, "RSTLN E" pattern of attack that emerges.
posted by rhizome at 9:18 AM on November 23, 2019


Note to self, first thing in the morning isn't the best time.

Easy: 18 guesses in 2m 32s.
posted by rhizome at 9:21 AM on November 23, 2019


10 for normal, 17 for hard. Almost gave up on the hard one.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:44 AM on November 23, 2019


So I'm going to drop this here in the hopes that my ubernerdiness is useful to anyone else.

I used to start with 'mnemonic', with the reasoning that it would be about in the middle, but then I realized that middle of the alphabet does not equal middle of the dictionary, so I got to wondering what points in an actual dictionary would be good references for a binary search. This would be trivial to answer with a physical dictionary but I don't seem to have one anymore. A fun meta-challenge is to try to get Google to tell you what word is in the middle of the dictionary, it wants to talk about the definition of 'middle' and Middle English and all sorts of other stuff. Eventually I realized a PDF dictionary is what I needed so I chased one down over here. It's no OED but I figured the overall word distribution should be fairly representative.

Anyway I ended up with these reference points (indices? not sure what the technical word is):

1/8 - early C - caustic, cavity, cayenne

1/4 - mid/late D - donkey, doodle, doorknob

1/2 - mid L - loincloth, lollipop, lonely

3/4 - early S - sabbatical, sabotage, saccharine

7/8 - late S - swagger, swallow, swan

I average around 14-15 guesses, not sure if using these will improve my game or not but I'll give it a try. Of course after the first two or three guesses these are mostly useless but they might make early guesses a little more effective. Was an interesting diversion for a Saturday morning anyway.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 12:15 PM on November 23, 2019 [2 favorites]


I tend to subdivide by thirds which I'm sure is super inefficient, but feels good to me so far. My sole secret technique is to always guess a plausible Easy/Hard word when bisecting on the off-chance of blagging a lucky guess.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 1:07 PM on November 23, 2019


21 on normal, trying to guess with only more common words. Don't know if this was just very bad luck this morning or if the kind of thinking involved in clamping down the candidate list gets in the way of more efficient subdivision. 16 on hard, guessed the wrong form of a word and got in the weeds for a couple guesses.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 AM on November 24, 2019


Until this post appeared, I hadn't played in quite some time. I feel like having a "normal" word and a "hard" word has made the game more difficult on the whole, since it's added a layer of second-guessing (is this guess too hard for normal? too easy for hard?) that I didn't have when there was only one word a day.
posted by Daily Alice at 12:30 PM on November 24, 2019


16 on hard, guessed the wrong form of a word and got in the weeds for a couple guesses.

Did the same, took a long trip to declensionville before giving up and finding I was almost there. Tsk. That one also hit a personal worst for me for misspellings and out-of-sequence wasted guesses!
posted by Jon Mitchell at 1:19 PM on November 24, 2019


Got hard in 12 guesses this morning, which is 2nd place. Pleased to come back and see it’s still second place, even if it’s shared by more people. :) I would’ve had 11 except I was dumb and guessed “culinary” when I knew it was after “cull”....
posted by brook horse at 5:32 PM on November 24, 2019 [1 favorite]


17 on normal, 16 on hard today. My index words do not seem to have helped much :\
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:44 PM on November 24, 2019


Today was interesting. Did the normal word first thing in the morning. It took me a new record of 30 guesses! Felt so stupid. Just did the hard one after a day of working hard on other things. Knocked it out in just 10, which was also a new record for me (only the good kind, this time). But the whole day was a day of lows and highs.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:52 PM on November 24, 2019


I loved how one of the names on the leaderboard a few days ago was, "Where did all of you people come from?!"
posted by not_on_display at 9:11 PM on November 24, 2019 [4 favorites]


14 normal, 26 hard.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:50 AM on November 25, 2019


9 and 34, which broke my personal best and worst records.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:56 PM on November 25, 2019


Easy come, easy go.
posted by rhizome at 10:43 PM on November 25, 2019


Easy: 9 in 59s
Hard: That's some bullshit.
posted by rhizome at 11:03 PM on November 25, 2019 [2 favorites]


A classic Mornington Inversion

Easy: 26 in 4:10
Hard: 16 in 3:14
posted by rhizome at 8:35 AM on November 26, 2019


Ooh neat!

Easy word: 23 guesses in 4:35
Hard word: 11 guesses in 2:00
posted by pianoblack at 9:26 AM on November 26, 2019


Today was the first day I had to bite the bullet and just give up. Turned out I had completely forgotten the "normal" word even existed.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:03 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


AAAAAAAAHHHHHH I AM SO EXCITED

This game is my favorite. Thanks so much for posting
posted by gerstle at 5:29 PM on November 26, 2019 [2 favorites]


15 normal and 26 hard today, which is better than I expected, considering how exhausted I am.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:04 PM on November 26, 2019 [1 favorite]


17 and 23 today, would’ve done better if I hadn’t, apparently, forgotten the alphabet while doing the easy one.
posted by centrifugal at 8:14 PM on November 26, 2019


10 guesses 19 seconds for easy, 9 guesses 36 seconds for hard! The best I've ever done at this game, I feel like I would if I took a long drive and all the lights turned green at my approach. I ought to go out and buy a lottery ticket or something. (On the other hand, maybe I already used up all of today's luck on the game.)
posted by Daily Alice at 4:06 AM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


8! and 15.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:14 AM on November 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


EEEE I AM AT THE TOP OF THE HARD LEADERBOARD TODAY! (So far, anyway.) 5 guesses!

This is after a few days of playing too early in the morning and giving up on both modes, so pardon the strut.
posted by phatkitten at 9:58 AM on November 27, 2019 [2 favorites]


21 guesses for the easy word today, but then 7 for the "hard" one! Seven!
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 12:42 PM on November 27, 2019


18 easy, 12 hard today.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:02 PM on November 27, 2019


Ok what the hell. 24 for the easy word and 9 for the hard one??
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:43 PM on November 27, 2019 [1 favorite]


10 normal, 22 hard
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:11 AM on November 29, 2019


easy: 7, hard: 18
posted by rhizome at 4:37 PM on November 29, 2019


53 seconds for both of them today (12 easy, 11 hard) which is some sort of sign.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 8:56 AM on November 30, 2019 [1 favorite]


13 easy, 18 hard today. Would have been a couple shorter on the hard one, but I had guessed a variation of the word and then didn't come right back to it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:04 AM on November 30, 2019


14 easy, 18 hard today.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:10 PM on December 1, 2019


Easy got the best of me today, I'm going back to bed.
posted by rhizome at 2:16 PM on December 1, 2019


11 normal, 24 hard today.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:25 PM on December 2, 2019


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