Thursday, March 4, 2010

Highest-Scoring Word In WordCrasher

I've become a fan of WordCrasher on the iPhone. Think of it as <insert your favorite word game> meets Tetris: You tap on bubbles, which are falling from the top, to make words and clear them from the screen.

I've unlocked most of the achievements, but there are two secret achievements that have escaped me. I'm convinced that one of them is finding the highest-scoring word in the dictionary. The in-game view of the leaderboards, as of this writing, shows just four people who have managed to find a 2,300-point word, the highest recorded score.

What is the highest-scoring word? Well, I don't know. But I wrote a Ruby script to make an educated guess. I assumed Kevin Ng, the developer, used the Official Scrabble Dictionary as his dictionary (though his game omits at least ort and gams).

So I wrote this script, which takes a path to a dictionary file as a command-line argument:

$letterScores = {
'a' => 10,
'b' => 20,
'c' => 20,
'd' => 20,
'e' => 10,
'f' => 30,
'g' => 30,
'h' => 20,
'i' => 10,
'j' => 50,
'k' => 20,
'l' => 10,
'm' => 30,
'n' => 10,
'o' => 10,
'p' => 20,
'q' => 80,
'r' => 10,
's' => 10,
't' => 10,
'u' => 10,
'v' => 30,
'w' => 30,
'x' => 50,
'y' => 30,
'z' => 50 }

def calc_word_score(word)
sum = 0
word.split(//).each do |char|
sum = sum + $letterScores[char] if $letterScores[char]
sum * word.length
end[0]) do |file|
file.each_line do |word|
score = calc_word_score(word.downcase)
isBest = (score == 2300)
puts "#{score} #{word}" if isBest

I put in 2,300 as a score because that's what people have achieved. However, in the basic Scrabble dictionary, there's no word that scores exactly 2,300; there's one word that scores 2,350: zyzzyvas. So instead of the official Scrabble dictionary, I used the Enable wordlist (both wordlists are available from the National Puzzlers' League

With the Enable list, I found two words that scored exactly 2,300: showbizzy and whizzbang. I have yet to get a board where I can spell any of these, but I'm going to be trying all of them as soon as I can.

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