TAG: Word Puzzles
April 23, 2010– 5

There’s no better time than the rainy spring season to bring friends and family together for a game night. If you happen to find yourself at a table full of ruthless Scrabble players, you might find your new best friend in Wolfram|Alpha.

The Scrabble functionality in Wolfram|Alpha has useful tools, such as a points calculator and a dictionary word verifier. Wolfram|Alpha can also suggest other possible words to be used. Currently, Wolfram|Alpha supports the American English, International English, and French versions of Scrabble. Each of these versions has their own scoring system. Wolfram|Alpha’s GeoIP capabilities will return results based on the default version for the user’s location. However, you can specify a version in your input, like “International English Scrabble umbrella”.

Here are a few examples:

You can find the results for words such as umbrella by entering “Scrabble umbrella” into Wolfram|Alpha:

Wolfram|Alpha calculates the score for the Scrabble word "umbrella"

The results pods tells us that the score is 12 and that this word is in the regional Scrabble dictionary (American in this case). It also gives other words that can be made with these letters, listed in score order. More »

February 19, 2010– 0

Crossword puzzle enthusiasts from all over will gather in Brooklyn, New York this weekend for the 33rd Annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (ACPT) hosted by New York Times Crossword Puzzle Editor Will Shortz.

In 2009, some 700 puzzle solvers competed in the seven-round tournament in the hopes that their speed and accuracy would land them a spot in their division’s final round. This year, all eyes are on the ACPT’s youngest and five-time reigning champion, Tyler Hinman.

Whether you’re a champion-caliber puzzle solver, or you just enjoy the challenge of the New York Times puzzle on a Sunday afternoon, a solving aid can sometimes come in handy. One place you may not have thought to look is Wolfram|Alpha. It contains a number of word-puzzle tools that help you find words that match a pattern, words with specific endings or beginnings, word definitions, and more.

The excitement leading up the ACPT reminded us of the post below from our blog archives, which demonstrates how you can use Wolfram|Alpha to help solve most common crossword puzzles.

Wolfram|Alpha S_LV_S Crossword Puzzles

Does today’s crossword have you puzzled? You could continue to fret, and fight the urge to check the full solution, or you could consult Wolfram|Alpha, which has the tools you need to solve the sneakiest constructions.

Click here to continue reading this entry…

So whether you’re solving crosswords this weekend at ACPT or from your couch—good luck! And if you find yourself puzzled, be sure check in with Wolfram|Alpha for a little help!

December 29, 2009– 3

Prior to releasing Wolfram|Alpha into the world this past May, we launched the Wolfram|Alpha Blog. Since our welcome message on April 28, we’ve made 133 additional posts covering Wolfram|Alpha news, team member introductions, and “how-to’s” in a wide variety of areas, including finance, nutrition, chemistry, astronomy, math, travel, and even solving crossword puzzles.

As 2009 draws to a close we thought we’d reach into the archives to share with you some of this year’s most popular blog posts.

April

Rack ’n’ Roll

Take a peek at our system administration team hard at work on one of the
many pre-launch projects.
Continue reading…

May

The Secret Behind the Computational Engine in Wolfram|Alpha

Although it’s tempting to think of Wolfram|Alpha as a place to look up facts, that’s only part of the story. The thing that truly sets Wolfram|Alpha apart is that it is able to do sophisticated computations for you, both pure computations involving numbers or formulas you enter, and computations applied automatically to data called up from its repositories.

Why does computation matter? Because computation is what turns generic information into specific answers. Continue reading…

Live, from Champaign!

Wolfram|Alpha just went live for the very first time, running all clusters.

This first run at testing Wolfram|Alpha in the real world is off to an auspicious start, although not surprisingly, we’re still working on some kinks, especially around logging.

While we’re still in the early stages of this long-term project, it is really gratifying to finally have the opportunity to invite you to participate in this project with us. Continue reading…

June

Wolfram|Alpha Q&A Webcast

Stephen Wolfram shared the latest news and updates about Wolfram|Alpha and answered several users’ questions in a live webcast yesterday.

If you missed it, you can watch the recording here. Continue reading… More »

October 21, 2009– 0

If you’re writing an essay for history or a speech for debate class, Wolfram|Alpha is a great resource. It has an enormous words and linguistics database that you can use for such things as word definitions, and word origins, synonyms, and hyphenation. Wolfram|Alpha can even compute the number of pages a given text might produce based on the number of words it contains, such as “500 words in French”. Wolfram|Alpha also has the ability to compute details such how long it should take you to type, read, and deliver that 500-word speech you’ve been preparing.

Type “word contest”, and Wolfram|Alpha will retrieve the word data for the English word “contest”. The results tell you many definitions of the word, that its first known recorded use was in 1603, that it rhymes with “conquest”, and a wealth of other data on just that word. More »

July 22, 2009– 11

Does today’s crossword have you puzzled? You could continue to fret, and fight the urge to check the full solution, or you could consult Wolfram|Alpha, which has the tools you need to solve the sneakiest constructions. Wolfram|Alpha can find words matching a pattern, words with specific beginnings and endings, and provide word definitions.

Crossword puzzle tools More »

May 30, 2009– 8

Wolfram|Alpha continues to be a hot topic in online newspapers and magazines, blogs, Facebook, and beyond. But one of our favorite (and one of the most insightful) places to find chatter about Wolfram|Alpha is on Twitter.

People tweet Wolfram|Alpha results that amaze them. Some suggest features or domains we should add. Others ask questions about how to get the results they want. And what’s really great is to see people tweeting advice and recommendations to other users.

Here are a few of the tweeted results or suggestions that have caught our eyes or amused us:

  • @yooklyde: According to Wolfram|Alpha I was born approx. an hour before sunset, during a Full Moon. That last bit explains everything.
  • @petervogel: Students in my ICT classes continue to be fascinated with Wolfram Alpha; a given-name analysis seems to hook them.
  • @sqjtaipei: cool about the running calories expended… how about other sports… need swimming and cycling. thx.

We really enjoy reading and exploring your updates and responding when we can.

We also like Twittering to show you some of the many uses of Wolfram|Alpha.

We’re highlighting a different feature or input every day. Today, it was seeing stars with Wolfram|Alpha. Others have been such things as how to get tide forecasts, compute fuel usage, and figure out that tough crossword puzzle. Educational, practical, topical, just plain interesting—we’ll share it all. You’ve just got to follow us to find out.

We hope you enjoy the results we showcase. We’ll be watching for your ideas and favorite inputs—so be sure to include #wolframalpha in your next tweet.