WordWiggle by Michael Sinz
MKSoft Development

Copyright 1982-2006
Time limit: 
Board size: 
Word size: 
Visit the Unofficial WordWiggle Fan Club community site

Welcome to WordWiggle

A game that tests your vocabulary and spelling skills.


The object of the game is to find as many words as you can in the given block of letters within the time limit.  The letters of the word must be connected (either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally) and each letter can only be used once in any given word.  Only valid words shall count towards your score.

There are various options that you can set to select the size of the game board, the minimum acceptable word size, the amount of time you have to look for words, and the play mode (Normal or Tournament).

There is a multi-player tournament system that is available to registered users.  This allows you to set up competitions between your friends or with any other registered WordWiggle user.  To register, just click on the "Login" button.

Registered users also get a few extra benefits when running in "practice" mode.  This includes asking the computer to show you all of the possible words in a puzzle you just completed and to tell you the definitions of the words when you click on them.  (Most words have some definition on line)

Finding Words

Your words need to be valid words and they must contain letters that are connected either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.  Each letter can only be used once in a word.  The letter Q will automatically include the letter U(Currently you can not use a Q without the U)

p s e
e a c
t r f

In the example to the left, there are a number of words that can be found. For example, along the left edge, there is the word pet.  A bit more complex is the word cat.  A longer word that scores rather nicely is secret.  You can do both the singular and plural forms such as crate and crates; you will get credit for both words if you enter both of them.  In this 3x3 board, the computer found 427 points in 179 different words that are 3 or more letters long.

If you want to see where the words are, just put the mouse over the word.

WordWiggle uses a dictionary based on the ENABLE (Enhanced North American Benchmark LExicon) word list.  This word list contains over 173,000 entries and has been researched extensively.  It is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) word lists available for word games that require non-proper name words.  WordWiggle will validate words you enter against this word list.  WordWiggle's definitions, however, are not as complete.  They come from various sources and, at times, are not the definition that was used to authorize the word for inclusion in the dictionary.  I am working on fixing the definitions as I get the time to do so, but there are so many to do.


Each valid word found gives you points based on how long the word is.  The longer the word, the higher the score.  The table to the right shows the scoring.  As you can see, longer words get progressively higher scores.  (The scoring is an arithmetic progression)

Thus, it may be best to spend your time looking for longer words whenever possible.

Size ScoreSize Score
2 1 9 21
3 1 10 34
4 2 11 55
5 3 12 89
6 5 13 144
7 8 14 233
8 13 15 377

Tournament Mode

Tournament mode is played exactly like the normal mode but with the addition that any invalid words you select will be scored against you rather than just invalidated.  This makes it that much more important that you actually know the word is valid since if it is not, your score will be penalized.

WordWiggle Tournaments

Registered users can join public WordWiggle tournaments.  Registered users may also create new public or private tournaments.  You can not join a private tournament as they are "invitation only" at the time the tournament is created.  The tournament manager (the user who created the tournament) invites others to play in the tournament by entering the EMail addresses of those he wishes to invite.  WordWiggle will then send an invite to all members of the tournament.

When a Tournament duration runs out, the system will notify the participants of that fact and close the Tournament.  Results can only be viewed in closed tournaments.  Results are kept on the server until the user who created the tournament deletes it.  Each user is limited to a certain number of tournaments in the system.  When the limit is reached, the user must delete a tournament before a new tournament can be created.

WordWiggle does not use the EMail addresses you give for anything other than WordWiggle tournament announcements, tournament results, and as your login name.  WordWiggle.com does not support SPAM in any way and works to prevent it.  As such, the EMail address is only shown to the user who logged in with that address and in the EMail that is sent about the tournaments.

There is a WordWiggle Fan Club message board that was started by some WordWiggle users.  In it users talk about how to score better, find words faster, and the various tricks and techniques they have developed playing WordWiggle.

Navigation and Usage Hints

  1. Clicking on the WordWiggle logo returns you to the WordWiggle main page
  2. Clicking on the clock during game play ends the time right away.
  3. Once you start a game you can not un-start it.  There is no "undo" within a game.
  4. You must include all players of a private tournament at the time of creation.  You can not add players to a private tournament after it has been created.

About WordWiggle

This version of MKSoft WordWiggle is a HTTP/Web based implementation of a game I did on the Amiga computer system.  This version does not resemble the Amiga version in any way other than the basic concept and rules.  Most of the differences are due to the HTML/browser platform, server/client nature of HTTP/HTML, and the capabilities of the backend computers (SQL databases, etc).  What a difference just 15 years can bring.

The Amiga version was never publicly released due to time constraints to get it ready.  There was much more important work to be done on the Amiga OS development side of things.

Before the Amiga version, a much less capable version of WordWiggle was done on a little known, not quite IBM-PC compatible 8086 based computer. It had a very small dictionary and the computer was so slow that a human could actually beat it.  It also had no real user interface - you just typed in the words and hoped you got it right.  Over 20 years in the computer technology field has made for some rather significant changes.  Oh what fun it has been!

Browser Compatibility

WordWiggle has been tested and seems to work correctly with Mozilla (various), Konqueror (Linux & FreeBSD), Safari (Mac), Camino (Mac), Opera (various), OmniWeb (Mac), Netscape 6+ (various), IE4+ (Windows & Mac).  There are others based on the web server logs but I have not personally tested them.  If you have problems, please let the makers of your browser know as the JavaScript in use here is very generic and standards conforming.  WordWiggle also uses cookies but they are not stored on your computer.  They are temporary values used to track your login and game progress.  There is no user identifying infromation in any of the cookies.  (Note: Keyboard input does not work in some browsers due to browser limitations.)

WordWiggle requires the use of Cookies and some JavaScript 1.3/HTML-DOM elements.  This means that if you are using older Netscape 1.x-4.x or IE 1.x-3.x browsers, or have turned off Cookie and/or JavaScript support, WordWiggle will not work correctly.

Palm OS

I now have a Palm version of WordWiggle that uses a dictionary file that can be gotten from this web site.  The Palm version currently only supports playing practice games. I am hoping to get the time to add support for connecting to WordWiggle.com to play tournaments with your Palm device.

All the words in the example

In the example at right, 179 words of 3 or more letters were found for a total of 427 points.  Can you find them?

Below are the words that were found... 

NOTE - Just move your mouse over each word and the squares should be displayed for you.

p s e
e a c
t r f

ace, aces, acre, acres, ape, aper, apes, apse, arc, arcs, are, ares, arf, art, asp, asper, ate, ates, cap, cape, caper, capes, caps, car, care, cares, caret, cart, carte, cartes, case, cat, cate, cater, cates, cease, crap, crape, crapes, craps, crate, crates, crease, ear, ease, eat, eater, ecarte, ecartes, era, eras, erase, escape, escaper, escar, eta, etas, face, faces, far, farce, farces, fare, fares, fart, fas, fat, fate, fates, frae, frap, fraps, frat, fret, pac, pace, paces, pacs, par, pare, pares, part, pas, pase, pat, pate, pater, pates, pea, peace, peaces, pear, peart, peas, pease, peat, per, pert, pes, pet, race, races, rap, rape, rapes, raps, ras, rase, rasp, rat, rate, rates, reap, reaps, rep, reps, res, reseat, respace, ret, sac, sae, sap, sat, sate, scape, scar, scare, scarf, scart, scat, scrap, scrape, sea, sear, seat, seater, sec, secret, ser, sera, serac, serf, set, seta, setae, spa, space, spae, spar, spare, spat, spate, spear, tace, taces, tae, tap, tape, taper, tapes, taps, tar, tare, tares, tas, tea, tear, teas, tease, tepa, tepas, terce, terces, trace, traces, trap, trapes, and traps

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