What's your favorite word-related game?

Since writing in some form is a common thread we share, are there any word-related games that you love? Or love to hate?

Are you a Wordler? A Bananagrams or Scrabble fan? The NYTimes crossword or spelling bee champion?

Do you argue with loved ones over which dictionary will be your official game dictionary for word-based table-top games? If so, what’s your go-to source?

Have you ever opened a printed dictionary or thesaurus and lost track of time reading the entries, to the extent that you forgot why you’d opened the book in the first place?

Or, am I just old?

(Edited to add) By the way, I’m also interested in learning about word games that are popular with folks for whom English isn’t a first language. I likely won’t be familiar with them, but I’m here to learn.


Scrabble is by far my all-time favorite.
Ever since I was a kid, I just love that game.

Else, I like word “games” like cadavre-exquis (you have to write a sentence that follows neatly the one before, but blind to every sentences before that - the funniest part is reading the whole later on), or simply having to write a sentence that begins with the previous’ last word.

Could be nice to perhaps have little games like that running on the forum.


Times jumbo cryptic crossword, but other cryptic crosswords too.

My wife and I often join our daughter (in Melbourne!) over WhatsApp to do the jumbo cryptic together. We have the same book and only work on them as a threesome.

I like Scrabble, but don’t often play it.

Chambers Dictionary for all word games!



My favorite would be Hangman.





Hint: start with vowels. :wink:

A Mary Poppins fan, eh?



Crossword fiend here. I like British-style cryptic crosswords (from the Times and Sunday Times, the Guardian and Observer). And I do the occasional general knowledge crossword, and sometimes a quick/concise definition-based crossword.

I do a speedy Wordle every day, sharing results mutually with immediate family. It’s a good way of keeping adult offspring on the radar!

From the NYT puzzle app, I also do Spelling Bee (at least for now, until my experimental year’s subscription expires). And from the Times puzzle app, I do their Polygon puzzle (a bit like Spelling Bee) and Quintagram (crossword clues, both quick and simple-cryptic). But I also like number puzzles such as Suko and KenKen – I used to like variants of Sudoku, too, but got bored with those.

I like Scrabble, but I have no one to play with as my husband hates it and my children have grown up and left home. I do have a little Collins Gem Scrabble dictionary, in case I ever manage to coerce anyone into playing and it descends into fisticuffs.

Chambers Dictionary is the one and only, for me. Well, not quite – I won the single-volume Oxford Dictionary as a prize for the Beelzebub crossword in the Independent newspaper many, many years ago, so I keep that as a memento. Otherwise, my dictionaries, thesauri etc. come from Chambers, in a matched shelf of red bindings. I don’t look at the physical volumes as much as I used to, because they’re so heavy and because the Chambers app is so good.

As a family, we enjoy a game called “Ex Libris”, where everyone has to write something purporting to be the first (or last) sentence of a nominated book – one person in each round copies out the actual text instead of their own invention. Then everyone votes on which is the real one. If you guess right, you get a point; if someone picks your sentence instead of the real one, you get a point.

I also enjoy the vaguely-word-based quiz games on some UK television programmes: the BBC’s Only Connect and House of Games, and Channel 4’s Countdown (although I haven’t watched Countdown for years – too much chat, and not enough puzzle).

Basically, I think I just like word games/puzzles. Full stop.

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I play Wordle from NYT, Wordiply from The Guardian, and Phrazle from I know not where. However, my guesses are based on a bunch of command-line scripts I created that offer me candidate words. Selections are based on entries in the Webster word list that comes pre-installed on macOS and the aspell dictonaries, which I downloaded.

My initial Wordle word is always AUDIO as it contains four of the five vowels and thereafter I repeatedly adjust my script to exclude/include letters accordingly. Looking to hook my script into Wordnet (originally from Princeton) for meanings/senses and hopefully into some corpus system that will let me sort on frequency of occurrence in contemporary English.

My Wordiply script uses the identical dictionaries and the strategy is given by the creators as an n-word string. Again looking to hook this into Wordnet. WOrds are listed in descending order of length.

Phrazle well I just type in random words of the required length and then use the not-there, in-another-word, in-the-word-but-not-in-this-position, or correct to select words that will make up the target phrase; problem is that the phrases contain US spellings and occasionally US-specific phrases. When I’m struck for a word I butcher the Wordle script to give me candidates.

I consider my scripts not cheat but programming exercises and opportunities to wrote shell scripts and mess with command line filters and pipes.

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Not subscribing to any of the papers or their websites, I don’t do them every day. But we have a book of Jumbos from the Saturday Times, that we do with our daughter in Melbourne, and another book of Jumbos that Z and I dip into when we want to fill a few minutes. We also get The Week so we also do that one too, though not every week.

Every morning Z does Wordle, Durdle—if that’s how you spell it!—Quordle and Nurdle; I do them occasionally. I like jigsaws as a relaxant.

Have a look at Classic Words on the iPad… scrabble against the machine. As Z says, you can take your time thinking about your move, as the machine doesn’t get huffy about how long you’re taking.




Before I went digital that would happen to me a lot.

Now my favorite word activities are at this site:

I especially like this one


Not sure if this qualifies as a game, but learning a language. Lots of new words (of course), but also the realization that the certainty “this is how language works” is too short-sighted, if not outright wrong. It’s like (re)learning your own language at the same time, too. Bonus: It makes you feel younger. Not sure why.


I’m a big fan of learning new languages for exactly those reasons.

Currently using my Duolingo app to study Navajo and am fascinated by patterns I see emerging in the words and phrases the app shares.


Ha! I actually was thinking of that song when I posted my reply.

I also found this site to be interesting especially in the category of, “what is a word for ‘X’?” (Which is how I found the site.)


Oh, God, I whip through a bunch of them most days - Wordle, Foclach (a Wordle-type game in Irish), Le Mot (same in French), WaffleGame, Seafóid, Litreach… And I love Wiktionary, which has etymologies for most words, and the Irish-language dictionaries Teanglann and Potafocal and Téarma, which have usage examples and correct my atrocious spelling in Irish; the best English-French-English dictionary I can find is Reverso, which is… so-so… comme ci comme ça.
I’m too lazy to do the best exercise, a cryptic puzzle like the fiendish Crosaire in The Irish Times - most of these depend on getting to know the compiler’s mind and her or his favourite subjects and puns.

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Shameless bump :grin:

Upwords! (Preferably the deluxe version with the bigger board and more letters. :wink:) It’s like scrabble on steroids. Scrabble of course, and crossword puzzles.

There’s a niche game-maker that created a scrabble type game with interlocking wooden letters. It works like a puzzle. The best part is you can spin the ‘puzzle’ to face every player and it never falls apart.

I love Upwords. It’s better than Scrabble because the board changes all the time.

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