Scrabble® Challenge News

2023/07/07: My website now uses secure https protocol. (Thus, entering login credentials in the Scrabble Challenge is now secure.) Relatedly, you will probably need to reenter your username and password, if you play non-anonymously.

2023/07/05: My website has been moved to a new hosting provider. Please let me know if you encounter any problems with the Scrabble Challenge.

2023/07/02: The Scrabble Challenge and Quixotic (along with the rest of my website) have been moved to the domain The redirect from will soon go away, so please update your bookmarks. Note that I am in the process of moving to a new hosting company. It is possible that the Scrabble Challenge may be unavailable for a few days while I make the change.

2021/01/09: Quixotic has been updated to the NWL2020 dictionary. The Scrabble Challenge will likewise be updated at the beginning of the next game.

2020/11/12: The Scrabble Challenge is now using the NWL2018 dictionary (see following news item for details.)

2020/11/05: I plan to make a long-overdue switch to the current tournament Scrabble dictionary (NWL2018) as of the next game. This dictionary lacks 12 words from OWL3 (all fairly obscure and all 6 letters or longer), and contains 4491 new words, including two new 2-letter words, "ew" and "ok", and one new 3-letter word, "zen."

Quixotic, my app that lets you play Scrabble® against the computer, has already been updated to NWL2018. (It has also been updated to CSW19 for non-North-American players.)

In January, when NWL2020 comes into effect, I will switch to that. It is the same as NWL2018 except with 259 offensive slurs removed.

2020/10/30: My website (including the Scrabble Challenge) has been down since last night due to my webhosting company having a major power outage. Things should be back to normal now.

2017/10/11: My website now also features Quixotic, a standard Scrabble® game that lets you play against the computer at your chosen skill level. This should be considered somewhat beta for now. Let me know if you have any problems with it or any comments.

2017/04/28: It appears we missed today's noon update due to issues with my webhost. Things should update as normal at midnight, let me know if not.

2015/12/09: The Challenge is now using the new North American Scrabble dictionary, OWL3. The new two-letter words are DA (dad), GI (a martial arts uniform), PO (a chamber pot), and TE (the musical note ti). For more details see the OWL3 cheat sheet. If there are any issues with the new dictionary let me know.

2015/11/25: The new Scrabble dictionary (OWL3, aka OWL2014) has been in use in North American clubs/tournaments since earlier this year, and it's high time the Challenge used it as well! I will let one more game after this play through with the old dictionary, then switch over. See here for some lists of changes to the new dictionary. The OWL3 cheat sheet (PDF) is particularly handy.

2013/04/02: It seems there may be a glitch that causes recent plays to be lost from the game history. If your play does not show up even though you were logged in, please let me know so I can know how many people this is happening to. I can also edit the game history so that you get credit.

2007/04/03: A glitch caused the computer player to miss its play a few turns ago, making the computation of efficiency and projected score impossible. Fixed now.

2006/03/08: The new word list (OWL2) is now in effect.

2006/03/01: The Scrabble Challenge will switch to using the updated tournament word list (OWL2) when the next game begins. The new 2-letter words are KI, QI, ZA, OI and FE. More information is available at the Scrabble Association's website here. Prepare yourself!

2005/08/09: The dictionary has been expanded to include words up to 15 letters in length.

2005/05/02: The server on which my website resides melted down this afternoon, and had to be restored from backup. As a result, the Scrabble Challenge has probably rewound by a few turns. Sorry for the inconvenience.

2005/01/03: There was a brief span of downtime on Monday night, due to maintenance being performed by my hosting service. All seems back to normal now. Let me know if you encounter any more problems.

2004/12/07: Judging from my logs and my e-mail, I can now replace the last five news items with one pronouncement: at last, the Scrabble Challenge and IE6 get along!


2004/12/02: There's one significant factor the Scrabble Challenge does not take into account: leave. Unlike a skilled Scrabble player, it does not pay attention to what tiles are left on the rack when rating the "goodness" of a play. Unfortunately, this means the Challenge tends to serve up a fair number of racks that look like AUUIEVW, bingos happen less often than they might, and the final scores are lower than they could be. Should this change? Would players prefer their plays be rated based on a combination of score and leave, or do you like it the way it is?

Mail me and let me know what you think.

2004/11/30: The Scrabble Challenge has moved to Please update your bookmarks and links.

Registration has been implemented in order to avoid username conflicts, and is required if you want to be listed in the game history. The default user is "Anonymous". To login or register, click on the "Change" button next to username. As before, your username is recorded using cookies so you shouldn't have to login more than once (make sure cookies are enabled in your web browser). To get proper credit in the "running totals" table, you should register the same name you've been using throughout the current game.

Contact me (at my new address) if you run into any problems with the revamped Scrabble Challenge.

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