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Topics - Alan W

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16
Word Games / Chihuahua problems - fixed
« on: October 31, 2019, 10:09:06 AM »
A number of players have emailed me over the past few hours reporting that the puzzle wasn't working for them. I had implemented a change to the behind-the-scenes functioning of the site yesterday. It doesn't seem to be causing problems for most people, but obviously there are problems for some, so I've reverted to the previous version of the puzzle. The issue affects both sites.

If you're having problems loading the puzzle, try reloading the page. Please let me know of any continuing issues.

17
This Forum / Forum has new home
« on: October 22, 2019, 03:34:06 PM »
If you can read this, you've been successfully redirected to the new home of the forum, https://theforum.lexigame.com.

I hope this will clear up some of the problems people have been having when trying to get to the forum. Please let me know of anything that's not working properly.

As far as I can see, the forum summary is showing correctly beside the Chi puzzle at both addresses, but I'm not sure about the appearance of the "New" icon on posts you haven't yet looked at.

18
Say Hello / Welcome, Fishy
« on: October 20, 2019, 08:21:59 AM »
Welcome to the forum! Glad to hear from you (in another topic).

This might be a record. First post six and a half years after joining the forum! Don't feel you have to leave it so long before your next utterance.

19
This Forum / Forum problems
« on: October 19, 2019, 05:29:44 PM »
A few people have written, in other topics and by email, of difficulties getting to the forum recently. Sometimes the forum summary has not shown up next to the Chihuahua puzzle, and sometimes people have been unable to come to the forum by following a direct link.

I'm not sure of the causes of these difficulties, or if they're still continuing, but I've been intending for a while to relocate the forum back to the lexigame site. The chihuahua-puzzle server has a little less processing power, and perhaps should be allowed to concentrate on its primary purpose, of being an alternate Chihuahua site.

But I want to be sure that any new arrangement continues to show the forum summary next to the puzzle, since I know that is the main portal to the forum for many players. One feature that's caused problems in the past is the "New" symbol that appears next to forum posts you haven't yet read. From my recent testing, it seems that this icon is currently not always appearing when it should. However, this absence seems to be confined to the Chrome browser. And currently "New" is showing up in all browsers when you open Chihuahua on the chihuahua-puzzle site (i.e. the same site as the one where the forum is hosted), but it's absent in Chrome on the lexigame site.

I'd be interested to know what others are experiencing. If there's a general problem in Chrome on the lexigame site, I'd have expected to hear more about it, since about 40% of players use Chrome and about 80% play on the lexigame site.

20
Words / 7-by-many puzzles: possible mass change from common to rare
« on: October 04, 2019, 12:39:25 PM »
Since the 7-by-many puzzles were introduced a few months ago, several forumites have noted that a lot of new questions have emerged regarding words classed as common.

In this post I present a list of words that probably should be switched to rare. Some arise from suggestions made by players, in the forum and by email. Others emerged from my own investigations of words that have been found by very few players.

Among these words are -

  • Compound words that many players would expect to be hyphenated or separate words. For example antitank, applesauce
  • Less common spellings. For example caviare, papaw
  • Non-standard plurals. For example cochliae, corpora
  • Technical terms. For example allele, bilabial
  • Words with a regional character. For example cruller, cuppa

Many others are just simply too obscure - it seems to me. I've omitted from the list below any words that I have doubts about. They can be discussed separately at some stage. But of course others may see things differently, so I'm putting these words out here for people to comment on.

ALLELE
ALLELUIA
ALLUVIA
AMMETER
ANTITANK
APPLESAUCE
ARBORETA
ARROYO
AUREOLE
BAAING
BACILLI
BANKBOOK
BERIBERI
BILABIAL
BITTIER
BOCCE
BOLOGNA
BOLONEY
BONITO
BUBBA
CALCINE
CANEBRAKE
CARRYALL
CATCHALL
CAVIARE
CINNABAR
CIRRHOTIC
CLAYEY
CLOACA
CLOACAE
COCHLEAE
COLONELCY
CONDIGN
CORNROW
CORPORA
COTILLION
CRAWDAD
CRULLER
CUPPA
DEWCLAW
DINGDONG
DOODAD
DOODAH
DURUM
DWEEB
EGGNOG
ENPLANE
EUCHRED
EXPATIATE
FINNIEST
FOREFEET
FOREFOOT
FOREPART
FREEBEE
FREEDMEN
GALLERIA
GANGLIA
GANGLION
GASOHOL
HOMEROOM
HYAENA
IFFIER
INDITING
IODIDE
IRRUPT
LACUNAE
LANDAU
LOANWORD
LOGGIA
LOLLYGAG
MAHATMA
MAMBO
MARIACHI
MARMOREAL
MATZO
MIMETIC
MINICAB
MINICAM
MONOMER
MOROCCO
MORPHEME
NEMESES
NONAPPEARANCE
NONUNION
NONWHITE
NOONTIDE
OENOLOGY
ONCOGENE
OUBLIETTE
PALATAL
PANATELLA
PAPAW
PARTICIPIAL
PATELLAE
PEEWIT
PENNON
PHALLI
PIMIENTO
POMPON
PREMIXES
PREPPIE
PROPITIATION
PSHAW
RAILCARD
RECHERCHE
RECREANT
REFERENT
RIFFRAFF
RIPARIAN
ROLLOVER
ROOMETTE
ROOTLET
SASSAFRAS
SISSIFIES
SPEEDUP
TAGLIATELLE
TAILPIPE
TARTARIC
TATTOOER
TAXON
TELEPRINTER
TERCENTENARY
TERMINI
TERRARIA
TITMICE
TOLLBOOTH
TOMTIT
TRACHEAE
TRIREME
ULULATING
VEGGIEBURGER
VITIATION
VOCALIC
VOTARY
WAPITI
WELKIN
ZINNIA

21
Words / Word suggestion: moisty
« on: August 08, 2019, 10:54:55 PM »
An embarrassingly long time ago, I received the following message:

Quote
I am sorry to bother you - but in your challenge today - what is wrong with the word moisty - it seems to be in every dictionary I've looked up

My reply was:

Quote
Thanks for the comment. I'm always grateful for suggestions to improve the puzzle's word list. Unfortunately there's quite a backlog of suggestions, so it might be a while before I look at "moisty". But if it is in a few dictionaries I will add it to the list.

Now, nearly 6 years later, I've looked into the suggestion. Well, I did warn them it might take some time.

I don't know about moisty being in every dictionary, but it is in quite a few. This is what the online Oxford has to say:

Quote
archaic, informal
    (especially of weather) moist or damp.
    'a misty, moisty day'

When applied to the weather, the word seems to be usually coupled with misty, as in the Oxford's illustration. One Misty, Moisty Morning is a traditional children's song. A USA Today article in 2011 about Saturn's moon Titan wrote:

Quote
The misty moisty mornings on Xanadu are blanketed by a dense orange fog.

(Xanadu is the name given to a region on the surface of Titan.)

The word appears unaccompanied by misty when it's applied to food. For example a Malaysian cooking website, writing about a moist chocolate cake, said:

Quote
Yes, you can steam this cake. Or bake it like most of my blogging friends did. It's still moisty!

Apparently the video game Fortnite has a locality called Moisty Mire.

So, belatedly, I'll add moisty as a rare word.

22
Words / Word suggestion: ebook
« on: July 23, 2019, 04:28:47 PM »
In March a player sent this suggestion in via email:

Quote
Hi Alan,
I'm playing a 7-by-many puzzle in Your Puzzles (BACKBONE) and tried the word EBOOK which was unknown.  It's spelled ebook on my library site (and many other places) and when I google it I also got Ebook, e-book and eBook.  Could ebook be classified as uncommon?
Thanks,

So far the dictionaries all seem to list e-book as the primary spelling. Dictionary.com and Wiktionary both give alternate forms of ebook and eBook. This last version is probably quite unusual in the dictionary world. While there are lots of brand names having a capital letter in the middle of a word, I think it's very unusual in words recognized as common nouns.

In usage all the versions are seen quite frequently. There's no doubt that ebook should be allowed in Chi. But should it be uncommon, as the suggester proposes? Probably it should, at least for the time being, precisely because of the multiple variants of the word.

23
Word Games / 7-by-many puzzles using the letter S
« on: July 04, 2019, 03:53:01 PM »
Responding to a question from giratinaman, 7-by-many puzzles created under the "Your Puzzles" tab may now include the letter S. Where a puzzle does have an S, the rules about which words can be used ending in that letter are the same as in other puzzle types. And, as for other puzzle types, you have the option of creating a puzzle where all words ending in S are permitted.

For the time being puzzles under the 7-by-many table - daily or random - will continue to have no occurrences of the letter S. This could change in the future depending on the player response to the change in Your Puzzles.

25
The Daily Quest / MOVED: Thursday’s 7-by-many
« on: June 25, 2019, 09:13:32 PM »

26
Words / Fifty bizarre words
« on: April 27, 2019, 04:27:50 PM »
This blog post, 50 lost words from the OED is about a man who read the whole of the Oxford English Dictionary and wrote a book about it. It lists fifty of the strangest words he found, with their definitions. I thought it would appeal to some forumites. Which are your favourites?

I haven't checked whether any of these words are allowed in Chihuahua, but I would say probably not.

27
Word Games / First book of 7-by-many puzzles
« on: April 23, 2019, 09:37:25 PM »
I've released a book of 7-by-many puzzles, much the same as the ones that have been on the website for the past few weeks. Here's the cover:



The link to the Amazon UK page for the book is https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/109525586X, and for the Amazon US page, https://www.amazon.com/dp/109525586X. It should be available at other book retailing websites within a few weeks.


28
Word Games / Lexigame maintenance
« on: April 10, 2019, 12:16:29 PM »
Over the next few days the chi.lexigame.com and letterbox.lexigame.com sites will be moving to a new web hosting service. Ideally this will not cause any interruptions to service or visible changes. However, there could be some unexpected issues, so please feel free to let me know of anything out of the ordinary. In particular the sites may not be available at first via the "https:" addresses, and this may cause some security warnings to be displayed by your browser.

If there are any serious problems you can always get to Chihuahua at chihuahua-puzzle.com.

29
Word Games / System problems
« on: March 30, 2019, 05:26:45 PM »
Players on the lexigame site may have noticed a recent period of a few hours when the scoreboard remained blank. This was caused by a problem with the database which also created some inconsistencies between the data on the two Chihuahua sites.

The inconsistencies in the daily puzzles have now been largely fixed up, but there are still some differences between the two sites in "Your Puzzles". Apologies for any confusion.

There remains a risk of some oddities affecting daily puzzles for the 1st and 2nd of April. To avoid any such risks you can click on the Reset button (below the Forum Latest box).

30
This Forum / Forum relocated
« on: March 25, 2019, 03:03:36 PM »
This forum now has a new home. Instead of being under lexigame.com it is at https://theforum.lexigame.com/. All forum visits should be automatically redirected to the new address.

The main problem (that I can think of) that some people might have with the move is that they don't get automatically signed in at the new location (because cookies are tied to a site address). If you can't work out how to log into the forum now, send me an email to support@lexigame.com and I'll sort something out for you.

The main reason for this change of location is to simplify any future migration of the lexigame site to a different hosting provider. But in any case it might be a good long-term approach to have the forum at a different site from the main Chihuahua site, to minimise the disruption if either is out of action for a while.

Please let me know of any problems with the forum at its new home.

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