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Topics - Alan W

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Word Games / Problems at
« on: March 18, 2019, 08:31:40 PM »
The alternate Chihuahua site,, has been having technical problems for the past couple of hours. The hosting service is investigating but there is no estimate yet of how long it will take to restore normal operations.

The main site,, is working normally. I suggest everybody play there for the time being.

Word Games / New shuffling features
« on: March 17, 2019, 03:35:58 PM »
Following up on a suggestion made by markm in another topic, There is a new button, labeled "Mix", to allow the letters of a puzzle to be randomly rearranged, except for the mandatory letter, which remains in the middle. The button is under the recently-introduced backspace button, towards the bottom left of the board:

Also, in 7-by-many puzzles, the Shuffle button now functions as it does in other puzzle types. If any letters have been played, all those letters are shuffled.

Word Games / 7-by-many puzzles in player statistics
« on: March 05, 2019, 06:51:17 PM »
The daily 7-by-many puzzles are now included in the player statistics. The stats display currently covers puzzles up to the end of February.

As a reminder, any registered player can view their statistics by clicking on the Details button near the player name, and then clicking the button at the top of the display.

Say Hello / Welcome markm
« on: March 02, 2019, 05:39:29 PM »
I've noticed your suggestion in another topic, and it'll be interesting to see what others think about it.

It's great to hear from you. Look forward to more.

Say Hello / Welcome, guyd
« on: February 17, 2019, 11:47:08 AM »
I see you've finally posted a comment, three years after joining the forum.

Sorry to have aroused your ire with the puzzle's failure to recognise a word, but it was almost worth it to provoke you into posting.

Welcome anyway, and I will respond shortly to that suggestion.

Word Games / 7-by-many now daily
« on: February 12, 2019, 07:18:16 PM »
There is now a daily 7-by-many puzzle. To see it you may have to reload the Chihuahua page. You should see a new tab between the 10-letter puzzles and Your Puzzles. This puzzle will start 4 hours after the Standard puzzle each day.

For more details, see News and Help.

Word Games / Best size for 7-by-many puzzle
« on: February 04, 2019, 01:48:24 PM »
Given the level of interest in the new 7-by-many type of puzzle I'm planning to introduce it as a fourth daily puzzle. But I'm uncertain how big these puzzles ought to be - that is, how many common words to find.

Looking at the puzzles created so far under "Your Puzzles", the numbers of puzzles players have made in each size bracket are:

298 small (15 to 25 common words)
167 medium (21 to 40 common words)
336 large (41 to 60 common words)
141 jumbo (61+ common words)

(You won't have seen all these puzzles. Most of them weren't published.)

The existing daily puzzles are:

Standard 24 to 62 common words
Challenge 40 to 85 common words
Ten letters 40 to 100 common words

I experimented for a while with 7-by-many puzzles in the same range as the Challenge puzzles, but I felt that puzzles with over 70 common words could get a bit tedious. They tended to be ones with a lot of -ED or -ING words. I'm tending to think now that the Standard range, 24 to 62, is about right.

Any thoughts?

Word Games / Chihuahua working again on both sites
« on: February 02, 2019, 11:28:27 AM »
Touch wood, but the puzzle appears to be usable again at There will be some discrepancies on the scoreboard between the two sites for a while, but I should be able to sort those out.

If you are not getting the proper content of the "Forum Latest" panel at the bottom right of either site, you may need to clear your browser history. This is done differently in every browser, so if you don't know how to do that (I didn't), you'll have to google it.

Word Games / System debacle
« on: February 01, 2019, 11:09:18 PM »
My previous post on the forum was to say that the scheduled system maintenance was likely to take a few hours. How wrong can you be? As it turned out we are now 25 hours after the scheduled start of the upgrade and some things still aren't working - in particular, Chihuahua.

But Chihuahua is working on the alternate site, I think I might have suggested more than once that players bookmark that address, or otherwise make a note of it.

I'm sorry for the inconvenience the system downtime may have caused people, but I'm afraid it's been out of my hands. The company that has been hosting the lexigame sites has given good service for several years, but they were taken over by a larger company a while back and the business has been absorbed into another hosting service that seems to have a reputation for poor service and unreliability. Looks like we will be moving again before too long.

Anyway it's now after 11 pm where I am, so I'm going to leave things as they are till the morning.

Word Games / System Maintenance
« on: January 28, 2019, 11:38:14 AM »
The service hosting, where the main Chihuahua site lives, is planning to migrate the site to a new server. Hopefully this will increase reliability in the long term, but it will cause some downtime during the process.

The migration is due to be carried out at 10pm Australian eastern daylight time on 31 January. In the Chihuahua time system, this is 3 hours after the opening of the 10-letter puzzle dated 31 January, and 5 hours before the Challenge puzzle of 1 February.

If you find the site not working properly around that time, try the alternate site,

Word Games / 7-by-many puzzles
« on: January 18, 2019, 02:30:30 PM »
As foreshadowed in another topic, a new type of Chihuahua puzzle has been introduced with 7 letters that can be used more than once in making each word.

The 7-by-many puzzle is an option under the Your Puzzles tab. To create one, use the New.. button and select the "Allow letters to be reused" option near the top of the New Puzzle form. To find 7-by-many puzzles created by other players, use the Open... button and look for puzzles with 7 letters, or look for a tick in the "Reuse letters?" row.

Read more on the News page.

If there is enough interest in this type of puzzle I'll eventually set it up as a new daily puzzle alongside the Standard, Challenge and 10-letter puzzles.

Give it a try and let me know what you think of it.

Word Games / 2018 player statistics
« on: January 04, 2019, 02:46:18 PM »
The player statistics for the year 2018 are now complete.

You can see yours by clicking on Details, just under your player name, and then clicking on the Player statistics button at the top right corner of the Player Details panel. Or, if you're not playing in full screen mode, there's a link near the bottom of the Chihuahua main page.

Word Games / Alternate site update
« on: November 26, 2018, 04:50:58 PM »
As discussed in other topics, there have been a lot of problems recently with the alternate Chihuahua site,

The site now seems to be working smoothly. Feel free to use either of the two addresses, and bookmark them both in case of downtime on one or the other.

The server is now located in Amsterdam, so it may give you better performance than (in Sydney) if you are in Europe or North America.

Please let me know of any further problems with either of the two sites.

Word Games / MOVED: Scripture 4 Nov 2018
« on: November 05, 2018, 02:19:57 PM »

This Forum / MOVED: Is there a case to make polenta a common word?
« on: September 14, 2018, 02:03:31 PM »

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