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Last active Oct 20, 2016
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Recurse Center App - Winter 2016



  • Command line based Boggle-like game that gives you 60 seconds to guess as many connecting 3 or more letter connecting words on the board
  • Connecting words can be created by moving in the following directions
    • Across and Backwards
    • Up and Down
    • Diagonally and reverse diagonally
  • After 60 seconds are up, all the words that were matched on the wordlist are displayed. Your unique guesses count and the number of words possible on the board are listed.


  • To play simply run python
  • Application has been tested with python 2 and 3
  • The puzzle is predefined and matches the one below.
  • Puzzle can be changed by a new state to line 153 in the form of state = 'oslc elai tant myse' Ruzzle Sample
  • The wordlist is obtained from someone who kindly had a copy of openbsd-src online from their word dict. It is 2.3MBs



Interesting Tidbits

Here are some facts and timings about the application. All run on a 2013 MacBook Air.

  • 234979 words on list
  • 11559042 naive possibilities
  • 3:15 minutes to traverse 4x4 combo possibilities

with optimization and word sets

  • 5 seconds to parse the word set
  • 736623 possible word_branches
  • 488 - pruned real words
  • 452 - filtered to words >3

Timing for full application

real	0m4.574s
user	0m3.865s
sys	0m0.417s

Time for just load_words.

CPU times: user 2.41 s, sys: 252 ms, total: 2.66 s
Wall time: 2.85 s


  • Fair board generating
  • Accept Participles (smell, smells, smelling, smelled)
  • Scoring and dynamic scoring



Test Boggle Game Logic
import pytest
from app import Boggle
# pylint: disable=W0621
def board():
"""Sets up game board"""
state = 'oslc elai tant myse'
wordlist = 'bsd_wordlist.txt'
return Boggle(state, wordlist)
# Sanity Check Tests
def test_init_parsing_input(board):
""" Test Loading Board"""
assert(board.matrix == [
['o', 's', 'l', 'c'],
['e', 'l', 'a', 'i'],
['t', 'a', 'n', 't'],
['m', 'y', 's', 'e']])
def test_init_words_on_board(board):
"""cross checked words possible on list"""
assert(len(board.on_board) == 452)
def test_init_words_possible_moves(board):
"""All the connecting possibilities of a word kind of like Trie-lists"""
assert(len(board.word_set) == 24628)
@pytest.mark.parametrize("test_word_guess, expected", [
('ten', True), # Short word
('tan', True), # Horizontal
('cite', True), # Down
('caam', True), # Diagonal and Reverse?
('tool', False), # Non connecting word
('still', True), # False positive
('satellite', True), # Long Word
('elastica', True) # Long Word
def test_game_find_word_length(board, test_word_guess, expected):
"""Test Word guesses"""
assert(board.check_guess(test_word_guess) == expected)
#!/usr/bin/env python
import re
from collections import defaultdict
from threading import Timer
from six.moves import input
class Boggle():
""" Game based on a 4x4 Grid where you can form words using adjacent tiles.
Connecting tiles may only be used once per word and all valid words on are
initialized by the wordlist.
def __init__(self, state, wordlist):
self.state = state
self.MOVESETS = [(1, 0), (0, 1), (-1, 0), (0, -1), (-1, -1), (1, 1), (-1, 1), (1, -1)]
self.MIN_LETTERS = 3
self.LETTERS = state.replace(' ', '')
self.LETTER_SET = ''.join(set(i for i in self.LETTERS))
self.LETTER_REGEX = re.compile(r"\b[" + self.LETTER_SET + r"]{1,}\b")
self.COL_LEN = int(len(self.LETTERS)**(.5))
self.matrix = self._build_matrix()
self.word_set = self._load_words(wordlist)
self.on_board = set()
# Solve Board
for x, row in enumerate(self.state.split(' ')):
for y, _ in enumerate(row):
self._traverse(x, y)
def _add_pair(self, a, b):
"""Add two coordinate pairsets together"""
return (a[0]+b[0], a[1]+b[1])
def _breakdown_word(self, word):
"""Use string slices to get all combos of a word from left to right"""
return [word[:i+1]for i in range(len(word))]
def _check_valid(self, move):
"""Check is move is a valid move and not out of bounds for matrix"""
return True if move[0] >= 0 and move[0] < self.COL_LEN and move[1] >= 0 and move[1] < self.COL_LEN else False
def _check_letters(self, word):
"""Determines if letters are in word_set """
return self.LETTER_REGEX.match(word)
def check_guess(self, guess):
"""Checks if word is on board"""
return guess in self.on_board
def _load_words(self, wordlist):
"""Load words from a wordlist file"""
d = defaultdict(set)
with open(wordlist) as words:
for word in words:
word = word.lower().rstrip('\n')
if len(word) <= len(self.LETTERS) and len(word) >= self.MIN_LETTERS and self._check_letters(word):
for k in self._breakdown_word(word):
return d
def _build_matrix(self):
"""Get a 2D Matrix representation of the board state"""
return [[l for l in i] for i in self.state.split(' ')]
def _traverse(self, x, y, visited=None):
"""Use a trie strategy with backrefs to previous passed positions until done"""
origin = (x, y)
if visited is None:
# to create a new visited param after first initialized
visited = [origin]
# Get valid move list
next_moves = [self._add_pair(origin, n) for n in self.MOVESETS if self._check_valid(self._add_pair(origin, n))]
# Test each next move
for move in next_moves:
if move not in visited:
path = visited + [move]
# check next word if possible, if so continue
possibility = self._xy_to_words(path)
if possibility in self.word_set:
if possibility in self.word_set.get(possibility):
self._traverse(move[0], move[1], path)
def _xy_to_words(self, coordinates):
"""Translate a set of matrix coordinates in order into a word"""
word = ''
for coord in coordinates:
word += self.matrix[coord[0]][coord[1]]
return word
class GameView():
"""CLI window for Displaying Game logic"""
def __init__(self, board):
self.board = board
self.matrix = board.matrix
self.TIME_LIMIT = 90
# Game Objects
self.game_running = False
self.guesses = set()
self.correct = set()
def display_board(self):
"""Print out the board space delimited with newline at bottom"""
for row in self.matrix:
print(' '.join(row))
def _end_game(self):
"""Display the Results"""
self.game_running = False
print('The words you got correct: ', self.get_correct())
print('The number of words you guessed: ', len(self.guesses))
print('Number of possible words on the Board:', len(self.board.on_board))
def get_correct(self):
"""Getter and formatter for words present on wordlist"""
return ' '.join(self.correct)
def _start_timer(self):
"""Start a timer, when it returns we want to tell the user the score"""
self.game_running = True
t = Timer(self.TIME_LIMIT, self._end_game)
def run(self):
"""Starts the Game"""
print('Starting game\n\n')
while self.game_running is True:
guess = input('\nA guess?: ')
if self.game_running is True:
if self.board.check_guess(guess):
print('Game Over!')
def main():
"""Game Starts Here"""
state = 'oslc elai tant myse'
wordlist = 'bsd_wordlist.txt'
board = Boggle(state, wordlist)
game = GameView(board)
if __name__ == '__main__':
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stanzheng commented Oct 20, 2016

I removed the word list in the last commit because it was killing peoples browsers. Sorry.

The word list can be found at /usr/share/dict/words on bsd systems or the link above.

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