Read Introduction then press 'New Game' to Play!


Introduction: Testing your ability to play hangman.

Are you a NOVICE or a WIZARD PLAYER at Hangman?

After you have played the game a few times and thought about how you can improve your approach, You are invited to test the level of your creativity and ability in problem-solving in Hangman. Your level is a grading from: 0 to 6,

Your grading all depends on how few incorrect guesses you make in guessing the random word when you play Hangman. Your level status is decided over 5 games, but you can't afford to be hanged in any game. You can play the game alone with your Human strategy or you can use the 'Scanner' and/or 'Reduce Dictionary' buttons as a Human Computer-aided strategy

When you have reached the level of COMPETENT/EXPERT PLAYER, you are probably ready to undertake the final part of the challenge: to devise an algorithm/program to enable the Computer to play Hangman

Play the traditional game first to develop your own strategy to help you to be a more successful player of the game. The computer hosts this game for you. Can you express your strategy for finding the random word chosen in an explicit algorithm for your human solution? When you have given it a go, press 'Hints' for help and discussion and how to use the 'Scanner' and 'Reduce Dictionary' buttons to improve your game. The small Computing Dictionary, from which the computer chooses its random word, consists largely of words (and their meanings) used in Computing; words that help in understanding and navigating the subject of Computer Science. You can consult 'Hints' and Computing Dictionary page to help you design your strategies/algorithms.

Instructions to play the traditional game

  • The Computer dreams up a random word from its dictionary of Computing.
  • The aim of the game is to guess the letters with the least number of incorrect guesses to spell out and so identify the random word
  • Press 'New Game' to start.
  • Type in a letter of the alphabet or a hyphen(-) and press 'Guess a letter'.
  • You have 6 strikes and on the 6th incorrect guess you are out (hanged!). The solution and definition appears.
  • The letters you guess correctly are entered in the template for you, together with your strike count and a record of the letters you have tried.
  • If you guess the word before 6 strikes you win. The solution and definition appears. Your level status will be evaluated on your achievements over 5 games
  • The word and its definition, will be printed immediately below the buttons. For example, a word in our Computing dictionary might be:

heuristic: (1) enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves. "A ‘hands-on’ or interactive heuristic approach to learning". (That's what this exercise is about!) See the start of the Computing dictionary for more information and definitions when you start a new game...

Instructions to play the human computer-aided game

  1. Adapt your algorithm to take advantage of the 'Scanner' button, which helps with pattern matching and the 'Reduce Dictionary' button which reduces the size of the dictionary by including only relevant words, initially of the right length...
  2. Press 'Scanner' after you have started the game and have guessed a few letters correctly. The scanner will transform the dictionary words into a format that makes it easier to match your template against words in the dictionary. You do this by using the scroll bar to scroll down the page through the reformatted Computing dictionary.
  3. Press 'Reduce Dictionary' when you want to enlist the help of the computer to remove from the Computing dictionary all the words which do not have the required number of letters in the random word. You are then operating on a smaller 'current dictionary' of words of the right length.
  4. There will be other opportunities to reduce the size of the 'current dictionary' by including only those words that match the template. (To be implemented)
  5. Can you decide how to program these computer aids. Or other ways in which the computer can improve your game? These aids may play a part when you program the computer to play the game.

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