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Behold, Scrabb.ly, the massive multiplayer online Scrabble game. That’s a zoom-out snapshot of the map, showing our little corner. It’s a couple of months old now, and whole thing is much, much bigger — passed four million tiles on Sunday. Kind of cool to look at.

Because it’s multiplayer, the rules — and strategies — are a little different. It’s always your turn. After the first word you play, you can only play off the tiles you’ve already played. Other people’s tiles appear grayed out. The only way to play their tiles is to bridge your word to their word — and then, you only free up the one tile you touch.

In other words, if you get surrounded, it’s a stone cold booger to break free.

The square in the middle, up there? That’s us about an hour ago. We had to spell like a bastard to get down and below that guy on the left, spelling at us hard. One day, I’m going to wake up socked in tight, several tiles deep, and it’ll be all over.

So the strategy is: make word shapes that are easy to build off, and spell your way away from the continent. Fast.

You code monkeys may enjoy this article on the why’s and how’s of building Scrabb.ly.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 27, 2010, 10:01 pm

If you wade in, take my advice: before you place your first tile, scroll yourself to the edge of the word mass and spell out into open sea for a while.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 27, 2010, 10:07 pm

Arrr, Matey!

Hang on – that was last month, wasn’t it?

Comment from Mitchell
Time: October 27, 2010, 11:45 pm

I played it badly and got stuck uberfast. If you have one of these smarty phones get the game “Angry Birds”. It’s way more fun than it ought to be.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 28, 2010, 12:42 am

Of course, if you need something of a more humorous bent, you could always read the writeup on Justice Kagan’s first case. She voted against an execution by lethal injection because, according to her, the Drugs involved were UNSAFE FOR THE INTENDED USE………


Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 28, 2010, 1:02 am

Kind of reminds me of the Robin Wiliams bit about swabbing the convicts arm with alchohol to avoid giving them that last second infection….

Pingback from Tweets that mention S. Weasel — Topsy.com
Time: October 28, 2010, 1:23 am

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scrabb.ly, Stoaty Weasel. Stoaty Weasel said: @scrabb_ly flogging scrabb.ly to my little circle http://bit.ly/9kwHM6 […]

Comment from EZnSF
Time: October 28, 2010, 3:32 am

High tech weaselly hibernation?

‘Tis coming winter. T’will be spring fore chicks receive fresh nappies?

Comment from TimB52
Time: October 28, 2010, 4:55 am


Whose word was that?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 28, 2010, 10:38 am

Mine! Mine! Buggery was mine! Though my best so far is “avocado” — used all my letters and, combined with bonuses, yielded 109 points.

Say, it ain’t one of you mooks who’s built onto my words and is running in parallel, is it?

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: October 28, 2010, 11:51 am

That picture looks all nicely fractal-ly, which reminds me, Benoit Mandelbrot died last week if you didn’t alreay know.

Well, even if you DID already know, he still died last week.

I have several of his books, I wish I could say I read them with interest and that they changed my life, but sadly all I can manage is “Whoa, that’s a cool one!” Oh, and I did get the bit about measuring the coastline of Britain. I think, although I fear the fact that I think I got it means I didn’t.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: October 28, 2010, 12:18 pm

ACK! I think I’m hooked.

Someone bring me a sandwich

Comment from steve
Time: October 28, 2010, 4:58 pm

Here you go!


Let me know if you need anything else.

Comment from TimB52
Time: October 28, 2010, 5:02 pm

I added TAVERN and a few others around there. But then I ended up with a pot full of vowels and had to quit.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 28, 2010, 5:17 pm

You don’t have to quit. You have three “lives” — burn a life, and it’ll give you all new tiles. Land on a white star, get another life.

I have forty something lives now. I can always find *some* place to stick a vowel. I had four flippin’ Q’s at one point. And five I’s at another.

Everybody play in parallel and we’ll be fine.

Comment from MikeW
Time: October 28, 2010, 6:18 pm

Just passed a thousand point, erg, timesuck indeed. Course this would be a whole lot easier if I could get blank tiles to work. Argh! Lowercase, uppercase, click OK or press return… no workie for me. Gotta burn life to clear blanks from rack. Argh!

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: October 28, 2010, 8:01 pm

OT: Those of us who imagine we have PhotoShop skillz can only bow to sheer genius:



Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 28, 2010, 9:24 pm

I see the Internet accounts for over 7% of GB’s economy…

That you, Weez? And if so, come back and fix ours first!

Comment from jwpaine
Time: October 28, 2010, 9:27 pm

Ric Locke: Excellent, but I think that P-shop would work even better going from B. Hussein O’Jugears to Barney Fife.

Comment from Mark
Time: October 28, 2010, 10:42 pm

No, Ears to Ears is far better. Sotero and Tyson!

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: October 28, 2010, 10:58 pm

No no no no no no no no no. I refuse to get swept up in this, you hear? I’ve been studiously avoiding it since its inception, as I already spend considerably way too much wasted unproductive time on the innertubes already. Do not try to suck me in.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: October 29, 2010, 12:41 am

@ Nina
Hey! I used ‘fetes’ for the first time since I ever saw the word. Also used ‘bocce’ for a triple word. Not to mention, my word-trail is purposefully going off the beaten path into an unknown universe.


(and I can’t even spell!)
(and I was late for work this morning)

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: October 29, 2010, 2:43 am


Although I will be home recovering from surgery next week, so…

No! Get thee behind me, satan!

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2010, 11:33 am

Scrabb.ly parachuted, like, EIGHT noobs into my territory last night. I tried not to surround anyone, but I had them on either side engaging me in a pincer movement.

I think I’m in the clear this morning.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2010, 12:17 pm


Comment from Blast Hardcheese
Time: October 29, 2010, 12:58 pm

My own personal timesuck is Minecraft:


An indie game written (in Java, no less) by one Markus Persson (AKA Notch). Still in Alpha – $13 will get you the game as is plus all future updates. The ultimate sandbox game – think virtual Legos, but with actual landscapes.

Comment from WunderKraut
Time: October 29, 2010, 8:03 pm

Rats I cant get the blanks to work….traded tiles and got two more…sigh

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 29, 2010, 8:06 pm

Why won’t the blanks work? I’m on FireFox and haven’t had a problem with them.

The maps aren’t updating properly today.

Comment from WunderKraut
Time: October 29, 2010, 8:15 pm

Get us some answer Weasel, stat!

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