Dec 222017
The Six Letter Word Game - a challenge of logic and vocabulary. Newly released March 1993.

Full Description of File

The Six Letter Word Game, Version 4.2 (3/93)
A simple but challenging test of your powers
of reasoning and vocabulary. Guess a secret
word selected from a dictionary of over 6300
six letter words. Play alone, in groups, or
competitively. Freeware. Runs on any PC.

File SIXLTR42.ZIP from The Programmer’s Corner in
Category Games and Entertainment
The Six Letter Word Game – a challenge of logic and vocabulary. Newly released March 1993.
File Name File Size Zip Size Zip Type
FILE_ID.DIZ 274 207 deflated
SIXLTR.DAT 38196 14089 deflated
SIXLTR.DOC 19261 6508 deflated
SIXLTR.EXE 64254 40636 deflated

Download File SIXLTR42.ZIP Here

Contents of the SIXLTR.DOC file

Release 4.2 March 1993

Ralph Nottingham Robert Gellman
620 S.E. Federal Highway 431 Fifth Street, S.E.
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441 Washington, D.C. 20003

(C) COPYRIGHT 1988-1993 Ralph Nottingham and Robert Gellman

The SIX LETTER WORD GAME is a simple but challenging word game that
tests your vocabulary and your powers of reasoning. The program randomly
selects a six letter secret word from a dictionary of over 6300 words.
Your goal is to identify the secret word. You proceed by guessing six
letter words. The computer will tell you how many letters in your guess
appear in the same position in the secret word.

Keep making guesses until you have identified the word. The computer
will then rate your effort based on the number of guesses, the difficulty
of the word, and the familiarity of your vocabulary.

You can also play competitively against another person by letting the
computer select a word at random for the first player. You then enter the
same word and let the second player guess it. Decide in advance whether
the higher score wins or the fewest guesses.

The SIX LETTER WORD GAME is also a good game to play in a group or in
teams. Try it in your office at lunch.


To start the program, just enter SIXLTR at the DOS prompt. The two
essential files are SIXLTR.EXE and SIXLTR.DAT. Both of these files must be
in the current directory when the game is started. If SIXLTR.DAT is not in
the current directory or if the file is corrupted in any way, an error
message will appear and the program will terminate.

The program will run under DOS 2.0 or better. The program requires
256 K and is compatible with both color and monochrome monitors. A
graphics card is not needed.

If you want to start playing, go ahead. The first screen explains how
the program's mechanics work. Try some words and you will catch on very
quickly. Nothing in this short DOC file is vital. Read it once, but the
documentation is not worth printing. The file was created with margins at
5 and 75. There are form feeds approximately every 60 lines.

You may use upper or lower case letters. All input will be translated
into upper case.


The program calculates a score for each secret word. The scoring is
strictly artificial, but you may find it makes the game a bit more
interesting. The score is based on the number of guesses it took, whether
you used known words in making guesses, the degree of difficulty of the
secret word, and whether you asked for a hint.

Each word begins with a value of 100. Each guess reduces the value by
3 points. However, if you use a word that appears in the program's
dictionary, only 2 points are deducted. The idea is to encourage the use
of real words rather than meaningless collections of letters. This makes
the game more challenging. If you guess a word that is in the program's
dictionary, a small dot will appear to the right of the number of hits.
If your guess is not in the dictionary, no dot will appear.

The last element in the score is the degree of difficulty of the
secret word. Words are rated based on the number of hard letters (such as
J, Q, X, Z, and a few others), the presence of double or triple letters,
the presence of only one vowel in the word, and the placement of vowels.

Ordinary words (such as CRADLE or TAILOR) have a degree of difficulty
of 1.0. Harder words (such as JAILED or BUBBLE) have a higher rating.
Prior to version 4.0, the degree of difficulty was capped at 2.0. The cap
has been lifted, and words can have any degree of difficulty calculated by
the algorithm. Other minor changes in the scoring algorithm have been made
with version 4.0.

For those who are interested, the top 12 words are ANYWAY (2.7),
AZALEA (2.7), BLABBY (2.7), BOWWOW (3.0), BUBBLY (2.7), BYWAYS (2.7),
FRIZZY (2.9), JAZZED (2.9), PIAZZAS (2.7), SCUZZY (2.9), SKYWAY (2.7), and
SNAZZY (2.9). The highest rated word that I could find was SYZYGY (3.5),
but it is not in the program's dictionary because it is too obscure.

The total score is calculated by multiplying the score you have earned
times the degree of difficulty. If a word was entered rather than
selected by the computer, it will appear with a dot on the "high five"
screen. With version 4.0, scores of zero will appear in the high score
table if they qualify.

There are two different all-time high score tables. This is a new
feature with version 4.0. One high score table ranks words by total score,
and the other by number of guesses. Each table holds six words, and the
same word can appear in both tables. The all-time table is saved in a disk
file called SIXLTR.HGH. At each session, you will be asked if you want to
enter today's scores in that file. No disk file will be created or changed
unless you agree. To erase scores from the all-time high score table, just
erase the file from the DOS prompt. The file will be recreated the next
time you play.

Note that a word chosen by the player (rather than the computer) will
not qualify for the all-time high score tables. Similarly, a word solved
with the use of a hint will not qualify. Both types of words will appear
in the daily table, but each will be specially identified.


Hints are available beginning with version 4.0. Hit F5 to bring up
the hint menu. You can ask for any one letter in the word. The first
letter costs 15 points. Any other letter costs 5 points. Only one hint is
available for each word. You may exit the hint screen without accepting a
hint. Once you have used a hint, the prompt indicates that no more hints
are available. If you use a hint, your effort will not qualify for the
all-time high score table.


Once a word has been selected, the F1, F5, and F10 keys are available.
Hitting F1 brings up four consecutive help screens. The first screen shows
the basic rules, and it is identical to one of the introductory screen.
The second help screen explains the basic reasoning necessary to play the
game successfully. The strategy is not repeated in this document. The
third help screen briefly explains the scoring. The final help screen
explains how to use the work space.

Hitting F5 brings up the hint menu. The hint facility is discussed

Hitting F10 during a game allows you to exit. You are first asked if
you want to know the current word. You then have the chance to start
another game or exit to DOS.

Version 4.0 includes an on-screen work space. When playing the game,
it is sometimes helpful to write down letters as they are deduced. This
facility is now provided by the program. There is a double-lined box with
six marked spaces toward the bottom of the screen. By hitting the TAB key,
you can enter the box and make notes. The box holds only six letters, and
any blank space is filled with a dash. Standard editing keys (right & left
arrows, HOME, END) work in the box. To exit the box, hit the TAB key
again. You will be returned to the spot where you were when you entered
the space. The F1, F5, and F10 keys are operational when you are in the
work space.

Entering a letter or space in the work space does not move the cursor.
You must use the arrow keys to move the cursor. This feature allows you to
test alternative letters easily. For example, if you think that the last
five letters of the secret word are OCKED, you can enter these letters in
the work space, position the cursor at the first letter, and go through the
alphabet testing all letters. The word could be LOCKED, ROCKED, MOCKED,


Before each game, you have the option of entering your own secret word
rather than allowing the computer to select a word. This permits you to
play a competitive game with others. Allow the computer to select the word
for the first player. That player then enters the same word for other
players. The program will accept any secret word that you enter. Your
word will not be checked against the dictionary so you can enter any
combination of six letters that you want.


There are over 6300 words in the program's dictionary. While that is
a lot of words, not all six letter words have been included. An attempt
has been made to exclude obscure words, proper names, and foreign words.
Nevertheless, although the dictionary has been edited with care, some
unsuitable or incorrect words may have slipped through. If you have a
reasonably good vocabulary, you will recognize at least 98% of the words.

Not all ordinary words are in the program's dictionary. You will
guess some simple words and find that the program does not know them. Your
score may be reduced a bit as a result. Sorry about that, but it is
difficult to identify all forms of some words.

Version 2.0 included 5483 words. Over 800 words were added in
subsequent releases. Identifying words is harder than it sounds. Is
TAHINI too obscure or too foreign to qualify? Is there really a plural
form of CRUDE? Is HARMER really a word even though it appears in
Webster's? Should the past tense of HARK be added? My dictionary says
that UNCLIP is a word, but is it too obscure? Is MUDPIE one word or two?

Remember that there are lots of words that end in ING, ED, and LY.
There are also many plural words. This may help you to devise a strategy
for making guesses. You may find it useful to know that over 13% of the
words end in ED; 10% end in ER; and 23% end in S.

If you identify missing, misspelled, or objectionable words, please
let us know. During testing, we continually found good six letter words
that were not in the dictionary. You will almost certainly have the same
experience. Write down any words that you find to be missing and send them
to Robert Gellman, 431 Fifth Street, S.E., Washington, D.C. 20003.

Please note that you are not authorized to alter the dictionary on
your own. Making any additions, subtractions, or changes in the dictionary
will not likely to accomplish your objective. The program expects to find
the dictionary exactly as it is. Any alterations to the dictionary may
prevent the program from operating as intended or at all.

For those who are interested, only 18% of the words have a difficulty
of 1.0. Just over half of the words rate a score of 1.4 or less. About
4.5% of words are worth 2.0 or higher. There are only 22 words with a
score of 2.5 or above.


The original program (written in BASIC) and the first dictionary were
put together by Ralph Nottingham. This version was written by Robert
Gellman in Microsoft's QuickBASIC 4.5 using the PROBAS Professional BASIC
Programming Library. PROBAS is a product of Hammerly Computer Services of
Laurel, Maryland.


This program and accompanying documentation are provided "as is"
without warranty of any kind. The entire risk of using the program is
assumed by the user. Ralph Nottingham and Robert Gellman disclaim all
warranties, either express or implied. In no event shall we be liable for
any damages whatsoever arising out of the use of or inability to use this

This program is freeware. You are licensed to use the program and to
give copies to others. You may upload the program together with this
documentation on computer bulletin boards anywhere. No registration or
other fee is owed to the authors. However, both the program and this
documentation are copyrighted by Ralph Nottingham and Robert Gellman. No
one is authorized to make changes to either. Also, no one is authorized to
sell the program except as specifically provided in this documentation.

The program may be distributed by software clubs, computer bulletin
boards, and shareware/freeware libraries at a standard charge for media and
distribution. The maximum charge permitted without specific written
permission from the authors is $6.00. No other forms of distribution for
money are authorized.


If you find any errors, please let us know exactly when and how they
arose. The program has been extensively tested, but we cannot guarantee
that it is bug-free. Suggestions for changes or improvements will be


As of the date of this file, Gellman Software has released these
freeware games:

POKER571 - Head to Head Draw Poker (freeware)
1POKER14 - Poker Solitaire (freeware)
CALC15 - Calculation Solitaire (freeware)
LABELLE4 - La Belle Lucie Solitaire (public domain)
SIXLTR42 - Six Letter Word Game (freeware)

The last two programs were coauthored by other programmers.

In addition, Gellman Software has published two shareware programs:


This program stores, manipulates, and prints records needed to
manage a portfolio of stocks. STOCK PORTFOLIO RECORD MANAGER totally
replaces or supplements paper records. It provides powerful reports
about your portfolio, transactions, and dividends. Both laser and dot
matrix printers are supported. Anyone who has investments in the
stock or bond markets should consider using this program.


If you own a house, condominium, cooperative, house trailer, or
any type of residence, you need HOME BASIS RECORD MANAGER. This
program will help you keep track of the basis (or cost) of your home.
This information is vital when you sell your home. By using the HOME
BASIS RECORD MANAGER, you can be certain that you will have all the
information necessary to minimize the taxes due on the profits from
the sale of your home.

These programs are available from the Public Software Library, P.O.
Box 35705, Houston, TX 77235. The latest versions are normally sent to PSL
as soon as they are released. I recommend PSL to anyone interested in
shareware or freeware. Gellman Software programs are also available on
finer computer bulletin boards in the Washington, DC area and elsewhere.
Copies of all programs are available from Gellman Software. Send a
self-addressed, stamped mailer and disk to the address on the first page.
State which programs you want. IMPORTANT: Please indicate if you know how
to handle ZIP archives. If you want all programs, send one 1.2 Meg disk,
two 360K disks if you can unZIP, or three 360K disks if you do not
understand ZIP archives. There is no charge if you supply the disk, the
mailer, and the postage.


Version 4.2 - Released in March 1993. Minor expansion of dictionary.
Internal efficiencies slightly reduced the program size.

Version 4.1 - Released in September 1991. Minor changes only. The
dictionary was expanded, and the closing screen was added.

Version 4.0 - Released in December 1990. Major changes included addition
of a hint facility; revision of the scoring algorithm;
removal of the cap on the degree of difficulty of words;
expansion of the dictionary; revision of the help screens
and the game screen; addition of an on-screen work space;
and addition of two different permanent high score tables.

Version 3.0 - Released in September 1989 as freeware. Many minor changes
were made to the screens and the internal workings of the
program. The scoring screens were revised to contain more
information. Over 100 words were added to the dictionary.

Version 2.0 - A completely revised and enhanced version written in
QuickBASIC was released as shareware in February 1989. The
dictionary was revised, and the program screens were totally
redesigned. The scoring system was added.

Version 1.0 - This was the original BASIC program by Ralph Nottingham.

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