Tools for adding challenges to WordWhile texts

All my time is currently being spent preparing texts for my new game, WordWhile. I start with a fairly well-known excerpt from literature in the public domain.  For now, I’m using Shakespeare.  I identify words with good Silly or Tricky potential and then start the work.  A sonnet, for example, is taking me about 3-4 hours to complete, with most of that time spent on the Silly challenges.  Hopefully I will not be the only person who is cracked up by some of the alternatives I come up with.  I use a number of tools to help me with this work.

This free online collocations dictionary helps me think of other words or categories of words that can follow a given word:

For tricky challenges, I often want words with the same or similar beginning (maybe a difference of one letter in the first four or five letters or with any “b” switched to “p” etc.).  For this, a dictionary searchable using “regular expressions” is invaluable and I sometimes use  .

However, there are various command line tools (egrep, less) and resources (/usr/share/dict/words, a list of 235,000 words) preinstalled on my OSX machines (I use a MacBook Pro and a pretty old iMac) and I more often use those. For example:

egrep '^l[aeiou]v[aeiou]$' ./words | less

gives me: lava, lave, levo, live, love. Or:

egrep '^[bp]............g$' ./words | less

shows me 14 letter words that start with b or p and end in g (bridgebuilding, panicmongering, etc.). I believe these tools are available in one form or another for all popular operating systems/platforms and there are plenty of excellent tutorials and documentation online to help with using regex and egrep.

For rhyming and near rhymes (which is often more productive), I use

For synonyms, antonyms and homonyms and other dictionary work, I go to and especially .  For “Silly” challenges, the latter has proven indispensable.

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