Some guidelines for scoring wordsWords are to be given a score from 1-100. But how to assign a score? These guidelines are just our opinion of how to rank words. They should give you an idea of what to think about when scoring words. By no means do you need to strictly adhere to the suggestions on this page.
Think of this project as painting an enormous canvas. The important thing is to get the image as a whole to look good. Maybe you think a rock in the corner should be a certain shade of gray, while I think it should be another shade, but that doesn't matter. Let's get most "good" words ranked higher than most undesirable words, and not worry so much about nitpicky little details.
With that in mind, here's what we recommend:
- 90+ should be reserved for well-known "in the language" words or phrases with high Scrabble counts. Use high scores like this sparingly. Examples: JUKEBOX, PUBQUIZ, FAUXHAWK
- 80+ : single words (as opposed to phrases) that don't quite measure up to 90; excellent, interesting, well-known proper nouns; plurals, past tenses, etc. of 90-words; also stuff that no one dislikes
- 50+ plurals, past-tenses, etc. of 80-words; single words that absolutely in-the-language and unchallengeable; best and highest quality partials; words with one prefix or one suffix if otherwise marginal. Use your judgment to see if a word is in the 50s, 60s or 70s.
- 40+ Maybe you can stick plurals of names (ANNES, RONS) here, along with some partials. Examples: EMMAS, ADOG, FROMTHE. Roman numerals should be 40 exactly. NOTE: I would say that 40 is the minimum value you should use when filling a grid using this list. So if you move something below forty, you will probably never use it, and most people will never see it.
- 30+ last-resort; words that suck but nevertheless are legit; second-tier partials (e.g., a-partials and I-partials); crosswordese, obscurities, etc.; stuff that might pass muster as glue holding together top-notch stuff in themeless puzzles, etc.; plurals of unusual or not-well-known proper nouns, sound words, etc.; words with a prefix and a suffix, if non-marginal (and one or the other if marginal)
- 20+ This might be a good spot to stick words you've never seen outside of a crossword. Or, you can put it lower if you'd like. Obscure abbreviations can also go here. Examples: ERNE, ANIS, NLE
- 1+ is for words you just hate. If you look at a word and think "I would never under any circumstances use that in a crossword," throw it down here in the dungeon. It's okay for them to be there, just so long as they never get used.
- 0: Score a word from the list as 0 if you think it is a thematic entry that somehow got put into the word list. Such words will be marked for deletion by a list administrator, so do this with extreme caution! Examples: RUNAROUNDSUEZ, GINGERLYSNAP, WARRENPEASE.
- The scoring of a word kind of depends on the day of the week for which the puzzle is intended. For instance, on a Monday, partials are fine, but obscurities are not. On a Saturday, you can put in more obscure words and names, but not words that can be clued only one way. So don't kill yourself trying to find the ideal score for an entry; just get as good a score as you think you can.