Guess my word!

I'm thinking of an uncapitalized English word, which you can try to guess. I'll tell you if my word is before or after your guess in alphabetical order. My word can be of any length from 1 to 15 letters. If my word starts with your word (e.g. my word is "cottage" and you guess "cot"), then it is considered to be after your word. You can only guess English words. The goal is to guess my word in as short a time as possible, or in as few guesses as possible, or whatever else you want to set as your goal. For leaderboard purposes, your time (starting when you make your first guess) and number of guesses will be tracked, but entering your name on the leaderboard is optional. There will be a new word every day.

This game has words chosen by joon. You might also want to try to guess words chosen by: mike

This word was updated on 09:00 Eastern, 7/5/2015. View the FAQ, or the leaderboard.

What is your guess?
  • 5/23/15: I think the new version now has all of the functionality of the old version. Let me know if you notice any bugs.
  • 5/21/15: I've created a spiffier version of Guess My Word using JavaScript. It may not work on Very Old browsers, but for almost everybody it should work fine (and also be a lot faster, since it doesn't have to load anything from the server between guesses). The old version will be going away soon. For now, you can only play today's words using the new version; I'll gradually add in the other functionality over the next few days.
  • 2/12/15: The game didn't reset this morning due to a server error. I've manually reset it as of 11:26 am Eastern.
  • 12/9/14: I fixed the leaderboard. I still don't really understand why it broke in the first place; that may remain forever mysterious. The fix involved replacing a few perfectly good lines of code with equivalent lines of code. Maybe it was a perl upgrade on the server or something that caused a few things to break. Anyway, it's all better now, but the unfortunately the leaderboard data from the last three weeks was never saved and can't be recovered. This includes plays of today's words prior to about 12:30 pm Eastern.
  • 11/19/14: The leaderboard seems to be toast. I have no idea why. You can still play normally, but when you enter your name for the leaderboard, nothing happens (and data is not being collected for overall leaderboard purposes). I'm working on it, but I don't have the faintest idea what's going wrong.
  • 11/15/14: There was a hiccup this morning, so I had to manually reset the game at 11 am. Not sure if it'll resurface tomorrow.
  • 5/28/14: Another tiny change: autocorrect, autocomplete, and spellcheck have been disabled for the guess entry field, so whatever you type in will be transmitted verbatim as your guess.
  • 5/16/14: A tiny update that will hopefully be invisible: when somebody's queue runs out, the program will now randomly select a word from a pared-down dictionary of basic English. It'll be less interesting than most words hand-picked by me or Mike, but it also won't be obscure.
  • 1/9/14: GMW didn't auto-reset this morning due to an issue on another server, but as of right now (noon Eastern) I've manually reset it.
  • 4/14/13: For various reasons, I've gone back and uncluttered the archive of GMW answers and gueses from 2010-11. (I still have them; they're just not online.) Unless you were diligently going back and playing through those archives, the only effect that this may have on you is that repeats of words that Mike or I used more than 16 months ago are now possible.
  • 8/31/12: Thanks to an Orwellian bureaucratic disaster that would be funny if it weren't so annoying, Harvard managed to delete my account today. I have successfully managed to have it restored, but two days' worth of GMW data were lost. Well, we will all live. My apologies if you did especially well on one of those two days.
  • 5/31/12: More server issues: although the game itself appears to work fine, the script that auto-posts to the blog every morning is now failing. Until I can figure out how to fix it, I'll just manually post every day as soon as I remember/get around to it.
  • 5/29/12: Due to a server error this morning, GMW was out of commission until now (3 pm Eastern).
  • 4/20/12: I've added functionality for a rudimentary overall leaderboard for people who use the same name on the leaderboard every day. You shouldn't take these results too seriously, both because people often don't use the same name every day, and because it doesn't (can't) distinguish between giving up and not playing at all (so that if you're really concerned about your overall averages, you're better off giving up if you are taking too many guesses/too much time). But anyway, it's there.
  • 2/13/12: There seem to have been slight delays in getting the word reset today and yesterday, but I can't figure out what went wrong, and anyway, the reset did happen, just 25 or so minutes late. If it persists I'll try harder to figure out what's going on.
  • 12/9/11: There have been problems in the last couple of days that have caused the reset script not to run automatically at 9 am. I have been running the reset manually and will continue to do so until I can figure out what's wrong. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • 10/27/11: I've added a link from the leaderboard to construct a word cloud formed by all of the guesses for that word, courtesy of Wordle. A word cloud is a graphical representation in which the font size of a word is proportional to the number of times it was guessed.
  • 10/7/11: Okay, I'm ditching the Facebook page, since they've announced that they'll be cutting discussion functionality at the end of the month. Instead, I'm starting a new (content-free!) blog, on which you'll be able to comment on the day's words. It'll autopost every day so that each day's words will get its own thread. (I'm not going to separate my word and Mike's word into different posts.)
  • 9/1/11: Mike's queue ran out again, and he's out of contact for a few days, so I cut and pasted a few of my words into his queue. As of 10:15 am his word is playable, but it's not really "his" (it was chosen by me).
  • 8/11/11: Mike's queue ran out earlier today, but it's been restored.
  • 4/16/11: It should no longer be possible to have exact repeats between the two word lists (Joon's and Mike's), except in the pathological case where both lists have the same word on the same day. Otherwise, once one list uses a word, it will be removed from the other person's list.
  • 12/10/10: Facebook page, take two. There's now a Facebook page for Guess My Word. That'll be where you can discuss the words. Try to keep the Wall spoiler-free, because posts on the Wall might show up in my feed before I've had a chance to guess today's word. Instead, use the Discussions tab.
  • 12/9/10: I'm trying out this Facebook "Like" button. If I understand this correctly, it'll mean that there'll be a little Facebook page for this guessing game. The practical implication is that if you (are on Facebook and) Like the game, you'll be able to use the "wall" of the Facebook page as a discussion board for the words. Feel free to post spoilers there. Might take a day or two for the page to autovivify. We'll see, I guess.
  • 12/8/10: "New feature" is a euphemism here, but there have been some little bugs recently that caused the loss of some leaderboard data. I think I've got them all ironed out now, but do let me know if you see something amiss.
  • 11/11/10: Updated the FAQ, and added a dictionary link for people who give up.
  • 9/3/10: Leaderboard now includes the guess history for each solver (as a mouseover).
  • 9/3/10: The leaderboard now tracks both solving time and number of guesses. The timer starts when you make your first guess.
  • 9/3/10: Old words are playable (although you won't be added to old leaderboards).
  • 8/31/10: Old leaderboards are viewable.