back to article Hacker murders Facebook word game

Anyone who's been mercilessly pummeled by a fistful of undesired consonants can tell you that board games are too often serious business. Add the anonymity and general dyspeptic attitude of the internet, and it's surely a recipe for short fuses. Witness: the white-hot passion and misdirected vengeance of fans of the popular …


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  1. GumboKing
    Paris Hilton

    Your poor Scrabble example


    In your scrabble image the OG and KY are not valid words, at least according to the TWL scrabble dictionary.


    Now that Scrabulous has been removed and Scrabble Beta is not working, I have much more time to post ridiculous comments like this.

    PH because she says OMG when she sees the KY.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Your poor Scrabble example

    /lost too many times at scrabble to someone who likes to build word squares, no matter how impossible it looks

    I'd imagine that was just a snapshot missing out the letters F, S & M round about the edges...

  3. Ru

    Re: Your poor Scrabble example

    "In your scrabble image the OG and KY are not valid words, at least according to the TWL scrabble dictionary."

    If not challenged, they can stay. This, at least, avoids some of the pitfalls of atrocious dictionaries (like yahoo's literati, for example) and keeps the game at the level of the players ;-)

    But then, standard are slipping these days. Some people accept anything on the SOWPODS which is terribly liberal in what it accepts, colloquialisms and foreign words be damned. I remember seeing a little scrabulous note one day that mentioned that their highest scoring opening word was 'muzjik' or some such idiocy.

    Argh. It's almost enough to make one FOTW.

  4. Kevin Johnston


    KY is on the list of valid two letter combinations which came with my boxed Scrabble game and is a Scots word for cow (confirmed by my Scottish in-laws). Don't know about Og though but I do recall people who have won Scrabble competitions with obscure Tibetan words for the sound made by a Yak falling onto a snow covered flower or some such. Always thought you could only use words in the language for which the set was intended but when did rules ever matter.

  5. Torben Mogensen


    Scrabble boards tend to be a bit larger than the shown, so there are probably parts we don't see. So "KY" could be parts of "SKY", "SHAKY", or many others, and the "AA" near the bottom right could be part of "AARDWARK", which I wish I ever get the opportunity of building in Scrabble. :-)

  6. GrahamT


    Several of the words look dodgy to me (AA? I thought abreviations wern't allowed), however to fix the ones you mentioned, change OG to OR and LEEK to SEEM and everything is cuil.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    KY is valid in SOWPODS however OG is not. So nearly half right given this is an English site!

  8. Simon
    Dead Vulture


    I remember as a 7 year old child trying to use the word "AA" on a Scrabble board and being told it wasn't a proper word, the grown-up then put the Scrabble away and told me I could only play Mastermind instead.

    Thanks El Reg for opening up old wounds which I had dug deep down and supressed for many years *Sob!*

    I will be sending you a therapy bill...

  9. John

    Back again...

    Now here's odd - Scrabulous was gone from Facebook yesterday evening (UK time) but was back again this morning.

  10. Stephen Gazard

    got to go and buy a real board then...

    Oh. Hang on, I just did, and it arrived yesterday. That's fortuitous!

    However, it's still annoying that they killed off a good app, rather than work with the makers.

    The only question is how are they blocking it? Is it based on IP addresses (proxies sounding like a good ploy), or is it based on the location provided in facebook? If the latter, expect a number of UK players to become 'irish' or something similarly innocuous

  11. James Rossell

    Dont Worry...

    Just use it does the same job but only better!


  12. SpeakerToAliens

    Lets hope they don't go after PHPDiplomacy too.

    I'd use the "knife in the back" symbol of Diplomacy if there was one, but there isn't, so Pirate will have to do.

  13. Chris Gregory

    Erm, removed?

    Really - still seems alive and well to me

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: Your poor Scrabble example

    OG and KY are both in SOWPODS (Official scrabble word list), the dictionary that everyone expect the dirty merkins use. So they are valid words...

  15. Anonymous Coward

    double-score pedantry

    Most scrabble boards are a little bit larger than the piece shown, perhaps there's actually room for a "d" before "og" and a "s" above "ky"?

    (I reckon that about shows my scrabble skill level btw!)

    Mine's the one with the elbow patches...

  16. Chris Richards

    @Your poor Scrabble example


    So sowpods is the dictionary of choice here - not the Americanised crap that is TWL - it lacks so many antequated words, making scrabble by guesswork very difficult.


    Although og still doesn't appear, ky does (and obscurely, according to the OED, is the plural of cow in Scottish and northern dialects).

  17. Anonymous Coward

    As the Kidnapster guy on Futurama said:

    "The Internet's about the free exchange and sale of other people's ideas."

    The BBC ran a story on the Scrabaulous saga when it first broke. Their generic Scrabble pic said, "bum". Sadly, while I laughed and directed my colleagues to it, I didn't screen cap it.

  18. Stuart Harrison
    IT Angle


    ... Didn't Hasbro enter into a revenue sharing / licensing agreement with the Scrabulous creators rather than setting the lawyers on them? That way everyone would've been happy surely?

  19. Tim


    <pedantic geologist>

    Aa is a valid word, not an abbreviation. It comes originally from Hawaiian and is a blocky-textured variety of lava.

    </pedantic geologist>

  20. Dave Gomm


    they probably couldn't make a deal with Scrabulous as they'd already sold video game rights to EA

  21. Richard Gadsden

    Re; Why...

    R e v e n u e ?

    Sorry, not getting you there.

  22. TeeCee Gold badge



    I'd like to challenge that one please........

  23. shamalot

    Better alternatives

    Hardly surprising Scrabulous got shut down considering the blatantly similar name and identical board layout, letter points and game rules. And not too much of a loss, considering there are plenty of much better games in a similar vein which don't restrict themselves to all Scrabble's limitations.

    Google CrossCraze for one of the better ones...

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Torben Mogensen

    Surely you mean "AARDVARK"

  25. Scott Silver badge


    These companies are controlled by lawyers and accountants. It looks like the lawyers have the bigger say in this one!

  26. Simon


    *You* are my therapist!

    Now just need to seek revenge on above mentioned grown-up.

    How much do I owe you? Do you do contract hits as well?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Torben Mogensen

    Yup, your quite right: it's a cropped image. Here's the original:

    As used on the Scrabulous site [ ]

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Og is a perfectly good word..

    Og is a perfectly valid (Gaelic) word meaning 'young'. What? You don't allow Gaelic?

    Fhalabh 'sa boc!

  29. Ian

    Is it just me...

    ... That, much as I dislike big companies muscling in, thinks Hasbro were completely in their rights to clobber these two? They *stole* scrabble lock, stock, and triple word score. The rules, layout, design, everything. And then made money off it through advertising.

    Not sure how anyone can defend that, imagine if they scanned in a book you wrote, put it online, and made money off advertising surrounding it? The idea that they should enter a "revenue share" scheme is like someone nicking stuff out your shop to sell on the street in front of you and you decide it's OK if they give you half the profit?

  30. Anonymous Coward

    Enough about OG and KY already

    What the hell is Lown?

  31. Adam Cherrett
    Thumb Up

    Re: Actually...

    <geological pedant>

    I second that, Tim. To elaborate, it is a two-syllable word, which I was told by a man in a pub comes from the sound one makes when walking barefoot across blocky lava flows. This, however, does not shed any light on why its smoother-surface equivalent is called 'pahoehoe', other than that the Hawaiian language must be full of really cool words.

    </geological pedant>

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


  33. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @ Ian - You are right

    For good or bad Hasbro have the rights and can exercise them as they feel fit.

    Hasbro appear to be a company very much into protecting itself and its products. I've just been modding a toy video player of theirs and they did everything they could to stop that being easily hacked; it uses its own size discs ( small ones are detected as too small, full-size discs requires cutting much of the case away including the case closed detector ), the video data is non standard, held in audio tracks. It didn't stop some bright sparks figuring how to get round all that but it does point to a company which takes protecting its products seriously, and why not ?

    Never stand on the shoulders of giants and expect not to get knocked off.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OG is not a word... it's circumstance :-)

    Look at the image again, you don't get points for OG. But you get points for the two words that are vertical. :-)

  35. I.M.Fantom
    Gates Horns

    Server meltdown

    Hasbro 15,000 users, Facebook Scrabulous 1,500,000 users.

    Scrabulous server shutdown and migration to Hasbro = hasbro Server meltdown.

    OMG, what do we do? Blame the "hackers" rather than incompetent Hasbro management.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    The BBC's bum

    "Broadcasting Under-Manager". I thought abbreviations didn't count?

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