At some point or another, we have all played and lost Hangman, the fun game that involves one player thinking of a word, while the rest try to read his/her mind and guess, before the poor 'stick' man gets hanged. While a lot of words are difficult to figure out, there is apparently one, which is the hardest word of all - And, we guarantee you will never be able to guess what it is!
The quest for the hardest word to solve began when Jon Mcloone's six-year old daughter asked him how she could beat the computer at this fun game. Any normal dad would have simply replied 'keep trying'. Jon, who works for the developer of Mathematica, a software program used by professional scientists, mathematicians and engineers, decided he would take up the challenge and try figure it out!
He first wrote a computer program that would include all 90,000 words that are in the dictionary. Designed to play hangman by selecting words in a random fashion, just like humans, the program played over 15 million games in various versions.
The word that consistently stumped the computer was . . . . . . . Jazz! Why such a simple word? Mr. Mcloone believes it is the double ZZ's or FF's that seems to stump kids. Other hard words included buzz, jazzed, dizzy and hajj! Who would have guessed?
To read more about how Mr. Mcloone went about figuring this out and see which words made it to the top 25, check out his blog at wolfram.com.