Jotto puzzles came about while I was working on the AI to play Twisted Jotto. As I was having the computer try to guess the word, I had it output the number of words the secret word could possibly be, since it was picking somehow from that set of words. I found it kind of neat when it got down to only one possible word, and it came to me that I could record the guesses and turn it into a kind of single-player Jotto without the need for a computer (print out a bunch of them and take them on the subway, for instance). In order to make the game not too easy, I restricted it to scores on individual words of 0, 1, or 2 (so no scores of 3, 4, or 5). And because of how I generated the Jotto puzzles, the words are not necessarily in the order that the computer generated them, so an additional challenge could be to order them (knowing that the computer was adhering to Twisted Jotto rules).
At one point, I had thought I would post a Jotto puzzle every day with an annotated solution. The annotated solutions lasted for exactly 5 days before I lost interest, but I did manage to post a Jotto puzzle every day for about 14 months. Here's the first Jotto puzzle I posted:
guess score ----- ----- dells 0 swims 1 gummy 0 bract 0 pique 1 whoop 2And here's the rot-13 annotated solution:
Ybgf bs mrebf urer, fb guvf fubhyqa'g or gbb onq. Yrg'f fgneg ol ybbxvat ng rnpu jbeq gung qbrfa'g fpber mreb.
fjvzf fpberf 1, ohg jr pna xabpx bhg gur f'f sebz qryyf naq gur z sebz thzzl. Gung yrnirf hf jvgu rvgure j be v.
cvdhr fpberf 1, ohg jr pna xabpx bhg gur r sebz qryyf naq gur h sebz thzzl. Gung yrnirf hf jvgu c, v, be d
jubbc fpberf 2. Hasbeghangryl, vg qbrfa'g funer nal yrggref jvgu gur jbeqf gung fpber 0.
Jr ner yrsg jvgu:
Vs gur jbeq unf na v, gura vg unf ab j (jv=1) naq ab c (cvd=1). Gung tvirf hf ubb=2, juvpu vf rvgure ub be bb. Guvf tvirf hf gjb pbzovangvbaf: vub be vbb.
Vs gur jbeq qbrfa'g unir na v, gura vg unf n j (jv=1) naq rvgure n c be n d (cvd=1). Vs vg'f jc, gura gung gnxrf pner bs jubbc (jubbc=2). Vs vg'f jd, gura jr arrq rvgure na u be na b (jubbc=2). Guvf tvirf hf guerr zber pbzovangvbaf: jc, jdu, be jdb.
Jr abj unir svir cbffvoyr pbzovangvbaf. Fvapr gurer vf ab h (thzzl=0), vg'f hayvxryl gung gurer vf n d, fb jr pna vtaber gubfr pbzovangvbaf. Nyfb, vs vg'f jc, gura gurer jbhyq or ab ibjryf (nyy bs gur ibjryf, vapyhqvat l, ner ryvzvangrq ol jc), fb jr pna vtaber gung sbe abj. Gung yrnirf hf jvgu whfg gjb pbzovangvbaf: vub be vbb.
Abj, jr znxr n yvfg bs gur yrggref gung nera'g va nal bs gur thrffrf. Gurfr (cyhf cbffvoyr ercrgvgvbaf bs yrggref jr'ir nyernql thrffrq) ner jung jr arrq gb svyy bhg gur jbeq:
Gur a whzcf bhg evtug njnl, fvapr vg vf gur zbfg pbzzba yrggre yrsg. vbba ybbxf cebzvfvat, naq, vaqrrq, vg tvirf gur nafjre: bavba.
Here are a couple of other Jotto puzzles to whet your appetite:
guess score ----- ----- conus 2 trods 0 showy 2 ponty 2 benis 1 yugas 1 honda 2 guess score ----- ----- downs 2 yoops 1 ergot 1 vista 1 allod 1 lenes 1 hurds 1 prawn 2 union 1 guess score ----- ----- ratus 2 gnarl 2 mimeo 0 capul 1 lurry 2 hardy 1 churn 2I've also done ones with custom words, including the word "jotto" itself and my five-letter username elsewhere (which happens to be a legal five-letter word). I'm happy to do a custom one for anyone else, and I can do it for any number of letters (not sure how well 3 would work, but anything larger than that should work, although I haven't tested how easy it might be to generate/solve ones longer than eight letters).
Want more Jotto puzzles? I present to you all of the Jotto puzzles I created back when I was first working on these. If there's interest, I can generate arbitrarily many more. These are just text files, and you can print them out as they are on normal-sized paper and use the blank space to the right as your working space for solving. There are files with puzzles of five, six, seven, and eight letters.
Share and enjoy.