Hummy Arms Word Game v4.0

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Okay, here we go...

I'll pick a seed word by random in a minute.

Rules of Succession
  • Select any contiguous sub-string from the previous word of no less than three letters;
  • Reverse the sub-string;
  • Add letters at the beginning and/or the end of the sub-string, so that the total letter count is at least two more than the sub-string;
  • The resulting string must be a correctly spelt, recognised English word (not including proper nouns) - ie words that would be valid in Scrabble (but not those transliterated foreign words that appear in Scrabble dictionaries!). Note that not every word normally spelt with an initial capital is a proper noun (or not an excluded one, anyway);
  • The word must not be a repeat of a word played previously (and valid).
Rules of Nib
  • The two most recent players (including challengers - see below) are "in nib" and may not play a succession word while in nib;
  • A player in nib may challenge, or challenge a challenge;
  • Nib shall expire 48 hours after the time-stamp of that player's last play, 24 hours after the time-stamp of the next play, or 0 hours after the second-next play (whichever is the sooner).
Rules of Competition

v4.0 introduces a competitive element by scoring points. Players start with a score of zero, and accumulate points by making valid plays. Points scored per play shall be the number of letters in the sub-string, and each player shall be responsible for declaring the points claimed and maintaining their own cumulative total.

For example, from the seed "Example", a player with currently 123 points might play:
+3 = 126
Plays in contravention of the rules shall result in points deducted, see below.

Rules of Policing
  • The first player to correctly post a challenge to an invalid play shall claim 10 points, and the invalidated player shall deduct the score claimed for the invalid play and a further 10 points;
  • A challenge counts as a play, and can also be challenged with the same rewards and penalties;
  • A challenged play subsequently shown to be correct by a challenge to the challenge shall double its score for that play;
  • The claimed points for a play and the cumulative total are a constituent part of the play, and are equally open to being challenged;
  • The opportunity for challenge expires as soon as the play is no longer the most recent in the thread - once another play has been made, the previous play is automatically ruled valid (be that a word or a challenge);
  • No cumulative list of valid plays shall be maintained in public - it shall be the responsibility of players to check their plays or challenges;
  • A player may retract within the post edit window (ie no "last edited" flag) provided no successive post relies on it, by appending the play with "(retracted)". The only legitimate reason for doing this is a simultaneous post, where the post that got in first changed the state of play thus invalidating the play (and by leaving play in the post we can see that it related to the previous state of play).
  • Editing of posts subsequent to posting (if spotted), shall receive a penalty of 50 points.
Gentleman's Challenges (added 30/06/16)

Where a challenge is issued unaccompanied by a claim of points, this shall be regarded as a "gentleman's challenge" - the challenger does not benefit from it (or suffer penalty if overruled), although the player challenged is subject to the usual sanctions.

In the event that the challenger believes an honest mistake has been made in a points claim, he may make a gentleman's challenge with the suffix "- points sir!", which shall be responded to by the player challenged taking the opportunity to strike out the existing points claim (but leave it visible) and edit in a revised points claim. Failure to do so shall incur the usual penalties if a subsequent play is based on the unrevised points.


The game ends when we decide, or it peters out.


  • Maximum points for any particular play are achieved by using the greatest length sub-string from the current valid word possible (all of it, if possible);
  • The opportunity for the next player to score points is minimised by adding the minimum number of letters to the sub-string;
  • (Usually) more points can be scored by correctly challenging an invalid play than by succeeding from it.
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The Dumb One
Well bugger me and take all my points away. Too hard for me. I can't just add an 's' any more and the sums are beyond me.
Black Hole

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
+3 = 15

Trev's got his eyes closed and his fingers in his ears, playing his own game. The water's too hot here.