Zyzzyva: The Last Word in Word Study


2013 National School SCRABBLE® Championship

Welcome to Zyzzyva, a word study program created by SCRABBLE® player Michael Thelen. This program is also a simple and useful tool to adjudicate game play for SCRABBLE® players. It is the official word judge program for The School SCRABBLE® Program and the National School SCRABBLE® Championship. It includes the word list from Merriam-Webster, Inc.'s Official SCRABBLE Players Dictionary, Fourth Edition (OSPD4).

Zyzzyva can help you:

  • Study the words in in the OSPD4, with definitions.
  • Find words matching a variety of search conditions.
  • Easily adjudicate challenges during a game.

To download Zyzzyva for your School SCRABBLE® Program:

To use this program you will have to download it to your computer. This is a safe, secure site. Decide whether you will want it on your desktop or laptop. Using it on a laptop is very helpful as you can transport it easily to your SCRABBLE® club or tournament wherever it meets.

Then, follow these step-by-step directions. You may want to print this screen before beginning.


Step 1: Download Zyzzyva

To begin, click one of the download links below, corresponding to the type of computer you are using. Be sure to note where the downloaded file is saved on your computer.

Windows

Download
Installer, 50 MB

Mac OS X

Download
Disk Image, 57 MB

Linux

Download for 32-bit
Installer, 52 MB

Download for 64-bit
Installer, 52 MB


Step 2: Install Zyzzyva

If you are using Windows:

  1. Find the location where the downloaded file, Zyzzyva-2.2.1-windows-installer.exe, was saved.
  2. Double click the file to begin the installer.
  3. You may see a window that says something like, "The publisher could not be verified. Are you sure you want to continue?" This is to protect you. Click Yes or Run.
  4. You will see a screen that says, "Welcome to the Zyzzyva Setup Wizard." Click Next.
  5. Read and accept the License Agreement, and click Next.
  6. The next screen will suggest an installation directory. Accept the suggested directory or choose another directory you prefer, and click Next.
  7. You will see a screen that says, "Setup is now ready to begin installing Zyzzyva on your computer." Click Next.
  8. If the installation is successful, click Finish. There will now be a Zyzzyva shortcut on your computer's desktop background.

If you are using Mac OS X:

  1. Open Finder and find the location where the downloaded file, Zyzzyva-2.2.1-osx-intel.dmg, was saved.
  2. Double click the saved file. This will cause "Zyzzyva-2.2.1" to appear on the left pane in the Finder. It may also cause a separate window to appear, containing three files: Zyzzyva-2.2.1, assistant, and README.txt.
  3. Select Zyzzyva-2.2.1 and assistant and drag them into the Applications directory on the left pane of the Finder window.
  4. If you want a Zyzzyva icon in your Dock, open the Applications folder and drag the Zyzzyva-2.2.1 program into your Dock.

If you are using Linux:

  1. Find the location where the downloaded file, Zyzzyva-2.2.1-linux-x64-installer.run, was saved. The file name will contain x32 or x64 depending on whether you downloaded the 32-bit or 64-bit version.
  2. Open a Terminal window and go to the saved file location by using the cd command, like this (assuming the file was saved in the Downloads folder of your home directory):
    cd ~/Downloads
  3. Make the installer file executable, like this (don't forget to use x32 or x64 in the filename as appropriate):
    chmod +x Zyzzyva-2.2.1-linux-x64-installer.run
  4. Run the installer file, like this:
    ./Zyzzyva-2.2.1-linux-x64-installer.run
  5. You will see a screen that says, "Welcome to the Zyzzyva Setup Wizard." Click Next.
  6. Read and accept the License Agreement, and click Next.
  7. The next screen will suggest an installation directory. Accept the suggested directory or choose another directory you prefer, and click Next.
  8. You will see a screen that says, "Setup is now ready to begin installing Zyzzyva on your computer." Click Next.
  9. If the installation is successful, click Finish. There will now be a Zyzzyva shortcut on your computer's desktop background.

Step 3: Set up Zyzzyva to use OSPD4

Zyzzyva comes with several word lists that can be used. However, you must configure Zyzzyva to tell it which ones you want it to use. For the NSSC, only the OSPD4 lexicon is necessary. Follow these instructions to configure Zyzzyva to use only the OSPD4 word list.

  1. If using Windows or Linux, double-click the Zyzzyva icon on your desktop.
    If using Mac OS X, click the Zyzzyva icon in your Applications directory or in the Dock.
  2. When Zyzzyva starts for the first time, it will display a Select Lexicons window. Initially, both Default and Load will be selected next to the OWL2 word list.
  3. To get Zyzzyva to use only OSPD4, do the following:
    • Select the Load checkbox next to OSPD4.
    • Select the Default checkbox next to OSPD4.
    • De-select the Load checkbox next to OWL2.
    • Click OK.
  4. Zyzzyva will display a new window, which ask whether the OSPD4 lexicon database should be created. Click Yes.
  5. Wait a few minutes while the OSPD4 database is created. When the progress is complete, you're ready to use Zyzzyva!

Step 4: Start the Word Judge

To start the Zyzzyva Word Judge feature before a tournament, do the following:

  1. Start Zyzzyva.
  2. Click the button on the Zyzzyva toolbar that features a light bulb.
  3. Make sure OSPD4 is the lexicon being used. Click OK.
  4. Zyzzyva Word Judge is now running. Verify that the bottom right corner of the screen says "Lexicon: OSPD4".
  5. To exit the Word Judge at the end of the day, hold down the Shift key and press the ESC key at the same time.


If you're interested in improving your Scrabble game, check out the Scrabble Player's Handbook, a free ebook written by a dozen of the best tournament players in the world!

If you find Zyzzyva useful, I would be very happy to receive a donation via PayPal, which you can do by clicking the button below. Thank you for your support!

This web site was designed and written by Michael Thelen. All markup code and text on this web site are Copyright © 2004-2013 Michael Thelen. All rights reserved.