Matt Dodge

Developer — Dana Point Resident — Dodger Fan

Building a Wordle Bot In Under 100 Lines of Python

If you don’t know what Wordle is, get out from under your rock and check it out. It’s a simple game at surface level but does end up needing some strategy to master it. It didn’t take more than a couple of rounds of playing it before my curiosity piqued and I felt the need to build a bot to play the game and learn more about it. Let’s get going!

The Hardest and Easiest New York Times Crossword Puzzles of 2021

2021 is officially behind us. Let’s take a look back at the 365 daily New York Times crossword puzzles from the year and see which ones were the hardest and which ones were the easiest. Using the crowd-sourced solve times from hundreds of solvers at XW Stats, I was able to rank the puzzles in terms of difficulty. I’ll describe the method below, but for you with short attention spans here are those rankings, along with links to the puzzles at XWordInfo.

FiveThirtyEight Riddler - Prolog to the Rescue!

One of my weekly routines is to solve the FiveThirtyEight Riddler puzzle. If you’ve never done them before, they are a set of weekly riddles that tend to involve math, logic, and statistics. Sometimes, though, they make you think. That’s silly, thinking is what computers are for!

Creating and Publishing My First Crossword

My latest hobby is solving crossword puzzles. I’ve been doing the New York Times puzzle daily for the last 8 months or so and absolutely love it. I am constantly impressed and amazed by what the creators of these crosswords can do — build a complete and connected puzzle while still integrating humor, trivia, creativity, and puns.

Interfaces for the Internet of Things

It’s undeniable that we are entering a new era of computing. Whether you call it the Internet of Things, the Third Wave, the Fourth Wave, distributed computing, whatever it is, the technology landscape and the machines around us are starting to look different.

The Two Questions You Should Never Ask Anyone

Ok, there are probably more than two questions that fit into this category. How much money do you make? What’s that thing on your face? Did you have to kill anyone in Iraq? But these are two I’ve had recent personal experiences with that may not be as obvious, so I thought I’d share.

A Statistical Look at Liar's Dice

The Gambler vs The Mathematician

Liar’s dice is a great game. Easy to learn, difficult to master. A good balance of luck and strategy. If you don’t know the game, I encourage you to check it out, it’s great for a group.

Tweet-2-RSS has been shut down

A few months back I created a service that would allow people to get tweets or other content from the Twitter API in RSS or XML format. It ended up growing a moderate amount and amassed over 2,500 users. Well, some frustrating and disappointing news came through yesterday; the Twitter API team has suspended the Tweet-2-RSS application for violation of the Terms of Service. They did so without any warning and it was certainly a surprise to me. Here is the relevant quote from their API Terms (Section I.4):