Have you tried our looping word puzzle LOOPBACK? How about our scrambled Moby-Dick puzzle OMBY? Do you enjoy those puzzles, but wish you could put down your phone or tablet and solve them with pen and paper?

If so, then you might enjoy printing and solving this LOOPBACK Moby-Dick puzzle from a limited edition printed book that we put together!

The puzzle consists of a partially-filled grid of sixteen looping eight-letter words, each taken from a sentence in Moby-Dick. The missing word from each sentence will wrap completely around the corresponding numbered black center cell in the grid. It is up to you to determine where the word begins and ends, and also whether it reads clockwise or counterclockwise about its black center cell.

In this example, you can see that the missing (admittedly contrived) word is MOBYDICK, which fits clockwise around black center cell number 5.

Learn more about the book here. If there’s enough interest we might produce more and put them up for sale.

Follow us @counterwavelabs on twitter or facebook for updates!



We’re excited to share LOOPBACK, a new word puzzle game that we’ve been working on:

The idea is to complete the spelling of four 8-letter “looping words” by dragging yellow letter tiles into the empty white cells in the puzzle grid. Each looping word will wrap completely around one of the four numbered black center cells. It is up to you to determine where each of the four words begins and ends, and also whether it reads clockwise or counterclockwise about its black center cell.

In this example, the word LOOPBACK has been spelled clockwise around the second position.

Answer words are all common English words and include some proper names.

Play the html5 demo here: http://labs.counterwave.com/loopback/

Follow us @counterwavelabs on twitter or facebook for updates!

Frankenstein Bicentennial


Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is 200 years old this year, and we’re celebrating by adding it to OKBOS in a free update: available now on iOS and Android!

The idea to OKBOS-ify Frankenstein for its bicentennial came from the students planning Frankenstein Bicentential Celebration 2018, and we were happy to oblige.

OMBY Updated


OMBY has been updated with the chapter navigation improvements that we introduced in OKBOS and IBBLE, and all of the apps have been updated for iOS 11.

How far have you gotten in OMBY? Tweet us your progress @counterwavelabs

The Smoking Gun Tape


How well do you know your Watergate history? We scrambled the transcript of the infamous Nixon-Haldeman “smoking gun” tape and made it playable as a mini-game in a web browser (start playing)!

Don’t let the initial puzzle scare you, just tap (?) for as many hints as you need.

Read more about the “smoking gun” tape here.

If you like these kinds of puzzles, check out our full games OKBOS and OMBY!

Colors of OKBOS


[Updated Mar 3, 2018: Added Frankenstein!]

We had so much fun with The Colors of Moby-Dick that we decided to give the books included in OKBOS the same treatment!

Each colored square (including white) corresponds to a CSS color name mentioned in the text, in order from beginning to end. Hover over a square (or tap it on a touch device) to reveal the text mentioning the color.

Can you find the “great yellow blotches of lichen upon the grey walls” in Sherlock Holmes? How about the “White Rabbit with pink eyes” in Alice in Wonderland?

Presented in order of decreasing colorfulness:

The Colors of Sherlock Holmes
The Colors of Little Women
The Colors of Jane Eyre
The Colors of Alice in Wonderland
The Colors of Frankenstein
The Colors of Sense and Sensibility
The Colors of Pride and Prejudice

OKBOS Now Available


OKBOS, the book unscrambling game, is now available for iOS and Android!

Reconnect with an old favorite or discover a new one by playing any (or all!) of the following books included in OKBOS:

Over 40,000 puzzles in total!

Learn more here.

IBBLE Now Available


IBBLE, the King James Bible unscrambling game, is now available for iOS and Android!

Are you looking for an even more monumental challenge than the 10,395 puzzles of OMBY? If so, you might be interested in IBBLE, with over 39,000 puzzles!

The text of the entire KJV is included, both the Old Testament and the New, in its usual organization into individual books.

Learn more here.

OMBY on Android


OMBY, the Moby-Dick unscrambling game, is now available for both iOS and Android!

Learn more here.



JSMarkov is a simple javascript library for Markov text generation based on word-level trigraph models that we’re releasing under an MIT license.

With JSMarkov you can generate random text in the style of Moby-Dick:

Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition! Finally, I do not enjoy themselves much, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded for ever. But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a sailor, I thought I would sail about a little and see the mummies of those creatures in their huge bake-houses the pyramids. No, when first told that you see the mummies of those creatures in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same time that the leaders little suspect it. Besides, passengers themselves must pay. And there they stand—miles of them—leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets and avenues—north, east, south, and bringing up the rear of every kind whatsoever. It is a damp, drizzly November in my purse, and in the air.

Or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:

So she set to work, and to her very earnestly, ‘and see whether it’s marked “poison” or not’; for she had not noticed before, and noticed that they were all locked; and that if you cut your finger VERY deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds; and if it makes me grow larger, I think I could, if I fell off the cake. * * * * * ‘What a curious feeling!’ said Alice to herself, rather sharply; ‘for it flashed across her mind that she ought to have wondered at this, I shall have to ask: perhaps I shall fall right THROUGH the earth! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, there’s no use now,’ said Alice to herself, ‘and if it makes me grow smaller, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I think I could, if I fell off the top of her head to feel which way it was good practice to say it over) ‘—but then I wonder if I only knew how to begin.’ For, you know,’ she said, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I think—’ (for, you know. Please, Ma’am, is this New Zealand or Australia?’ for, you see, so suddenly that Alice had no pictures or conversations in it a very deep, or the key was too dark to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

Or a mashup of the two:

Then the wild and distant seas where he rolled his island bulk; the undeliverable, nameless perils of the doors of the doors of the earth! How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downward! The Antipathies, I am in the habit of going to do THAT in a game of croquet she was now the right size for going through the doorway; ‘I must be shutting up like a tunnel for some way, and Alice’s first thought was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a sort of officer on ship-board—yet, now that I recall all the circumstances, I always go to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship. There was nothing so VERY remarkable in that particular instance? Who ain’t a slave? Tell me that. Well, then, I should now take it into one of the whale; these, with all the difference in the stream. There seemed to be seen: she knelt down and looked at the same feelings towards the ocean with me.

Or you can parody political figures:

Look, having nuclear—my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the white belt of wampum was the deepest pledge of honour; though in other mortal sympathies and symbolizings, this same hue is made the emblem of many touching, noble things – the innocence of brides, the thing that really bothers me—it would have been so easy, and they, they don’t, they haven’t figured that the women are smarter right now than the men, so, you know I have to give my like credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged—but the Persians are great negotiators, so, you know, it’s gonna take them about another 150 years—but the Persians are great negotiators, so, and the modern kings of Siam unfurling the same imperial hue; and the great Austrian Empire, Caesarian, heir to overlording Rome, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the power of what’s going on with the four prisoners—now it used to be three, now it’s four—but when it was three and even now, I would have been so easy, and it is fellas because, you know, they don’t, they just killed us.

What will you do with it?

Get it here https://github.com/counterwave/jsmarkov and give it a try yourself.

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