copyright Steve J. Hodges

CS19 Fall 2016

Assignment 4 (Cinco )

Directory Name


Resulting Executable


Make sure to save time to test your program,
some of these functions will be tricky to code!

Program Description

In this program, you will be creating a word guessing game called Cinco, except that in your program the computer will guess the words, not a human player!

In this game, the human will pick a (legal) secret five letter word from the list of legal secret words. The computer guesses a word. A word is only a legal guess if it appears in the Dictionary. A word is a legal secret word only if it appears in the Dictionary and does not have a repeated letter. A word list of about 2400 five letter words is provided1 (click this link to get the word list). Note, that the program can be run with different length word lists.

I suggest making your own (very short)
word lists to greatly simplfy your
initial testing!

The file will always consist of five-letter words, one per line, all in lowercase and in alphabetical order. Your program will always read its word list from a file named cinco-words.txt.

Each round, the computer guesses a word from its list of words. After the computer guesses, the human enters the number of letters in the guess that also exist in the secret word and how many of those letters are in the correct spot. If the score is five and five, then the computer has guessed your secret word and the game ends, printing out how many guesses it took the computer to win. If the socre is less than five and five, the computer will update its Dictionary (by removing one or more words from its word list) and then makes its next guess. If the computer runs out of words to guess, it will inform the player that they must have made a mistake or cheated. Some sample runs are provided below.

Any letter in your secret word should only be matched once. For example,
Your secret word: fable
Computer's guessed word: eagle
results in
Matching: 3
In-Place: 3
and not
Matching: 4
In-Place: 3

This program should be constructed using two classes. One class, named Dictionary, will take care of inputting and storing the words from a file, selecting a random word from the list (for each guessed word by the computer,) and removing one or more words from the list after the computer's guess (this is the hardest part of the assignment.) It should also include one or more helper functions since removing words from the list involves several steps.

Secret words must have five different letters. 
For example, eagle is a valid guess,
but not a valid secret word.

The other class, named Cinco, will keep track of the game state, handle the user input and output, and contain the main function. The main game loop (which will include all human i/o over STDIN and STDOUT) must be in a function named consoleUI(). A required main() function for the Cinco class is provided.

Review the starter code for more information about these classes and members.

Your output must match the style and formatting of the example, as the testing may be automated.

This is a program with many details. I strongly urge you to keep your program compiling and running at all stages of your project. Keep all your functions simple at first—the minimum to compile and run. Add code to one function at a time and test as you code. Have Fun!

Extra Credit

To reduce the number of guesses the computer needs, you can remove words that couldn't possibly be the secret word (words with duplicated letters.) Write a function that does this removal. By default, this function should not be called, however the user can activate this feature with a command line argument. When used, the function would be called once, before the user makes their first guess. Run a minimum of ten games with and ten games without the feture and find the average the number of guesses for each option. How much of a difference did this improvement make. Document in your readme file the command line option used to enable this feature and report on the results of your tests.


Sample Run

[steveh@pengo ~]$ ./p4
CS19 Cinco with Computer Guessing Example
by Steve J. Hodges
Select your five letter word from the list...
I'm guessing: whole
Matching? 1
In-Place? 1
I'm guessing: wreck
Matching? 2
In-Place? 0
I'm guessing: ruddy
Matching? 1
In-Place? 0
I'm guessing: super
Matching? 4
In-Place? 1
I'm guessing: gripe
Matching? 3
In-Place? 1
I'm guessing: stoke
Matching? 2
In-Place? 2
I'm guessing: petri
Matching? 3
In-Place? 1
I'm guessing: revel
Matching? 2
In-Place? 0
I'm guessing: spare
Matching? 5
In-Place? 5
I got it in 9 guesses.
[steveh@pengo ~]$ 


What to turn in

For this assignment, you will be creating a project with several files. All of your project files should be placed in a directory named 19-4 inside your home directory on Pengo. This directory should not contain any files not part of your project, nor should it contain any subdirectories. I will collect all of the files from this directory.

1. The file cinco-words.txt has also be copied to your home directory on Pengo.