In all the talk of super computers there is not...

Dan Walker danl4 at
Mon Sep 10 15:26:45 EDT 2007

True, the contestants are given extra information, though.  They know
ahead of time that the words make up the name of a place, or a common
saying, for example.  That helps decrease the entropy considerably.  They
also know the exact number of characters in the final answer and are able
to probe multiple characters in the phrase simultaneously.

If a system is setup correctly, you should never be able to get a hint as
to whether you have guessed any portion of a password correctly, and you
probably don't know what sort of phrase the target has chosen, so it would
seem like most of the entropy-reducing information the Wheel of Fortune
contestant is able to take advantage of are not available to a password
cracking algorithm.


> While 2.5 bits/word seems low, the TV game show Wheel Of Fortune is
> evidence that
> people can correctly guess phrases even when a large proportion of the
> letters
> are missing.
> Peter Trei

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