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Scrabble words

2012-04-02 12:31:13.869658+00 by Dan Lyke 12 comments

My Dad forwarded along 20 words to learn for Scrabble. Unfortunately it's split over 21 pages, which is annoying. So, a summary if you're not totally into it:

ZA, XI, YO, AA - yes, you should know all the two letter words, especially those with high point value words. Nothing like playing ZA, XI or JO two ways on a triple letter score. Similarly: avoid vowels next to triple letter scores.

There's a lot of focus on sometimes obscure high-value bingos, MUZJIKS, CAZIQUES, BEZIQUE, FLAPJACK, JOUSTED, QUIXOTRY, JUKEBOX, CHUTZPAH that I don't worry about two much. Too much focus on bingoing means a lot of rack management and low value plays in other places. Not. that squeezing those words into everyday conversation necessarily hurts

AERIE - Charlene could have used that in Saturday night's game, where, for some freakish reason, she was getting all the vowels and I was getting the consonants.

FAQIR, BEZIQUE, QANAT, QUEUE - You already know a lot of Q words, the ones you need to know are the ones without U in them. QAID and QATAR are a good start.

ZAX - Ooooh, that's a cool one. I'm quite shakey on my 3 letter words, and we both agree that mindlessly memorizing 3 letter lists is how you turn in to a Scrabble nerd.

WAGYU - may be time to update our dictionary..

[ related topics: Interactive Drama Games Scrabble Gambling ]

comments in descending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-06 15:12:13.288742+00 by: Dan Lyke

So it occurred to me on my morning drive: This thread is a good reminder to make sure that you're playing the game you think you're playing.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 23:32:06.145784+00 by: ebradway

It is also possible to play based on common use words. Some of my best games have been where I limited my word choice to common words rather than going point-crazy. And I still cherish longer words and filling the entire board.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 22:25:25.031873+00 by: Dan Lyke

...or you give up on it in disgust...

Yep. We're carefully walking that barrier, where we can play with each other, and that's fine, but we can't play with normal people any more, and to play with serious Scrabble players we'd have to start memorizing 3 letter words with the sole purpose of becoming better Scrabble players.

And, frankly, building special purpose skills for a specific game reeks of some of the reasons I've run screaming from video games.

So, yeah, I haven't given up in disgust, but I don't blame you for doing so.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-05 18:04:22.228584+00 by: Mars Saxman [edit history]

Scrabble is not a game about words. Once you acknowledge that, your score rises a hundred points a game

...or you give up on it in disgust, because it is no longer interesting.

Ok, I was wrong about "yo", that is informal but real English. "Aa", though, while it is definitely a word, is a word in Hawaiian, not in English!

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-03 23:24:50.920388+00 by: spc476

I didn't find ZA or YI in the Oxford English Dictionary, Compact Edition, but I did find YO (page 3861) and even neater, "ymber", "ymbar" and "ymbre". And for those with Qs without Us, I found "qhat", "qheche", "qhom", "qhwom" and "qhythsontyd" (page 2379).

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-03 21:30:40.217292+00 by: ebradway

you can't play casually with people any more

That's about right. Except that I do play "constructively" if I have enough of a lead.

The EA/Online Scrabble tells you if a word is valid, so it eliminates the challenge bluff aspect of the game. It makes for a more educational experience but does take away a big part of face-to-face play.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-02 22:24:06.018038+00 by: Dan Lyke

Aw c'mon, "yo" has been around for a while, and any 9th grade Earth Science student knows aa.

However, Scrabble is not a game about words. Once you acknowledge that, your score rises a hundred points a game and you can't play casually with people any more. Scrabble players care naught for how witty your word is, nor for 5 or 6 letter words unless they're played for rack management, nor...

And I think I mentioned in a FaceTwitSpace update, but apparently didn't make here, I can no longer read fiction in which Scrabble is mentioned: The proper response to "Can you use [word] in a sentence?" is "Are you challenging [word], or what?". I've read fiction from writers who could describe bolts on hardware who got this basic facet of gameplay wrong.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-02 22:11:13.808855+00 by: Mars Saxman


...and this is why I don't play Scrabble. Those are not any kind of English I recognize.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-02 19:31:32.011075+00 by: ebradway

The online version of Scrabble, made by EA, has a "teacher" function that shows you what the best play was after you make your play. Mom and I allow it as a source of words because you rarely can play the teacher's word on the next move. It's also expanded our Scrabble words quite a bit.

What is really fun is occasionally getting a higher score than the teacher. I don't quite have it pinned down but it seems if you cross enough words (about four), teacher misses it.

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-02 16:27:46.501932+00 by: petronius

This is like that sub-category of English: Crossword words. I don't know how many times I;ve gotten clue like Wapiti, or an answer that involves actor Esai Morales. Now I've always admired Mr. Morales' work, but I think his crossword popularity has more to do with a 4 letter name with 3 vowels than his performance in Caprica

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-02 13:35:39.091953+00 by: Dan Lyke

Unless you're actively playing cooperatively, noble endeavors mean giving points to your opponent...

#Comment Re: made: 2012-04-02 13:06:19.781097+00 by: ebradway

Many of the no-U Q words come from the Middle East. Just make sure TSA screeners don't see you using them!

Mom and I have two games going constantly. We are quite well-matched with games coming down to the last play unless one of us gets good tiles. And yes, it's very common to go through a bout of "I've got all the vowels." and "You've got all the consonants." It's easier to play with all vowels but you get higher scores with the consonants.

A challenge I constantly face is that I see opening unused space on the board as a noble endeavor but many times the real points are had by tightly clustering. Playing along existing words can quickly turn a 10 pointer to a 30 pointer or sometimes more. Got the Z and an A in your rack with a word like "that" just play? Drop the ZA next to the "AT" for 24 points. Better yet, hold the Z and maybe position an "A" next to a double or triple letter. ZA can be a 60+ point word in the right spot.