What’s New: 2016

Happy New Year!

First off, a big thank-you to my friend, Mitch Mitchell, for alerting me to some horrible image sizing issues on Firefox. I used BrowserShots.org to test the changes. Hopefully, I got the worst of the wet gremlins!

2016 ushers in a new year of experimental content creation at Morpho Designs. This is the home of Conscious Creation: The Messy Bits, a newsletter I started as a way to share my thoughts on bringing ideas to life.

ParserMonster in Flames

2016 is the Year of the Monkey

Princes and Paupers

Last week, we tackled clothes from Rags to Riches. This week, let’s look at the people behind the threads. To spice things up a bit, we’ll use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a segregator. Of course, the point values do not follow this pyramid scheme!

keyword
MaslowsHierarchyOfNeeds” by FireflySixtySevenOwn work using Inkscape, based on Maslow’s paper, A Theory of Human Motivation.. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons.

Self-actualization

This list of over-achievers proves that it’s not always lonely at the top:

AUTARCH: an absolute ruler [n -S]

BEY: a Turkish ruler [n BEYS]

CHAM: a khan (an Asian ruler) [n -S]

CZAR: an emperor or king [n -S]

DARBAR: durbar (the court of a native ruler in India) [n -S]

DAUPHIN: the eldest son of a French king [n -S]

DEY: a former North African ruler [n DEYS]

DURBAR: the court of a native ruler in India [n -S]

EXARCH: the ruler of a province in the Byzantine Empire [n -S]

GERENT: a ruler or manager [n -S]

HEPTARCH: one of a group of seven rulers [n -S]

KAISER: an emperor (the ruler of an empire) [n -S]

KHAN: an Asian ruler [n -S]

KINGLET: a king who rules over a small area [n -S]

MAHARAJA: a king or prince in India [n -S]

MONOCRAT: an autocrat (an absolute ruler) [n -S]

OLIGARCH: a ruler in a government by the few [n -S]

OMNIARCH: an almighty ruler [n -S]

PENTARCH: one of five joint rulers [n -S]

RAJA: rajah (a king or prince in India) [n -S]

RAJAH: a king or prince in India [n -S]

REGINA: queen [n -NAE or -NAS]

REGINAE: REGINA, queen [n]

SHAH: an Iranian ruler [n -S]

SHARIF: sherif (an Arab ruler) [n -S]

SHEREEF: sherif (an Arab ruler) [n -S]

SHERIF: an Arab ruler [n -S]

SOLDAN: a Muslim ruler [n -S]

SOPHY: a ruler of Persia [n -PHIES]

SOUDAN: soldan (a Muslim ruler) [n -S]

SOVRAN: a monarch (an absolute ruler) [n -S]

SULDAN: soldan (a Muslim ruler) [n -S]

TETRARCH: one of four joint rulers [n -S]

WITAN: an Anglo-Saxon council to the king [n -S]

Esteem

While the folks in the first group may rule the land, these folks rule the roost:

DOUZEPER: one of twelve legendary knights [n -S]

HAVES: HAVE, a wealthy person [n]

KULAK: a rich Russian peasant [n -LAKS or -LAKI]

KULAKI: KULAK, a rich Russian peasant [n]

NOB: a wealthy person [n -S]

RITTER: a knight [n -S]

Love/belonging

Alright, this one is a stretch. Let’s just assume everyone would love belonging in the first two groups. Mind your -ARCH‘s and -CRAT‘s!

Safety

Working our way down to the middle-class, we have a cluster of interesting words:

BRACERO: a Mexican laborer [n -ROS]

CHOREMAN: a menial worker [n CHOREMEN]

CHOREMEN: CHOREMAN, a menial worker [n]

COOLIE: an Oriental laborer [n -S]

COOLY: coolie (an Oriental laborer) [n COOLIES]

ESNE: a laborer in Anglo-Saxon England [n -S]

FELDSHER: a medical worker in Russia [n -S]

FELLAH: a peasant or laborer in Arab countries [n -LAHS, -LAHIN, or -LAHEEN]

FELLAHIN: FELLAH, a peasant or laborer in Arab countries [n]

FELLAHS: FELLAH, a peasant or laborer in Arab countries [n]

JACKLEG: an unskilled worker [n -S]

MOUJIK: muzhik (a Russian peasant) [n -S]

MOZO: a manual laborer [n -ZOS]

MUJIK: muzhik (a Russian peasant) [n -S]

MUZHIK: a Russian peasant [n -S]

MUZJIK: muzhik (a Russian peasant) [n -S]

NAVVY: a manual laborer [n -VIES]

PEON: an unskilled laborer [n -S or -ES]

PEONES: PEON, an unskilled laborer [n]

PEONS: PEON, an unskilled laborer [n]

SANDHOG: a worker who digs or works in sand [n -S]

SEXTON: a maintenance worker of a church [n -S]

Physiological

Last and certainly least among the classes, we have our tired, our wretched (but sometimes high-scoring) words:

CARL: a peasant (a person of inferior social rank) [n -S]

CARLE: carl (a peasant (a person of inferior social rank)) [n -S]

COLONI: COLONUS, a freeborn serf [n]

COLONUS: a freeborn serf [n -NI]

HELOT: a slave or serf [n -S]

VILLEIN: a type of serf (a feudal slave) [n -S]

Dishonorable mention:

BUCKEEN: a poor man who acts as if wealthy [n -S]

Quiz: Classless Society

This quiz has nothing to do with princes, paupers or social classes. Just find the play that scores the most points. (Pay no attention to the preponderance of high-class words already on the board.)

Find the Best Play
Answer

See you next Sunday!

Scrabble Sunday: Complete Series

  • Rags to Riches

    Rags to Riches

    If you are what you wear, then the Emperor of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is nothing. Unless you play some bizarre form of Strip Scrabble, you’ll want to get out your ETUI and weave …
  • Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

    Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

    Although you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, check out this array of sharp objects you can use to slice your Scrabble opponents to ribbons. From 3-letter defensive lightweights to 8-letter lethal weapons, some …
  • When Harry Met Sally

    When Harry Met Sally

    Did an opponent ever shout, “Hey, you can’t play proper nouns in Scrabble” after you placed a word like TOM, DICK or HARRY? Even though definitions are not a part of the game, if you …
  • Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

    Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

    Shuffling tiles around on your rack is a bit like mixing beakers of stuff in the lab. Some combinations lead to explosions, while others simply smell bad. If you remember the ideas in Body Parts, …
  • Energize Your End Game

    Energize Your End Game

    When the board is tight, forget about that brilliant seven-letter word that is taunting you in the rack. Look between the gaps for generating shocking end-game plays. Brilliant! OIL and GAS are obvious energy plays; …
  • Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

    Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

    Onomatopoeia is the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated. BAM! Before we dive into this noisy ocean, let’s be clear on one thing: onomatopoeia is …
  • Body Parts on the Rack

    Body Parts on the Rack

    Are your tiles seemingly locked up with no chance for release? Don’t despair! Look for common little words that can be “hooked”—that is, they take a letter on either end—or combined with another small word …
  • Nth Degree

    Nth Degree

    Today, we’ll deal with all of those juicy consonants. Actually, they’re not so juicy when there’s hardly any place to play them! You really need to know a handful of vowel-starved words to minimize the …
  • Breaking Your Vowels

    Breaking Your Vowels

    Aiieee! You just filled your rack with every vowel in the bag. Or so it seems. You are sick of playing two-letter words and you don’t have the guts to play ILEA. Before you decide …
  • Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

    Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

    Welcome to another edition of Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will be able to use all seven tiles. Answer
  • Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

    Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

    The premise of games like Scrabble and Words With Friends is mastering anagrams. The ultimate anagram, of course, is the Bingo, using all of your tiles in one turn. In most games, that means using …
  • Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

    Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

    Welcome to Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will not be able to use all seven. Answer

 

Mini-mall

If you see something you like, and you buy from my links, I receive affiliate commission. Thanks!
Visit WordBuff.com
Related Books
  • The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion
  • Rags to Riches

    If you are what you wear, then the Emperor of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is nothing. Unless you play some bizarre form of Strip Scrabble, you’ll want to get out your ETUI and weave some threads. Not every stitch will be fit for a king, but you will be able to cover your assets.

    Threadbare

    These words are generally useful only if you have nothing better to do, like swap tiles.

    ASCOT: ASCOT, a broad neck scarf [n]

    BAL: a balmoral (a type of shoe (a covering for the foot)) [n -S]

    BERET: a soft, flat cap [n -S]

    MOC: a moccasin (a type of shoe (a covering for the foot)) [n -S]

    PAC: a shoe patterned after a moccasin [n -S]

    TAM: a tight-fitting Scottish cap [n -S]

    Pants

    Prêt-à-porter

    Off-the-rack, ready to score a few points, there’s nothing shameful about playing these words.

    ALMUCE: a hooded cape [n -S]

    ARCTIC: a warm, waterproof overshoe [n -S]

    BARRET: a flat cap [n -S]

    BLAZER: a lightweight jacket [n -S] : BLAZERED ~adj

    BROGAN: a heavy shoe [n -S]

    CAMISA: a shirt or chemise [n -S]

    CAMISE: a loose shirt or gown [n -S]

    CAPRIS: pants for women [n]

    CHUKKA: a type of boot [n -S]

    CYMAR: simar (a woman’s light jacket or robe) [n -S]

    FICHU: a woman’s scarf [n -S]

    Off-the-Rack

    GALOSH: an overshoe (a protective outer shoe) [n -ES] : GALOSHED ~adj

    GILLIE: ghillie (a type of shoe (a covering for the foot)) [n -S]

    GOLOSH: galosh (an overshoe (a protective outer shoe)) [n -ES]

    HENLEY: a type of knit shirt [n -LEYS]

    JERSEY: a close-fitting knitted shirt [n -SEYS] : JERSEYED ~adj

    JUPE: a woman’s jacket [n -S]

    KABAYA: a cotton jacket [n -S]

    KAMIK: a type of boot [n -S]

    KURTA: a shirt worn in India [n -S]

    MUCLUC: mukluk (a soft boot worn by Eskimos) [n -S]

    MUKLUK: a soft boot worn by Eskimos [n -S]

    NUBIA: a woman’s scarf [n -S]

    Nice Jacket!

    OXFORD: a type of shoe (a covering for the foot) [n -S]

    PATTEN: a shoe having a thick wooden sole [n -S] : PATTENED ~adj

    REBOZO: a long scarf [n -ZOS]

    SABOT: a wooden shoe [n -S]

    SANDAL: to provide with sandals (light, open shoes) [v -DALED, -DALING, -DALS or -DALLED, -DALLING, -DALS]

    SARK: a shirt (a garment for the upper part of the body) [n -S]

    SIMAR: a woman’s light jacket or robe [n -S]

    TAJ: a tall, conical cap worn in Muslim countries [n -ES]

    TAJES: TAJ, a tall, conical cap worn in Muslim countries [n]

    TAPALO: a scarf worn in Latin-American countries [n -LOS]

    TEGUA: a type of moccasin (a type of shoe (a covering for the foot)) [n -S]

    TOECAP: a covering for the tip of a shoe or boot [n -S]

    TUQUE: a knitted woolen cap [n -S]

    VESTEE: a garment worn under a woman’s jacket or blouse [n -S]

    WAMMUS: wamus (a heavy outer jacket) [n -ES]

    WAMPUS: wamus (a heavy outer jacket) [n -ES]

    WAMUS: a heavy outer jacket [n -ES]

    WEDGIE: a type of woman’s shoe [n -S]

    WELLIE: a Wellington boot [n -S]

    WELLY: wellie (a Wellington boot) [n -LIES]

    Nice hat!

    Couture

    Word snobs may turn their noses up at this collection, but these are finely-sewn bingoes for the masses.

    ARCTICS: ARCTIC, a warm, waterproof overshoe [n]

    BALDRIC: a shoulder belt [n -S]

    BARRETS: BARRET, a flat cap [n]

    BAWDRIC: baldric (a shoulder belt) [n -S]

    BERETTA: biretta (a cap worn by clergymen) [n -S]

    BIRETTA: a cap worn by clergymen [n -S]

    BLUCHER: a half boot [n -S]

    CALOTTE: a skullcap (a close-fitting cap) [n -S]

    CAMISIA: camise (a loose shirt or gown) [n -S]

    CAPOUCH: capuche (a hood or cowl) [n -ES]

    DOUBLET: a close-fitting jacket [n -S]

    GALOSHE: galosh (an overshoe (a protective outer shoe)) [n -S]

    GHILLIE: a type of shoe (a covering for the foot) [n -S]

    GOLOSHE: galosh (an overshoe (a protective outer shoe)) [n -S]

    GUMBOOT: a rubber boot [n -S]

    JODHPUR: a type of boot [n -S]

    PEACOAT: a heavy woolen jacket [n -S]

    PLIMSOL: plimsoll (a rubber-soled cloth shoe) [n -S]

    SEABOOT: a waterproof boot [n -S]

    SHOEPAC: a waterproof boot [n -S]

    TARBUSH: tarboosh (a cap worn by Muslim men) [n -ES]

    WELLIES: WELLY, wellie (a Wellington boot) [n]

    WINGTIP: a type of man’s shoe [n -S]

    YAMALKA: yarmulke (a skullcap worn by Jewish males) [n -S]

    YAMULKA: yarmulke (a skullcap worn by Jewish males) [n -S]

    Haute Couture

    The ultimate in word fashion! Don’t forget to accessorize for maximum scores.

    BABUSHKA: a woman’s scarf [n -S]

    BALDRICK: baldric (a shoulder belt) [n -S]

    BALDRICS: BALDRIC, a shoulder belt [n]

    BALMORAL: a type of shoe (a covering for the foot) [n -S]

    BERRETTA: biretta (a cap worn by clergymen) [n -S]

    BIRRETTA: biretta (a cap worn by clergymen) [n -S]

    High-fashion Heels

    CEINTURE: a belt for the waist [n -S]

    CHAQUETA: a jacket worn by cowboys [n -S]

    CUFFLINK: a fastening for a shirt cuff [n -S]

    GAMASHES: boots worn by horseback riders [n]

    GUERNSEY: a woolen shirt [n -SEYS]

    JACKBOOT: a heavy boot [n -S]

    KNICKERS: loose-fitting pants gathered at the knee [n]

    LARRIGAN: a type of moccasin (a type of shoe (a covering for the foot)) [n -S]

    LIRIPIPE: a long scarf [n -S]

    MANTILLA: a woman’s scarf [n -S]

    MOCCASIN: a type of shoe (a covering for the foot) [n -S]

    PANTALET: long underpants trimmed with ruffles [n -S]

    PANTOFLE: a slipper (a light, low shoe) [n -S]

    PELERINE: a woman’s cape [n -S]

    PLIMSOLE: plimsoll (a rubber-soled cloth shoe) [n -S]

    PLIMSOLL: a rubber-soled cloth shoe [n -S]

    TARBOOSH: a cap worn by Muslim men [n -ES]

    YARMELKE: yarmulke (a skullcap worn by Jewish males) [n -S]

    YARMULKE: a skullcap worn by Jewish males [n -S]

    See you next Sunday!

    Scrabble Sunday: Complete Series

    • Princes and Paupers

      Princes and Paupers

      Last week, we tackled clothes from Rags to Riches. This week, let’s look at the people behind the threads. To spice things up a bit, we’ll use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a segregator. Of …
    • Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

      Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

      Although you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, check out this array of sharp objects you can use to slice your Scrabble opponents to ribbons. From 3-letter defensive lightweights to 8-letter lethal weapons, some …
    • When Harry Met Sally

      When Harry Met Sally

      Did an opponent ever shout, “Hey, you can’t play proper nouns in Scrabble” after you placed a word like TOM, DICK or HARRY? Even though definitions are not a part of the game, if you …
    • Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Shuffling tiles around on your rack is a bit like mixing beakers of stuff in the lab. Some combinations lead to explosions, while others simply smell bad. If you remember the ideas in Body Parts, …
    • Energize Your End Game

      Energize Your End Game

      When the board is tight, forget about that brilliant seven-letter word that is taunting you in the rack. Look between the gaps for generating shocking end-game plays. Brilliant! OIL and GAS are obvious energy plays; …
    • Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

      Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

      Onomatopoeia is the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated. BAM! Before we dive into this noisy ocean, let’s be clear on one thing: onomatopoeia is …
    • Body Parts on the Rack

      Body Parts on the Rack

      Are your tiles seemingly locked up with no chance for release? Don’t despair! Look for common little words that can be “hooked”—that is, they take a letter on either end—or combined with another small word …
    • Nth Degree

      Nth Degree

      Today, we’ll deal with all of those juicy consonants. Actually, they’re not so juicy when there’s hardly any place to play them! You really need to know a handful of vowel-starved words to minimize the …
    • Breaking Your Vowels

      Breaking Your Vowels

      Aiieee! You just filled your rack with every vowel in the bag. Or so it seems. You are sick of playing two-letter words and you don’t have the guts to play ILEA. Before you decide …
    • Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Welcome to another edition of Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will be able to use all seven tiles. Answer
    • Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      The premise of games like Scrabble and Words With Friends is mastering anagrams. The ultimate anagram, of course, is the Bingo, using all of your tiles in one turn. In most games, that means using …
    • Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Welcome to Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will not be able to use all seven. Answer

     

    Mini-mall

    If you see something you like, and you buy from my links, I receive affiliate commission. Thanks!
    Visit WordBuff.com
    Related Books
  • The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion
  • Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

    Although you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, check out this array of sharp objects you can use to slice your Scrabble opponents to ribbons. From 3-letter defensive lightweights to 8-letter lethal weapons, some of these are sure to fit your scabbard, err, rack. Note: some duplication occurs, due to alternate spellings and one special plural.

    3-Letter Words

    ADZ – to shape (wood) with an adz (a cutting tool) [v -ED, -ING, -ES]
    ULU – an Eskimo knife [n -S]
    ZAX – a tool for cutting roof slates [n -ES]

    ULU
    ULU

    4-Letter Words

    ADZE – adz (to shape (wood) with an adz (a cutting tool)) [v ADZED, ADZING, ADZES]
    BOLO – a machete (a large, heavy knife) [n -LOS]
    CRIS – kris (a short sword) [n -ES]
    EPEE – a type of sword (a weapon having a long blade for cutting or thrusting) [n -S]
    KRIS – a short sword [n -ES]
    SHIV – a knife (a sharp-edged instrument used for cutting) [n -S]

    ADZE
    ADZE

    5-Letter Words

    ANLAS – anlace (a medieval dagger) [n -ES]
    KUKRI – a long, curved knife of Nepal [n -S]
    PANGA – a large knife (a sharp-edged instrument used for cutting) [n -S]
    SKEAN – a type of dagger [n -S]
    SKEEN – skean (a type of dagger) [n -S]
    SKENE – skean (a type of dagger) [n -S]
    TSUBA – a part of a Japanese sword [n TSUBA]

    SKEAN
    SKEAN

    6-Letter Words

    ANLACE – a medieval dagger [n -S]
    BARLOW – a jackknife [n -S]
    BARONG – a broad knife [n -S]
    BILBOA – bilbo (a finely tempered sword) [n -S]
    CATLIN – catling (a surgical knife) [n -S]
    CREESE – kris (a short sword) [n -S]
    GLAIVE – a sword (a weapon having a long blade for cutting or thrusting) [n -S]
    PARANG – a heavy knife [n -S]
    RAPIER – a long, slender sword [n -S] : RAPIERED ~adj
    TOLEDO – a finely tempered sword [n -DOS]

    7-Letter Words

    ATAGHAN – yataghan (a Turkish sword) [n -S]
    CATLING – a surgical knife [n -S]
    COUTEAU – a knife (a sharp-edged instrument used for cutting) [n -TEAUX]
    SIMITAR – scimitar (a curved Oriental sword) [n -S]
    YATAGAN – yataghan (a Turkish sword) [n -S]

    8-Letter Words

    BISTOURY – a surgical knife [n -RIES]
    CLAYMORE – a type of sword (a weapon having a long blade for cutting or thrusting) [n -S]
    COUTEAUX – COUTEAU, a knife (a sharp-edged instrument used for cutting) [n]
    CURTALAX – a cutlass (a short sword) [n -ES]
    FALCHION – a broad-bladed sword [n -S]
    SCIMETAR – scimitar (a curved Oriental sword) [n -S]
    SCIMITAR – a curved Oriental sword [n -S]
    SCIMITER – scimitar (a curved Oriental sword) [n -S]
    YATAGHAN – a Turkish sword [n -S]

    SCIMITAR
    SCIMITAR

    Razor-Sharp Memory?

    Depending on your learning style, you could break these words down by length and just memorize one set at a time. If you can handle 40 words at once, more power to you! If you’re really into learning these words, I recommend you download the free Zyzzyva software and try out its flashcard quiz building system.

    Admittedly, some preparation is required, which is why I only recommend it for serious study. I don’t even use it! I prefer the sharp tools provided by my prolific pal, Derek McKenzie, of WordBuffPro.

    ZYZZYVA
    Zyzzyva Quiz Maker

    See you next Sunday!

    Scrabble Sunday: Complete Series

    • Princes and Paupers

      Princes and Paupers

      Last week, we tackled clothes from Rags to Riches. This week, let’s look at the people behind the threads. To spice things up a bit, we’ll use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a segregator. Of …
    • Rags to Riches

      Rags to Riches

      If you are what you wear, then the Emperor of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is nothing. Unless you play some bizarre form of Strip Scrabble, you’ll want to get out your ETUI and weave …
    • When Harry Met Sally

      When Harry Met Sally

      Did an opponent ever shout, “Hey, you can’t play proper nouns in Scrabble” after you placed a word like TOM, DICK or HARRY? Even though definitions are not a part of the game, if you …
    • Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Shuffling tiles around on your rack is a bit like mixing beakers of stuff in the lab. Some combinations lead to explosions, while others simply smell bad. If you remember the ideas in Body Parts, …
    • Energize Your End Game

      Energize Your End Game

      When the board is tight, forget about that brilliant seven-letter word that is taunting you in the rack. Look between the gaps for generating shocking end-game plays. Brilliant! OIL and GAS are obvious energy plays; …
    • Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

      Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

      Onomatopoeia is the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated. BAM! Before we dive into this noisy ocean, let’s be clear on one thing: onomatopoeia is …
    • Body Parts on the Rack

      Body Parts on the Rack

      Are your tiles seemingly locked up with no chance for release? Don’t despair! Look for common little words that can be “hooked”—that is, they take a letter on either end—or combined with another small word …
    • Nth Degree

      Nth Degree

      Today, we’ll deal with all of those juicy consonants. Actually, they’re not so juicy when there’s hardly any place to play them! You really need to know a handful of vowel-starved words to minimize the …
    • Breaking Your Vowels

      Breaking Your Vowels

      Aiieee! You just filled your rack with every vowel in the bag. Or so it seems. You are sick of playing two-letter words and you don’t have the guts to play ILEA. Before you decide …
    • Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Welcome to another edition of Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will be able to use all seven tiles. Answer
    • Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      The premise of games like Scrabble and Words With Friends is mastering anagrams. The ultimate anagram, of course, is the Bingo, using all of your tiles in one turn. In most games, that means using …
    • Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Welcome to Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will not be able to use all seven. Answer

     

    Mini-mall

    If you see something you like, and you buy from my links, I receive affiliate commission. Thanks!
    Visit WordBuff.com
    Related Books
  • The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion
  • When Harry Met Sally

    Did an opponent ever shout, “Hey, you can’t play proper nouns in Scrabble” after you placed a word like TOM, DICK or HARRY? Even though definitions are not a part of the game, if you can’t convince your opponent, you may be cowed into revoking a legitimate play. (Not everyone has a copy of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary handy.) Let’s make sure it never happens.

    Name in Scrabble

    Pedestrian Traffic

    The obvious words don’t need much more than a passing reference, as you’re not likely to be challenged for playing words like RICH or PENNY. You probably don’t even think of them as proper nouns when you shuffle them into view. Instead, you see gems, flowers and other everyday nouns:

    AMBER BASIL BOB BRAD CHARITY DAISY DOT FELICITY IRIS JEWEL JOY OPAL ROBIN ROSE RUBY VIOLET

    Types of People

    Some name-like words describe people, while others describe things named for people. ABIGAIL is a lady’s maid, while CHARLIE or CHARLEY is a fool. HENRY, JILL, KELVIN, MAXWELL and MORGAN represent units of measure.

    Peculiar Behavior

    You want to see the world? SALLY forth! With nothing but your MATILDA that you might JERRY-rig to the end of a sturdy stick, you’ll be traveling light. Maybe you’d better pack a DAGWOOD and a JEROBOAM, to stave off hunger and thirst. Just don’t consume too much of that wine (that’s nearly three liters), unless you plan to HARRY people along the way, being drunk and all. If you don’t wish to RALPH all over your JEANS and JERSEY, exercising TEMPERANCE would be a sign of your PRUDENCE.

    Ladies, speaking of drinks, don’t let anyone slip you a MICKEY. Fellows, watch out for JEZEBELS masquerading as MAGDALENS. Everyone, mind your pints and quarts and you won’t run afoul of the law.

    Despite being warned, suppose you chose to JIMMY a CLARENCE to NICK a FLORENCE, ANNA or other useless coin. You’ll probably be arrested. Hopefully, the DICK from the local precinct won’t have a reason to whack you with a BILLY club. Wait! Detectives usually wear plainclothes, so the stick-wielding law enforcement official would more likely be a BOBBY. (If any of them decides to BIFF you, anyway, just SUE.)

    Odds and Ends

    Some words are downright weird: TEXAS (deckhouse), VERA (very) and WEBSTER (weaver) are but three examples. Hundreds of proper nouns are at your disposal. If you memorize the more likely ones, you can inflict some real damage on the board. Just be ready for your opponents to do some choice name-calling—some of which might even be playable!

    See you next Sunday!

    Scrabble Sunday: Complete Series

    • Princes and Paupers

      Princes and Paupers

      Last week, we tackled clothes from Rags to Riches. This week, let’s look at the people behind the threads. To spice things up a bit, we’ll use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a segregator. Of …
    • Rags to Riches

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      Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

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    • Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

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      Energize Your End Game

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      Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

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      Body Parts on the Rack

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      Nth Degree

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      Breaking Your Vowels

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    • Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Welcome to another edition of Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will be able to use all seven tiles. Answer
    • Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      The premise of games like Scrabble and Words With Friends is mastering anagrams. The ultimate anagram, of course, is the Bingo, using all of your tiles in one turn. In most games, that means using …
    • Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Welcome to Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will not be able to use all seven. Answer

     

    Mini-mall

    If you see something you like, and you buy from my links, I receive affiliate commission. Thanks!
    Visit WordBuff.com
    Related Books
  • The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion
  • Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

    Shuffling tiles around on your rack is a bit like mixing beakers of stuff in the lab. Some combinations lead to explosions, while others simply smell bad. If you remember the ideas in Body Parts, you’ll be whipping up new formulas in no time.

    What's that smell?
    We never had a lab like this!

    I’m not suggesting you get a Ph.D in biochemistry. You just need a guidebook for word-sleuthing. The key word is suffix. Inorganic chemistry has three useful suffixes you should keep an eye out for: ATE, IDE and ITE. These are your salts. Even if you slept through class, you’ll recognize common words like BORATE, CHLORIDE, SULFIDE and NITRITE. But, what if you want to expand your chemical base? (Pun intended for those who did not sleep through class.)

    Spend some time with your favorite Book of Words and you’ll probably be disappointed with how difficult (or impossible) it is to find words based on suffixes. For advanced lab work, check out this totally free program: Zyzzyva. In the following screen shot, look at all of the chemical words I found!

    The RITE Stuff!
    Pattern Matching: Powerful Tool

    If you really want to dive deep into the world of chemistry-related terms, organic chemistry is the way to go. Once you wrap your head around the nomenclature, the beauty of the carbon-based molecules will astound you. Along the way, your vocabulary will explode!

    For starters, simply read any primer on organic chemistry . You’ll start to see patterns in the words and you can use Zyzzyva to find out which ones (if any) are acceptable for the version of Scrabble or Words With Friends that you play. Using the link above, I followed a second link to Hydrocarbon Nomenclature. Half-way down the page, I met some old friends:

    • METHANE
    • ETHANE
    • PROPANE

    And a bunch of other -ANEs.

    After a bit of exploration, if you haven’t lost interest, you will discover building blocks like alkenes, alkynes, hydroxyls, aromatics and phenols. Then there are alcohols, esters and ethers. You’ll need a scorecard to keep track, since not all of these are playable words.

    Luckily, the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) is available to help. Pay attention to the prefixes and suffixes. Plug those into Zyzzyva to see if any playable words emerge. Learn a few organic compounds a day and your game will literally come to life!

    Lab Assignment

    Partner up with a friend, put on your safety goggles and combine these roots and suffixes together to form words. You must not rearrange the tiles, and at least one word is possible for each rack.

    Extra credit for sniffing out the three that are not chemistry-related.

    EXPERIMENT
    Answer

    See you next Sunday!

    Scrabble Sunday: Complete Series

    • Princes and Paupers

      Princes and Paupers

      Last week, we tackled clothes from Rags to Riches. This week, let’s look at the people behind the threads. To spice things up a bit, we’ll use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a segregator. Of …
    • Rags to Riches

      Rags to Riches

      If you are what you wear, then the Emperor of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is nothing. Unless you play some bizarre form of Strip Scrabble, you’ll want to get out your ETUI and weave …
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    • When Harry Met Sally

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      Did an opponent ever shout, “Hey, you can’t play proper nouns in Scrabble” after you placed a word like TOM, DICK or HARRY? Even though definitions are not a part of the game, if you …
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      Energize Your End Game

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      Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

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      Body Parts on the Rack

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    • Nth Degree

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    • Breaking Your Vowels

      Breaking Your Vowels

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    • Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

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    • Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

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    • Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Welcome to Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will not be able to use all seven. Answer

     

    Mini-mall

    If you see something you like, and you buy from my links, I receive affiliate commission. Thanks!
    Visit WordBuff.com
    Related Books
  • The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion
  • Energize Your End Game

    Energize Your End-game

    When the board is tight, forget about that brilliant seven-letter word that is taunting you in the rack. Look between the gaps for generating shocking end-game plays.

    WATT?
    Brilliant!

    OIL and GAS are obvious energy plays; however, you can really power up your end game with all kinds of weird units of measure, including these energy-related terms. Buckle Up!

    • AMP
    • ERG
    • FARAD
    • JOULE
    • KELVIN
    • LUMEN
    • MHO
    • MOL
    • OHM
    • TESLA
    • VOLT
    • WEBER

    Get charged up by reviewing the NIST list of units! Sadly, katal, a measure of catalytic (activity) concentration, is not in OSPD.

    Obviously, the big idea is to use small words. Dump those high-value tiles before your opponent zaps you!

    See you next Sunday!

    Scrabble Sunday: Complete Series

    • Princes and Paupers

      Princes and Paupers

      Last week, we tackled clothes from Rags to Riches. This week, let’s look at the people behind the threads. To spice things up a bit, we’ll use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a segregator. Of …
    • Rags to Riches

      Rags to Riches

      If you are what you wear, then the Emperor of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is nothing. Unless you play some bizarre form of Strip Scrabble, you’ll want to get out your ETUI and weave …
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      Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

      Although you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, check out this array of sharp objects you can use to slice your Scrabble opponents to ribbons. From 3-letter defensive lightweights to 8-letter lethal weapons, some …
    • When Harry Met Sally

      When Harry Met Sally

      Did an opponent ever shout, “Hey, you can’t play proper nouns in Scrabble” after you placed a word like TOM, DICK or HARRY? Even though definitions are not a part of the game, if you …
    • Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

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    • Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

      Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

      Onomatopoeia is the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated. BAM! Before we dive into this noisy ocean, let’s be clear on one thing: onomatopoeia is …
    • Body Parts on the Rack

      Body Parts on the Rack

      Are your tiles seemingly locked up with no chance for release? Don’t despair! Look for common little words that can be “hooked”—that is, they take a letter on either end—or combined with another small word …
    • Nth Degree

      Nth Degree

      Today, we’ll deal with all of those juicy consonants. Actually, they’re not so juicy when there’s hardly any place to play them! You really need to know a handful of vowel-starved words to minimize the …
    • Breaking Your Vowels

      Breaking Your Vowels

      Aiieee! You just filled your rack with every vowel in the bag. Or so it seems. You are sick of playing two-letter words and you don’t have the guts to play ILEA. Before you decide …
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      Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

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    • Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

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    • Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Welcome to Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will not be able to use all seven. Answer

     

    Mini-mall

    If you see something you like, and you buy from my links, I receive affiliate commission. Thanks!
    Visit WordBuff.com
    Related Books
  • The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion
  • Oh No! Ma, I’m Poetic

    Onomatopoeia is the formation of words whose sound is imitative of the sound of the noise or action designated. BAM! Before we dive into this noisy ocean, let’s be clear on one thing: onomatopoeia is the written equivalent of cupping a hand to your ear in Charades to signal, “Sounds like ….” This is in contrast to solfeggio or solmization, which is the formation of each note in a musical scale (DO RE ME FA SOL LA TI).

    Yeah, But Can You Play Them?

    Cha-cha Question
    As seen on Chacha.com

    This vaguely worded question was answered literally. I’m guessing that the person who asked this question really meant, “Are onomatopoeias allowed in Scrabble?” Of course they are.

    Comic Books, Again

    You may remember the discussion about bilabial fricatives and rude raspberries. PHT and PHPHT are comic book examples of onomatopoetic words. Here are a few more:

    • POW
    • SMACK
    • PTUI

    Sites Dedicated to Onomatopoeia

    As Scrabble players, we probably focus on words with more direct imitations of sounds. To do so is to miss out on prosaic words like CHIRP, SCREECH and WHOOSH.

    Examples of Onomatopoeia

    If you visit www.examples-of-onomatopoeia.com, you’ll get an earful of unexpected onomatopoeias, from ACHOO to ZOOM. The list is far from exhaustive, though.

    A more academic treatment of onomatopoeia can be found on About.com. Naturally, many of the examples are not playable in most games. Still, the trivia is entertaining.

    Let’s Make Some Noise!

    How many onomatopoeias can you find on the board? Ignore that pitiful rack.

    BLAM!
    Answer

    See you next Sunday!

    Scrabble Sunday: Complete Series

    • Princes and Paupers

      Princes and Paupers

      Last week, we tackled clothes from Rags to Riches. This week, let’s look at the people behind the threads. To spice things up a bit, we’ll use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a segregator. Of …
    • Rags to Riches

      Rags to Riches

      If you are what you wear, then the Emperor of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale is nothing. Unless you play some bizarre form of Strip Scrabble, you’ll want to get out your ETUI and weave …
    • Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

      Cutting Edge Scrabble: From ADZ to ZAX

      Although you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, check out this array of sharp objects you can use to slice your Scrabble opponents to ribbons. From 3-letter defensive lightweights to 8-letter lethal weapons, some …
    • When Harry Met Sally

      When Harry Met Sally

      Did an opponent ever shout, “Hey, you can’t play proper nouns in Scrabble” after you placed a word like TOM, DICK or HARRY? Even though definitions are not a part of the game, if you …
    • Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Better Scrabble Through Chemistry

      Shuffling tiles around on your rack is a bit like mixing beakers of stuff in the lab. Some combinations lead to explosions, while others simply smell bad. If you remember the ideas in Body Parts, …
    • Energize Your End Game

      Energize Your End Game

      When the board is tight, forget about that brilliant seven-letter word that is taunting you in the rack. Look between the gaps for generating shocking end-game plays. Brilliant! OIL and GAS are obvious energy plays; …
    • Body Parts on the Rack

      Body Parts on the Rack

      Are your tiles seemingly locked up with no chance for release? Don’t despair! Look for common little words that can be “hooked”—that is, they take a letter on either end—or combined with another small word …
    • Nth Degree

      Nth Degree

      Today, we’ll deal with all of those juicy consonants. Actually, they’re not so juicy when there’s hardly any place to play them! You really need to know a handful of vowel-starved words to minimize the …
    • Breaking Your Vowels

      Breaking Your Vowels

      Aiieee! You just filled your rack with every vowel in the bag. Or so it seems. You are sick of playing two-letter words and you don’t have the guts to play ILEA. Before you decide …
    • Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Find the Best Play: EELRSTV

      Welcome to another edition of Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will be able to use all seven tiles. Answer
    • Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      Bingo Long Words Travel Far (Sometimes!)

      The premise of games like Scrabble and Words With Friends is mastering anagrams. The ultimate anagram, of course, is the Bingo, using all of your tiles in one turn. In most games, that means using …
    • Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Find the Best Play: MOKV_ ZE

      Welcome to Scrabble Sunday! This is a straight-up quiz: What is the best play you can find for this rack? Hint: you will not be able to use all seven. Answer

     

    Mini-mall

    If you see something you like, and you buy from my links, I receive affiliate commission. Thanks!
    Visit WordBuff.com
    Related Books
  • The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Fifth Edition)
  • How to Play SCRABBLE Like a Champion