This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

N&B scrabble

The last Scrabble World Championship was won by Craig Beevers in a hard-fought match against Chris Lipe.

And how do you get to be very very good at Scrabble?

Well, I should imagine it would need a lot of hard work, a good brain, a fighting spirit, and a bit of luck with the letters.

Where does the hard work come in?

Well, you need to learn a lot of words.

The words Chris Beevers used in his winning match included ventrous, diorite, talaq, gapo, umu and Kaw. The only one of those I knew myself was diorite, which is a sort of rock. Ventrous is short for adventurous (probably guessable in context) talaq is a type of Muslim divorce, gapo is a South American forest near a river, umu is a Polynesian earth oven, and Kaw is an alternative form of Kansa, a tribe of Native Americans who mostly - and confusingly -  now live in Oklahoma.

Words unknown to me that Chris Lipe used in the match included taj and xenic. A taj is a conical hat worn by a dervish, and xenic is to do with a culture medium which contains unidentified organisms.

Here's the complete board:

Apart from the glory of winning, how brilliant is it to know a word meaning hat worn by a dervish?

I must look out my Scrabble board at once.

Game to Play Today: Scrabble. The game was invented by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938, but he called it Criss-Crosswords, and it only got the name Scrabble in 1948 when James Brunot began producing the game in a slightly different format. The word scrabble comes from the Middle Dutch shrabbelen, which is a frequentative of shrabben to scrape.

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