Friday, May 21, 2010

WPC 2010

I hear that Adrian Tamas, by far the best Scrabble player in the world, might be joining the WPC in Dallas this year. It`s not sure yet, but I`ll keep you up to date...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MISO 2010 ( Pakistan`s Got Talent )

People love stories. We love it when the unexpected happens. Have you seen "America`s Got Talent"? Or " Britain`s Got Talent" ? I for one love it when someone gets on that stage and shocks the people with an amazing performance. And that`s exactly what Mohammad Sulaiman did this tournament. He shocked the world of competitive Scrabble with his level of play. We all knew he was a good player, but how many of us would have put money on him winning this tournament? I think I know the answer. I remember last year when I met Mohamad Sulaiman in Malaysia, at the Causeway Scrabble Challenge, he was telling me that he can feel how his age affects his play. He thinks slower, acts slower than his younger opponents, and forgets words easily, he told me then. I was amazed by how aware he was of his shortcomings. Mohammad Sulaiman is a very modest player,who loves this game, and who deserved to win this tournament. His extremely good strategy and his consistent level of play won him the tournament. Something tells me that even Nigel was happy to see Mohammad win this tournament. Congratulations, Mohammad Sulaiman!

Malta International Scrabble Open ( The End )

Game over. The final standings for our team are:

26 Catalin Caba (Romania) 12-9 (+157)
30 Dan Sandu (Romania) 12-9 (-212)
34 Mihai Pantis (Romania) 11-10 (+431)

Catalin Caba`s top 30 finish is like a win! He was rated 50th ( I think ) before the tournament. He finished 24 places better than his rating. It`s like having Dan or Mihai win the tournament. Congratulations Cata! As I was saying before, Dan took quite a few scalps in these two tournaments, proving that he is quite a fighter. Mihai couldn`t find his playing mood, and even though he was higher rated than Cata and Dan, he finished last.
Overall, I think the boys did well, and I hope they learnt something from these two tournaments.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Edward Martin vs Mohammed Sulaiman

I was following the live coverage for the MISO and I think the game was winnable for Edward Martin. I`m not gonna analyse the whole game now, but it would be interesting to see what would Mohammed Sulaiman do if Edward Martin played WAE for 24 points instead of CLAW for 18, which also sets up Mohammed for a high score play. Anybody interested in looking into it? I think Ed would have probably won the game.

Malta International Scrabble Open after 17 games

After 17 games, " the three musketeers" are all on 10 wins and 7 losses! Dan is a magnet for stronger players. That explains his negative spread.

20 Mihai Pantis Romania 10.0-7 +542
26 Catalin Caba Romania 10.0-7 +349
31 Dan Sandu Romania 10.0-7 -46

Malta International Scrabble Open ( Day 2 )

It looks like Dan Laurentiu Sandu will return home with a bag full of scalps. Yesterday, he won his game against Femi Awowade, a very good Nigerian player who played the King`s Cup final in Thailand twice. I had three chances to beat Femi, but I lost every time. I was happy to see that another Romanian managed to beat him. Dan also took Sam Kanthimakhi`s scalp, another very good player from America. Mihai didn`t take any scalps, but managed to get his average up to 422 points per game, which is quite a decent average. Helen Gipson was back for revenge, and beat Mihai 588-402. From the score, I`m guessing it must have been one hell of a game.
Cata is having a very streaky but consistent tournament. A top 40 finish would be a very good result! Mohammad Sulaiman, a good friend of mine, continues to impress. I really don`t like playing against him. He has a gift for blocking his opponents` best plays. He might not have the best word knowledge but his strategy is very good. I hope he keeps it up! One more day to go. Good luck!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A coincidence

After 10 rounds, Mihai Pantis and Dan Laurentiu Sandu, both average 404.70 points per game! What an amazing coincidence!

26 404.70 6.0- 4.0 +142 Pantis, Mihai (#22/ROM)
26 404.70 7.0- 3.0 +138 Sandu, Dan (#23/ROM)

Malta International Scrabble Open 2010 ( Day 1 )

Yesterday, before I fell asleep, two questions were haunting me: " Will my Romanians have a good start", and " Will Nigel Richards drop any games the first day"? I got my answers in the morning! Mihai and Dan are both on 3W-2L, while Cata is on 2W-3L. We even had a 100% Romanian match in Malta yesterday.Dan played against Cata. It was 390-322 for Dan. Unfortunately, my team is struggling to score over 350 points per game. It`s almost impossible to win games like this. I remember Mihai`s average was somewhere around 410. I`m still waiting for him to find his playing mood!
With only one exception ( Paloma Raychbart ), Nigel`s opponents gave him the respect he deserves, and refused to score more than 350 points per game. I must admit that I overlooked Paloma`s APOSTASY when I examined their game! I also overlooked POTASSA and SAPOTAS! But then, that`s one of the many reasons why I`m not in Malta now. My Scrabble tiles are...rusty!

Friday, May 14, 2010

MISO 2010 ( Predictions for team Romania )

Malta International Scrabble Open is even tougher than The European Scrabble Championship! There won`t be many "easy games". If Mihai and Dan manage to find their playing mood, I think they can finish in top 20. if not, I predict that Mihai will finish 23rd and Dan will finish 28th. Of course, I hope I`m wrong and they both make the top 10! I also hope that Cata will finish top 5 in his division. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 4)

Day 4 was extremely good for Cata Caba, who managed to finish on the podium. 3rd place in B division is a very good result. Well done, Cata! I`m looking forward to seeing Cata play in A division in a year or two, and why not, even take some scalps.
Both Mihai and Dan had a quiet last day. They didn`t have to meet any "bullies", so I was hoping they would make the top 10. Mihai had a tougher schedule than Dan, and unfortunately, he lost 3 out of the 4 games against opponents who had pretty much his level of play. Dan only had one tough game, which he also lost. He also lost 2 "easy" ones. I`m guessing Dan suffers from the same disease as I do. It`s called playing at your opponent`s level. I don`t even wanna remember how many games I lost because of that! Both Mihai (12th place) and Dan (15th place) finished where I thought they would. That means they didn`t impress, but they didn`t disappoint either.
Dan had 9 impossible games ( against opponents much better than him 4W-5L), 12difficult games (against opponents who had the same level or who were a bit better 5W-7L ) and 11 "easy games" ( against weaker opponents 6W-5L!)
Mihai had 8 impossible games ( against much stronger opponents 2W- 6L ), 10 difficult games ( against opponents who had the same level or who were a bit better than him 2w-8L) and 14 "easy games" ( against weaker opponents 10W-4L!) I guess you could say that Mihai is also a "bully"...
Considering Dan`s tougher field, I`d say Dan`s 15th place is as good as Mihai`s 12th place. Great effort! The two days break will be followed by another international tournament: Malta International Scrabble Open. Good luck to everybody, when they`re not playing the....Romanians!

Final standings:
Nigel Richards



Helen Gipson



Joanne Craig



Harshan Lamabadusuriya



Theresa Brousson



Cecil Muscat



David Webb



Craig Beevers



Simon Gillam



Vincent Boyle



Terry Kirk



Mihai Pantis



David Delicata



Jackie McLeod



Dan Sandu



Nicky Vella-Laurenti



Sam Kantimathi

United States


Karen Richards



Kevin Synnott



Eileen Meghen



Raymond Tate



John Barker



Jojo Delia



Mario Saliba



Evelyn Wallace



Alison Pollard



Christine Strawbridge



Gary Pollard



Tuesday, May 11, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 3)

Unfortunately, not a very good day for the Romanian team. Mihai`s performance reminded me of mine at the UK Open. He lost all the tough matches and won 4 out of the last 5, against lower rated opponents, as expected. Dan`s performance was a bit better than Mihai`s. If you look at his matches, he had 8 tough games and an easier one. Ironically, he lost the "easy" one and beat Craig Beevers again! He also won his games agains Simon Gillam (expert), Jackie McLeod (expert) and David Delicata ( expert from Malta). He got to play Nigel Richards and Helen Gipson. Dan lost both games as expected, but considering the tough field he played yesterday, his result was not bad at all. In B division, Cata still has a shot at the second place. he is 7th at the moment, but I think he is better than that! Tomorrow is the last day of the European Open Scrabble Championship. All 3 players can finish top 10. Good luck!

Monday, May 10, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 2)

Day 2 was without doubt Mihai`s day. The win against Helen, really pleased me. I remember Mihai started his WSC campaign with a win against Helen, one of the best scrabble players in the world.Mihai also beat the UK National Champion en titre, Craig Beevers, and lost to Theresa Brousson, even though he scored 443 points. Dan lost most of the tough games today, and won the "easy ones". We all know that there are no easy games in Scrabble. Luck has its 30% contribution.Dan also beat David Delicata, the favourite of the home crowd. Both Mihai and Dan are on 9 wins and 8 losses, which is really not bad at all. It pleases me to see that with a bit of luck, we can beat anybody in the world, when 5 years ago we couldn`t hurt a fly!
Cata is doing well in the B division and I really think he can finish second if he focuses enough.He had an amazing find, any of the A division players would be proud of: HEXEREI, which means witchcraft. Good luck to the 3 musketeers for tomorrow!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 Day 1)

I must say that I was more than impressed by Dan`s start. Wins to Harshan Lambadusuriya( master), Craig Beevers (master), Theresa Brousson (expert) and Jojo Delia (represented Malta at the World Scrabble Championship). Losses to Karen Richard(I`ve never beaten Karen), Sam Kantimathi( an expert player from America, once the winner of the famous King`s Cup, and Simon Gillam ( expert )
Dan also played Vella Laurenti-Nicky, but I don`t know much about this player.
At the end of the day, Dan`s 4-4 is an amazing result. If he keeps beating the "eagles" and focuses more against the "lowriders", he can finish again in top 10.
And tomorrow, first thing in the morning, he has to play David Webb, another master from UK.
Mihai managed to avoid all of my favourites for the top 10 today. He did have 3
fairly difficult games against Delia Jojo, Gillam Simon and Vincent Boyle.Unfortunately he lost all of them. But the good news is he won 4 games against lower rated opponents.
A win is a win, and now Mihai is 12th while Dan is 17th, both on 4-4. If this was a boxing game between Mihai and Dan, I`d give this round to Dan.
In Division B Cata Caba is on 5 wins and 3 losses. I know he is a good player.If he stops playing scared, he can even win the division.Good luck to the three musketeers tomorrow. In the meanwhile, I`ll pay my first visit to the Osaka Scrabble Club in 2 years. I`m hoping to get a couple of games. I haven`t studied any words in 4 months, so I feel a bit rusty.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

European Open Scrabble Championship Malta 2010 )

Go Romania! The European Championship has begun. Congrats to Dan Laurentiu Sandu for beating Harshan Lambadusuriya. I must say it took me 7 games to beat him once! Now Dan has to face the Uk National Champion en titre, Craig Beevers. I won 3 games and lost 2 to Craig.Not an easy game! Mihai started with easier draws, but I`m sure thing will change as he climbs his way to the top 10. I guestimate* Mihai will finish in top 15, Dan in Top 20, and Cata Caba, who plays in the B division, will finish top 10.

1000 Games on Facebook

Today I made it to 1000 games on Facebook.
Games played: 1000
Games won : 547
Games lost: 453
Best word score: Dextrose (185 points)
Facebook Scrabble is still pretty bad, compared to the Internet Scrabble Club. The void option kills the beauty of the game. I`m surprised that the creators of Facebook Scrabble couldn`t come up with something better. After all, Facebook Scrabble had to replace Scrabulous. Not an easy task. I feel that those pretty colors are just not enough.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Romanian Scrabble National Championship in English (second round)

Congratulations to Mihai Pantis, who beat Dan Laurentiu Sandu twice, to win the tournament. My father had his first win ever against Mihai in a tournament. Well done, old man! It`s good to see a new player on the Romanian Scrabble scene. Welcome, Iuliu Fabian! There will be a third tournament later this year, that will decide the new National Champion. Until then, good luck to Mihai, Cata and Dan in Malta, where they will join two tournaments: Malta International Scrabble Open and the European Scrabble Championship.
1. Mihai Pantis (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 6 wins, 2 losses +868
2. Catalin Caba (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 5 wins, 3 losses (+628)
3. Dan Laurentiu Sandu (Locomotiva Bucuresti): 5 wins, 3 losses (+491)
4. Ovidiu Tamas (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 4 wins, 4 losses (+479)
5. Iuliu Fabian (CS Universitatea Cluj-Napoca): 0 wins, 8 losses (-2465)

1: Tamas-Sandu 311-358; Caba-Fabian 497-180;
2: Pantis-Sandu 428-417; Tamas-Fabian 464-193;
3: Pantis-Fabian 571-171; Tamas-Caba 436-333;
4: Pantis-Caba 322-426; Fabian-Sandu 178-528;
5: Pantis-Tamas 382-488; Caba-Sandu 365-345;
6: Tamas-Sandu 388-423; Caba-Fabian 490-231;
7: Pantis-Sandu 450-268; Tamas-Fabian 456-109;
8: Pantis-Fabian 521-244; Tamas-Caba 390-452;
9: Pantis-Caba 373-367; Fabian-Sandu 196-440;
10: Pantis-Tamas 503-301; Caba-Sandu 350-378;

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Defunnytions ( Bugout )

A BUGOUT happens when in a bug fight, one of the bugs knocks the other one out. Other dictionaries might disagree, but I take it you know who the supreme authority in defunnytions is..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Living through the End of the World II

Our End of the World Survival 101 continues with HER version. If you have the patience to follow me to the end (of this post, not of the world), you’ll most likely agree that women get a better deal when the apocalypse comes.
For once, you’ll have more choices. One—and probably the one you’re hoping for—is that you are the stunning beauty + nuclear scientist who’s a perfect genetic match to the Achilles in the first installment. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. If you’re both so perfect, you will have reached a genetic dead end. There’s nowhere for you to evolve, so probably you won’t even be able to breed. That’s why mother nature will go with this model:

But don’t despair! Here’s your chance to pig out, as you’ll need those fat reserves. Let’s see what fashion models have to say when you’ll be comfortably living off the fat stored during months of entirely pleasurable eating.
Another chance would be given to you if you are the future mother of some great hero. I only have empirical knowledge here, so all I can say is that you need moderately good looks and nothing special. YOU are not special, but your offspring will be. Especially if his father looks like Will Smith and acts like the characters played by Will Smith.
The last possibility I’m going to discuss here is you being slightly overweight and generally not noticeable. However, all you need is to take off your glasses, change into designer clothes and put on some make up, and you’re Jessica Alba. Of course, designer clothes, high quality make up and make-over counselors will be widely available (free of charge) during the end of the world. As you can see, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about here. The more insignificant you feel now, the more chances you have to be the last woman standing. And talking about procreation, in scientific terms, to be sure, here’s what nature has prepared for you:

Living through the End of the World

It’s been raining these days in Japan like the deluge (I’m talking mythological here) is coming. I mean, it’s just not normal to have, at this time of the year, one feebly sunny day every other week. And a volcano erupted in Iceland, creating an ash cloud which may be seen as romantic—you know, obscurity, raining on a Sunday, nothing to do outdoors—if we didn’t consider that such an ash cloud is supposed to have led to the extinction of dinosaurs. As my grandmother would put it, “The end of the world is coming, I’m telling you.”
So, what do you do if it’s the end of the world? Get rich, of course. And the easiest way to get rich is to write one of those self-improvement + DIY books. Here’s ours, about how to cope with the end of the world.
First, it’s much easier if you’re a woman. If you’re a man, an ordinary man with no superpowers or the skills to take apart a spaceship and put it back in less than 10 minutes, you’ve got zero chances. Unless you’re terribly funny and you get to live so that you could bring the actual hero back to his senses (after he has heroically saved the world) with a witty line at the end of the movie. To which the actual hero would reply with an even wittier line and you would realize that in fact it’s you who’s dying, a shard from Louvre’s glass pyramid artistically sticking out of your chest.
And even if you are the hero. Let’s say you have the looks, the brains and the muscular structure, and the jaw line. Come on, who am I kidding? Nobody has them all. Even Achilles had a weak heel. If you’re still alive, it’s probably because your father was a billionaire and you had wisely hidden in one of his impenetrable shelters, right behind the Ferrari and the shelf with the pickle jars. Well, wise guy, who do you think is going to be your partner for life? Whom do you think you’ll have to re-create the humankind with?
Science tells us that slim, narrow-hipped and flat-chested (surgical enhancements do not count here) females are not exactly fit for procreation. They may be ideal for the process, but nature is interested in the results. Productivity is the key word here. Needless to say, nature will save the female most likely to have lots of offspring. If you want to know how she (aka, your future spouse) looks like, look at some of the prehistoric artifacts or at any of Rubens’ paintings.
I’d say you’ve got a tough one, guys!

To be continued with HER version of Survival Tips.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Facebook Scrabble ( Andrew Fisher vs Adrian Tamas)

Andrew is one of those player who usually beats the living sushi out of me at Scrabble. A player who cowrote the book "How to Win at Scrabble" definitely knows how to do it.For a while, I was considering writing a book called "How to Lose at Scrabble". I`m sure it would have been extremely popular among the Scrabble players. It usually takes me four or five games to beat Andrew once. After rereading "How to Win at Scrabble" though, I must tell you that I`m 4-1 against him. I "blame" it on the good tiles, but also on the better rack balance. Andrew and I shared the blanks, but I had a better flow of the tiles. I don`t if it`s just a coincidence, but before rereading Andrew`s book, I was on a six loss streak against him!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

This One Goes to the One I Love

I know our (few) readers are used to funny and ironical posts. This one is different and entirely not related to Scrabble. This is about my grandmother, who passed away last Friday. I was not there and I never had the chance to say good-bye. So this is my farewell to her.
My grandmother was a lovely lady and she stayed beautiful in death. She did not suffer and I am grateful for that. She had pruned her hydrangeas, mumbled and grumbled about the workers in her vineyard (nothing they ever did could match her skills in tending to the grapevines, but she no longer had the strength to do everything herself), cooked and baked some cookies for my parents, then went to sleep. And never woke up. It was sudden and painful, yet I am grateful that she did not suffer and she stayed unchanged to the end.
She passed away with her hair and nails carefully done, as usual. Since I was little, she taught me to always be careful about my appearance and particularly about my underwear, because one could never know when one might suddenly feel sick and be taken to the hospital. And could be more embarrassing than appearing less than perfect in front of doctors? So, the rule was: impeccable underwear and carefully trimmed nails and toenails.
My grandmother was a great cook. She had always been plump and she loved bread, sweets and cheese. I obviously take after her, as neither of us could truly enjoy a life without cheese or without a small dessert after each meal.

My grandmother believed in the old Romanian saying “A fat person is a handsome person” and she did her best to keep me as chubby as possible. She constantly sabotaged all my high school attempts at dieting by making pancakes and cheese pies, because she knew the temptation would be too big for me. Yet she knew moderation, and she had always measured her own food. No more than half a glass of wine a day, two thin slices of bread and small portions. She could have written the health articles on Yahoo.
My grandmother could read the cards. Her ability was uncanny and she knew it. Only once did I convince her to do that for me, and it was enough, because she could read in those cards more than I wanted her to know about my teenage love life.
My grandmother took care of her husband, her two children, a huge house, a vegetable garden and a small vineyard. She used to climb the cherry tree in our yard until she was well over fifty and my mother forbid her to do so. Unfortunately, neither my mother, nor I have inherited her courage and agility. My mother inherited my grandmother’s obsession with cleanliness and I her love for cooking. And baking.
There are many things I could say about my grandmother and I might do so in the future. Today I had the courage to look at her photos again and I’m sharing them with you.
This is for my grandmother, with love.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Do You Speak English? ( A List Sometimes... Words Beginning with BH )

This one is for the native speakers of English, who think they master their mother tongue. The truth is that English is like an adoptive parent. It`s like The Angelina Jolie of the languages. It keeps sucking in more and more words from other languages. As you will notice, none of the words on this list are actually genuine English words.

BHAGEE+S = an appetizer, in Indian cookery
BHAJAN+S = singing of devotional songs and hymns
BHAJEE+S = an appetizer, in Indian cookery
BHAJI+S = an appetizer in Indian cookery
BHAKTA+S = Hindu term for devotee of God
BHAKTI+S = loving devotion to God, leading to nirvana
BHANG+S = preparation of Indian hemp used as a narcotic and intoxicant
BHANGRA+S = type of traditional Punjabi folk music combined with elements of Western pop music
BHARAL+S = wild Himalayan sheep
BHAT ( no –S) = currency of Thailand
BHAVAN+S = a large house or building, in India
BHAWAN+S = a large house or building, in India
BHEESTIE+S = an Indian water carrier
BHEESTY = a water carrier, in India
BHEL+S = a thorny Indian tree
BHIKHU+S = a fully ordained Buddhist monk
BHIKKHUNI + S = a fully ordained Buddhist nun
BHINDI +S = okra used in Indian cookery
BHISHTI +S = a water carrier, in India
BHISTEE+S = a water carrier, in India
BHISTI+E,S = a water carrier, in India
BHISTIE+S = a water carrier, in India
BHOOT+S = a small whirlwind
BHUNA+S = Indian sauce
BHUT+S = a small whirlwind

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Have I Broken a Free Spirit?

Well, you might have already noticed, the Scrabble Wife is all about winning. Jokes aside, I have always thought that if you think you can’t win a game, you shouldn’t play at all. I’m not going to get into philosophical debates over that. Suffice it to say that the Scrabbler himself has not followed the same creed. Not until recently, at least.
Last night we were talking about our Christmas plans, or rather, I was talking and he was pretending to listen while doing something on his computer. I am sure my female audience is more than familiar with this picture. Don’t be surprised that we were discussing Christmas plans in March; after you’ve lived for a few years in Japan, you’ll have not yearly agendas, but decade planners and try to squeeze a visit from a friend living in a nearby town two years from now, Wednesday afternoon, after work and before manicure.
So my husband announced me (to my great and genuine surprise) that he didn’t want to go to the UK Open next year.
“Why?” I asked, not entirely sure whether to rejoice or to weep (see how I know my religious words?).
“First, because it’s far and expensive, and second, because I lose anyway,” was the answer. My husband, who has always said that he was playing for the pleasure of the game, now would not go to a competition because he’s afraid of losing? I suspect there’s more to this than he would confess, but anyway, I can’t help wondering: have I broken a truly free spirit?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Karaoke ( definition )

As I was going through David Sutton`s list of Japanese words valid in Scrabble, I saw the definition of the word KARAOKE+S. KARAOKE is defined as being "an instrument of torture". After laughing my head off for about five minutes, I realized that David was right. Karaoke can be used as an instrument of torture. In fact, this is probably how the Japanese army tortured their prisoners during wartime: " Talk, or I`ll get the mike and sing the karaoke version of Happy Birthday to You". And the prisoners usually talked.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


For today`s Tricktionary*, I chose the word Angklung+s ( an Asian instrument ). I find it difficult to remember the three ways of spelling this word.
1. Anklong+s
2. Anklung+s
3. Angklung+s

How to Win at Scrabble ( Andrew Fisher and David Webb )

I just finished rereading How to Win at Scrabble. It was an eyeopener. It turns out my strategy was a lot better 4 years ago, when I used to sacrifice points for a better leave. Then, for some reason, I started taking the extra points and sacrifice the leave. This cost me about 150 rating points. My rating dropped from 1960 to 1808, even though I know a lot more words than before. If you don`t have this book you should definitely buy it. It`s a must have, for Scrabble freaks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Word with You

ALALAGMOS!!! It`s a Greek war cry. I have no idea whether it has a meaning or not, but I must say it sounds scary... I`d love to get to play this word. What`s even scarier is that ALALAGMOS has a plural: ALALAGMOI.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Offensive Words in Scrabble ( Q and Z )

There aren`t many offensive words that begin with Q or Z. As a matter of fact, ZAMBO+S ( offensive word for a Black person ), is the only offensive word I found,beginning with Z. There are 3 offensive words starting with Q: QUEERCORE+S ( gay-oriented punk music ), QUEERDOM+S (gay culture ) and QUIM+S ( taboo word for the female genitals ). There might be more offensive words beginning with Q and Z, but that`s all I could find. Please let me know if you find some more.

Scrabble in Japan ( Kichijoji Cup 2010 )

The Kichijoji Scrabble Cup 2010 will be held in Tokyo, on the 29th of April( Thursday ) between 13.00 and 19.00 at Musashino Kokaido, near the Kichijoji Station. If you happen to be in Tokyo and if you love playing Scrabble, please feel free to join.
Unfortunately I wont be able to make it, but other players from Osaka will be there.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Word with You ( A Word a Day )

Today`s word is INCUBUS. The INCUBUS is a demon believed to have sex with sleeping women. INCUBUS has two plural forms: INCUBI and INCUBUSES.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Word with You ( A Word a Day )

Today, I played the word ARQUEBUS on ISC, in a three minute game. I`ve always wanted to play it. An ARQUEBUS is a portable long-barrelled gun dating from the 15th century. It takes an H in front. HARQUEBUS is a variant of ARQUEBUS.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Word with You ( A Word a Day )

Today`s word is ONIONSKIN+S, defined as translucent paper.

Scrabble on ISC ( Internet Scrabble Club )

Today I had a nice game on ISC. My first move was VIHUELA+S ( a Spanish musical instrument ), followed by CARBOYS ( a large bottle ) and TANKA ( a Japanese verse form ) for 53 points. Later in the game, I played VERQUIRE ( a form of backgammon ) and FOREVER through OR for 54 points. Scored 627 points.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Word with You ( A Word a Day )

One of my favourite words is WUDJULA+S. I`ve never had the chance to play it in a game, but I`ll let you know if I do. WUDJULA is an Australian word for a non-Aboriginal person.

Offensive Words in Scrabble ( J )

Here`s a list with all the offensive word starting with J, not included in the Family Edition of the Collins Scrabble Dictionary.

JAAP+S = offensive word for a simpleton or country bumpkin
JACKROLL+S = gang-rape
JACKSY, JACKSIE+S, JAXIE+S = buttocks or anus
JACKY, JACKIES = offensive word for a native Australian
JAFA+S = offensive word for a person from Auckland
JAKEY+S = a derogatory word for a homeless alcoholic
JAILBAIT ( no-S ) = young attractive woman, below the age of consent
JESUIT+S, JESUITIC (no- S), JESUITISM+S, JESUITRY = offensive term for a person given to subtle and equivocating arguments
JEW+S, ED, ING = obsolete offensive word for haggle
JICKAJOG+S, JIGAJIG+S, JIGAJOG+S, JIGJIG+S = engage in sexual intercourse
JIGABOO+S = offensive term for a Black person
JISM+S, JISSOM+S = slang word for semen
JOBBIE+S = piece of excrement
JOHNSON+S = slang word for penis

Again, please let me know if you find more J words that should be on this list!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Word with You ( A Word a Day )

Today`s word is VAPORETTO. A VAPORETTO is a steam-powered passenger boat, like the ones used on the canals of Venice. This word has two plural forms: VAPORETTOS and VAPORETTI (no-S ).

Monday, March 1, 2010

A list...sometimes ( Words Ending in -logy )

The words ending in "logy", a suffix inherited from Greek, can be divided into two categories:

A. Words which have the sense of "saying or speaking".

ANALOGY, ANALOGIES = resemblance in some respects between things otherwise unlike
ANTILOGY, ANTILOGIES = a contradiction in terms of ideas
APOLOGY, APOLOGIES = an explanation with expression of regret
CACOLOGY, CACOLOGIES = a bad choice of words
DEKALOGY, DEKALOGIES = a group of ten novels
DOXOLOGY, DOXOLOGIES = a hymn or verse of praise to God
ELOGY, ELOGIES = eloge (a funeral oration)
EULOGY, EULOGIES = a speech or writing in praise
HOMOLOGY, HOMOLOGIES = similarity in structure and origin
IDEALOGY, IDEALOGIES = a systematic body of ideas
MENOLOGY, MENOLOGIES = an ecclesiastical calendar
MISOLOGY, MISOLOGIES = a hatred of debate or reasoning
NEOLOGY, NEOLOGIES = a new word or phrase
PARALOGY, PARALOGIES = false reasoning
TRILOGY, TRILOGIES = a group of three related literary works

B. Names of sciences or departments of study.

AEROLOGY, AEROLOGIES = science of the atmosphere
AGROLOGY, AGROLOGIES = the science of soils in relation to crops
ALGOLOGY, ALGOLOGIES = the study of algae
APIOLOGY, APIOLOGIES = the study of bees
S+ARCOLOGY, S+SARCOLOGIES = a system of architecture that integrates buildings with the environment
AREOLOGY, AREOLOGIES = the study of the planet Mars
ATMOLOGY, ATMOLOGIES = the science of water vapour
T+AUTOLOGY = scientific study of oneself
AXIOLOGY,AXIOLOGIES = the science of values
BATOLOGY,BATOLOGIES = the study of brambles
BIOLOGY, BIOLOGIES = the science of life
BRYOLOGY, BRYOLOGIES = the study of mosses
CETOLOGY,CETOLOGIES = the study of whales
CHAOLOGY, CHAOLOGIES = the study of chaos
CYTOLOGY, CYTOLOGIES = a study of cells
DOSOLOGY, DOSOLOGIES = the science of doses
O+ECOLOGY, O+ECOLOGIES = an environmental science
M,O,P,V+ENOLOGY, M,O,P,V+ENOLOGIES = the study of wines
ETHOLOGY, ETHOLOGIES = the study of animal behaviour
A+ETIOLOGY, A+ETIOLOGIES = the medical study of causes of disease
FETOLOGY, FETOLOGIES = a branch of medicine dealing with fetus
GEMOLOGY, GEMOLOGIES = the science of gems
GEOLOGY, GEOLOGIES = the science of the origin and structure of the earth
C+HOROLOGY, C+HOROLOGIES = the science of measuring time
IDEOLOGY, IDEOLOGIES = the science of ideas
KIDOLOGY, KIDOLOGIES = the art of kidding

MIXOLOGY, MIXOLOGIES = the art of making mixed drinks
MONOLOGY, MONOLOGIES = the act of uttering a monolog
MYCOLOGY, MYCOLOGIES = the branch of botany dealing with fungi
MYOLOGY, MYOLOGIES = the study of muscles
NOMOLOGY, NOMOLOGIES = the science of law
NOOLOGY, NOOLOGIES = the science of the intellect
NOSOLOGY, NOSOLOGIES = a classification of diseases
OECOLOGY, OECOLOGIES = ecology (an environmental science)
P+OENOLOGY, P+OENOLOGIES = the study of wines
OINOLOGY, OINOLOGIES = oenology (the study of wines)
O+OLOGY, O+OLOGIES = a branch of knowledge
ONCOLOGY, ONCOLOGIES = the science of tumors
ONTOLOGY, ONTOLOGIES = the branch of philosophy the deals with being
N,Z+OOLOGY, N,Z+OOLOGIES = the study of bird's eggs
OPTOLOGY, OPTOLOGIES = the study of sight
OREOLOGY, OREOLOGIES = orology (the scientific study of mountains)
H+OROLOGY, H+OROLOGIES = the scientific study of mountains
OTOLOGY, OTOLOGIES = the science of the ear
OUROLOGY, OUROLOGIES = a branch of medicine dealing with the urinary tract
PEDOLOGY, PEDOLOGIEES = the scientific study of children
PELOLOGY, PELOLOGIES = study of mud and its curative effects
PENOLOGY, PENOLOGIES = the science of the punishment of crime
PODOLOGY, PODOLOGIES = the study of the feet
POMOLOGY, POMOLOGIES = the study of fruits
POSOLOGY, POSOLOGIES = a branch of medicine that deals with drug dosages
PYROLOGY, PYROLOGIES = the scientific examination of materials by heat
RHEOLOGY, RHEOLOGIES = the study of matter in the fluid state
SEROLOGY, SEROLOGIES = the science of serums
SEXOLOGY, SEXOLOGIES = the study of human sexual behaviour
SINOLOGY, SINOLOGIES = the study of Chinese
SITOLOGY, SITOLOGIES = the science of nutrition and diet
A+THEOLOGY, A+THEOLOGIES = the study of religion
TOCOLOGY, TOCOLOGIES = a branch of medicine dealing with childbirth
TOKOLOGY, TOKOLOGIES = tocology (a branch of medicine dealing with childbirth
TOPOLOGY, TOPOLOGIES = a branch of mathematics
TYPOLOGY, TYPOLOGIES = the study of classification according to type
UFOLOGY, UFOLOGIES = the study of unidentified flying objects
O+UROLOGY, O+UROLOGIES = the branch of medicine dealing with the urinary tract
VENOLOGY, VENOLOGIES = the study of veins
VINOLOGY, VINOLOGIES = the study of vines
VIROLOGY, VIROLOGIES = the study of viruses
XYLOLOGY, XYLOLOGIES = the study of the structure of wood
ZOOLOGY, ZOOLOGIES = the science of animals
ZYMOLOGY, ZYMOLOGIES = the science of fermentation

A Word with You ( A Word a Day )

The Collins Dictionary is full of interesting words and definitions. As of today, I will select a word a day, and share it with you. Today`s word is ROSBIF. A ROSBIF is a term used in France for an English person. I`m guessing ROSBIF comes from the English ROAST BEEF. Even though this term sounds offensive to me, the Collins Family Edition also lists it. Still, if I were you, I wouldn`t use it when meeting English people. "Hey, what`s up rosbif?" can send you straight to the hospital, if you meet the wrong person...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Months Valid in Scrabble

JANUARY (not valid ) + ???????? = INTERJACULATORY
FEBRUARY ( not valid )+??? = IRREFUTABLY
MARCH + ED, ES, ING ( valid )
APRIL ( not valid) = PILAR ( no -S); PRIAL+S
MAY+A,O,S ( valid )
JUNE ( not valid ) + ?? = BUNJE+ E, S; JEUNE ( no-S)
JULY ( not valid ) + ?? = JUMBLY ; JOYFUL ( no-S); JUNGLY ; JUSTLY
AUGUST+ E, S ( valid )
SEPTEMBER ( not valid ) + ??? = OBTEMPERATES + SUBTEMPERATE ( no- S)
OCTOBER ( not valid ) + ??? = CODEBTOR+S ; OBJECTOR+S ;
NOVEMBER ( not valid ) + ??? = UNREMOVABLE ( no-S )

So only four months out of twelve are valid in Scrabble : March, April, May and August.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Offensive Words in Scrabble ( N)

All these offensive words can be found in the Collins Official Scrabble Dictionary, but are omitted from the Family Edition of the Collins Scrabble Dictionary. Use them wisely. Hopefully on the Scrabble board only. You know that words can be sharper than sword...

NADS = testicles
NANCE+S = homosexual man
NANCY, NANCIES = effeminate or homosexual boy or man
NED+S = derogatory name for an adolescent hooligan
NEDETTE+S = derogatory name for a female adolescent hooligan
NEGRESS+ES = old-fashioned offensive term for a Black woman
NEGRO (no -S), NEGROES = old-fashioned offensive term for a Black man
NEGROHEAD+S = type of rubber
NEGROID+S = a member of the Black race (NEGROIDAL)
NEGROISM+S = devotion to the Black civil rights movement
NEGROPHIL+E,S = person who admires Black people and their culture
NIGER+S = obsolete offensive term for a Black person
NIGGER+S, ED, ING = offensive name for a Black person
NIGGERDOM+S = the world of Black people ( ?)
NIGGERISH = of, or like a Black person
NIGGERISM+S = offensive name for an idiom supposedly characteristic of Black people
NIGGERY = like a Black person
NITCHIE+S = offensive term for a Native American
NOOKIE+S = sexual intercourse
NOONER+S = sexual encounter during lunch hours
NUTHOUSE+S = mental hospytal or asylum
NUTSO ( no-S) =insane
NUTTER+S = insane person
NYMPHO+S = nymphomaniac

Here are a few words not considered offensive enough to be left out of the Family Edition Scrabble Dictionary:

NANCIFIED = effeminate man
NEGRITUDE+S = fact of being a NEGRO
NELLIE+S = effeminate man
NERD+ S,Y = a socially inept person
NICOMPOOP+S = stupid person
NINNY, NINNIES = stupid person ( NINNYISH)
NONG+S = stupid or incompetent person
NOODLEDOM+S = state of being a simpleton
NUMBSKULL+S = stupid person
NUMSKULL+S = stupid person
NURD+ S, Y = a socially inept person

If you stumble across more offensive words beginning with N, please let me know!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Romanian National Scrabble Championship in English ( first round)

The first round of the Romanian National Scrabble Championship in English 2010 took place in Bucharest, last weekend. These are the final standings:
1. Dan Laurenţiu SANDU 9-1 (+1229)
2. Mihai PANTIŞ 9-1 (+986)
3. Cătălin CABA 5-5 (+413)
4. Ovidiu TĂMAŞ 4-6 (+150)
5. Eduard PETCU 3-7 (-955)
6. Cosmin DONCIU 0-10 (-1823

I was happy to hear that we have a new player in English. His name is Eduard Petcu and from what I hear, he is very young and talented. He extended MOVED to UNREMOVED to win a game by 6 points, and did pretty well, considering that this was his first tournament in English! I hope that he keeps improving and maybe one day he can represent Romania at the WSC.

After 8 rounds Mihai was first with 7 wins, 1 loss and 836 spread, followed by Dan Laurentia Sandu on 7 wins, 1 loss and 458 spread! While Mihai Pantis only managed to get 150 spread points from his last 2 games, Dan Laurentiu Sandu earned a spread of 771 points from his, against his club mates, who only managed to score 125 and 116points, the lowest scores I`ve never seen in 6 years of Scrabble… I`m thinking… noncombat or just really, really, really bad luck! Hopefully the latter. It`s going to be an interesting fight between Mihai and Dan. Two rounds to go this year!
Out of curiosity, what is your lowest score ever at Scrabble? I remember mine was 275 or so.

Check out for more details.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2009 ( Unofficial Prize Ceremony- Open Division)

This is an inaginary prize ceremony. Please don`t knock on my door to pick up your prizes...
The prize for the longest word goes to Thacha Koowirat who played the word MARATHON.
The prize for the most unoriginal bonuses goes to Abdul Suma for IMITATED and EPIGONE.
The "Who stole the S” prize goes to Jocelyn Lor, who used up nine S tiles in 3 bonuses: SNOWLESS, SLOWNESS and SONLESS.
The prize for the craziest find goes to Ferdy Anthonius for the word INSANEST.
The prize for the sweetest find goes to Wilfredo Padua, for CANDIES.
The "Piece of cake prize" goes to Moses Owugah and Yeap Gim Sai. Both players played the word EASIEST.
The prize for the most politically incorect bonus goes to Liz Fagerlund, who played NONEQUAL.
The “Get your mind out of the gutter” prize goes to Natasha Podesser, who played the words VIBRATOR, AROUSAL,ENTERING and PREGNANT.
The “ I wouldn`t challenge that in a thousand years” prize goes to Nupur Sood, who played the nonvalid word UNFRESH*
The prize for the strangest bonus goes to Lim Mao Fong for the word ODDITIES.
The prize for the most unchallenged phonies goes to Jerry Khoo, who got away with six!
The prize for the wisest play goes to Robert Rubina, who played PROVERBS.
The prize for the ugliest bonus goes to Kim Rubina, who played the word MONSTER.
If you can think of other silly prizes, please let me know...

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Let us look at two of the most popular words: HARDCORE and SOFTCORE. While HARDCORE can be a noun ( a genre of music) or an adjective (extremely graphic or explicit or intensely loyal, diehard), SOFTCORE can only be an adjective (being less explicit in depicting sex acts), and therefor can`t be hooked with an S.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Whitney Houston in Japan or the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire

You might wonder what Whitney Houston (and her much expected Japan tour) have to do with collapsed empires. Well, let me tell you that the only difference is that those empires did not have a choice. I know that certain decisions made in certain historical and political contexts led to disastrous consequences, yet I believe the fall of empires was not something that happened in one generation. So they did not have the choice of retiring in full glory. I mean, it’s not like Octavian could have said: “We’re pretty big and famous now, I think we should withdraw our armies from the territories and become a rich neutral country. Switzerland seems to be a nice-sounding name.”
But performers do have the choice of retiring when they feel there is nothing more they can do for the artistic world. And I think they have the duty to retire when they cannot perform anymore. Even if you are a groupie, seeing your idol miserably struggling on the stage won’t enhance your love for him or her.
So let me tell you about Whitney Houston’s concert in Osaka (the first one, February 17. I’m not sure she can perform again tomorrow; she looked pretty exhausted even when she first showed up on stage last night). In short, it can be described like this: less than 90 minutes of panting, sniffling, talking (more or less coherently) in a very hoarse voice, disappearing from the stage for long periods of time, drinking water, and pathetic attempts at dancing, all interrupted by very very short musical moments. And I mean VERY short. And very BAD. But I learned a lot of useful things: Whitney loves us, she loves Jesus, she believes that there is only one god no matter how we name him (aren’t you just amazed by the originality and depth of this thought?), and she is allergic to mangoes. Of course, the climax came at the end of the show, when she made one more bad choice: she tried to sing “I Will Always Love You”. A brave choice, actually, coming from a person who could not sing for 20 seconds without panting and who would definitely not pass the American Idol auditions. She realized it was a bad choice mid song, right before the well-known “I will always love you” line, and she stopped. To inform us that she had broken a nail. I quote: “See how hard I’m working for you guys”, she said, biting the afore-mentioned fingernail. I guess in any other country but the kind and polite Japan she would have been pelted with rotten eggs. Even in Japan, we heard the fearless voice of an old lady: “Come on, sing now!”
Of course she did not. Because it was obvious she couldn’t. And the entire Osaka Jo Hall (several thousand people) had just wasted their money, on tickets which were not cheap at all. If I were her friend, I would probably feel sorry for her. But I am not her friend, and I only feel sorry for the money I spent (I could have bought the National Geographic complete collection, the deluxe edition and still have enough for a dinner with my husband!) and for the time I could have spent watching soap operas on TV or sleeping. Or thinking about the glorious fall of the City of Byzantium. Heroic. Impressive. Very much unlike a hoarse lady who steals money from honest working people under the pretense that she can entertain them.

PS. We apologize to our faithful readers for this off topic post. We know you are here to read about my latest fashion achievements and, sometimes, to read about Scrabble, and we promise this post is only the result of temporary insanity caused by very bad music.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Being snowed in can be a catastrophe for some and sheer delight for others. I suppose it all depends on the circumstances. If you were, for example, in some cozy cottage, with a sitting by a warm fire and drinking hot chocolate (or any other beverage of your choice), I guess snow can only be delightful. On the other hand, if you had to catch a plane to get to the other end of the world, a snow storm loses at least part of its charm.
This year, the UK Open snow caught me somewhere in between. I mean, I was in a warm place doing one of the things I like most (I hope you don’t need me to spell it out for you. Yes, of course, I was playing Scrabble!), yet I had to fly to Osaka in a matter of days. And snow did make my first flight, from London to Rome, a nightmare, but the events preceding it were worth it. England, and most of Europe I think, has suffered one of the harshest winters in the last thirty years. For a country where snow is not a common occurrence (they say in Dickens’ times, Thames used to freeze, but the people who witnessed that are long gone), this winter has definitely caused a lot of problems. Not for the brave Scrabble players, though, who know how to courageously face difficulties. They cheerfully gathered outside and erected a statue in honour of the tournament’s organizer, Len Moir. The dignified snowman was cheerfully christened “Lenny”. Here is proof of one of the greatest acts of bravery accomplished by the Knights Scrabbler: (photo).

BESNOW+S, ED, ING = to cover with snow

SNOW+S, ED, ING = to rain with frozen crystals
SNOWBALL+S, ED, ING = to increase at a rapid rate
SNOWBANK +S = a mound of snow
SNOWBELL+S = a flowering shrub
SNOWBIRD = a small bird
SNOWBOOT+S = a boot for walking in snow
SNOWBUSH = a flowering shrub
SNOWDROP+S = a drooping white flower
SNOWFALL+S = a fall of snow
SNOWLAND+S = an area marked by a great amount of snow
SNOWLESS = without snow
SNOWLIKE = having the appearance of snow
SNOWLINE+S = an area which defines permanent snow
SNOWMELT+S = water produced by the melting of snow
SNOWMOLD+S = a fungus disease
SNOWPACK+S = an accumulation of packed snow
SNOWPLOW+S = to execute a type of skiing maneuver
SNOWSHED+S = a structure which provides protection from snow
SNOWSHOE + D,R,S = to walk on oval frames on deep snow
SNOWSLIP +S = a small avalanche
SNOWSUIT +S = a child`s garment for winter wear
SNOWY ( SNOWIER, SNOWIEST) = abounding in snow
SNOWK+S, ED, ING = to prowl or sneak about
SNOWCAP+S = a covering of snow
SNOWCAT+S = a tracklaying vehicle for travel on snow
SNOWILY = in a snowy manner
SNOWISH = somewhat snowy
SNOWMAN ( SNOWMEN) = a figure made of snow

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dating a Scrabble Player

Your dream has come true! You are finally dating a Scrabble player! Well, let me give you a little preview of how your date will begin or/and end.

Not so still life with Scrabble player studying The Dictionary

You might say “What if he has to drive?” Who are you kidding? Unless he’s a very eccentric prince from an oil-rich kingdom, do you think a Scrabble player can afford a car?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where We Live II: Romania

We told you all about our home in Japan, so we thought it was time to tell you about our home back home. Romania, our country. We guiltily admit to not knowing very much about our own country, but we are trying to fix the problem with the help of two much more knowledgeable friends who explore Romania and write about it. Since they only write in Romanian (for the moment, we hope), we have borrowed some photos from their website and here they are.

Pacuiul lui Soare, an island 150 km southeast of Bucharest, where, according to our friends, you can feel like an explorer in the Amazonian jungle.

I must say that these photos made me want to fly straight there, right now, although it seems that Romania is buried under snow and blessed with a gentle Siberian breeze. However, if you feel like escaping towards an yet unexplored paradise, this is our recommendation. And yes, dear Scrabble players, it seems peaceful enough, so you can study your word lists there.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

How to Date a Scrabble Player 101

Do you want your life to improve dramatically? Do you want to live in the lap of luxury? Do you want to spend your free time (which will actually be most of your time, unless you have to see your beauty counselor or personal stylist) on tropical beaches and cruises in the Caribbean? (Depending on the circumstances, Johnny Depp may be part of the package.)
If you’ve answered yes to at least one of the above, then all you have to do is date (or marry) a Scrabble player. I did and the result can be observed (and admired) below.

However, if you do decide to take this huge step, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Pretend to be in raptures when your hubby tells you how he played ATROPINES for 149 points. Don’t tell me you don’t feel the thrill of that! It’s better than bungee jumping, I’m telling you.
2. Words such as TURGIDER, URCEOLI, CHOREGI or GENIZAH should be part of your current vocabulary.
3. Don’t even think that Jon Bon Jovi may be sexier than Nigel Richards. What, you don’t know who Nigel Richards is? Go home and do your homework before visiting this site again!
4. Be prepared to accept that word lists make as good interior decorations as any. I mean, who needs a Faberge egg when you can have the complete set of four-letter words spread out in your living room?
5. Be confident that if someone were to break into your house or attack you in the street, your Scrabble player’s steel biceps, fortified by months of carrying and lifting the Scrabble Dictionary, will be more than capable to protect you.
6. Of course… to be continued.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Being a Scrabble Wife

A fellow blogger posted the following question for debate:
“If there were no prize money in Scrabble, would you play as many tournaments as you do now, fewer tournaments, or none at all?”

I must say, that was a tough one. I mean, what would I do without all the money Adrian has made playing Scrabble? I’d probably have to give up my Hermes bags, my Prada shoes, my VanClef and Arpels jewelry and… oh, no, that would be too much, even my personal chauffeur! No, I don’t think I could be married to a man who made absolutely no money playing Scrabble. I know, it sounds extremely superficial, but a girl must look out for herself if she wants to survive in this cruel world.

Now, since I started talking about this profitable business, let me enumerate the advantages and disadvantages of being a Scrabble wife (or a Scrabble widow, as Paul brilliantly put it).


1. All the above-mentioned luxury items. Feel free to look at them at leisure in the shop windows or to browse the internet.
2. You will always have a dictionary handy. I mean, if you are sitting on the toilet and feel the incontrollable urge to know what “wymote” or “grihastha” means, all you have to do is stretch your arm and pick up the dictionary from the shelf. Then you can truly relax.
3. When your husband refuses to accompany you on meetings with your friends (and what can be more delightful than that?), at least you can excuse him and say that he’s training for the next competition.
4. Your husband will never complain if you spend an entire day at a beauty parlor: he would be too absorbed in his games/word study to notice that you’re not there. On the contrary, he would be happy that the usual buzzing which seems to float in your bedroom has gone. Also, considering his high winnings, he won’t ask you how much your new red highlights cost.


Honestly, I can’t think of any. I mean, what more can you wish for after you’ve seen the look of pure envy on your friends’ faces when you tell them that your husband is a Scrabble champion? Can anything compare with the bliss of hugging your husband after he’s won a game, you know, one of the “Rocky-Adrian” moments? (And yes, in this case I’m Adrian, not Rocky, although my husband’s name is Adrian.)
Is anything better than knowing that you can buy another sapphire necklace (and I’m only saying sapphire because I don’t like diamonds) using the latest check he has won at Scrabble, even if he only finished in top 60?
No, I’m telling you, Scrabble is a marvelous game, 100% recommended if you’re a shopaholic, brand-freak and luxury aficionado. We are so lucky that Bill Gates didn’t discover it before Microsoft made him famous, because now we would be talking about the Scrabble Empire and brand monopoly and we, poor mortals, wouldn’t be able to enjoy its benefits like we’re doing now.

Coming up next: How to Date a Scrabble Player 101

Friday, February 5, 2010

Tricktionary II

My job today, my dear reader, is to perswade you that the verbs PERSUADE and PERSWADE are different, even though they have the same meaning.Piece of cake! PERSWADE+D,S is an obsolete form of PERSUADE+D,R,S. I know what you`re thinking... I`m an excellent PERSUADER!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I had been planning to introduce the Tricktionary for about three months. I wanted to call it the Scrabble Zone, but when my beloved wife frowned twice, I knew it was a mistake. So I thought harder, and came up with the Tricktionary. What is the Tricktionary? It`s the place where you can find what I like to call tricky words, words that apparently "behave" the same but in reality don`t.
Take the words ROYAL and LOYAL, two of my favourite words, that really come in handy when you try to teach your Japanese students phonics.
ROYAL can be a noun ( a size of printing paper) and an adjective ( related to a king or queen), while LOYAL (faithful) is an adjective and doesn`t take an S. UNROYAL is a valid word in Scrabble but UNLOYAL* isn`t! Both adjectives are comparable. The comparative form of ROYAL can be spelt with one L, while the comparative form of LOYAL can be spelt with one or two Ls. And let`s not forget ROYALTY , LOYALTY, ROYALLY and LOYALLY, the perfect tongue twisters in my ESL book! That is the difference between ROYAL and LOYAL.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mihai Pantis @

It took the Romanian journalists a lot of time to come up with a good article about Scrabble. This one is about Mihai winning the B Division at the Uk Open, and it`s written by Marian Chiriac. Well written. I wish I had the time to translate it into English!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Facebook Scrabble ( David Sutton vs Adrian Tamas)

David Sutton and I are having quite a Scrabble marathon at the moment. We played 222 games and the score is 111-111! I took 239 blanks and spotted 491 bonuses, while David only took 211 blanks and found 436 bonuses. I wonder if the six extra blanks are the result of a glitch or the result of human error...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2009 ( Some nice words in the Open Division)

Yesterday evening, I spent a couple of hours looking at the played bonuses in the Open Division. I was honestly impressed with some of these plays! I`m sure that at least five of these players will be in the Premier Division next year.

Patrick Mpundu ( CLUTTERING, DIGENETIC, PORCELAIN, UNDRAINED), Thatcha Koowirat ( INSULATOR, OUTLAYING, REARMOUSE, DIAPENTE)and Kevin McMahon ( BLOODIEST, DOPAMINES, TRAHISONS) proved that they really have an eye for long words.

Some nice finds in the Open Division:
Mark Kenas: HARIJAN,
Taewan Sutthasin: CHOREGI, WAINSCOT
Michael Akonor: INTIFADA
Michael Gongolo: MEBOSES
Ellie Dangoor: ZEDOARY
Karl Chin Hon Yew: BLIPVERT
Thacha Koowirat: STEGODON
Yannakit Sirisup: MEGILPS
Oyeleke Oluwaseun: RUFIYAA
Lim Sha Lyn: OCTOPOD
Cedric Stewart Lewis: QUEENDOM
Willy Mwangi: HORNBILL
Chim Wai main: BREEZILY
Pui Cheng Wui: PANGOLIN
Daniel Srichwala: REPEOPLE, WEEVILED
Graeme Lock Lee: MASTODON
Antonio Malonzo: ROBORANT
Moses Owugah: QUIDAMS
Phillip Hamilton: UNARMORED
Heather Long: EVZONES
Liz Fagerlund: DRUXIEST
Paul Richards: SHAKEOUT
Thavachai Tivavanvong: TAUTAUG
Sharon Sorensen: TUPPENCE
Larry Serrano: FRUITFUL

Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Causeway Scrabble 2009 ( bonuses)

I took the liberty of " stealing" these statistics from the Causeway site. Here`s the link to the site, if you want to have a look. Causeway 2009 was just one episode of my 2009 Scrabble soap opera. As I was telling my wife, it`s not very likely to be unlucky in five consecutive tournaments! I blame it on my level... I think it`s time for me to focus my attention on other activities, such as learning Japanese, improving my Chinese etc. Of course I`ll still join tournaments if I happen to be in the "neighbourhood", but the good old days of full-time Scrabble are now history. Which reminds me... Last year, at the King`s Cup Scrabble tournament in Thailand, a top Thai player challenged one of the words I played against him: HISTORY

Bingos for Adrian Tamas in Causeway Scrabble Challenge 2009
93 bingos. Best score was 149 for ATROPINES.
Long word (length > 8): ATROPINES
Low probability words (PF < 1): QUACKLED, ECOLOGIC
No unchallenged phonies

Round Bingos
13 AERATED (73) RATLINS (73)
17 RUINATE (61)
21 IDEATES (87) DRILLED (63)
22 CORDITE (92)
24 RELEASED (83)
25 RECLINE (94) WEEPERS (86)
26 LACINGS (78) UNASKED (110)
27 TATSOIS (71) NATURES (73)
30 SMARTEN (91)
33 FLATLINE (68)
42 UNHAIRER (67)
43 YEARNERS (82)

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Being snowed in can be a catastrophe for some and sheer delight for others. I suppose it all depends on the circumstances. If you were, for example, in some cozy cottage, with a sitting by a warm fire and drinking hot chocolate (or any other beverage of your choice), I guess snow can only be delightful. On the other hand, if you had to catch a plane to get to the other end of the world, a snow storm loses at least part of its charm.
This year, the UK Open snow caught me somewhere in between. I mean, I was in a warm place doing one of the things I like most (I hope you don’t need me to spell it out for you. Yes, of course, I was playing Scrabble!), yet I had to fly to Osaka in a matter of days. And snow did make my first flight, from London to Rome, a nightmare, but the events preceding it were worth it. England, and most of Europe I think, has suffered one of the harshest winters in the last thirty years. For a country where snow is not a common occurrence (they say in Dickens’ times, Thames used to freeze, but the people who witnessed that are long gone), this winter has definitely caused a lot of problems. Not for the brave Scrabble players, though, who know how to courageously face difficulties. They cheerfully gathered outside and erected a statue in honour of the tournament’s organizer, Len Moir. The dignified snowman was cheerfully christened “Lenny”. Here is proof of one of the greatest acts of bravery accomplished by the Knights Scrabbler: (photo).

BESNOW+S, ED, ING = to cover with snow

SNOW+S, ED, ING = to rain with frozen crystals
SNOWBALL+S, ED, ING = to increase at a rapid rate
SNOWBANK +S = a mound of snow
SNOWBELL+S = a flowering shrub
SNOWBIRD = a small bird
SNOWBOOT+S = a boot for walking in snow
SNOWBUSH = a flowering shrub
SNOWDROP+S = a drooping white flower
SNOWFALL+S = a fall of snow
SNOWLAND+S = an area marked by a great amount of snow
SNOWLESS = without snow
SNOWLIKE = having the appearance of snow
SNOWLINE+S = an area which defines permanent snow
SNOWMELT+S = water produced by the melting of snow
SNOWMOLD+S = a fungus disease
SNOWPACK+S = an accumulation of packed snow
SNOWPLOW+S = to execute a type of skiing maneuver
SNOWSHED+S = a structure which provides protection from snow
SNOWSHOE + D,R,S = to walk on oval frames on deep snow
SNOWSLIP +S = a small avalanche
SNOWSUIT +S = a child`s garment for winter wear
SNOWY ( SNOWIER, SNOWIEST) = abounding in snow
SNOWK+S, ED, ING = to prowl or sneak about
SNOWCAP+S = a covering of snow
SNOWCAT+S = a tracklaying vehicle for travel on snow
SNOWILY = in a snowy manner
SNOWISH = somewhat snowy
SNOWMAN ( SNOWMEN) = a figure made of snow

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Christmas Nails (or The Wife Strikes Back)

Strange things have happened here while I was away (for a well-deserved, much enjoyed and very costly-for my family-trip to Romania). First, I find out that my husband has girlfriendS. The plural must be emphasized. He has not one, but more girlfriends, who ask expensive gifts of him, such as Prince William. I’d rather have, for what I think are obvious reasons, Bill Gates, but well, de gustibus…
Second, this blog has become terrifyingly boring. Even I, who are not “one of his wives”, but THE wife, don’t read his posts. That is why I decided to delight you with… I’m sure you’re not expecting this… my Christmas nails!
The 2008 Malaysia version (we could call it the Causeway design), in a photo taken near the Cameron Highlands, while my husband was toiling away in the competition room.

The 2009 World Scrabble Championship version, executed while Adrian was brilliantly losing game after game in the Championship.

(Photo courtesy of my friend and stylist, Miki-san )

Now, to maintain the Scrabble spirit, the aficionados can think of NAIL words, while the girls can comment on my (I think) pretty nails. Let’s see which team wins!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Uk Open 2010 ( 82 bonuses + 74 bonuses = 45 games)

As promised, I`m back with the bonuses played by me and against me at the Uk Open 2010. For the native speakers of English who are not Scrabble players, see if you can recognize more than 50% of the played words.



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Uk Open- Day 5

I finished the tournament with two losses. Evan Cohen played CINEASTS as a triple triple to score 140 points and unintentionally block my OUBAASES play while Wayne Kelly managed to get to 470 in his first five moves or so. My last play of the tournament was INFERIOR to go out and reduce the spread. Uk Open 2010 was very enjoyable. I did feel a bit groggy towards the end. My opponents averaged 505 points in the last seven games, and I felt like an observer! And here are my statistics: 17 wins, 21 losses, 111 spread, 431 average/game, 34 blanks to my opponents' 42, 81 bingoes( bonuses) to my opponents' 74. I lost 11 games where I scored over 400 points and won a game where I scored 357 points! Go figure! I`ll upload some photos and make a list of the played bingoes(bonuses)later.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Uk Open - Day 4

Another glorious day. And some nice words. Against Nigel, I played TWEEDIEST through WE to lose the game by over 200 points and against Phil Robertshaw I played JAILBAIT to lose by over 50. I'm out of the top 15 and that is where I'll probably finish. Tonight we celebrated Mihai Pantis's win. He is the first Romanian Scrabble player to earn money from Scrabble. 1500 pounds is not bad at all. I'm sure that my wife would find something to do with them. Two more games tomorrow, and then off to Japan.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Uk Open - Day 3

Day 3 didn't bring anything new for me. The same consistent mediocrity. In the morning, Martin Harrison played a nine timer against me: HERBLESS for 181 points. The game against Phil Robertshaw really made my day. Phil was almost 200 points behind but he caught up and reduced the spread to 100 points. He was holding a playable ENTOZOA,(entozoic parasite) when he saw me go out with BUNODONT( having rounded molar teeth) and win by 180 points. I made the tops again... At the moment I am 13th with 13 wins and 13 losses. Needless to say that I'm not too excited!

Division A Average Scores
Rank Average Won-Lost Spread Player
1 478.54 21.0- 5.0 +2718 Nigel Richards (A1)
2 450.00 17.0- 9.0 +1372 Mikki Nicholson (A6)
3 445.23 16.0-10.0 +838 Harshan Lamabadusuriya (A4)
4 442.92 13.0-13.0 +863 Adrian Tamas (A8)
5 441.62 18.0- 8.0 +528 Chris May (A3)

Division A High Losses
Round Losing
Score Winning
Score Class Loser Winner
1 501 513 A Adrian Tamas (A8) Phil Robertshaw (A9)
9 474 484 A Adrian Tamas (A8) Chris May (A3)
22 466 534 A Harshan Lamabadusuriya (A4) Paloma Raychbart (A20)
8 461 490 B Wayne Kelly (A14) Craig Beevers (A2)
8 460 508 A Helen Gipson (A5) Philips Owolabi (A10)

Division A Tuff Luck
Sum Player Losing Spreads
85 Maureen Chamberlain (A24) 1 4 13 20 22 25
97 Steve Perry (A25) 2 2 5 9 32 47
97 Adrian Tamas (A8) 2 10 12 16 20 37
112 Olakunle Ajayi (A23) 5 10 10 22 30 35
118 Ray Tate (A27) 1 14 21 22 27 33

Division A High Combined
Round Combined
Score Winning
Score Losing
Score Class Winner Class Loser
14 1072 648 424 A Nigel Richards (A1) A Chris May (A3)
1 1014 513 501 A Phil Robertshaw (A9) A Adrian Tamas (A8)
1 1002 598 404 A Helen Gipson (A5) A Harshan Lamabadusuriya (A4)
15 1000 581 419 A Harshan Lamabadusuriya (A4) A Mikki Nicholson (A6)
22 1000 534 466 C Paloma Raychbart (A20) A Harshan Lamabadusuriya (A4)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kidnap Prince William

At one of my girlfriend's request, my mission in UK is to kidnap prince William and take him to her. I had no idea he was that popular in Japan.So long, David Beckam! Thank God he is a valid Scrabble word. Otherwise I would have had to ask somebody else to do the dirty job. Don't be surprised if I play " WILLIAM" today...

Uk Open - Day 2

I finished the second day on 9 wins and 9 losses. Strangely enough, there is only one more player on 9 wins and 9 losses! I am quite happy with my average of 447 points per game. My goal is to keep scoring and see what happens... Don`t you think I didn`t make the top though. The highlights of my day were playing 4 consecutive bonuses against Steve Perry, including the low probability CHENOPOD, and playing OVERSIDES (ES was on the board).

Division A Average Scores
Rank Average Won-Lost Spread Player
1 466.56 13.0- 5.0 +1627 Nigel Richards (A1)
2 459.33 15.0- 3.0 +1341 Craig Beevers (A2)
3 454.67 12.0- 6.0 +1189 Mikki Nicholson (A6)
4 449.83 12.0- 6.0 +999 Harshan Lamabadusuriya (A4)
5 447.61 9.0- 9.0 +622 Adrian Tamas (A8)

Division A High Losses
Round Losing
Score Winning
Score Class Loser Winner
1 501 513 A Adrian Tamas (A8) Phil Robertshaw (A9)
9 474 484 A Adrian Tamas (A8) Chris May (A3)
8 461 490 B Wayne Kelly (A14) Craig Beevers (A2)
8 460 508 A Helen Gipson (A5) Philips Owolabi (A10)
14 451 469 C Jojo Delia (A26) Ray Tate (A27)
13 437 513 A Adrian Tamas (A8) Mikki Nicholson (A6)

Division A Tuff Luck
Sum Player Losing Spreads
116 Olakunle Ajayi (A23) 5 10 10 22 30 39
136 Adrian Tamas (A8) 2 10 12 16 20 76
150 Brian Sugar (A13) 7 11 19 21 30 62
157 Ray Tate (A27) 1 14 21 22 41 58
178 Phil Robertshaw (A9) 8 15 27 34 45 49

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


Today we played eight games. After the games, Mihai and I taught my father how to play Anagrams. Then, my father and Mihai teamed up against me. Unfortunately for them, I managed to steal their finds, so they finished on zero.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The WSC Car

An excellent spot by Sanjoy Gupta at the outskirts of Johor Bahru

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Scrabble in Romania

After Christmas, I went to Cluj Napoca to meet my Romanian Scrabble mates. My father was there too. I was pleased to meet Septimiu Crivei, the National Scrabble Champion en titre in Romanian and the guy who supported me the most for the last couple of years. Even though, we often ecxhange emails, it was the first time for us tu meet. And because we couldn't stay away from Scrabble, we decided to play team Scrabble. It was Septimiu and I versus Mihai and my father. As our opponents said, we were extremely lucky to win both games. Here are some photos from Cluj:

Septimiu Crivei, Ovidiu Tamas, Mihai Pantis, Adrian Tamas

Septimiu & Adrian 511 Mihai & Ovidiu 394

Septimiu & Adrian 433 Mihai & Ovidiu 409