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