The letters of a word rearranged in alphabetical order.
When discussing a rack of letters or presenting a long word to
unscramble, players usually recite the component letters in alphabetical
order. For instance, the alphagram for ALPHAGRAM is AAAGHLMPR.
A merger of the words "anagram"
and "mnemonic, a phrase used to remember which
individual letters combine with groups of six or seven letters
to form words. The anamonic for the letter combination LATRINE
is MOVING FUNNY SPICES. Every letter in that phrase can be combined
with the seven-letter word LATRINE to make an eight-letter word.
So, LATRINE plus an M yields TERMINAL or TRAMLINE; plus an O makes
ORIENTAL or RELATION; plus a V, INTERVAL; etc.
What results when a player uses all seven
tiles on his rack in a single turn. Bingo is a noun ("He
had four bingos, the lucky so-and-so) and a verb ("I
bingoed four times. Arent I special?). Players
do not, however, shout "Bingo! after making one.
To end a game with a bingo, a devastating
maneuver, particularly if it yields a come-from-behind victory.
The act of feeling the indentations in
wooden tiles to determine a particular letter or, more commonly,
to search for the blanks. No longer a factor in competitive Scrabble
since the advent of plastic tiles in the 1980s.
The act of questioning the validity of
a word or words made by an opponent. During competitive play,
a player shouts "Challenge! to indicate that
he is challenging a play, and a word judge looks up the suspect
word and issues a ruling.
The act scorned of talking during
a game to distract or unnerve an opponent deliberately.
A play that simultaneously covers
two double-word-score squares, quadrupling the value of the word
Front hook, front extension; back hook, back extension
A letter or letters placed in the front or back of a word
to form a new word. The letter A is a front hook for the word
VOW. DIS is a front extension for AVOW. The letter S is a back
hook for DISAVOW. AL is a back extension for DISAVOW.
What happens when one player draws better
tiles than his opponent, usually used in complaint: "She
drew both blanks and all four Ss. I was totally out-tiled.
To draw too many tiles from the bag in
a turn, an offense punishable by the opponent exposing two more
tiles than the number overdrawn and returning whichever he chooses
to the bag.
The Official Tournament and Club Word List,
the official word source in competitive Scrabble in North America.
The OWL contains every acceptable two- through nine-letter word,
plus extensions, in list form without definitions. It replaced
The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary
, or OSPD, as the
official Scrabble source in 1998.
A word that is unacceptable in Scrabble.
Scrabbles eleven potentially high-scoring
tiles: the two blanks, four Ss, and the J, K, Q, X, and Z.
A brand name, now used generically, for
the plastic tiles used in competitive Scrabble.
The act of controlling which letters
to play and which to hold. The purpose of good rack management
is to "build racks most likely to yield bingos.
An acronym used to describe the combination
of the North American and British word sources used in international
competition. SOWPODS merges the letters in OSPD, the old North
American source, and OSW, which stands for Official Scrabble Words,
the British word list. Even though the OSPD has been replaced
by the OWL, SOWPODS is still the preferred term.
A group of six or seven letters to which another
letter can be added to form a bingo. The most fruitful six-letter
stem in North American Scrabble is SATINE, which combines with
every letter except J, Q, and Y to form a total of sixty-seven
To leave an opponent with an unplayable letter
or letters at the end of a game. The most common, and unpleasant,
scenario is getting stuck with the Q.
The mythical beings who control ones
fortune in a game of Scrabble. "I drew everything. The tile
gods smiled upon me.
The act of keeping track of which
tiles have been played during the course of a game. Tile tracking
helps players know which letters remain in the bag, aiding in
decisions on which tiles to play. When the bag is empty during
the endgame, accurate tile tracking lets a player know exactly
which tiles his opponent holds.
One of the rarest plays in Scrabble,
covering two triple-word-score squares on the same turn, worth
nine times the total value of the word. As with "double-double,"
it is also used as a verb. "She triple-tripled on me with
QUIXOTIC for 284 points. What could I do? The British
call a triple-triple a "nine-timer.
Questions and answers with Stefan Fatsis