I used to play Scrabble competitively. I tried to avoid studying word lists or playing in tournaments, but I found myself slipping down that path. It was a riot. We describe plays with a special syntax. Lower-case letters are blank tiles. Letters inside parentheses were already on the board. Finally, a question mark is a blank that hasn't been decided yet.

My highest game score was 556, which I got in an amateur tournament. My largest play was 167 for triple-triple (S)TORMING, although I liked 165-pt EN(T)OMbED better. One time I saw a disconnected nine-letter bingo: BA(T)TEN(N)ING. One of my best plays was finding a bingo in AEIOLP? – try it – or an eight-letter play through an open D with EIODHN?. No, not HOI(D)ENED, the other one. As if we knew what HOIDENED meant.

While teaching informal sessions at Reed College, I adapted a short strategy guide for new players. I hope it’s helpful. Pretty soon you will find the anagram in my first name.


LINKS  —  play here (my handle: brickc1)

Hasbro’s dictionary look-up  —  lacks some valid words

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