Blogs

October 2021 – December 2021

28 Novemvber 2021
Which is the bigger challenge for you? The ‘Q’ without a ‘U’? or a ‘U’ without a ‘Q’?

QI QAT QIS QADI QAID QATS CINQ QOPH QAJAQ QANAT AQUAS QIBLA NIQAB QADIS QAIDS FAQIR QAPIK TRANQ CINQS QOPHS QINTAR TRANQS SHEQEL QWERTY QIGONG SHEQELS QWERTYS QIGONGS
UH MU UM NU UN UP US UT XU EAU AUK AMU SAU TAU UTS VAU BUB CUB BUD DUB FUB BUG HUB BUM BUN NUB PUB BUR RUB URB SUB BUS BUT TUB BUY BUB CUD CUE ECU CUM CUP CRU CUR CUT CUZ DUD DUE FUD DUG DUH DUI LUD DUM MUD DUN DUO OUD UDO DUP URD WUD FEU HUE JEU KUE UKE LEU EMU RUE SUE USE UTE FUG FLU FUN FOU FUR HUG UGH JUG GUK LUG . . . . .
and many, many more.

24 November 2021
I’ve been consumed over the last several days working on my ‘A’ List. Do certain combinations of letters on your scrabble rack seem to make you feel stuck? For me, whenever I have two or more ‘A’s on my rack of seven I seem to freeze up. SOooooo I turned up the heat and updated my ‘A LIST’. It was a bit nostalgic seeing words that I knew but rarely used; it was alarmimg that there are so many words that I don’t know. I reminded myself of the phrase I use when teaching others: YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW. My complete ‘A LIST’ includes all the 3 – 7 Letter Long words that include two or more ‘A’s. Here are a few on the list: Do you know all of these? Happy Thanksgiving!

5 Letter AA???
  • COALA
  • CRAAL
  • CAMAS
  • MACAW
  • CANNA
  • TACAN
  • PACAS
  • SACRA
  • CARAT
  • CASAS
  • CAVAS
  • VACUA

18 November 2021
Just when you think you can’t find that perfect gift, JFTSOI has the answer for you – pick a letter, any letter, the Pandemic has not stop the CREATIVE spirit in Gary Moss – check out the catalogue of items –
https://just4thespellofit.com/holiday-2021/


13 November 2021 – JUST SAYIN’


12 November 2021
WHAT A DIFFERENCE KNOWING A HOOK MAKES. In a recent game of scrabble the end was in sight and I was on the short end in the score. It was my opponent’s turn and I was fairly certain that I tracked correctly and I knew she had a BLANK and an ‘S’. The word ‘RENT’ was on the board at K4 – N4. I figured that my opponent would hook her ‘S’ onto ‘RENT’ and I would lose.

The important lesson here begins with ‘NEVER GIVE UP’. My opponent did in fact hook the ‘S’ onto the end of ‘RENT’ and played verticallly ‘SLURING’ (the ‘G’ was a blank. I called HOLD. One should ALWAYS challenge the last word played and the computer adjudicated “NOT ACCEPTABLE”.

My rack was D-E-I-O-R-U-W.

I thought to myself that ‘E’ might be an END HOOK for rent, making RENTE. I wasn’t certain at all. If I was unable to block my opponent in this spot I knew that she’d score enough poits to win.

I played ‘WEIRDO’ vertically at O3-O8, hooking my ‘E’ to the end of ‘RENT’. My opponent was unfamiliar with RENTE and so challenged. She lost the challenge and so I played off my last tile and won the game.

Little things matter. Spend some time reviewing lesser known hooks.

 
 

11 November 2021
Did you know that JFTSOI offers a word-of-the-day with ‘legal scrabble words’? This list has been growing and growing since August 2019. Here’s the link: https://just4thespellofit.com/word-of-the-day/ 

 


10 November 2021
While playing a game this afternoon at the Laguna Woods Club my opponent became frustrated when she had turn after turn drawing only tiles with 1 point face value. She even traded tiles 3 or 4 times hoping to get the X or an H or a W. After club I was thinking that there are many bingo words with all 1 point tiles. Like everything else in the OWL we know only a fraction of the words. I did a search for bingos using only 1-pointers. My search was only for the 7s and 8s with only one or two of any tile. My search engine identified nearly 1,000 bingos. Below is a list of some of the 8’s. By simply scanning the list I learned a few things that I can possibly play at Club #350 this week. My fun play of the day was when I played ‘FIREWORKS’ over 3 turns: WORK + S and then + FIRE.


7 November 2021
Sad News.
I’m sharing this email that I received from Lou Block’s daughter.

This is Lou Block’s daughter, Marlene Cain. I am sad to tell you that my dad passed away on Nov. 4 – he was a month shy of his 95th birthday. He so enjoyed the Scrabble club and playing with all of you at various times. ( In fact, we enjoyed hosting his 80th birthday party with a Scrabble theme!)
I wanted to let you all know the details of his service:
DATE: THURSDAY, NOV. 11 (VETERAN’S DAY)
TIME: 10:00 A.M.
PLACE: HILLSIDE MEMORIAL PARK AND MORTUARY
6001 W. CENTINELA AVE.
LOS ANGELES
PROTOCOL: MASK REQUIRED.
Light luncheon reception immediately following service.
If you have any Scrabble memories or general thoughts to share, please feel free to respond to this email. I know he enjoyed every challenging minute of his Scrabble games with you. Thank you for brightening his days with knowledge, competition and companionship!
Marlene
Marlene Cain
310.836.3173 land
909.273.5193 cell

 
6 November 2021
Is there any truth that along with expanded broadband that is part of the 1.2 trillion dollar bill passed this evening by the House of Representatives that it will contain ‘free’ ZYZZYVA for all scrabble players?
 
 
 
 
3 November 2021

 


3 November 2021
Do you know any of these 13 words which all end with ‘JA’ ? ALFORJA, GANJA, GYTTJA, IRAIMBILANJA, MAHARAJA, NINJA, POOJA, PUJA, QUILLAJA, RAJA, RIOJA, SOJA, and THUJA ? They all appear in my book, STRANGE ENDINGS. And yet, they are not strange at all to the persons who know these words. If you attend CLUB #350 this week and play any of these words you will win a buck for each one that you play.
 

 
2 November 2021 In the village this is how we alert the villagers that scrabble will be starting in 15 minutes. Then the villagers come a shuffling; some in wheel chairs and others behind new fangled walkers, It’s quite a sight to witness. Wednesdays at 6PM over at Clubhouse #1. If you show up late you have to wait until game #2 begins.
 
 
31 October 2021
Here’s a Halloween TREAT for you. The pumpkin contains some of the 134 legal words which you can find within HALLOWEEN. Come play some of them at Scrabble Club #350, any Wednesday at 6PM at Clubhouse #1, Laguna Woods Village, 92637.
 
 
 
 
 
 

25 October 21 
You’ve probably heard the tag line ‘You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know’. Of course. But one of the experiences I have with some regularity is the appearance of words that I really don’t ‘KNOW,’ jumping up at me from my racks during play. A few days ago I shared that SPLENII appealed to me, “Play me, play me”. It was challenged and found to be acceptable. Earlier today while playing at the Laguna Woods Scrabble Club, against J. D. Herrmann, I see ‘NUDZH’. After putting it onto the board I felt guilty and offered J.D. a free challenge.
It was right there in the OSPD6 between NUDNIK and NUFF. I don’t have any memory of having played it before -or- having an opponent play it against me.
I embrace the phenomenon but why can’t I get a knowing of the winning numbers in next week’s PowerBall drawing, or an instruction book on HOW TO turn off the ringing in my ears. Just saying.


24 October 2021 If you are getting up in years like me I’m sure that you have spent some time reflecting on past victories and regrets. Every now and then we all experience a poem or a painting or a song that uplifts us and stirs us to rededicate ourselves to our dreams. I just watched ‘The Last Laugh’ starring Chevy Chase and Richard Dryfuss. I loved it. I probably won’t sleep soundly tonight because I’ll be planning all the things I want to add to my bucket list and plastering them on my calendar. When you get up tomorrow morning be thankful for the day and do something that makes you happy.


23 October 2021

 

People ask me what I find so fascinating about the game of Scrabble. Today I enjoyed a 6-game session with Gretchen Cowan. Maybe the thing that makes a session against Gretchen is that we are ranked about the same level. Whoever gets the ‘good stuff’ usually wins the game. Every game differs because we draw the tiles randomly. One factor that shows up in every game is the way that each of our mamories from past games influences what we happen to see on our racks and the possibilities on the board. Today plated the word ‘EERIE’ vertically, beginning at ‘J2’. I was certain that there was no front hook and I felt safe. And that’s when Gretchen taught me a hook I had never learned or maybe I did learn it and just forgot it. She played JUMP, placing the ‘P’ atop EERIE, making ‘PEERIE’. I challenged and lost. I hope to remember that word and hook and play it against someone else down the road. In our last game I was playing first and drew the rack E-I-I-L-N-P-S. A memory buried deep in my word arsenal saw something in plain site. I really didn’t know if it was a word or not . . . but that little devill on my right shoulder was shouting in my ear, “PLAY IT”. The angel on my left shoulder was reminding me that I really wasn’t sure. Irt’s just a game, I thought to myself. I was trailing Gretchen in the Win Column, Gretchen 4, Gary 1.
I plunked down the word SPLENII and hit the clock and announced my score of 74 points. When Gretchen called ‘HOLD’ I assumed it was a wish and not a word on the OWL. Then she called “challenge’ and we deferred to the word list. I don’t know who was more suprised when we found it hiding between splenium and splent. It is the plural of SPLENIUS (a muscle of the neck).
I just love it when I surprise myself. I went on to win that game. This week Gretchen won our session 4 to 2.
No photo description available.

20 October 2021  Many scrabble players have asked me if I know of any Scrabble Tournaments in Southern California. David Postal to the rescue.
 
Dave is a sanctioned director for WGPO (Word Game Players Organization). He has announced a series of 1-Day tournaments in Palm Springs on 6 consecutive days in December. You can play 1 Day or as many days as you so choose. NOTICE rhat each day is limited to 16 players. Sign up quickly if you want to assure yourself a seat in the games. All info is provided below. You can join WGPO for free at the link provided below.
 
Hey Scrabblers, hope you have been having a safe and sane 2021. To finish off the year in style I am hosting six consecutive one day tournaments at my home beginning December 25. You must be fully vaccinated and provide proof. The events are capped at 16, so start making plans. You can play one day or some days or all days. These events will not appear on the WGPO website for another week allowing everyone on my “regulars” mailing list to get first crack.
 
Palm Springs is beautiful during Christmas week and hotels are plentiful and surprisingly still affordable. Flights also very reasonable if you are far away.
Questions? Interest? Just drop me a line and I will get you on the schedule.
Thanks.
Dave

GIVE a Gift of Words to yourself and others on this Holiday Season.
 

13 October 2021 When you hang out with people who are older than you it makes you feel young. If you hang out with an ugly crowd you may feel like great-looking guy/gal. If you are good at scrabble and hang out with newbies you may believe that you are smarter than you really may be. The tree pictured below makes me feel like a kid again.

10 October 2021 QUESTION: What is REAL and EXISTS? What is phony? When it comes to legal words to play in a scrabble game in North Americca all you have to do is consult the OWL (Official Word List) created and sanctioned by the ‘word commitee of NASPA.

See the image below. It is not a real person. It was created by a computer programmer who knows how to create ‘DEEP FAKES’. With this new technology the world has change; ‘SEEING IS BELIEViNG’ no longer exists. See more at: ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com


8 October 2021

A fresher than fresh Newbie walked into Borders Booksellers when we were playing there, years ago. This was the first time she had ever seen a scrabble club. I invited her to play. She didn’t hesitate. Her first opponent was Gretchen Cowan. The young woman sat dow and began to play like a seasoned player. On her 3rd or 4th turn she played ZELKOVA. Gretchen’s jaw dropped. Turns out she was a botanist who was lucky enough to find ZELKOVA on her rack. She was the talk of Club #350 and still is. Maliha Mahmood also loved flowers. She created an entire word list with the names of the flowers on the OWL.
Can you find the name of the plant with this set of 8 tiles?
A A I M P O R S


8 October 2021 Does this mean that not everyone wants to do what it takes to be a scrabble guru?

 


7 October 2021
On Thursday, September 30, Barbara Sanchez and I were invited by Channel 6 in Laguna Woods Village to be interviewed about the opportunities to play organized scrabble in the village. Click on the LINK below. Anyone who wants more detailed info can call me 949-510-1673.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwBspW041As

Gary Moss aka Letterman

6 October 2021
Our sense of SMELL has many biological and survival reasons for existing and we all may react a bit differently to one smell or another. One of the most incredulous statements i’ve heard was years ago from Lila Zorn who said to her the most beautiful SMELL was that of a baby’s dirty diaper. Yuk.

My faborite include my Baubee’s kitchen, Gardenias, Hatty’s Shave Cream, and that aroma in the air after a hard rain fall.

What memories are stirred within you Just For The Smell Of It?