October 2021 – December 2021

25 October 23  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.

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:

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?

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.

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?