My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

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I Sympathise with Players Who Wish They Could Use a Wordfinder in Scrabble


Still puzzled? Let’s go back to those seven Scrabble tiles on the player’s rack I posted yesterday.

Tile rack

Player had these seven tiles on her tile rack. There is an 8-letter word that can be played using all these tiles.

It can be hard to think of a 7-letter word using only one vowel let alone making an 8-letter word using a tile already on the board. If you got it, 333 ‘well dones’.  In competitive tournament games, it is not easy to think of such a word when the timer is ticking down the minutes during a game. However, this was a friendly club game and there was still the pressure to think of a word before the bell rang. For many players, it is hard not to be able to use a word checker. I can sympathise.

Scrabble Game

Pretzels. Word was played across two premium triple-word squares to score 333 points.


8-letter Word to Play. Puzzled?


It is not often a Scrabble Club player gets the chance to score over 200 points in Scrabble. Power tiles, Q and Z, are worth ten points and, if placed well, make a valuable addition to the player’s game score. By using all seven tiles on the tile rack, it means the player will get 50-bonus points in addition to the word score. The Scrabble board has double and triple hotspots which if used well, also add points. As with all word plays in Scrabble, players need to be able to hook their word to a tile already played and form a second word. In this way, more the points can be scored.

About two years ago, one of our novice club members had the seven tiles as shown in the image below. She asked another club member, a New Zealand expert ranked player, for advice. We do not use anagrammers or any wordfinder devices during our club day games. We play by NZ Scrabble Association rules. So, it is just us as the players faced with the challenge of the tiles.

Tile rack

Player had these seven tiles on her tilerack. There is an 8-letter word that can be played using all these tiles.

After pondering the board layout, deep thinking and much tile shuffling, an 8-letter word was placed to score 333 points.

Scrabble Game

Club Day Scrabble game in progress.

Later, our expert player reset the board and tile rack and got the rest of us to make the word. Yay! I did it. Can you? Remember, no word devices or anagrammers. Puzzled?





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Funneling words into points in Scrabble

As a competitive scrabble player and as a doer of cryptic crosswords, my first thought was how might I use this 6-letter word? Funnel has no 6-letter anagram. ‘F’ is worth 4-points. The other letters are worth only 1-point each. So it is necessary to maximise funnel as a word. Funnel will hook onto –s, –led, –lled, –ing as valid word endings listed in Collins Official Scrabble Words.   

Scrabble players note: next time fundi is played on a scrabble board and if you have a tile rack holding –bilmnuu, then you should be able play infundibulum to form a 12-letter word. 70 points minimum. More if it is a triple or double word score. A triple-triple word score?

Thesaurus searches revealed other words related to funnel.  Infundibulum is a funnel shaped-cavity.  Buchner and choana are words related to ladles, crucibles, tubes, pouring spouts, nozzles. As an aside of interest to scrabble players out there, choana takes an –ae ending. Tundish, used in metal casting, is an open container or large funnel with one or more holes at the bottom. 

And Himself, because he is interested in such technical matters, explained that a drogue a conical or funnel-shaped device with open ends, towed behind a boat, a plane or a racing car to reduce speed or to improve stability.

So much to learn. No need now to look to the the kitchen for writing inspiration. No need to blog about making tomato sauce or jam recipes using my red plastic funnel to pour the preserves into bottles and jars.