It's sad to say, but I will no longer be writing up anymore Scrabble Challenges. Frankly, I just don't have the time to make them now. And though they are incredibly fun and "challenging" to conjure up, I'm not sure that people are finding them as useful as I had hoped. But really, it all comes down to time. So, unless I have a future craving for puzzle-making, last week's Scrabble Challenge #20 was the last one.
You're currently playing a heated game of Scrabble or Words with Friends. The game is close, too close for comfort. But you're not sweating because you're confident. You play a huge word that puts you in the lead, but then when your letter tiles are drawn...
Bluffing is one of the key components of poker. You may have a horrible hand, but if you can play it cool and raise the bet, you might just be able to convince your opponents otherwise and induce a few folds. But if you can't handle a little subterfuge, then you shouldn't be playing the game. Even the slightest tell could give you away. You have to maintain a poker face, no matter what.
As touched upon in the past, knowing all of the possible words you can play is key to being a better Scrabble player. If you don't have the vocabulary, then you can't compete against the best of the best, and you'll never even get the chance to spar against professionals such as Nigel Richards, Joe Edley, Andrew Fisher, and Wayne Kelly.
The big day may be over, but the weekend is still full of Thanksgiving spirit. And so is this week's puzzle. But let's keep it short this time, because we should all be taking this time to play a real game of Scrabble with friends and family. I was thinking of making a puzzle about edible birds in general, but practically every bird is edible, meaning there's a lot of avian-related words. Since the turkey is such a big part of Thanksgiving, let's just stick to that...
Being able to spell a seven-letter word on the board is one of the most enjoyable things about playing Scrabble. It's even better when those seven letters are all from your rack, giving you a bingo—those 50 bonus points in addition to your regular score.
Nearly every game takes strategy to win, but when it comes to games like Scrabble and Words with Friends, you've also got to have a lexically inclined mind full of wonderful and weird words. Most start out by learning all of the two-letter words in the Scrabble dictionary, then work their way up to three-letter words. But where do you go from there?
Halloween is just a few days away, and since I've been churning out the creepy Bingo of the Days for everyone the past few weeks, it seems fitting to do a puzzle based on them.
The concept of Scrabble and Words with Friends is the same—play words, score points, win. But the games require different strategy in terms of letter placement, premium squares, tile point values and word choices. Here's the main differences between the two games.
Last week's challenge brought up a good question (thanks Lisa) regarding the functionality of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, 4th Edition, both online and in print form. The word TACTICAL was the answer to the first puzzle in that challenge, but when you search for the word directly in the print version, it can't be found. Likewise, when you search the online dictionary on Hasbro's site, you won't find it either. Go ahead, try it. You won't find it looking for TACTICAL specifically.
In these weekly Scrabble Challenges, so far we've covered two-letter words, double bingos, high scoring moves, triple-triples, last moves, parallel plays, phoneys and opening moves. For this week's puzzle, we're revisiting the strategy for opening moves.
A phoney word in a game of Scrabble is basically a non-valid word, either played or considered being played. Why? To fool the other player and go from losing to winning. It's perfectly acceptable in Scrabble play, but only if you don't get caught. If the other player challenges your play, then you'll be forced to remove it and your turn will be skipped. That right there—not fun.
The end game is a very important aspect of playing Scrabble. If you have just a few letters left on your rack and there are none left in the draw bag, but you're currently losing the game, you still might have a chance to win if you play your cards (er… tiles) right. No matter if you're playing a casual game at home with a friend or competing against diehards in club or tournament games, the scoring process at the end provides the same results.
As much as I love Scrabble, the iPhone and Android versions of the game are just not as much fun or as fast paced as Words with Friends. I play both, but I'm most active on Zynga's version of the mobile word game because it's quicker to make moves, doesn't take as long to update, and gives more immediate competition, due to the fact that it's not as intimidating as Scrabble is to a lot of my friends. It's laid back... which means I have a bunch of games going, and I like that.
If you haven't noticed yet, I've started dishing out some "Scrabble Bingo of the Day" articles that showcase interesting and somewhat unusual seven-letter words (or longer) that could give you an extra 50-point bonus on the board, as long as you empty your rack. So, for this week's Scrabble Challenge you'll have to get your brain in gear, because it's a tough one based of high-scoring bingo plays.
Now that you have your two-letter words down and have practiced your skills, it's time to move on to another important part of Scrabble gameplay—the opening move. There's a well known adage that states, “The player going first will win 54% of the time—all other things being equal."
Two-letter words are one of the most important parts of playing Scrabble. If you don't know all of the small ones, then you're missing out on one of the easiest ways to score big. Check out How to Score Big with 2-Letter Words in Scrabble and memorize all that you can. Definitions are optional, but you won't need them for this challenge.
A recent study in Canada concluded that competitive Scrabble players are twenty percent faster than non-Scrabble players at identifying real words on a Scrabble rack. In light of this news, this week's challenge is actually just a game of Scrabble Sprint from Pogo.com.
There are two types of Scrabble players in the world—those who enjoy it and those who love it. I definitely fall into the latter category. Unfortunately, most of my friends don't. I'm lucky to have a few who simply enjoy it from time to time—some are even standing on the edge of Scrabble geekdom, afraid to take that last step. Maybe someday.
Get ready to rack your brains, because it's time for another Scrabble Challenge! I may have gone a little overboard on last week's challenge (there was over 25 anagrams to solve), so I'm slimming things down this week. This time, there's only one puzzle.
Last week, I started a weekly feature on Scrabble World called Scrabble Challenge, where you can solve a few (hopefully) challenging word puzzles. Normally, these will be on Fridays, but today I have a potentially unsolvable puzzle for you to try and solve, in addition to the upcoming one...
To make things a little more fun here on Scrabble World, I've decided to start a weekly feature for word freaks to ponder about it... a challenge. No, I'm not 'challenging' any of your words... I'm challenging your brains. See if you can figure some of these Scrabble puzzles out. You can print this page or hand write the questions out to play at home (or wherever).