SCRABBLE fun with Mama Buzz

167 points in one turn is quite likely the highest score I’ve ever seen in a game I was playing. Yowza! And I was holding my own in this game LOL.

2013_01 25 Mama Buzz scores HUGE


Filed under Scrabble

78 responses to “SCRABBLE fun with Mama Buzz

  1. Bob

    Guess she showed you! :-D

    I made my best triple-triple bingo many many years ago — the word was QUICKIES and the Q and S were on triple word scores, and the K was on the double letter score. I forget what the exact total was (it attached to some other words that earned me a few extra points) but QUICKIES all by itself was worth at least 275 points. (One of the tiles was a blank, but I don’t remember which one; might have been the C.) My two opponents were flabbergasted.

    More recently, in an online game, I made the word TRILLION spanning two triple word scores. Even though all the letters were one-pointers, the word was worth 122 points. It was an instance of incredible dumb luck — I had TLLION and a blank on my rack, and I was thinking to myself, “Wouldn’t it be funny if my opponent made a word that put the letter R right where I could use it to make TRILLION?” Well, Lexicon, the god of the Scrabble board, must have been smiling on me that day, because a few seconds after this delightful thought crossed my mind, my opponent not only put an R on the board, but she put it in exactly the place I needed it to make my bingo on a triple-triple. I nearly gave the poor girl a heart attack.

    I always use this story as an illustration when I try to explain to novice players that the high-scoring letters are overrated. Yes, if you have exactly the right place to put them, they can get you a lot of points; however, they are usually much harder to make a bingo with, while the low-scoring letters are generally much more likely to result in a bingo. Sometimes when I’m stuck with high-scoring tiles but no good opportunities, I will make a throwaway word just to get rid of them, so I can draw new letters that might enable me to make a bingo. (That’s also why I hoard certain tiles that are statistically more likely to result in a bingo, and why the blanks are by far the most valuable tiles in the game.)

    • chrissythehyphenated

      If I EVER score a Triple-Triple, all y’all will HEAR ABOUT IT! LOL

      I bought a SCRABBLE strategy book that said exactly what you do here. Play those high point tiles asap; hoard the blanks and S tiles while you build a Bingo rack, cuz that’s where the real big points are to be had. Also hoardable: RE (ER), DE (ED), -ING, -AL are all good. You can make a short word into a Bingo with some pre- and suffixes like those.

      • Bob

        Yes, always look for prefixes (RE-, PRE-, OUT-, ANTI-, AUTO-, IN-, OVER-, UN-, PRO-, etc.) and suffixes (-ING, -TION, -ED, -IZE, -ISE, etc.) on your rack, and always keep an eye out for places where you can attach a bingo to a word already on the board using the letter S. Adding an S to the end of a word is the obvious way, but sometimes you can add an S at the beginning of an existing word. Put an S on the front of LAUGHTER, NAKED, LAVISH, EXIST, IMPLY, EVEN, HOE, WORD, LUMBER, AID, OLDER, or LINGER, and then watch your opponent’s reaction. :-)

        • chrissythehyphenated

          Those are cool. I had to adjust my brain to see the new words!

        • I agree with Chrissy, that tip is pretty cool:
          “Put an S on the front of LAUGHTER, NAKED, LAVISH, EXIST, IMPLY, EVEN, HOE, WORD, LUMBER, AID, OLDER, or LINGER, and then watch your opponent’s reaction.”

          It’s interesting how most of those words have a completely different pronunciation than just “S” + original pronunciation. English is a funny thing…

          • Bob

            I’m a word junkie, and I’m always making up lists of words that have a certain characteristic in common, such as the ability to become new words with the addition of a letter S at the beginning. I especially like them when the new word doesn’t rhyme with the original word. For example, add an E to the beginning of BONY, VERY, ASTERN, YES, or MIGRATE, and the new word will not rhyme with the original one.

            Here’s another one of my lists. Can you tell what all of these words have in common?

            I’ll wait and see if anyone figures it out on his/her own before I start giving out hints. :-)

            • I’m guessing that they all can become new words with the addition of the same letter placed somewhere within the word.

              • Bob

                You’re close, Red. It actually has something to do with a letter that appears in all of them.

                • Clever, Bob. They all remain valid words when the letter ‘T’ is removed.

                  • Bob

                    Nice work, Grunt!

                    The fun thing about that list is that when you remove the T from DUET, PETAL, SIGHTED, FACET, CLOSET, MOTOR, PLANET, and ROTUND, each new word is one syllable shorter than the original word. CONGENITAL and NATIVE become CONGENIAL and NAIVE, with each having the same number of syllables as the original word. But HIDEOUTS, with two syllables, becomes HIDEOUS, with three syllables, when you remove the T.

                  • I suppose if I were as clever, I’d state the answer as a limerick. Or something. If I were REALLY good, it would be a dirty limerick. :D
                    This list has a theme, Bob had stated.
                    But a theme can’t be found, I debated.
                    Still, the words are all good,
                    And look just as they should,
                    When the ‘T’s are all expurgated!

                • (replying to your 10:11pm comment)
                  I stepped away from the computer to watch a DVD with my honey, and came back just a few minutes ago and saw the WordPress notification with your clue. I looked at the words, found that the only letter that they all had in common was ‘T’, and then fairly quickly realized that removing that common letter left still-valid words. Then I refreshed the page and saw that Grunt had beaten me to it by over an hour! :-)

                  • Whatever, Red. You still have to answer in the form of a limerick, or it’s not valid. New rules! :D

                    • Bob

                      Gentlemen, let me be blunt.
                      Although I don’t mean to affront
                      Your feelings, this rule
                      I must now overrule.
                      No poems required here, Grunt.

                    • This is one time I’m glad to be overruled. That would have been one of the stupidest blog rules ever. Of course, if we were liberals, no one would see anything wrong with making it a law that we all had to speak in limericks – or, what the hell – haikus, from now on. They would think it was a great idea until the weed wore off.

                  • Bob

                    My teenager has a t-shirt with a haiku on the front. It goes:
                    Haikus are easy
                    But sometimes they don’t make sense

                    • chrissythehyphenated

                      LOL That reminds me of the camp joke we used to tease newbies with, the one that ends with the nonsense punch line, “No soap. Radio!” and everyone in the know laughs hysterically while waiting to see what the newby will do. It’s a great study in peer pressure and something I often think of when I consider the number of people who think they believe in Obama, despite disagreeing with everything he stands for.

                    • Bob

                      Yeah, it’s definitely a cult of personality, nothing more or less. The majority of his devoted groupies (those notorious low-information voters) don’t know what he stands for, except that they think he cares about people like them… and of those who do what he stands for, the majority probably don’t agree with most of it… but for some inexplicable reason they still love him. It’s really creepy, and scary.

    • Bob

      January 27, 2013 at 9:56 am (Edit)

      Way to go, Red!
      With some words you can do this more than once:

      A quadruple…

      A quintuple…

  2. Bob

    You guys are so good at this, I can’t resist another one. What do all these words have in common?

    • Remove the ‘C’ and they are all still valid words. :-)

      • Or, as Grunt would say:

        This list has a theme, Bob had stated.
        But a theme can’t be found, I debated.
        Still, the words are all good,
        And look just as they should,
        When the ‘C’s are all expurgated!


        • Bob

          That one must have been too easy; Red solved it without even breaking a sweat. I think this one is a little more challenging. What do the following have in common?

          • I’m thinking that they can all be made into new words with the addition of one or two ‘P’s….


            • Bob

              Close enough. I had a P at the beginning and end of each one (POMP, PLUMP, POLYP, PRIMP, PITSTOP, PINUP), but you’re correct that some are valid words with only the initial “P”.

              Okay, apparently that one was also too easy for you. Try this one. What do the following have in common?

              • They’re all made plural by adding an ‘S’.

                • Yes, the comment above was a joke. (But still true! ;-) )

                • Ah, add ‘SS’:


                  But why would you want to use two ‘S’ tiles in one turn? As a way to use an existing ‘S’ on the board and possibly stretch your word out to hit a Triple-Word score?

                  • Bob

                    I wasn’t thinking of that list in terms of Scrabble, obviously. In Scrabble I would never waste one S, let alone two of them, on a word if all it got me was another point or two. The S is far too valuable to ever be wasted. I would do it if I got me a bingo, or allowed me to stretch a word over a triple word score (assuming that doing so got me at least 20 more points than I would have had otherwise — my rule of thumb for using an S on anything other than a bingo). I would also do it if it allowed me to attach another word to an existing word in a way that was sufficiently advantageous to justify the use of an S.

              • They all end in ‘E’. ;-)

    • With all of the indenting above, and various timestamps of messages mixed in, it might be challenging for someone else to follow chronilogical order of the comments and responses. Also, due to nesting, my most recent comments might be in reply to my own comment, rather than yours, and you might not get a notification unless I respond to your comment.

      So, I’m leaving this comment here to let you know to refresh the page and see the new comments above… I think I got it…

  3. The words below can each be rearranged to make the name of an animal.







    • Bob


      • Holy crap, you guys are good.

        • Bob

          You know, I could keep this up for a long, long time. Does anyone want more word teasers? Or is everyone all worded out?

          • Sure. I would love to see one every day or couple of days, but I can’t devote much time to it all at once, unfortunately. Technically, I don’t even have the time that I steal just to read these posts and comment, but these are very good temptations. Go ahead and throw some more up, but you might consider a fresh scrabble/word post every now and then with some new puzzles. They never get old, but for me, I just gotta spread them out a little over the week.

    • GP

      You guys are way over MY head!
      I got most of the list of animals but could not figure out the Californian one. I just figured it was thrown in there as a joke.
      Maybe a new species or something?

      • Bob

        GP, it took me a long time to figure that one out, because I kept thinking it had to be all one word. Even when I started fooling around with possible two-word answers, I kept coming up with some sort of falcon. I was close to asking my husband, the resident bird expert, if there were some subspecies called an IRIAN FALCON.

  4. chrissythehyphenated

    This is neat. I was afraid I was wasting blog space and your time on my personal hobby. Who knew so many political junkies were also word junkies?! :)

    • Bob

      I was a word junkie long before I was a political junkie!

      I did major in English, after all. :-)

      • Bob

        You want fries with that?

        • chrissythehyphenated

          Sorry, my Art History degree qualifies me to work beside you, so I get the fries for free. :)

          • Bob

            Well, okay, but Grunt has to pay double, ’cause he got a degree in engineering, which actually qualifies a guy to DO something, you know, like work for a living and earn a paycheck… so we should make him pay his fair share, which means more than you and me.

            • What the….? :evil: I thought I had to pay double because I was annoying? Let’s keep this honest, please. :)

            • chrissythehyphenated

              Pay more than you and me? Heck, he should be supporting you and me! Cuz he’s like WHITE and MALE and PRIVILEGED. Also Republican and Catholic, which makes him, you know, EEEEEEEEEEEEEVIL.

              • Bob

                Ya know, Chrissy, I forgot about that. And you and I are female and unemployed and oppressed. I think Grunt owes us reparations. To be paid immediately. In cash. And he can forget about those fries — he doesn’t deserve them.

                • No fries? :shock: This is a tough blog today! I feel like I stumbled into an alley in a bad part of Sausalito and am getting worked over by Rosie O’Donnell and Barbara Boxer. And I’m not sayin’ which is which. :evil:

                  • Bob

                    Well, gee whiz, Grunt, there’s certainly no need to be insulting. I mean, Chrissy and I aren’t gonna win any Miss America contests or anything, but I don’t think we quite sink to the depths you describe. (Hurt our feelings any more, and we might take away your baconburger, too.)

                    • You’re right. That was outrageously insulting. I was trying to avoid using the dreaded Dianne Fi… Fi… You know the comparison I’m talking about. But Rosie and Barbara are just about as bad. Nobody deserves that. And I don’t deserve a… You were gonna give me a baconburger? Who needs fries? :D For a bacon cheeseburger I’ll compare you both to Kate Upton and Kate Middleton! AND pay double.

                    • Bob

                      Your baconburger is on its way!

                    • chrissythehyphenated

                      Ooh, look at him sit up and beg! I loves it. Totally forgiven for the Utter Butthurt of suggesting and or Bob could possibly resemble in any way the … won’t say it … too too ego crushing. Pete’s pics of a giant rodent sitting at the computer was nicer than you know, what Grunt said.

                      And For The RECORD, I came in a Very Close Second after Mary McDonnell (yes, THAT one) in the Miss Teen Ithaca Pageant. My lil bro peeked over the judges’ shoulders when they were adding up the points and he said I had only one point less than her and the totals were like 3500 ish. And my lil bro never in his LIFE said anything nice about me, so I know it was true. Ha!

                    • Looks like my groveling isn’t over! I am gravely sorry for the hurtfulness, Duchess Chrissy, YRH (assuming Bob is ok being Kate Upton). Being runner up to Mary McDonnell makes you nearly royalty in the real world! I just looked her up, and she is really listed as former Miss Teen Ithaca. Well, don’t take this the wrong way, but I’m glad you missed that crown by a point. We would not be blessed with your research and wit if you had gone onto Hollywood and Malibu all those years ago. :)

              • chrissythehyphenated

                Ooh, Grunt … THANK YOU for finding that reference for Mary. It is one of my girls’ favoritest stories, but I’ve always worried I misremembered the winner of that event. How lovely that I didn’t. :)

                BTW, two of my girls attended the same Catholic middle school – Immaculate Conception in Ithaca, as Ms. McD, who graciously donated her Oscar Night memorabilia to the school, where it is displayed proudly!