Luyk: Playing the ‘Q’

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By Huub Luyk

Grandpa Plays Scrabble

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


WHEN you were learning English in high school, your teacher at one point ex-plained that after a letter “Q” in a word, always follows a “U”, as in the word “QUALITY” for example. Checking out the dictionary or the scrabble™ word list, you find however, that your teacher was wrong!

Eighty four words which have no “U” after the “Q” are now acceptable in English, although sometimes a “U”appears in another place, such as in “UMIAQ”.

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That quirky “Q” is worth 10 points and makes for a very valuable “heavy weight” in a scrabble game! It is a good idea to play the “Q” as quickly as you can, for as long as you have it on your rack, the chances of making a seven letter word are very limited. And, if you wait too long, especially if the “Q” was drawn towards the end of the game, you may finish the game with the “Q” still on your rack and give your opponent 20 points!

The list of 2 – 5 letter words below starts with the word “QI” , the only two-letter word with “Q”. Believe it or not, but this is the most frequently played word in scrabble tournaments! It gives a potential score of 64 points if the word “QI” is placed with “Q” on a TLS square, parallel to an existing word!

The next list shows all 6 letter words, one of which you know as "FAKIR" (anagram: KAFIR), a Hindu ascetic. "QWERTY" comes from the common lay-out of the typewriter keyboard which starts with these 5 letters.

There are thirty 7 and 8 letter words in this category! I have seen the word “INQILAB” played in a tournament here in Baguio as well as “QIVIUTS” and “QINTARS”.

The solution to last week’s puzzle was “DOZY”, for 47 points, with the “D” making “DEARTH”.

This week’s assignment:
Combine each of the groups of letters below with the letter “Q” to make acceptable words. Some combinations have more than one anagram!

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 06, 2010.

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