Monday, January 14, 2013

I HATE YOU, C AND V:  A man uses Ngrams to figure out what tiles are under- and overvalued in Scrabble/Words With Friends, confirming that Z's and X's are a lot easier to use than Q's and J's, but (as several commenters note) the rankings are deeply flawed because they undervalue the importance in the game of a letter's frequency in two- and three-letter words. Seriously, can we just make "ca" and "av" into real words, and come up with definitions later?


  1. victoria11:09 AM

    Heck, "av"'s pretty easy to come up with a definition for: OK is allowed, why not A/V?

  2. Marsha1:19 PM

    Lately, I've played a lot more Bananagrams than I have Scrabble. There are no point values for letters there - the main issue with how hard letters are to use is whether you're at a point in the game where "dumping" one tile to take three is too much of a time hindrance or not (and, of course, pride). Easiest way for me to lose a Bananangrams game is to pull a C, V, or J J as one of the last five tiles. I seem to be able to insert a Q or a Z into an existing grid much more easily than a C or a J, largely due to "qi," "qat," and "za."

  3. J, J, the accursed J.

  4. isaac_spaceman6:31 PM

    You can usually play J off an O to give yourself "JO" in a pinch. I think that's in the scrabble dictionary. Maybe you can't pair a C or a V with a single vowel for a two-letter word, but they have so many three-letter words that it seems like you're unlikely to get stuck with them unless you draw a tremendously bad set the last time you pull from the bag before the letters run out.
    OK is not allowed, is it? I would probably get in a stern argument with anybody who disagreed.

  5. Adam B.6:40 PM

    OK is not acceptable.

  6. Where would you get the "/" tile?

  7. isaac_spaceman8:32 PM

    Just take the "I" and turn it 15 degrees?

  8. Carrie Rickey9:36 AM

    I believe "ca" is a Scot word (for "call," if memory serves)."Jo" is definitely in scrabble dictionary.

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