#990 Picking up a q and a u at the same time in Scrabble

The devilI’m the world’s worst Scrabble player.

Every time it’s my turn I see other players lose interest as they get ready for a long wait. I feel bad, so I stare intensely at my pieces trying desperately to conjure up a word longer than three letters or else suffer their complaints that I’m “really clogging up the board.” A couple minutes of silence will pass before somebody says “Hey, you know what this game should have? A time limit, ha ha ha ha ha!!!” And everybody laughs and smiles at me and I look up to grin and then stare back down at my letters quickly. I stare at those letters and stare hard. A few more minutes of silence will pass and then I look up, grimace slowly, and offer up one of my two classic lines:

  1. “Sorry guys, I’ve got like all vowels over here,” or
  2. “I’m really sorry. It’s like Consonant Central over here, guys. I’ll be just another minute unless Jgrfkll is a word.”

A couple people nod and smile at my lame joke, someone idly turns on the TV and starts flipping channels, and another will generally grab a section of the newspaper and head to the can. I frantically rearrange my letters over and over again, silently praying rebuke, jinxed, or fibula will appear on my little wooden tray by accident.

Consonant CentralMy nerves fraying, my heart drum-thumping, I’ll eventually put down a lame four-letter word like bill or lamp in an act of desperation. “Eight points,” I’ll whisper to the scorekeeper, while turning the board and nodding to the other players to move along.

… See, part of my problem is that I draw letters like j, z, or q at the beginning of the game and they end up haunting me all the way through. That big q is the worst of all. It holds its powerful 10 points over my head, just daring me to draw one of the four u‘s in the game so I can lay it down. I spell my letters out in arrangements like q_ick, q_ote, and q_iet, ready and waiting for a u at any time, but generally no dice, or at least no dice for a while. I got qat or I got nothing.

And so you see that’s why, in my books, there is no better Thing To Happen To You In A Boardgame than picking a q and a u at the same time in Scrabble. I say it beats building two hotels on Boardwalk in Monopoly or drawing a perfect brontosaurus in Pictionary during an All Play.

If I get that q and u together in Scrabble, then it’s all me all the time, baby. Doors open, and I quite quietly and quickly quash all quack queries from my competitors. And baby, you know how that makes me feel.


The goal

Illustration from: here

41 thoughts on “#990 Picking up a q and a u at the same time in Scrabble

  1. JGRFKLL (prounounced Jagger-fuck-all) is where I am at whenever I play scrabble too, I hear ya dude! Imagine a game between the two of us! That would be awesome….LOL!!

  2. No need to wait for the U:

    QI (or QIS)
    the vital force that in Chinese thought is inherent in all things.

    -Scrabble Dictionary

  3. FAQIR — Muslim or Hindu monk
    FAQIRS — plural of FAQIR
    QABALA — body of mystical teachings
    QADI — Islamic judge
    QADIS — plural of QADI
    QAID — a Muslim tribal chief or senior official
    QAIDS — plural of QAID
    QANAT — gently sloping underground tunnel for irrigation
    QANATS — plural of QANAT
    QAT — leaf of the shrub Catha edulis
    QATS — plural of QAT
    QINDAR — Albanian currency
    QINDARKA — plural of QINDAR
    QINDARS — plural of QINDAR
    QINTAR — Albanian currency
    QINTARS — plural of QINTAR
    QOPH — 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet
    QOPHS — plural of QOPH
    QWERTY — the traditional configuration of computer keyboard keys
    QWERTYS — plural of QWERTY
    SHEQEL — any of several ancient units of weight
    SHEQELIM — plural of SHEQEL
    TRANQ — sedative
    TRANQS — plural of TRANQ

    1. Official scrabble rules prohibit:
      Foreign Words
      Proper Nouns
      and Abbreviations
      so that’s at least half of the list gone, depending on what you want to consider a ‘foreign word’

      1. That list is taken directly from the OSPD (edition 4 or 5, presumably), so if you live in th United States none of those words are considered “foreign”.

      2. Qat is also a unit of measure and perfectly legal. I know this because I use it all the time in Scrabble.

  4. I hate scrabble. I mean I like it but I have the exact same problem I can’t find anything more than 3 letter words. No fun at all!!!

  5. if you suck at scrabble, don’t play me!!! im usually lucky with my letters (like usually i get both blank tiles), but i always seem to get the q. Luckily, “Qat” saved my life.

  6. technical terms

    when your hand is all consonants: czech republic

    when your hand is all vowels: old mcdonald… e-i-e-i-o

  7. Possibly even better than this is when you put the Q on a triple letter score and spell Qi. One letter, minimal effort, but maximal points!

  8. O yes! Although you can memorize words that don’t need the u, it’s always AWESOME when you get a q AND u!

  9. The Q-U combination always makes me smile when playing Scrabble. The only bad part is that my usual Scrabble buddy knows this and starts looking to block any potential moves as soon as he sees that smile!

  10. one time, a bunch of my friends and i were playing scrabble, but the words we could make were pathetic so we just started randomly placing letters on the board even if it wasnt our turn. the “words” we came up with were:
    Hilovetestanipls, and
    aren’t we creative :D

  11. That’s so true, and so is being the first one done in a test at school or not being the last at least. All I can think of when that happens is I hope no one stares at me.

  12. You can play Scrabble essentially one of two ways: socially or competitively. When playing against your S.O., be cautious (very), because if you score too big on the board, then you probably won’t score _________ (fill-in-the blank). Playing with your children is a terrific way to spend quality time with them; however, ask yourself “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?”. Are you?

    There can be a slight variation of the themes “to win at all costs” or “to play and chat with friends”. The variation I find personally difficult to deal with is the situation Ill find myself, when playing a game with a “certain” relative. This “certain” individual is one of the most imaginative spellers I have ever met. Dang! What a slow game that can be. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

    As for the letter “Q”. The list above is certainly ok in the USA. I just love getting the “Q” tile.

  13. Funny i should bump into this post today. Was stuck with a ‘Q’ without a ‘U’ and finally an ‘I’ saved me. Totally ecstatic was i – coz i won by a mean 11 points!! Awesome!!!

  14. No q u story here, but a lesson to English teachers about a scrabble game played by #1, an anonymous 49 year old. True story:
    P#1:How do you spell tier, like towering? (and it had to be placed correctly to play the word)
    P#2: i, before e, except after c.
    P#1: on the squares he places the word incorrectly.
    P#3: WRONG! and the spelling rule is repeated.
    P#1: In downer tone… WHAT??????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!
    P#2&3 repeat with exclamation: i, before e, except after c!!!!!!!!
    P#1 extremely frustrated; defenses up/debate-on:
    What???!!!*** That’s RIGHT…***T, IS after C!!!!!!
    *We are now busting bellies laughing hysterically!We get what he has said but he seriously does not!
    He says, with Full on defense, this is what he was taught!!!
    i, before e, except after c!!!T, IS AFTER C!!!
    We breathe long enough to explain how the english spelling rule really works, he shouts… stupid teachers, dumb language, no wonder I failed english, can’t read…reeling in the years speech, and I HATE THIS GAME… we roll on the floor, laughing ourselves into teirs, I mean tiers… or is it tears?!:)
    Very funny, if you can get it!!!
    QI cleared wide open:)
    Better late than never to share.

  15. Ah ah, il love this site, I discovered it only yesterday, but I love !
    I’m french, but I agree : even in my langage, Q and U are so difficult to put in a word at Scrabble !!!
    May be you could excuse my really bad english ;)

  16. Funny! I play Scrabble six-eigth hours with fan every birthday, holiday, or free weekend we can get together. Yesterday, my husband whooped the shit out of us! 110 points with one word ended the first game. He had 600 points and the nearest we got was in the 300s. He had good letters, but had to play them well. My turn is coming. I’ll get the good letters and I’ll be focused enough to play them well. My turn is coming!

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