Scrabble III For BIG Word Lovers - introduction.

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Scrabble III For BIG Word Lovers

With a 6-letter minimum and enchanted JQXZ!

Introduction and comparison with Championship Scrabble

 

*** Introduction ***

 
Scrabble III For BIG Word Lovers is the fourth and (for the time being, at least) final step in the Scrabble For Word Lovers suite. Now you can play the biggest words in your brain on a Scrabble board. Scrabble III builds on the lower level games, so, if you haven't already, please visit the Scrabble For Word Lovers intro page to quickly familiarize yourself with Scrabble O, Scrabble I, and Scrabble II.

Scrabble III goes beyond Scrabble II in these three ways:

1. Six-letter minimum requirement.

2. Enchanted JQXZ: play right-side up for a bonus, or flip for a blank.

3. Pick off 1 or 2 letters from the end of a word in the service of stretching that word into a bigger word.

The last two actions may be seen as going beyond "pure", classic Scrabble for the first time in the Scrabble For Word Lovers suite.

The J, Q, X, and Z have always held a special place in Scrabble. In the "old days", their difficulty of use combined with their big point values made them hot potatoes. You could make a killing with them... or they could kill you. This continued until 1978, when the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary came along and turned the JQXZ into gobs and gobs of mindless points.

In Scrabble III the JQXZ are enchanted. Play them right-side-up in a big word for a 30 point bonus, or... flip them over for a blank! Now they pull you in two directions, each requiring more Scrabble thinking than ever.

To gain access to the biggest words in the language, you may pick off one or two letters from the trailing end of a word in the service of stretching that word into a bigger word. For example, you could pick off the silent E from COGITATE to form cogitatION (a 2-letter stretch.)

For more detail and discussion, please visit the Scrabble III rules page, but this handy Scrabble III on a Slip about says it all:

     SCRABBLE III                         
                      Two-Letter Words    
      MAIN WORD                           
  6-letter minimum   AB  DO  ID  OF  TA   
                     AD      IF  OH  TI   
   BIG PLAY Bonus    AG  ED  IN  ON  TO   
     Tiles  Pts      AH  EF  IS  OR       
       6     20      AI  EH  IT  OS  UH   
       7     50      AM  EL      OW  UM   
       8     80      AN  EM  LA  OX  UP   
                     AR  EN  LI      US   
    STRETCH Bonus    AS  ER  LO  PA  UT   
  (on sixes and up)  AT  EX      PI       
     Ltrs   Pts      AW      MA      WE   
       1      0      AX  FA  ME  RE  WO   
       2     30      AY      MI           
       3     50          GO  MU  SH  XI   
       4     70      BE      MY  SI       
       5     90      BI  HA      SO  YE   
       6    120 *    BY  HE  NO      YO   
       7    150 *        HI  NU           
       8    180 *        HO               
                                          
  Regular dictionary; all words checked.  
  Random scoop from nice 300-tile set.    
  Extended board; 8-tile rack.            
  SWAP for the blank.                     
  PICK OFF 1-2 tiles from free, trailing  
    end of word you intend to STRETCH.    
  Enchanted JQXZ: Play naturally for   
    30-pt bonus, or FLIP for blank.       
  Small Word Point Cap.                   
  Swap Final Rack.                        
  *Bonus incorporates BIG PLAY bonus.     

 

*** Sample Scrabble III Boards ***

Here are 5 real Scrabble III games played by regular people. As you scroll down, consider that your own Scrabble boards average upwards of 40 words, and that your Scrabble words average little more than 3 letters.

Game 1: "REORGANIZING SHRUBS"
Sample Scrabble III game board.

  Game 1 Statistics

  14: REENCOUNTERING
  12: REORGANIZING
  11: UNFAILINGLY
   9: EXPECTING
   8: OPENINGS SNORTING RAPTURES
   7: LEAFIER BANDANA DEFIANT WOOLIER
   6: SHRUBS OUTAGE
   3: END
   2: LI

  Tiles: 104 total; 98 played; unplayed B T O   C O W 
  Tile oddities:  no K  no M  13N  no V  
  Power tiles: 8  X Z _ _ _ S S S 
  Percent expected vowels:  99%
  Words on board:  15 total, 15.0 normalized. 
  Average word length: 7.67 letters.

Game 2: "ENLIVENED HOSTAGES"
Sample Scrabble III game board.

  Game 2 Statistics

  10: RELATIONAL
   9: ENLIVENED PREJUDGES DAMPENERS
   8: CHAMISES REMOTELY HOSTAGES
   7: STIRRED SNEEZED FOOTAGE
   6: THAWED TENTHS TAXING UPTAKE BOOZER

  Tiles: 107 total; 98 played; unplayed  M D U   I I   W A G D 
  Tile oddities:  1C
  Power tiles: 11  J X _ _ _ S S S S S S 
  Percent expected vowels:  96%
  Words on board:  15 total; 15.0 normalized. 
  Average word length: 7.47 letters.

Game 3: "UNMOTIVATED MOSQUITOS"
Sample Scrabble III game board.

  Game 3 Statistics

  11: UNMOTIVATED
  10: WRESTLINGS RETRACKING
   9: MOSQUITOS REPULSING
   8: STATUARY PILEATED TUITIONS BRAINIER
   7: BOTCHED AWAITED AGITATE ANNOYED MANLESS CZARIST
   6: WISDOM
   2: AM TI US AS

  Tiles: 114 total; 112 played; unplayed  D   I 
  Tile oddities:  1C  no F  1G  12I  8S  14T
  Power tiles: 14  Q Z _ _ _ _ S S S S S S S S 
  Percent expected vowels:  94% (slightly consonant heavy) 
  Words on board:  20 total; 17.5 normalized. 
  Average word length: 6.85 letters.  

Game 4: "SO OS NO"
Sample Scrabble III game board.

  Game 4 Statistics

  11: UNBRACKETED
   9: EXERCISED
   8: SOFTENER COVERERS DOCTORED
   7: CARTOON PARTIER HAZIEST FIGHTER UNLOVED PLOUGHS OVERACT
   6: DUSTED PAVING
   2: SO OS NO

  Tiles: 100 total; 94 played; unplayed  A Y E   G O N 
  Tile oddities:  7D  3I  1L  no M  4V  no W
  Power tiles: 9  X Z _ _ _ S S S S 
  Percent expected vowels:  95%
  Words on board:  17 total; 17.7 normalized.
  Average word length: 6.53 letters. 

Game 5: "BLESSED WEEKENDS"
Sample Scrabble III game board.

  Game 5 Statistics

   9: PERMEATED EQUIPMENT RESORTING
   8: REZONING WEEKENDS REOPENED
   7: SLOPING BECKONS AVAILED BLESSED
   6: CHATTY LOANED BLEEDS DAWNED EXTRAS SUITES
   2: OS WE BE

  Tiles: 105 total; 98 played; unplayed  V W C   L O U U 
  Tile oddities:  no F  10N
  Power tiles: 10  Q X Z _ _ S S S S S 
  Percent expected vowels:  93% (slightly consonant heavy)
  Words on board:  19 total; 19.0 normalized.
  Average word length: 6.37 letters. 

 
I hope you'll scroll back up taking a look at the "tile oddities" which arise from the random scoop, such as a game with 14T.

Did you see the difference with your own Scrabble boards in regards to bigger, more respectable words? If not, read on...

 

*** Comparison of Scrabble III with Championship Scrabble ***

Let's see how those five games stack up against "regular" Scrabble played at the very highest level; specifically, the five-game championship play-off at the 2015 National Scrabble Tournament. (You can view the games here: Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5.)

 
Here are all 199 words on the five Championship Play-off boards, and the 86 words on the five Scrabble III boards above. (Words in red would be disallowed in Scrabble For Word Lovers, which uses a regular dictionary.)

Champions: (199 words) ELATERITE RETINULAE BANTENGS ENACTORY EPINASTY IMPINGED LEAGUING LEUCOMAS LIGNEOUS NONELITE OUTFOUND SATURANT VESTIGES ALEWIFE AUDILES BIGHEAD CAUTION EMBRUTE PRALINE SAILING SIMPLER THERIAN AERUGO AVENGE BANDIT CENSER CITERS HUIPIL JEWING JOCUND MATZAH PAEONS PANTED REECHO WEIRDO WHINEY WHINNY ZOOIER ARROW BARFI COMPS DOLOR DONEE DREAM DRYER FIERY GLOBE HORAL INDOW INLET JESTS KIVAS MEALY OAKED QUERN REUSE ROOTY SEGNO SLEEK SOJUS TRIOS VARVE VOLTI XENON ALIT BALE BRIO CLIT CLUE DEFI DOAT DOOB DORK DUST FAVA GOAD HOED IRID JIGS LOAF MAKI ORCA RELY SOCK SYLI TYRE WEPT YUZU ADO ANA ARF AWA AWL CON DUG ERE ERG FAG FED FOB HAG JOE KIS MAN MOI MOO PAY PIU POL POW QUA RAI RIB SAE SUQ TOY VAC VOX WUD ZEK AA AB AB AG AG AH AI AL BE BE DA DA DE EF EF EH EM ES EX EX FA FE HA ID IF IF IN IN IN IN IS IT JO KA LA LI MI MU NA NE NO NU OD OE OH OH OI ON OP OW OW OW OX OY PA PE PE QI QI RE SO SO TA TA TE TE TI UM UN UP US WE XI XI XI XI YO ZA ZA

Scrabble III: (86 words) REENCOUNTERING REORGANIZING UNBRACKETED UNFAILINGLY UNMOTIVATED RELATIONAL RETRACKING WRESTLINGS DAMPENERS ENLIVENED EQUIPMENT EXERCISED EXPECTING MOSQUITOS PERMEATED PREJUDGES REPULSING RESORTING BRAINIER CHAMISES COVERERS DOCTORED HOSTAGES OPENINGS PILEATED RAPTURES REMOTELY REOPENED REZONING SNORTING SOFTENER STATUARY TUITIONS WEEKENDS AGITATE ANNOYED AVAILED AWAITED BANDANA BECKONS BLESSED BOTCHED CARTOON CZARIST DEFIANT FIGHTER FOOTAGE HAZIEST LEAFIER MANLESS OVERACT PARTIER PLOUGHS SLOPING SNEEZED STIRRED UNLOVED WOOLIER BLEEDS BOOZER CHATTY DAWNED DUSTED EXTRAS LOANED OUTAGE PAVING SHRUBS SUITES TAXING TENTHS THAWED UPTAKE WISDOM END AM AS BE LI NO OS OS SO TI US WE

 
Here are some statistics distilled from the above. Take note of the Average Word Length, which in Scrabble III is about 6.9 letters, or 85% bigger than in the Championship Play-off games.

                           Championship  
                           Play-off        Scrabble O     Scrabble I     Scrabble II     Scrabble III  
                           --------------  ----------     ----------     -----------     ------------ 
                                                                                                      
Total Words (5 boards)     199 words       120 words      104 words      96 words        86 words     
                                                                                                      
Average Words on Board     40              24             20.8           19.2            16.9         
                                                                                                      
Average Word Length        3.7 letters     5.1 letters    5.8 letters    6.1 letters     6.9 letters  
                                           (36% longer!)  (54% longer!)  (63% longer!)   (85% longer!)
                           
Weird Werdz                53 (27% of      none           none            none           none (ok, maybe 
                           total)                                                        WRESTLINGS)              

 
Now look at the vast gulf in JQXZ usage:

Champions: JEWING JOCUND MATZAH ZOOIER JESTS QUERN SOJUS XENON JIGS YUZU JOE QUA SUQ VOX ZEK EX EX JO OX QI QI XI XI XI XI ZA ZA

Scrabble III: REORGANIZING EQUIPMENT EXERCISED EXPECTING MOSQUITOS PREJUDGES REZONING CZARIST HAZIEST SNEEZED BOOZER EXTRAS TAXING

Yes, only one of the 27 championship JQXZ words would have survived on a Scrabble III board!

 

*** Summary of differences with "regular" Scrabble ***

Here, at a glance, are the differences between modern, "regular" Scrabble and Scrabble III For BIG Word Lovers.

"Regular" Scrabble       Scrabble O                  Scrabble I             Scrabble II        Scrabble III
------------------       ----------                   ----------             -----------        ------------
Word list memorization   Vocabulary-based            (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
                                                                                                    
Overloaded OSPD          Regular dictionary          (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
                                                                                                    
Weird two-letter words   Refined 2-letter word list  (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
                                                                                                    
Invalid words allowed    Points for good words only  (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
                                                                                                    
Bluffing                 No bluff element            (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
                                                                                                    
2-letter minimum         3-letter minimum            (ditto)                (ditto)            6-letter minimum

Big points for tiny      (ditto, but main word must  (ditto)                Small Word Point   (ditto)
plays                    be at least 3 letters)                             Cap

Cheap JQXZ points        Tougher JQXZ (regular       (ditto)                (ditto)            Enchanted JQXZ:
                         dictionary, 3-ltr min)                                                Play for bonus, or
                                                                                               flip for blank.

Classic 7 tile rack      (ditto)                     (ditto)                8 tile rack        (ditto)
                                                                                                    
Single bonus for         Stepped bonuses for Big     (ditto)                Bonuses for plays  (ditto)
playing all 7 tiles      Plays of 5, 6, 7 tiles                             of 6, 7, 8 tiles     
                                                                                                    
No reason to stretch     Stretch bonus               (ditto)                (ditto, adjusted   (ditto, plus pick off 
words                                                                       for 8 tiles)       1-2 tiles to stretch)
                                                                                                    
Classic 100-tile set     100-tile set with           Nice 300-tile letter   (ditto)            Same, but with 
with I overload (9I)     one "I" removed (8I)        distribution                              1 JQXZ_ per 100
                                                                                                    
Same 100 tiles every     (ditto)                     Fresh 100-tile scoop   (ditto)            (ditto)
game                                                 for each game          
                                                                                                    
2 blanks                 3 blanks                    Average 3 blanks/game  (ditto)            Average 1 JQXZ_ per game
                                                                                                    
Single use blanks        Reusable blanks             (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
                                                                                                    
Classic 15x15 board      (ditto)                     Extended board (3      (ditto)            (ditto)
                                                     extra rows each side)  
                                                                                                    
A few thousand           Tens of millions of         (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
players                  players?

Top players wallow in    Top players rich            (ditto)                (ditto)            (ditto)
in obscurity             $uper$tars!

 

*** Play Scrabble III on-line with a friend! ***

Find me a programmer first.

But for the time being you can have fun playing along with some real life sample Scrabble III games.

 

*** Legal statement and a plea ***

I retain the rights to these additions, adjustments, and modifications giving rise to Scrabble III, singly or in combination, insofar as I may be allowed.

But I will give Scrabble O, Scrabble I, and Scrabble II in their entirety to Hasbro for free if that's what it takes to make the Scrabble world safe again for word lovers. Anyone out there with the connections to talk to them?

 


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