25 Winning Scrabble Words

I've searched through troves of card decks, game boards and the Internet and have yet to find a game as infuriating as Scrabble. It's not the game's theme of word-building that I object to; rather, it's the humiliation novices and lexicographers alike are bound to experience when they happen to get a hand full of vowels or "Q"s without the requisite "U"s. It's the embarrassment of getting four points with "THE" while your opponent lands a Q squarely on a Triple Word Score and earns the hell out of those points with "QI." It's the shame as he breathes that hated word: "challenge."

St. Arnold's Brewery will host its second annual Scrabble tournament/fundraiser for Literary Advance Houston, Scrabble and the City, on July 21. To prepare you for the tourney and to save you some embarrassment, we came up with a list of words that can help you in your vowel-drowned state or that rack up a bazillion points with little effort. These words are approved by the Scrabble Dictionary, 4th edition.

Words made up of only vowels. They're short, but they'll free you up to grab some new letters:

  • AA (2 points) -- rough, cindery lava
  • AE (2 points) -- one
  • AI (2 points) -- a three-toed sloth
  • EAU (3 points) -- water
  • OE (2 points) -- a whirlwind off the Faeroe islands
  • OI (2 points) -- oy

Words made up of only consonants (no "Y"):

  • BRRR (6 points) -- used to indicate that one feels cold
  • CRWTH (13 points) -- an ancient stringed musical instrument
  • CWM (10 points) -- a cirque
  • PSST (6 points) -- used to attract someone's attention
  • SH (5 points) -- used to urge silence
  • TSK (7 points) -- to utter an exclamation of annoyance

Words made up only of consonants (with "Y"):

  • GHYLL (12 points) -- a ravine
  • GLYCYL (12 points) -- a radical derived from glycine
  • BYRL (9 points) -- to carouse
  • NTH (6 points) -- pertaining to an indefinitely large ordinal number
  • XYST (14 points) -- a roofed area where athletes trained in ancient Greece

Words with Q and not U:

  • FAQIR (17 points) -- a Hindu ascetic
  • MBAQANGA (22 points) -- a South African dance music
  • QABALA (17 points) -- an occult or secret doctrine
  • QADI (14 points) -- a Muslim judge
  • QAID (14 points) -- a Muslim leader
  • QANAT (14 points) -- a system of underground tunnels and wells in the Middle East
  • QINTAR (15 points) -- a monetary unit of Albania
  • QIVIUT (18 points) -- the wool of a musk-ox

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