In praise of the Q


Last month (August 2014), Merriam-Webster came out with the fifth edition of the official Scrabble Player’s Dictionary with 5000 new words.

Among some of the more interesting, and perhaps high-scoring as well, is QAJAQ (S), which is a kayak. When was the last time you saw a word that starts with a Q, has no U in it at all, and ends with a Q?

Other Scrabble words that have more than a single Q in them are:

EQUIVOQUE (S) [An amusing use of an ambiguous word]
QUINQUENNIA (L, LS, LY) [A five year period]
QUINQUENNIUM (S) [A five year period]
QULLIQ (S) [An Inuit lamp]

Q is a very hard letter to use. In fact, many Scrabble books recommend that one plays this letter as soon as one is able to do. That way one does not get stuck with the letter at the end (a minus 10 points is a 20 point spread between two players).

Now, if Q is such a hard letter to play, how is one going to ever get a chance to play any of the above words? Has anyone ever played these words on a Scrabble board?

I assume most of you know that there is a larger version of Scrabble out called SuperScrabble. It features a larger board, and has two Qs in the set, so maybe these words would be easier to find a place to put down on the board.

Still, if I do get a Q in my tile holder, I tend to keep it until I get at least 30 points.

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