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9/21/2021 - 03:42  EST

  Help Topic Game Help 
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Word Games Terms, Abbreviations and Tips << Prev  4331  Next >> Club Discussions
Literati Last Update: 7/21/2009



Pick-a-Side & Top/Bottom

The idea of Pick-a-Side and Top/Bottom is to set yourself up for big scoring plays. You can easily get 50-60 pt plays off the 3W if you are blessed with colored tiles. To do this follow this plan:

Instead of playing one word to take the 3W, you can play a word that leads right up to the 3W square, but leave the 3W square open.

Be sure you play a word that can have one letter added to the end (or beginning depending on which 3W you are using), or you've blocked the 3W..lol. You could play any word that can be pluralized by adding 's', or play a word such as "PAN" on the right or bottom side of the board. This word would have many options: pane, pang, pant or pans. If you play "PAN" on the left or top side of the board, 'pan' could become 'span'. When you spell a word using that 3W, if you have any colored tiles it's a huge boost to your score if you can play the color on the 3L square that is just above, below or beside (depending on what 3W you are using).


PAN is played leaving the 3W space open at the 'p'. You can play ZIPS (the Z is placed on the 3L square & the S is placed on the 3W square to also form the word SPAN) You would score 57 pts for the word ZIPS and 15 pts for the word SPAN making this a 72 pt play!!

PAN is played leaving the 3W space open at the 'n'. You can play SHOWN (the W is placed on the 3L square & the S is placed on the 3W square to form PANS) You would score 51 pts for the word SHOWN and 15 pts for the word PANS making this a 66 pt play!!


One Hit

In this format the first player plays a two letter word after which the players play just one tile per turn. What kind of strategy can one use in a game when you play only one tile at a time, you ask?

In One Hit, watch for vowels that have been played adjoining the 2L and 3L spaces on the playing board. If you have colored tiles on your rack, now would be a good time to play one! Example: Your opponent plays an 'i' below a 3L space. You can place an 'x' on this 3L space to spell "xi" and score 16 pts!

If you want to prevent your opponent from racking up big points in One Hit, be careful where you place those vowels!!


Set-Me-Up Partners

In this format, the idea is for one partner to set the other up for big point plays whenever possible. This is one time when you WANT to open up the 3W!! It sometimes helps to place a vowel beside the 3L space that is near the 3W, because colored tiles can really help your team's score in such a play.

Example: The setting partner plays the word CLUE with the 'e' beside the 3L space opening up the 3W. Their partner plays ZEST using that 'e' and scores 54 pts!

One good thing to remember, however, is don't get so involved in setting up your partner that you pass up a good play of your own! Remember, each team gets 2 Bingos in this format, and if you have a chance to play one, play it.


Forbidden Color or Taboo Letter

To avoid making a critical error in the Forbidden Color or Taboo Letter formats. Tear off a small piece of a Post-It note (the sticky portion), and when you get tiles that are Forbidden or Taboo, place them on one end of the rack and put the sticky note over the top of them to conceal them. You may have to rearrange your tiles after each turn to keep them concealed, but it will keep them hidden away and may keep you from mistakenly playing one of them.


Partner Play

Two of the favorite partner formats are Pick-a-Side and Top/Bottom Partners. In these formats the partners get half the board all to themselves. The strategies in these formats are the same as in the single player versions of Pick-a-Side and Top/Bottom in that you can set up huge plays for your team. One thing to remember when playing this format is patience. Just because one team member sets up a great play on a 3W does not mean you have to jump on it straight away. If you do not have a super play for this opening, you may want to wait a turn or so to see if you can get some colored tiles or even a Bingo to play here. Keep in mind that only your team can use the play that has been opened, so if there are letters left in the till, try exercising a little patience.


Defensive Play

Defensive play is a huge part of the Literati game. When placing your word, check to make sure you are not opening the board for your opponent to make a 3W (triple word) score. If you play a word that does open a possible 3W score for our opponent, be sure you score enough off your word to counteract what he or she may score on their word; one such play would be a Bingo. You'd score 50 or more points off your Bingo word, so it would more than likely counteract any score your opponent may get off the 3W play.

One good way to block your opponent from playing the 3W squares is to play a word that begins or ends in a letter for which there are no 2-letter words accepted.

When playing on the left or top sides of the board, the following letters could serve as a block when at the beginning or end of the word you place: C, J, K, Q, V & Z (there are no acceptable two- letter words that end in these letters).

When playing on the right or bottom sides of the board, the following letters could serve as a block when at the beginning or end of the word you place: C, Q, V & Z (there are no acceptable two-letter words that begin with these letters).

Keep in mind that there are two 3W squares on each side of the board, so be aware that in blocking one, you may open the other.


Two-Letter Words

This little two letter words can be of great help in stacking letters and spell more than one word at a time, which in turn gives you more points!


  • Your opponent spells the word BEATS....you can spell the word ART and place it below the 'BEA' in BEATS and get credit for the words ART, BA, ER & AT...you've gotten 4 words off one play!
  • Your opponent plays the word FILM; you can play the word ATOM directly below FILM and get 5 words in one play: ATOM, FA, IT, LO & MM!
  • Your opponent plays the word HERE. You can play the word OPEN directly above this word to form OPEN, OH, PE, ER & NE. As you can see from these playing tips, remembering these tiny words could greatly improve your score

It is a good idea to commit these little words to memory! They can serve to increase your Literati score!!!

A: aa, ab, ad, ae, ag, ah, ai, al, am, an, ar, as, at, aw, ax, ay
B: ba, be, bi, bo, by
C: No two-letter C words
D: da, de, do
E: ed, ef, eh, el, em, en, er, es, et, ex
F: fa
G: go
H: ha, hi, hm, ho
I: id, if, in, is, it
J: jo
K: ka
L: la, li, lo
M: ma, me, mi, mm, mo, mu, my
N: na, ne, no, nu
O: od, oe, of, oh, om, on, op, or, os, ow, ox, oy
P: pa, pe, pi
Q: No two-letter words starting with the letter Q
R: re
S: sh, si, so
T: ta, ti, to
U: uh, um, un, up, us, ut
V: No two-letter words starting with V
W: we, wo
X: xi, xu
Y: ya, ye, yo
Z: No two-letter words starting with Z


Word of the Day

Acta (ack-ta) Recorded proceedings or legal records ; Latin origin.
Aecium (eh-c-m) A form of fungus.
Aedile (aa-dil) A magistrate in ancient Rome who had a job much like our modern public works supervisors.
Aeneus (a-ne-us) An adjective which describes a greenish gold color.
Aerate (air-ate) To give air to something.
Aerugo (ae-ru-go) Rust which forms on copper or brass.
Akee or ackee (a-key) A tropical tree native to Western Africa. It has been naturalized to Jamaica and can also be found in Florida. It has beautiful smelling blossoms and bears colorful, pear shaped fruit. Unfortunately the fruit and unripe seed skins are poisonous.
Aloe (al-o) A succulent plant with medicinal properties. Only one consonant, 3 vowels, a great way to use of those extra vowels, and very soothing on minor burns too.
Amia (a-me-a) A type of fish found in North America. Depending where you live they are called bowfin, mudfish or dogfish. These are very bony, carnivorous fish.
Anoa (a-no-a) These small buffalo live in the Philippines.
Apex (ay-peks) The highest point one can reach; word origin is Latin.
Arco (aar-ko) A musical direction or the movement of a bow across strings. From mid 18th century Italian.
Aurae (or-aa)(or auras) Sensations that precede seizures or migraine attacks.
Bulbul (bool-bool) A tropical songbird native to Africa and Asia. Origin Persian.
Buteo (byoo-tee-o) A large hawk. Word origin Latin.
Caddis (kadd-iss) Caddis is a coarse woolen fabric. Mid-16th century French.
Calcic (cal-sick) Relating to, containing, or derived from calcium or lime.
Carb (karb) Short for carburetor or carbohydrate. The word origin is French.
Card (kard) A stiff paper used in postcards or other types of cards; a person who is a jokester or very funny. In sports to receive a card means to be removed from game play.
Cark (kark) To be worried. Comes from the Middle English word carken.
Carl (karl) Peasant; thick stalk of a hemp plant; a type of food.
Carn (karn) A pile of stones used as a marker or memorial. Scottish origin.
Carp (karp) To complain or find fault with something; a type of freshwater fish. This word comes from several root forms of the word in Middle English, Old Norse, Old French and Medieval Latin.
Carr (kar) A marsh.
Cart (kart) A small wagon; to move or haul. Origin is Old English and Old Norse.
Cedi (say-dee) The main unit of currency in Ghana.
Charr (char) A fish which is related to trout and salmon.
Chirr (chur) To make a harsh vibrant sound (such as a cricket).
Chukar (chuh-kahr) A partridge. Origin Hindi.
Churr (chur) To make a vibrant sound (such as an insect or bird would make).
Cicely (siss-lee) A plant, often called sweet cicely.
Cinque (sing-k) The number five on cards or dice, or a throw of five in a dice game. French origin
Cleek (clee-eke) A #1 golf iron or a large hook.
Cobia (kobee-a) A tropical game fish similar to sea bass.
Coble (kob-l) A small flat bottomed boat. Probably Celtic origin.
Conic (kon-nik) Something which can be described as conical.
Crwth (krooth) Ancient stringed musical instrument.
Cwm (k-oo-m) Synonyms for cwm are corrie or cirque. A cwm is a high mountain valley or crevice, often with a lake or near a glacier.
Cyst (sist) A sac like growth in the body.
Eddo (ed-do) A type of taro ( a tuber similar to a potato). African in origin.
Equid (ee-quid) A member of the animal family which includes horses, zebras and donkeys. From Latin.
Flyby (fly-by) Flight of aircraft close to a specified place.
Ghyll (gill) Ravine. There are several alternate spellings for this word - gille or gill.
Glycyl (gli sel) An amino acid or by product of glycine.
Grebe (grebe) A freshwater diving bird. They are very strong swimmers. Word origin French
Inia (in-e-a) These freshwater dolphins live in South America. They are also known as pink dolphins or Amazon dolphins. They are about 10 to 12 feet long, they have no dorsal fin and they have hairy snouts.
Iritis (i-ri-tiss) An inflammation of the iris of the eye.
Ixia (ick-c-a) Flowers.
Jiao (j-you) A type of currency in China. It has an alternate spelling - chiao.
Kagu (kaa-goo) A grayish colored flightless bird. Nearly extinct, this ground dwelling bird is only found on the South Pacific island of New Caledonia.
Naira (ni-ruh) The main measure or unit of money in Nigeria.
Nix (niks) To say no to something. German origin.
Nixe (niks) A water sprite from German mythology.
Nixie (niks-ee) A female water sprite from German mythology.
Nixy (niks-ee) Undeliverable mail. Word origin unknown.
Paean (pee-uhn) A song of thanksgiving or praise.
Pencel (pen-sil) A long narrow flag or streamer. Word origin is Middle English and Old French.
Pencil (pen-sil) A writing implement.
Pensil (pen-sil) A streamer or long, narrow flag. Word origin is Middle English and Old French.
Prim (prim) Very proper, formal or neat.
Prima (pree-ma) Prima is the main part in a musical; the star. Origin Italian
Prime (pra-hym) To get ready; the best;first-rate. Origin Latin.
Primi (pree-me) Plural of primo, which is the first part in a musical duet ; or something which is the best From Latin
Primo (pree-moh) The main part in a musical, the first in a sequence, the best or most valuable. Origin Latin
Qadi (kwa-dee) An Islamic judge.
Qanat (kwa-not) Underground tunnels, specifically intended as a source of irrigation. These were found in the Middle East, primarily in ancient Persia.
Qat (k-aut) A shrub which is grown in the Middle East and Africa. The leaves are used as a stimulant.
Qintar (kin-tar) A coin used in Albania.
Qiviut (ke-ve-oot) The wool from a musk ox. The word comes from the Inuit language.
Qoph (kof) The 19th letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Qua (k-way) In the character or capacity of.
Raia (ray-a) A type of fish, a member of the Ray family.
Rynd (rind) A metal support in a millstone.
Scaup (skawp) A black and white duck native to North America and Europe.
Seniti (sen-i-tee) Form of money coming from the country of Tonga.
Synth Best described as light pop using a synthesizer to create a new instrumental sound.
Tala (tay-la) The basic unit of money from Samoa.
Unau (oo-n-oo) A small sloth, also called a two toed sloth. This South American animal can also be called an unai.
Vertex (ver-teks) The high point or summit; origin Middle English.
Vireo (veer-eeo) A small songbird native to the Americas. These small insect eaters come in many different colors.
Wisha (wi-sha) An expression of surprise. Origin most likely Irish.
Wyn (win or wen) Back in the time when people used runes as letter sounds when they wrote. Wyn is the rune for the letter W. It can also be spelled wynn or wen.
Xeric (zer-rick) Something which exists in a dry habitat.
Yaar (yar) An informal greeting of affection in South Asia. From Arabic.
Yob or yobbo (yahb) A hooligan, a young person who commits crimes. Slang word coming from 19th century English.
Zebec (zee-beck) Variation of xebec. A three masted sailing vessel found in the Mediterranean Sea. French in origin.
Zebu (zee-boo) A domesticated ox which is found in eastern Africa and Asia. Word origin French.
Zinky (zin-kee) Contains zinc. (zincy or zincky).
Zoic (zo-ick) Pertains to animal life.

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