Man wins French Scrabble championship but doesn't speak French

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And for anyone who has played tournament scrabble this is totally not surprising. He probably does not know the definitions of the English words he played to win the US and Worlds title. It is a math game and the experts just learn what the valid strings of letters are, what are the best combinations of 6 and 7 letters to have for making a word with one more letter, definitions are clutter and get in the way.


In France, do they play Scrabble using French letters?


I think you’re right. I read the book “Word Freak” about the top Scrabble competitors, and success is all about memorizing various lists of high-value letter combinations. It has almost nothing to do with language.

Yes, there are 2 more tiles I think? They were talking about it on NPR

Hah, my wife and I are mentioned in passing but not by name in that book. We were having fun screwing with the normals heads at the opening night gala/gathering for the national tournament in Chicago. Oh that was a stunt to remember.

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Whoosh! :slight_smile:


They use french tiles, but they don’t have separate tiles for ç,à, è é ô etc.

French-language editions of Scrabble contain these 102 tiles:
2 blank tiles (scoring 0 points)
1 point: E ×15, A ×9, I ×8, N ×6, O ×6, R ×6, S ×6, T ×6, U ×6, L ×5
2 points: D ×3, M ×3, G ×2
3 points: B ×2, C ×2, P ×2
4 points: F ×2, H ×2, V ×2
8 points: J ×1, Q ×1
10 points: K ×1, W ×1, X ×1, Y ×1, Z ×1
Diacritical marks are ignored.

English-language editions of Scrabble contain 100 letter tiles, in the following distribution:
2 blank tiles (scoring 0 points)
1 point: E ×12, A ×9, I ×9, O ×8, N ×6, R ×6, T ×6, L ×4, S ×4, U ×4
2 points: D ×4, G ×3
3 points: B ×2, C ×2, M ×2, P ×2
4 points: F ×2, H ×2, V ×2, W ×2, Y ×2
5 points: K ×1
8 points: J ×1, X ×1
10 points: Q ×1, Z ×1

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While dressed nicely but totally normal, I had on a plain leather collar with a leash attached that she had other end of in her hand. Some of the reactions we saw made it hard to keep our composure and not fall on the floor laughing. It was awesome.
ETA : We acted totally and completely normal otherwise. It took a second look for most of our friends there to notice. One person totally missed and was told about it after the fact by his wife.

I like seeing stories like this about people I know third-hand. He’s an amazing player. My wife’s a competitive player, and we are headed to Reno next week. While she wrestles in the Collins division I’ll be photographing the area, visiting the auto museum, visiting a friend, and occasionally lurking about with the other Scrabble spouses. Oh, and working remotely because I’m in IT.

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Yeah I never was that good, mostly because I didn’t and still don’t want to dedicate the study time. I did actually play up one in a middlish division in NOLA back in 2004. My wife like yours was playing in the top. She won half her games which is pretty good for that level. We have since dropped out of club and tournament play partially from parenthood and just kinda got burned out on it.
And good luck to your wife!

My brother plays Scrabble and Boggle, but generally for fun rather than in actual competitions. He has a good vocabulary, but when it comes to those games it’s all about knowing the patterns.

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So, why has nobody asked the obvious question?
(for the dullards - What was his score?)

cinq cent soixante-cinq

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