Sorry that it has been 3 weeks since my last blog, but I thought I would get back into it with a quiz involving vowels:
A E I O Q S U
A E E I O R T
A E I I N O P
A A D E I O R
D E E E Q U U
A E E G I R U
A E E G I S U
A G I O U U Y
There are actually 63 words of 7 letters in length that have 5 vowels. I have just chosen 8 of them for a quick quiz.
If you are not an experienced player then the first one might be the only word you recognise, but the first few are regularly seen on the board when expert players get a bunch of vowels. Some of the later ones may be a little less well known, but I would expect an A grade player to get at least 5 out of 8 and maybe even get them all.
How did you do?
SEQUOIA The answer to the first one is, as promised, a word you should have heard of. It is the other name for the giant tree that is also called the California Redwood or the Coastal Redwood.
ETAERIO The second word is probably the most commonly played bonus word used in scrabble. In fact, I once played it twice in the same game. However I wonder how many people know that an etaerio is an aggregate fruit that develops from multiple ovaries into a single fruit such as a raspberry.
EPINAOI Another commonly played bingo. It is the plural of EPINAOS which is a rear entrance hall.
AERADIO A system allowing pilots to communicate with flight control.
DEQUEUE You might not have used this word, but you can guess at its meaning. However it is used specifically for taking a job out of a queue of tasks to be done by a computer. So far as I am aware nobody says “I need to go home now so I am going to dequeue.” Look out for ENQUEUE, another 5 vowel word, which means the opposite to dequeue. To put a job in a data processing queue.
EUGARIE This is an alternative name for the shellfish otherwise known as the Australian Pipi. Also look out for the alternative spelling of YUGARIE.
AGEUSIA Almost the same letters as the previous question. This is a medical condition which means the tongue cannot tell the difference between salt, sweet, bitter, etc. It is sometimes confused with ANOSMIA, the inability to smell, because the loss of the sense of smell also affects the ability to taste food. Only 1 or 2 people per thousand have this condition although apparently about 1 in 20 have hypogeusia, which means the tongue can detect some tastes but not others. Don’t try that though because although I found that word on a website while reading about this condition our dictionary does not recognise it.
OUGUIYA What an ugly bunch of letters, however they could be very useful if you travel to Mauritania because that is the currency you will use. The second U is optional so you can also have OUGIYA.
Happy Scrabbling Patrick