When playing Alastair Richards you can rely on him to play something to stretch your vocabulary.
This weekend he had the letters AGMILNX. Most people would be happy getting a good score from the X somewhere, but Alastair found another A on the board for MALAXING. I challenged that although I knew MALAX and MALAXATE. That second word made me think MALAX might be a noun rather than a verb. However, as almost always happens when you challenge Alastair, he just got an extra 5 points.
The only good use i could put that challenge to was as inspiration for a blog on 4 and 5 letter words that contain AAX.
Pertaining to an axis.
A plural of TAXON which is a unit of scientific classification. TAXONS is also allowed
A large African antelope with curled horns
A loss of muscular co-ordination. Also ATAXIA
Pertaining to an axis
A man who uses an axe. Also AXEMAN
A heathlike evergreen plant of South-Western USA
A word that only appears once. That seemed a little weird so I researched it a little further. It means appears only once in the works of a particular author. e.g. William Shakespeare only mentions the poison HEBENON only once in all his works, so that makes it a Shakespearian hapax
To soften by kneading
A type of tree from which ginseng is sourced. It grows in Eastern Russia, North-Eastern China and on the Korean peninsula
The plural of XOANON which is a primitive statue
Looking back at this list I have just realised that the only one which is a verb is MALAX. Damn, damn, damn! That feels so unlucky. But when you have as good a memory as Alastair it really isn't much about luck
Happy Scrabbling Patrick