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Scrabble Kid


Moraga’s Conrad Bassett-Bouchard is never at a loss for words. Bassett-Bouchard, 15, has been Scrabbling since age three, and is ranked number one in the country in the under-18 bracket. The Campolindo High School junior missed the first two days of school this year to flex his vernacular against adults at the National Scrabble Championship in Reno, finishing 28th in a group of more than 100.

Q: So what’s the secret to becoming a champion Scrabbler?
A: “Learn your j, q, x, z words,” he explains. “Those are your big tiles, and if you see that you can’t place zoo anywhere, you should know that ziti is a kind of pasta.”

Here are three more Scrabble zingers.

Gimme a J: “Djin. An alternate spelling for genie, like a genie in a bottle. It’s a fascinating word because it can be spelled about 10 different ways.”

Gimme a Q: “Qat. It’s a kind of bush. I believe it can be used for smoking.”

Gimme an X: “Xyst. A roofed area where athletes trained in ancient Greece.”


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