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
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.”