26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 4 December 2003
I bought this as a replacement for my paperback copy of the somewhat outdated OSL2 and I am not in the slightest bit disappointed by the content so far.
Drawn from the new edition of Official Scrabble Words International (Which combines the American and British word lists) this book is similarly heavy in both size and content. While the OSWI is doubtlessly the final authority for games of Scrabble at Christmas, this book is more of an aid to learning. Words from its dictionary brother are here presented in a series of lists which assist learning words that may be needed during the game. For example, examination of the section on 'hooks' will reveal interesting and surprising ways to extend words to rack up the points (FLAMING + O = Flamingo; F + UNFAIR = Funfair)
Those starting out with the book are directed towards the initial lists of 2/3 letter words and others containing J, Q, X or Z. The lists of words heavy in vowels or consonants is a collection that is equally useful.
Since this book is drawn from the combination of American and British dictionaries, the section on 'Variants' is welcome in latching on to American spellings (Not forgetting variations between words of Greek or Latin origin, and words ending in EY/Y/IE).
The book is garnished with little hints along the way suggesting ways of maximising your score and training yourself to remember words.
People interested on scoring that 50-point bonus for using all of their letters will definitely find the aptly named 'Bonus Word Lists' section a good resource and a happy hunting ground for revision material. Here, great columns of bonus words are grown from 6 letter "stems", which are most likely to occur in a game (Given the standard distribution of letters) The innocuous words RETAIN, SATIRE and RAINED offer a useful starting point. Each “stem” is ranked by how often the letters are expected to occur, and supplied with mnemonics to help you remember them, and the letters that combine to form bonus words.
Finally, the compendious anagrams section finishes off this tome. While it is unlikely to be consulted during your game, it can be of use if you enjoy a good post mortem.
If the Scrabble board only sees light of day at Christmas, then you are unlikely to get any real use from this book. If, however, you really want to get one over on your relatives then this could be a satisfying investment. It will be best used, however, by someone who wants to improve his or her knowledge of the vocabulary that exists in OSWI. Whether that person just wants to play at a club, national or international level, this book will be a good tool.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 January 2008
This book is way beyond my current Scrabble skill level. I'm mostly just using the two and three letter word lists at present.
I'm annoyed by the fact this book (in spite of being the International edition and published in 2002) is missing words like 'za', 'ki', 'fe' and 'ja' that are valid in the current (2008) SOWPODS lists available online.
Several two-letter words were added to the official list in 2006, but the book has not been revised to reflect this - and when you buy it, there's nothing to warn you that it is no longer up to date.
Nothing excuses the omission of 'tom' from the three letter word list in this book, as that word is included in both old and current dictionaries and word lists.
If I ever want to develop my Scrabble skills to the point of memorising large number of bingos and useful hooks, then I'll probably find this book more useful as it contains lists of absolutely everything. However, the errata I've discovered with my minimal word knowledge do not inspire me with great faith in the accuracy of the rest of the book.
I'd also have appreciated a few pages of basic tactical information and more tips on how to go about using all the lists that are provided. There's a few notes scattered through the book, and they are helpful, but they're very brief and assume you have a fair idea of what you're doing already.
If I was a more experienced player, I'd probably have got a lot more out of the book.