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Learn (a bit more) Ecology, Improve Your Scrabble Game, Part 2

By Liz Clift

Last month, we posted Part 1 of this blog with 10 words from our field that might improve your Scrabble game (or at the very least, help you out when you’re staring at your rack wondering what you do with those letters.

Now, we offer you Part 2. As with Part 1, points are based on the Hasbro website’s Scrabble dictionary, which assumes only the face value of tiles.

Apical (10 points) – in plants, refers to roots or shoot tips; it’s also a sound made with the tip of the tongue

Byssal (11 points) – relating to the super strong threads mollusks use to adhere to a surface

Also: byssus (but that seems like a waste of a lot of perfectly good S tiles)

Calyptra (15 points) – hood-shaped organ of flowers (according to Hasbro, anyway), but remember it as the gear that protects moss spores!

Also: calyptras

Gabbro (11 points) – a type of dark, igneous rock

Also: gabbroic (for 15 points)

Hypha (17 points) – the threadlike component of fungi

                Also: hyphae

Octopod (12 points) – basically a very generic octopus; any order of an 8-armed mollusk

Also: octopods

Operculum (15 points) – the little trap door on some snails (especially marine and aquatic snails)

Radula (7 points) – a rough, tongue-like organ on mollusks (you can remember this by thinking about the radiantly toothy smiles of snails)

Also: radulas, radulae

Seiche (11 points) – oscillation of an enclosed or partially enclosed body of water, often due to changes in atmospheric pressure

Also: seiches

Thalweg (14 points) – a line defining the lowest points along the length of a riverbed or valley

Also: thalwegs

 

Fun fact: I’ve actually managed to use thalweg in a game of Scrabble—and got that sweet 50 point bonus at the same time! Additional fun fact? The featured image is a hydra–which is another good word for using up some bizarre tiles you might have on your board!

Study up on these 10 words—we’ll have 10 more coming at you soon!

 

 

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