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  LOGOLOG
a weblog of wordplay by Eric Harshbarger

Front Hook: C

If the first two entries of my list of favorite front hooks (ASTEROID and BROADSIDE) were at least partially chosen because they employed fairly common words, then the entry for C bucks the trend a bit.

C is for Cupbearer

While they will not, by any means, end up being the most exotic words on the list when it is finalized, CUPBEARER and UPBEARER, I think, would certainly qualify as unusual.

UPBEARER is not even in Merriam-Webster's Unabridged 3rd. edition, but it is valid in the lexicon used for competitive Scrabble play.

Many of these front hooks would constitute "dream plays" in that game. Imagine how great it would be to respond to your opponent's smugness as he or she played the word UPBEARER by hooking your own C-containing counterplay onto the front of the word.

Such hooks also add tension to the game because, of course, you don't know whether or not your opponent even knows of the potential that exists. If UPBEARER is played during a game, and one or more C-tiles remain in the cache of unused letters, you have to start thinking, "well, does my opponent even know that a C can be hooked onto the front?" If you currently hold one of the C-tiles, do you immediately play a low scoring, front hooking word, or do you hope your opponent is ignorant of the possibility and hold onto it, hoping for a stronger play later?

Such is the fun of a quality game of Scrabble.

-- Eric

[22 August 2014]
   
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