Y be normal

Published: Thursday, April 1, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, March 31, 2004 at 10:31 p.m.
There are several generalizations that players can make after playing enough games. Normally, words don't end in C or V; Q words more times than not take a U; and most times you have a Y on your rack, the word you make will end in Y.
Well, previous columns have shown lists of words that end in C or V (ATTIC, PANIC and LAV and DEV) and there are two tried and true Q words that don't take a U (QAT and QAID). Well, why be normal? Let's see some words that begin with the letter Y.
If, you know your two-letter two words there are two words that should immediately come to mind, YA and YE. Both are pronouns meaning YOU and do not take an S on the end.
But, if you add an H to YA and make YAH, the word you have is an exclamation of disgust. If you add an A to the end of YE and make YEA, the word you have is an affirmative vote.
YA turns out to be a good two-letter base to know because you can add a K, M, P, R, W or Y to create six more words.
To YAK is to chatter, a YAM is a plant that has an edible root, to YAP is to bark shrilly, a YAR is an alternative spelling of YARE which means nimble, to YAW is to deviate from an intended course, and YAY means the same as YEA.
The 10 words above constitute 90 percent of the words that I have seen in competition that begin with Y. This list alone should help anyone play the Y confidentl.
I would stop right there except for the fact that most Scrabble players like to learn obscure words. Here is their chance.
I know a word that means a geometrical diagram used in meditation. If you guessed the word YANTRA, I don't want to have to play against you because you would be correct. There is also the seldom-used word YASHMAK, which is a veil worn by Muslim women. A YAUTIA is a tropical plant.
I have two more before I go. Do you know what a YILL is? It is ale. There is also the word YOB, or YOBBO. Soccer matches have some that cause problems. That's right, it means hooligan.
I am just as guilty as the next person of immediately looking for a way to end words with Y as opposed to creating words that begin with Y.
This list was as much for you as for me to break that habit. Break the chains of normal, there are a lot of words on the other side.
Gainesville club Nikki Scaffi, 3-0, 377; Cathy O'Sickey, 2-0, 359; Larry Brincefield, 2-0, 359; Ellen Blottman, 2-1, 345; Bob Emberly, 2-1, 341; Jim Cooney, 2-1, 336; Ray VunKannon, 2-1, 327. High series, Scaffi, 1,131; high game, Scaffi, 412; high play, Cooney, 92 (strayer/akin).
The Gainesville Scrabble club meets Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the VFW at 1150 NE Waldo Road. Weekly dues are $2. Call O'Sickey at 336-0690 for details.
Lake Area club Geeke Lossing, 3-0, 413; Mary Rynd, 2-1, 337; Emberly, 2-1, 329; Sharon Cox, 2-1, 304. High series, Lossing, 1,238; high game, Lossing, 442; high play, Lossing, 83 (blotters).
The Lake Area club meets at the Melrose Public Library Tuesdays at 1 p.m. Call Blottman at 475-1587 or Lossing at 475-2956 for information.

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