My advice on exchanging is that if you can’t score at least 10 points on a turn, you should definitely consider it. However, if you can get any points at all by playing most of the letters you would be exchanging, then do that and take the points, even if it’s just 5 or 6. Better than zero!
But what are you supposed to do with a rack full of vowels? Knowing some basic vowel-loaded words is a good place to start, and edibles are my focus today, inspired by a recent visit to an Italian restaurant downtown.
AIOLI n. pl. -S a garlic mayonnaise
Now there’s a thing that’s easy on the mouth, speaking it or eating it. In a game, it’s a handful of 1-point letters, but land it on some bonus squares, draw four or five new ones, and you’re back in business. Nothing to get heartburn about.
If you consider yourself a FOODIE, here are some other things you might eat that would clear those pesky onesies off your rack:
Before dinner, have some hot bread with OLEO. When it melts, you’ll find it to be GOOIER than it was before.
If you are carnivorous and open to something unusual, try some AI (a sloth), EMEU (emu), or UNAI or UNAU (another kind of sloth). I’ve heard ORIOLE tastes like chicken! If you like EEL, a big one, I suppose, is EELIER than a small one. While on vacation, ask your chefs about specialties with the FAUNAE of whatever places you visit. ZOEAE are the larvae of some crustaceans. Doesn’t that sound delicious!? Did I say this was about food!? Hey, it’s really just about unloading those vowels.
Now make sure those are cooked properly, because I wouldn’t want you to get TAENIAE (tapeworms).
Or you could just have a WEENIE or WIENIE (Note: If there is a W on the board, that uses five of the seven letters on the rack in the first picture).
Thirsty? Have a glass of EAU, a fancy name for water. You could also call it AQUA, and two glasses are either EAUX or AQUAE. If it’s alcohol you want, try some OUZO.
For dessert, have a COOKIE, or a piece of GATEAU (a light cake).
You could have a whole meal in Aiea, Hawaii, the only city in America with no consonants in its name. It is not, however, a valid Scrabble word. But as long as you’re in Hawaii, you have to sit down to a LUAU.
There are a lot of other vowel-friendly words that I am not going to cover today, but know that when you have six or seven vowels, all is not necessarily lost, if the right consonants are in the right places on the board.
Now you are a little better prepared to OUTEAT your opponent in your next game. And with that, I bid you ADIEU, CIAO, and JIAO.
AIOLI–18 points, DLS+TWS