An uncanny moment occurred during one of this evening’s hands of Lexicon (our favourite wordy card game) when I led with AWFUL and Shana countered with WHIRLS. Little to Shana’s knowledge, I had the word TAMER all ready to put on the table, thus allowing me to add the value of whatever cards Shana had left, and so bringing her nearer to the fateful ‘out’ score of one hundred.

‘There! “Tamer”,’ I said, setting down my cards. ‘As in “lion tamer”,’ I added.

Without a word, Shana held up her last four cards. Which, if you read the title of this post instead of just diving in, you will probably guess spelled LION. A chunky thirty-two points onto Shana’s score. But one of those times when we try to figure out what the probability might be of the two words coming out at the same time. Billions to one, we like to think. Cue, as usual, the Twilight Zone theme. Maybe we’d be better playing ‘Snap’ instead.



Today was what is often called a ‘red letter’ day. Strictly speaking, though, this wouldn’t be entirely true, as the letters on our pack of Lexicon playing cards are black.

The big achievement? Shana managed to get a ten-letter word, which is the longest you can make in Lexicon (so yah-boo! to Channel Four’s Countdown with their mere nine-letter bonanzas 🙂 ).

The word? I’ll print it in block caps like the cards. Oh, and Shana didn’t have to use the joker to stand for a spare letter: it was all there waiting to be found. The word was RELOCATION.

So Shana gets the gold star for first ten-letter word of the year. Not only that, but she beat me three games in a row. As Shakespeare said, .You can go off people, you know.’ 🙂


An excellent and unusual word appeared on the table during tonight’s epic game of Lexicon: ‘SLAVERY’. Shana was delighted to have found it amongst her cards.

As most of our readers (that’s both of you, then 🙂 ) will know, ‘slavery’ is usually pronounced with what is called a long ‘a’, as in whale, kale, or ale. And it is usually linked with the heroic efforts of Little Billy Wilberforce to outlaw it.

I, however, took one look at Shana’s offering and set off upon a road entirely less frequently traveled.

‘”Slavery”,’ I said. ‘What a super word!’

I had, as if you hadn’t guessed by now, deliberately pronounced (spat out, if you prefer) the word with a short ‘a’, thus alluding to the adjectival form of the noun ‘slaver’, with a totally different meaning: that of drooling or dribbling saliva. Many dog owners will be familiar with their slavery or slavering pooches. Some older cats also slaver at times, but I’m afraid I just can’t bring myself to believe such nonsense 🙂

So there we are: Shana showing her social conscience, and I showing my preoccupation with dribble. Like to have seen old Wilber trying to ban that for sure 🙂

Battleship Lexicon

Yesterday, in the annals of our regular games of Lexicon, was a red letter day. Not one, but two ten-letter words. This is the highest to which one can aspire in Lexicon, and, frankly, it makes Channel 4’s Countdown and all its mere nine-letter words look somewhat lacking 🙂

First one was mine, although I spotted it only after I had already put out half my letters. If I had shuffled the cards a little longer maybe I would have got there. But as it was, my word TRICOLOURS was, alas,  as anglers would call it, ‘the one that got away’.

Shana was more alert and managed to blow me out of the water in the final game of the evening, by coming up with BATTLESHIP. Yes, she did use what we sometimes call the Joker to stand for one of the T’s, but it was a cracker of a word to end on.

Note to self: Must hide that Joker card…