Elements of tile

Mosaics have given us some of humanity’s most enduring images. Hardly a month seems to go by that we don’t read of a discovery of a new tiled tapestry somewhere. Continuing with our rollout of variation concepts, we unearthed this ancient Byzantine architectural wall art threw together this imagined mosaic for a one-off tryout. Further below, see whether our faux-cabulary passes muster. They’re the wonky words with loopy definitions out of thin air we sometimes point out to liven up the regular game.

As this is a mockup, the usual caveats apply: A final version would have better contrast, be less crowded, show connections more clearly, etc. than this demo. And these tile colors were all the digital kiln had to spare on short notice. As always, you’d get a new mosaic pattern every game. We used regular scoring and rules here, with options for a twist later on. Maybe a secret tile with a special function.

Like the best popcorn, garlic bread and bootlickers

Since it was showing connections (dark red lines), we start with Blu Yonder, which used its long-word mode, ending up with butteriest. Below that, in our own attempt with the same letters, we managed a relatively disappointing 88 points. When two Us came up, we gambled a Q might be coming, setting up ‘quest’ and the like. It didn’t, and that’s where the D at lower right ended up. We got our due. We also held out for an A but didn’t get it, leading to the double R muckup at lower left.

Say it With Tile game variation Blu Yonder mockup showing connections

It can make you Dizzy

Now for the cheater’s dictionary.

Tubu: A large, bulbous musical instrument with a narrow bell (air exit) area and a marimba-like section, resulting in a sound sometimes described as a giant steampunk mosquito trying to suppress a laugh: Kirk Colburn cut a number of sessions on tubu on a scattering of early sixties free jazz albums.
Terif: An obsolete punctuation mark expressing befuddlement, doubt or disbelief. Could apply to many faux-cabulary entries.
Wrid: A deleted area of text kept for self-deprecating comic effect, as a strikethrough (see first paragraph above).
Tersoid: A paradoxical, imaginary three-dimensional object or shape as might be illustrated by M.C. Escher.

Say it With Tile game variation user mockup


Towtum: A small wheeled or sledding cart carried behind a hiker or cyclist.
Stowt: A hard apple cider primarly served in New England: Stowt and donuts Saturday night at the Three Points Pavilion. While they last.
Destum: (Mathematics) A tentative estimate or guess used in attempting to quickly solve a mathematical problem by trial and error without regard to process, academic rigor or educational value.
Twote: To quote someone’s words on social media different from the original platform.

close-up of tubu instrument featuring marimba area
Detail of a tubu. The marimba section acts as a mute.


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