Old, new, bold, and out of the blue

As those of us in the northern hemisphere watch summer recede in the rear-view mirror and begin to settle down for a fall full of color changes, something familiar and comforting with a hint of what’s to come might be just the recipe for the transition. So here’s a late-season cookout mix of fresh appetizers (the candy hearts have been picked from the trees, soon to emerge from full shakedown mode) and seasoned tips, reliable old principles we’ve already discussed, presented in new contexts. We highlight our own formed words below in bold.

First off, enjoy nibbling on a few more preview shots of “Love Letters,” a new game variation we’ve been working on. Like any variation, you’ll be able to bring it up by long-pressing the New Game button. As mentioned, it gives more equal competitive footing to people who aren’t really looking to make long words. Three, four and five-letter words using all different colored candy hearts will score three, four and five times as many points as usual, respectively.

New variation - Love Letters 183 points with BARRED

Worth the weight

In the first game, above and below, the scoring leverage got us a respectable 183 points out of not that many words. At center left, vitae, as in curriculum vitae, scored 4 x 5 = 20 points instead of 4 because it used orange-green-pink-purple-yellow hearts. One more E at the top center would’ve given us “repeater” and “repeated,” but the weighted scoring meant nothing barred us from racking up points anyway. This game stored plenty as it was.

Love Letters 183 points with STORED

We love when that happens

In the second game, below, featuring a similar summer splash color theme, the points piled up regardless. We mined the hearts and letters for all they were worth, making copious use of DE- and RE-, which tend to extend other words both backwards and forwards (-ED and -ER). On a sidenote (right to left across the middle), that very word was one we didn’t even notice until it formed. We were going for denote and saw the side possiblity, but man, eight letters out of the blue? This game’s got it.

Love Letters 287 points with SIDENOTE out of the blue

More moderates

Only because we happened to feature moderates recently, we couldn’t resist going for it again (this time on purpose, as the letters started to go that way). This game had a bumper harvest of high-percentage letters, so it was hard to go wrong. Anyway, we didn’t let it go to waste, to the tune of 356 points. Again, ED/ER/DE/RE/ES multiplied what was already there. Moderate may be seared into your mind by now, but if anything had to be, that probably isn’t a bad choice.

An old friend - Spell the Beans 356 points with MODERATES

Take that home and chew on it

Next, a Spell the Coffee game, again showing the value of prefixes like DE- and suffixes like -ING, -ED and Y. It may be a common trope here, but we owe a lot to ancient Latin and Greek. And if not for the double Is and the exiled E, we might have had over 300 points to show for it. And things wouldn’t be complete without a word we learned from the game this time: Porty, besides just meaning like or affected by the drink, can refer to a person who has to ask for a doggy bag. So says the Urban Dictionary, anyway.

Some old reliable tips - Spell the Coffee 250 points with DEPOSING on iPhone 13 Pro Max

Finally, another Love Letters game, this time illustrating how not being afraid to put a V smack dab in the middle, or taking chances in general, can have its rewards. Few bonus points were in play, as the O and the V were both orange, but you’ve gotta love clove, clover, loved, lover, revolt, volt, etc.. Too many hoped-for Cs never came (putting a halt to “notice” and poisoning “curare”), but all was not over. We didn’t know urare was a word, and edit stemmed the losing tide a bit. And any total near 100 is okay in our book. Bold is beautiful.

Bold use of V - Love Letters 97 points with CLOVER


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