Special delivery

With the recent release of version 1.5.8, your playing options have expanded again, and so has your scoring power. New game mode Cyrano makes certain letters worth more by way of effectively making words longer. We’ll take a look at how it works in a few sample games below. The first four screenshots (a user and Blu Yonder shot from each of two games) are from actual devices. For variety, an iPhone 13 Pro and an iPhone 7, and since they’re from hardware, there are no bezels. That’s why they look a little odd, with no rounded corners or notches, etc.. The actual appearance is what you see in our STB mockup series.

Faux-cabulary, our facetious search for meaning in the jumble of unaccredited letter blobs, makes its customary appearance here. It’s a silly supplement to the serious scoring side of the game. Use it as a kind of warm-down exercise if you want, or skip it entirely. It’s just one way to add an accent to your play. Blu Yonder, our unpredictable opponent built into the game, always has the same setup to play with as you. It’s distinguished by the blue top bar independent of the color theme you choose.

Letters in red

We’ll simply restate Cyrano’s ground rules from the last post here. Three of the 25 letters to place will appear red instead of blue in the top left corner. You’ll place them anywhere as usual. Each of the red letters will, for scoring purposes, add one more “ghost” letter to any word they appear in. For example, a 5-letter word normally scores 4 points, but if it contains a red letter, it’s considered (5+1=) 6 letters, and scores 7 points (see normal scoring chart). Or if a 3-letter word contains two red letters, it’s counted as a (3+2=) 5-letter word, scoring 4 points instead of 1.

Exponential growth

Three different red letters are always chosen randomly, and only the red instance of a given letter has this extra scoring power. If there’s a red S and a blue (placed as black) S, only the red S scores extra. What’s different about this mode is, you can choose what locations the special scoring letters are in. Though the letters themselves are random, choosing central or well-connected locations will tend to increase your score more. Using them in combination in long words balloons things dramatically. Now to the funny phonies.

Cyrano iPhone 13 Pro user screenshot

You shoulda seen those blueberries roll

Jigolet: A plate with a windable mechanical base and cam to serve gelatin in a (mid-century) visually appealing way. Not recommended for use with loosely placed grapes, berries, or other round fruits, unless done as a frenetic party game. In which case you should advise your guests not to wear white.
Wollash: An ash and water admixture used as fertilizer.
Tallisin: A ceremonial stick resembling a miniature totem pole.
Stallow: Relatively shallow and stagnant, as a puddle or pond; Fallow, not progressing.

Cyrano iPhone 13 Pro Blu Yonder screenshot

Selse entirely

Selse: Something, someone, or somewhere else: Sorry, I thought you were selse.
Legis: Having legal precedent.
Jiselino: One who uses grease to adorn their hair.
Gisset: A metal cuff for holding up a sleeve, worn around the forearm.

Cyrano iPhone 7 user screenshot


Flipesse: Deft ability to change with the wind without standing out.
Landy: Shortened form of landlord or landlady: Promise me you won’t tell the landy about the chinchilla chewing the curtain.
Hode: A strap or holder for a cowhand’s lariat.
Radesse: The quality of being radical with finesse.

Cyrano iPhone 7 Blu Yonder screenshot

Morning elso evening star time

Sornal: Related to a time of day when stars or planets are visible in relative daylight.
Elso: (Conjunction) And/or.
Episorn: (Adjective) Describes an initially unnoticed injury or laceration such as a paper cut.
Arosel: A flying carousel.

Cyrano iPad user screenshot

Look at it fly

Fulone: A cheese, similar to Swiss, used sliced in sandwiches.
Suleau: A hand fan used as a fireplace bellows.
Aerelus: A hand-operated flying propeller toy such as a jumping gee-haw whimmy diddle.
Satereau: An ornate fireplace mantle.

Cyrano iPad Blu Yonder screenshot

But everything goes round in circles

Pelate: Related to the manner of calling or naming a person, thing, etc.
Rast: (Adjective) Describes an aspect or element of design or style one associates with being out of style, with related norms having changed around the time one was born. E.g., bulbous, round 1950s cars for someone born in the early 1960s. People may tend to perceive these differences more distinctly within their age group.
Estel: An older female proprietor of a small rural store, often of bygone years.
Forasse: An area between a forest and a morass; A new situation requiring a degree of orientation.

Our pelate choice

We chose the name Cyrano because Cyrano de Bergerac was known for special letters, and this mode uses power letters. The icons represent paper letters scattered in some intense writing session, perhaps. Writing is sometimes an unpredictable process. No author ever went without tossing crumpled pages into a waste basket or striking a red pen through their work. But it all comes together in the end. It’s little surprise thousands of writers recently signed an open letter defending their work, or that screenwriters are striking. It’s hard work. We leave you with two links to recent stories that somehow visually seemed to allude to this kind of image.

First, a resumption of Esquire’s The Napkin Project, in which the website invites writers to fit a work of fiction onto a single cocktail napkin. We heartily salute this kind of experiment in creativity and dealing with boundaries, and would like to request some more peanuts and a coaster if possible. Second, enjoy/read/scoop up these whimsical collages of spilled words by Dutch art director Toon Jensen. These pictures are a thousand words, with the rug pulled out from underneath.

A larger jigolet. Bobbing for blueberries was quite a party pleaser. Peas not so much.


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