Scrabbling at home

The first rule of cat ownership is that cats and jigsaw puzzles can’t coexist under the same roof. Since my wife Lonni and I are both word lovers, we resolved this issue with Scrabble. It’s become part of our daily routine and provides pleasurable brain exercise and together time.

We play “Super Scrabble” which has a bigger board and twice as many pieces as regular Scrabble.

Lonni, being a writer (click on Lonni’s murder mysteries above), is a much better speller than I am, but I’m a better tactician so we often break even in number of games won.

Lonni also allows me to employ two consultants, Bentley and Butler. These orange cats often watch the game and occasionally adjust tile placement.

The games often take about an hour to complete; longer if Bentley and Butler do more “adjusting”.

Some Geologic Terms for Scrabble Players

I am an avid Scrabble player, and sometimes I have an advantage because of my knowledge of geologic terms. So, as a public service, I here provide some unusual geologic terms for Scrabble players. These are all real terms.

Hoodoo: Geologists sometimes hunt hoodoos. A hoodoo is an erosional form which develops fantastic pinnacles, towers and grotesques shapes. The hard head of hoodoos hold up the formation. This hoodoo on the left is in the Chiricahua mountains. Of course, Bryce Canyon, Utah, is hoodoo heaven.



Tombolo, not somebody’s neck wear, it is an Italian bar – a sand bar that connects islands.


Pahoehoe: ropy lava (first below), not to be confused with Aa which is chunky lava (second below).



Yardang: A yardang is a wind-abraded ridge found in a desert environment.  For instance, Hole-in-the Rock in Papago Park, Phoenix, and Window Rock, Arizona:



Maar: A relatively shallow, flat-floored explosion crater, the walls of which consist mostly of loose fragments of the country rock.

Macaluba: a mud volcano.


Finally my favorite definition.

Cactolith: A magmatic intrusion that solidifies into an irregular shape. Here is the official definition from USGS Prof. Paper 150. Remember I’m not making this up. “A quasi-horizontal chonolith composed of anastomosing ductoliths, whose distal ends curl like a harpolith, thin like a sphenolith, or bulge discordantly like an akmolith or ethmolith.” Now that says it all, doesn’t it, and it provides more words you can spring on somebody.