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Lexicon Transition at the Lexington, MA SCRABBLE® Club

The National Scrabble Association has declared that the official word list used for competitive Scrabble® in clubs and tourneys in North America will be changing on March 1, 2019. The Lexington club is making the transition from OWL16 to NWL2018 over a four-week period starting on February 7, 2019. During this period, special rules involving the lexicon change are being used at Thursday evening club sessions. Players have the right to look at the list of words of length 2 through 8 which are added and deleted by this update, but they establish whether they are doing this before the game begins. As usual, the WHAT program is used to handle challenges, but it will be set in "Lexicon Transition Challenge" mode in which there is no penalty for challenging a play where all the words are added or deleted ones. This is further explained below.

Starting on February 7, 2006, WHAT will be used with a primary lexicon of NWL2018 and a secondary lexicon of OWL16 For the foreseeable future, new NWL2018 words which are presented in the WHAT workspace when you use its anagramming features are annotated with a suffix plus sign. For more information on the WHAT program see: http://what.wolfberg.net

The remainder of this page describes WHAT's Lexicon Transition Mode. The background color of WHAT's Challenge dialog is a distinctive different color to alert players. To be sure WHAT is operating in this mode, the dark blue header line at the top of the Challenge Dialog window; should read:
"Lexicon Transition Challenge - OWL16 to NWL2018 - NASPA Word List 2018 Edition"

Usually, a challenge results in WHAT's making one of these rulings:

But in this special lexicon transition mode, WHAT may indicate two other possible rulings: These messages are in blue letters, and the ruling remains visible for a 12-second duration, instead of the usual 6-second duration, to permit players to read and contemplate the special ruling.

When more than one word is challenged:

Here are some examples:

Challenged Play Ruling Comment
QAT Yes, the play is ACCEPTABLE  
OK Yes, the play is NWL2018-ACCEPTABLE - no penalty  
QAT,OK Yes, the play is ACCEPTABLE  
SUETIER No, the play is NWL2018-UNACCEPTABLE - no penalty Remove the play from the board.
SUETIER,FONY No, the play is UNACCEPTABLE Remove the play from the board.
OK,SUETIER No, the play is NWL2018-UNACCEPTABLE - no penalty Remove the play from the board.

back to the top of this page This page, maintained by Mike Wolfberg, was last updated on February 11, 2019 .