Welcome to the long-awaited 2nd issue of Word-Buff Stuff!

If you're familiar with this newsletter, feel free to skip my preamble and jump straight to the latest action.

If this is the first time you've received this newsletter, or if it's been a while and you'd like some reminding, Word-Buff Stuff! is a free ezine from Word-Buff.com, a site dedicated to lovers of words and word games. The aim of this newsletter is to provide word game addicts like you with a regular injection of puzzles, tips, and chit-chat from the world of words and word games.

As a subscriber, you're going to have access to quite a bit of cool stuff from Word-Buff's Members-Only Area. To access it, though, you'll need to remember this password...

Sorry! Only subscribers get the password.
You can subscribe here.

If you're a true word-buff, I'm sure it won't take you too long to work out an easy way to remember it ;-)

Now, here's what you'll find inside each issue. If you've heard it all before, just click the links to cut to the chase...

Crossword Diamond

A quickish, but still challenging, Word-Buff-style crossword puzzle. Basically, that means American-style, but without all the pop-culture trivia. So you don't need to know the name of President Nixon's dog. Why? Because Word-Buff is about Words!

Scrabble Word Finder

A Scrabble puzzle that will hone your anagramming skills and improve your Scrabble scores.

Wordsearch Puzzle

A challenging wordsearch puzzle, with a different theme each issue, that will put your vocabulary and spelling skills to the test. Yes, even if you're a grown-up!

Word-Buff's Corner

This is my favorite part of the newsletter. It's basically a short piece about things like...

  • How to master word games and puzzles
  • Cool words every word gamer should know
  • Neat word games, tools, or books I've stumbled across lately
Or... anything else that tickles my fancy on the day, really ;-)

From the Editor's Couch

This is just where I give you a quick update about Word-Buff, this newsletter, and anything else I think you might like to know about. I put this bit at the end so that I don't annoy you with my tendency to ramble sometimes ;-)

NOTE - If you can't see the puzzle pictures further down in this newsletter, or if you see weird characters all over the place, it may be that your email is set up to only read plain text. If that's you, just pop over to the Members-Only Area of Word-Buff, where you can view the newsletter as a webpage.

Right! Let's get started on those puzzles...

Crossword Diamond

The Crossword Diamond is a standard American-style crossword puzzle. I've made sure that all of the answers are common English words and phrases, so the real fun will be in a few of the more playful clues. I've also avoided general trivia.

You can print it out and solve it with pen and paper, or...

Click Here to Solve it Online

TIP - If you solve this puzzle online, you can time yourself using an automatic timer I've set up (just below the crossword clues). Just for fun, I got a crossword solving champion to time himself solving this issue's puzzle. You'll see his time in the online puzzle. Be scared... be very scared.


  2. "No ___!"
  4. Patients, to doctors
  6. They can be empty
  8. Pop's mom
  9. Doth own
11. "Who's ___ sleeping in my bed?"
12. Squad
13. Aquarium
15. Unbending
16. Massage target
18. Discover
19. Night before

  1. Flower holder
  2. Alert
  3. "Sure!"
  4. Runway
  5. Post
  6. Pick up the tab
  7. Back at sea
  8. "___ lost!"
10. ___ and eggs
14. Baby bouncer
15. Let go
17. Bank

When you're done, pop on over to the Members-Only Area, to check your answer.

Scrabble Word Finder

Take a look at the following Scrabble board, together with the rack below it, and find the highest-scoring move possible.

Remember, I'm not asking about the best strategic move here - just the highest-scoring move.

Note that even though the game is played to the Official International Scrabble Dictionary, I have constructed the puzzle so that the answer, along with all words formed in the answer, belong to the Official North American Scrabble Dictionary (which means they are also valid in the international dictionary).

Sorry if this sounds a bit confusing, but it's the best way I've found so far of creating a puzzle that satisfies both audiences. Please let me know if you can think of a better one ;-)

When you're done, pop on over to the Members-Only Area, to check your answer.

January Jumbo Wordsearch

If you're stuck indoors on a wet January holiday, this one should keep you busy for a while...

Below is a wordsearch grid in which I've hidden the names of 119 chemical elements. To solve the puzzle, click the grid and a printable version of the wordsearch puzzle will open, replete with the grid and a (rather long!) list of all the chemical elements you need to find.

TIP - If you want to really test your knowledge of the chemical elements, try solving the puzzle without looking at the list of elements I've provided.

When you're done, pop on over to the Members-Only Area, to check your answer.

Word-Buff's Corner


This curious-looking word arose out of a question asked by one of my visitors a couple of weeks ago. I'll tell you more about that shortly. Right now, let's talk about the word itself...

When I first encountered this word, I thought it referred to the act of doing something a third time, as in redo, re-redo, re-re-redo... . The good news for the English language, though, is that it means no such thing! In fact, according to my sources, it can also be spelled reredorse or reredosse (although only the latter will help some of my Scrabble readers!).

Reredos is usually pronounced rear-doss, or sometimes rare-doss, and refers to a piece of artwork, usually an ornamental screen, covering the wall behind an altar or communion table in a church.

Here is a picture of a reredos that can be opened or closed - this one is traditionally closed during Lent...

Reredos with triptych closed Reredos with triptych open

The reason I chose this particular reredos was to throw in another cool word...

A TRIPTYCH - pronounced to rhyme with cryptic - is a piece of artwork, usually an altar-piece, divided into three panels joined with vertical hinges so it can be opened out or closed, just like the one in the picture. Sometimes there are only two panels, in which case it is called ... wait for it ... a DIPTYCH.

I first came across the word reredos in Scrabble, because it is quite a high-probability seven letter word, so you'll see it played quite frequently by tournament players for a juicy 50-point bonus. And that brings me to my more recent encounter with this word - the one that led me to jot down this little trivia snippet for you...

You see, a visitor sent in a question to my Scrabble Q&A page asking why he was not allowed to play ERODERS* in Scrabble, even though he could construct a perfectly legitimate sentence containing this word. I won't bore you here with my long answer to that question, but I mentioned in passing that one way to utilize non-words in Scrabble is to link them to valid anagrams.

In other words, instead of suffering the indignation of having his word taken from the board, he could have stunned his opponents with its lovely anagram... REREDOS. Just as you will next time, I'm sure ;-)

From the Editor's Couch...

Well, things have been pretty hectic here at Word-Buff in recent months, which is why you haven't heard from me for a while. In fact, if I was to summarize all my Word-Buff news, this email would go on and on for pages! Fortunately, for both of us, that won't be necessary...

Why? Because... as I mentioned in the last newsletter, I've been building a kind of 'site-blog'. A site-blog is a lot like a personal blog, except it's there to give you updates about a website rather than a person. If you want to be notified of the latest news on this website, all you have to do is subscribe to the Word-Buff Blog, just like you would to any old blog (don't worry - I explain how to do this on my blog page), and you'll receive updates as they happen.


You can just visit Word-Buff whenever you've got a bit of time to kill, and click on the

button in the top left of every page. That will take you to the Blog page, with all the latest news outlined in chronological order.

But there is one bit of 'What's NEW?' I wanted to mention here while I've got your attention...

You might vaguely recall that in the last issue of Word-Buff Stuff! I said I had some pretty cool interviews in the pipeline. Actually, there are more than just a few going on in the background right now, but one of them is ready for your viewing. It's an interview I've been wanting to do for months with America's fastest crossword solver. In fact, he's probably the fastest crossword solver in the English-speaking world! Curious? Well, pop on over to Word-Buff and check out my Interview with Tyler Hinman.

In that interview, I ask Tyler to solve this issue's Crossword Diamond. If you want to see Tyler's incredible performance, and maybe even see how you would fare against the Champ...

Click Here to Solve it Online

Ok folks, I think I'm just about done for now. As always, I really hope you've enjoyed this issue of Word-Buff Stuff!, and that you'll take the time to help me make future issues even better by leaving some feedback in the Members-Only Area.

You'll be hearing from me again soon. Until then...


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