Welcome to the 3rd issue of Word-Buff Stuff!, an eZine providing word gamers and logophiles with a regular injection of puzzles, tips, and chit-chat from the world of words and word games.
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If this newsletter isn't displaying properly you can access it as a normal Web page at http://www.word-buff.com/WordBuffStuff
If you're a first timer, or if it's been a while and you'd like some reminding, you'll need to click the following link to...
as well as a brief rundown about this newsletter and what you get access to as a subscriber.
If you're a regular, let's get straight to the action...
Word Buff's Corner
The thing that prompted me to put out a newsletter this month was an upcoming event that has got to rate as one of the most significant on any word-buff's calendar. I'm talking about Scripps National Spelling Bee. Scripps what?
Ok, I'll try to keep this brief, but it won't be easy...
Every year, hundreds of schools across America, along with a growing international contingent, begin the long arduous process of whittling down an initial pool of more than 10 million students to just one. That remaining student will be crowned Scripps National Spelling Bee Champion — or in other words, America's best speller.
The reason I'm telling you this now, is that the 2010 National Bee is about to reach its crescendo. The 10+ million students who took part in their initial School bee late last year, have been reduced, through a long series of regional knock-out rounds, to just 273! These students are about to converge on Washington where the finals will be held, as they have been since 1925, when the competition began.
The traditional migration of Spelling Bee whiz kids to Washington is known as Bee Week, and I, for one, don't want to miss it! The students arrive in Washington on Monday, May 31, and the competition begins on Wednesday, June 2. Wednesday and Thursday will see the students compete in three preliminary rounds — that means that all spellers take part. The best 50 or so will then be selected to take part in the semi-finals on Friday morning, followed by the grand finals on Friday evening.
It's a huge and thrilling event — all the more so if you're the type to revel in the endless stream of obscure and impossible-to-spell words the pronouncer inevitably fires at these poor kids ;-)
What sort of words do you have to spell to be America's number one speller? Well, just keep Friday evening of June 4 free. Pull up a S-G-A-B-E-L-L-O, grab a slice of G-J-E-T-O-S-T and a bowl of R-I-J-S-T-T-A-F-E-L, and find out!
That's right. You can watch the Bee Week action from the comfort of your own favorite chair. I've put the full television program, along with some background and video snippets here.
P.S. If you don't have access to these American shows (or even if you do!), keep an eye on What's New? at Word-Buff, where I'll be posting some highlights on my site blog...
From the Editor's Couch
Let me answer your most likely question first...
Where have the puzzles gone?
Well, I've changed things around a bit. From now on, the puzzles that go with each newsletter will be published in your Members-Only Area, which I'll link you to with each issue. By putting them on a normal web page, I've been able to make the word puzzles more interactive (just click a puzzle to see its solution) and printable (click to print a puzzle in a nicely formatted PDF).
This change also prevents the newsletter from getting too cluttered, and solves the problem some readers were having with the puzzle images not displaying properly, or at all, in their email.
So the answer is...
Here they are! In the Members-Only Area
Don't forget, you'll need your password to get to them.
And speaking of the Members-Only Area, I've finally gotten around to doing something I've been meaning to do for you for ages. I've put the most important freebies, scattered throughout the 200+ pages of Word-Buff, in one handy place, with a quick description of each resource. So if you just want to play around with some great, free stuff, you can start here.
Soon I'll be adding some freebies of a different kind there too. Some interesting articles about words and word games that you won't find anywhere else on the website — I'm writing them specifically for subscribers! Stay tuned...
Another significant improvement I've made at Word-Buff lately is sprucing up the home page a tad. I've decided to add a different feature video to the home page each month. If you're a regular visitor, you may have seen some of the videos before, but with so many pages now, a lot of the fun goodies are tucked away and only seen by a handful of visitors. So hopefully this will make the entry page a bit more lively.
Well, as always I could go on and on about things I'm adding or changing around here, but if I keep going for much longer I'll never get this newsletter out! So, until Issue #4, it's...
About Word-Buff Stuff!
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 you with a regular fix of interesting words, fun puzzles, tips and chit-chat from the world of 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...
Make sure you type it in lower-case and include the hyphen! 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 get with each issue. Just click the links to cut to the chase...
- Word Puzzles
These are all located in the Members-Only Area, where you can solve the puzzles online and/or print them in a nicely formatted document...
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. I'll present you with a Scrabble position and, using the board and rack provided, your job is to find the highest-scoring play possible.
Wordsearch Spelling Bee — A challenging wordsearch puzzle, made up of tough spelling-bee words, 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
- Exciting events coming up on the word games calendar
Or... anything else that tickles my fancy on the day, really ;-)
- From the Editor's Couch
This is a kind of 'behind-the-scenes' chat, where I give you a quick update about my Word-Buff website, this newsletter, and anything else I think you might like to know about my plans for this obsessive little hobby of mine.
If you have any problems or suggestions at all, please contact me directly. I'll get onto it as soon as I receive your email!
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