Kelso hosts players who are rarely lost for words

KELSO , UNITED KINGDOM - 01 Oct 2011: 'Inaugural Kelso Scrabble Tournament'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance )
KELSO , UNITED KINGDOM - 01 Oct 2011: 'Inaugural Kelso Scrabble Tournament'''(Photo by Rob Gray / Freelance )

TWENTy-FOUR players spent their Saturday afternoon in Kelso’s Tait Hall, racking their brains for obscure words in the hope of winning the town’s inaugural Scrabble tournament, writes Mark Entwistle.

The players, who hailed from both sides of the border, were split into three divisions based on current ratings, thereby allowing everyone to play the other competitors in their respective group.

Organisers Jim Wilkie and his partner, Carol Ann McCann, from Glenrothes, said they were delighted with the assistance from Scottish Borders Council in securing the Tait Hall as a venue.

The tournament and Division A winner was Simon Gillam, from Edinburgh, with Trish Matthews, from Middlesbrough, lifting the Division B title, and Lena Glass, again from Edinburgh, triumphing in Division C. Lena was the only player to go through the tournament undefeated.

Prizes were also awarded for the highest-scoring game of the day which was won by Edinburgh’s Melanie Beaumont with 509, and the highest-scoring word of the day which went to Yvonne Holland, of Ayr, with ‘ferments’ notching 105.

Scrabble etiquette decrees that no player can win more than one prize so Alan Sinclair, another Edinburgh player who finished second in Division A and scored 158 for ‘impending’, was not considered.

If any Southern readers are interested in Scrabble or would like to in the 2012 Kelso tournament, Jim can be contacted by post at 3 Myers Drive, Glenrothes KY7 4RS; phone on 01592 770127 (mobile 07803 333220); or by email at

Finally, some interesting words played included:

ANTBEAR – the great anteater; COLOCATE – to locate housing units together; CREWE – a pot; DOUC – an Asian monkey; DZHO – a cross between a yak and a cow; ENTERON – the alimentary canal; EXEEM – to set free; GOLPE – a purple round object; GREISEN – a metamorphic rock; GRISTERS – machines which grind grain; GUGA – a young gannet; OJIME – a bead on a cord which fastens a Japanese container; POINTE – the ballet position in which the dancer stands on tiptoe; RELLIES – (Australian slang) relatives; SYNDETIC – in grammar, connecting to clauses with a conjunction; URBANITE – a city dweller; ZILL – a finger cymbal.