Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

Anagram blues

with 3 comments

I am addicted to anagrams. It began, I think when I was nine years old. We were too poor to afford a TV. I know, no one was THAT poor, but my mother fretted over the ill effect TV might have on her offspring’s tender psyches and she used poverty as an excuse. Who were we to argue? She was in charge.

So all those long, brutally cold winter nights in Cobleskill, New York, we had to entertain ourselves. Yes, we all read ferociously, but occasionally we opted to spend time together, often keeping each other warm in Mom’s big bed and her favourite pastime was anagrams. She’d pick a word from a book and the three of us older children had to find as many words as we could using only those letters. My brother and I were quite good at it, being the oldest and most aggressive. My sister Monica sanely stepped away from the competition and retreated to the safety of books where the competition was between the characters and not with her.

Then Mom discovered Scrabble and the two of us became hooked, playing until the sun came up some Saturday nights, so we all missed church on Sunday. I would read the dictionary trying to learn as many new words as possible, along with any alternate spellings (which came in handy when I moved to New Zealand.) I dreamt of perfect games with double triples using the Z or Q.

There were a few years in university when I don’t think I played at all, but once the children came I found other mothers to play with and eventually Mom moved to Rochester, New York where I was living and we were back at it. All-nighters. Occasionally my brother would come up from New York and we’d play threesomes, but generally it was Mom and me – only I had to spot her 50 points to make the game fair by then. I should have given her 100, but I preferred to win most of the time. She didn’t seem to mind.

Then I moved to NZ and didn’t know anyone to play with for a long time. I moved on. No more dreams of getting ‘quizzes’ on a triple with the Q or Z on a double letter square. No more flicking tiles in my sleep. I was over it. I wrote stories, novels even. Amazing what else one could do with words when one wasn’t playing with them.

But it was not to last. Along came the Internet. On line Scrabble. Scrabulous. Lexulous. Scramble. Word Challenge. I could go on. I am so ashamed. I admit it. I am an anagram addict. I don’t suppose there is a support group out there???


iron, nice, vice, aver, vein, vane, vine, icon, cone, core, cove, cover, over, roan, rain, crone, rove, rave, raven, vier, rice, rein, ore, can, via, nor, ire, ace, ave, are, naive, nave, nova, ani, ice, con, era, once… someone stop me, please!


Written by Titirangi Storyteller

04/01/2009 at 2:09 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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3 Responses

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  1. Funnily enough, through the TR list run by he-who-shall-not-be-mentioned I made contact with a fellow South African who was wildly addicted to online Scabble. So much so that it affected his work and productivity.

    I never actually met him, he became a bit stalkerish to be honest. But – she said kindly – I don’t think that’s because of the Scrabble.

    We also went through a mad Scrabble phase when I was married for a while, it was great, but my ex was annoying good at coming up with those short words that somehow nail all the big letters on triple word scores!




    04/01/2009 at 9:02 am

  2. Yeah, I love getting the X in a little corner triple letter score… it’s a minimum 50 points just for one letter…

    His name wasn’t Gordon, was it? He was from SA. But I don’t know that he was a Scrabble player… I never met him, either :-}



    04/01/2009 at 11:34 am

  3. I hear you, V, oh I hear you. They have bitten me as well. In the blog portal where I formerly had my blog there was this guy who had a blog where he posted a “V.I.P. anagram” every day, and I was addicted to that. I didn’t know what to do with myself when he suddenly stopped and even erased his blog. Wish I had the energy to start one myself.
    My name, by the way, makes this anagram: “breaching ill rule”. I can live with that 🙂

    A happy New Year to you, Uli



    05/01/2009 at 10:22 am

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