492: Scrabble

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A veteran Scrabble player will spot the "OSTRICH" option.
Title text: A veteran Scrabble player will spot the "OSTRICH" option.


This comic depicts a game of Scrabble, a popular board game where the goal is to form words with the letters in your hand. The joke here is that the obvious option here is the word "clitoris," which is an inappropriate word for a family Scrabble game, but gives a 50-point bonus for using all seven tiles. The title text points out that the letters in the hand can also form the word "OSTRICH," which is family friendly, but much lower scoring and not as obvious.

As the H appears to be on the center star square, the narrator will score 63 points if he plays "CLITORIS" (however he uses the two Is, as three of the tiles will fall on double letter scores), and 13 points if he plays "OSTRICH." The highest-scoring play is to hook the C and play "HIC" and "LICTORS," scoring 71 points.


[A first-person view of a family Scrabble game at a table. The other players are a juvenile Cueball to the left, Hairbun across from you, and Ponytail to the right. The two letters on the board are 'HI', with the 'H' on the center star, and the letters in your hand are 'CLTORIS.']
[Caption below the panel]: This always happens to me in family Scrabble games.


  • A player has an approximately 1-in-200000 chance of drawing "CLTORIS" as the starting hand, or a 1 in a billion chance for drawing it in that exact order.

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Does anyone know the points for "Ostrich", "Historic", and "Coistril"? I know the game but I don't have it at home.--Dgbrt (talk) 18:25, 24 June 2013 (UTC)

Not sure what double word type modifiers they have but here are the base scores:
clitoris 10 + 50
coistril 10
ostrich  12
historic 13
Choosing historic would be the best family friendly option, but is a far less desirable choice. 05:43, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
The only placement for historic would get it onto the triple word score with one doubled letter, making 42. Still nowhere near coistril or clitoris, though (which can both get the 50 point bonus and the double letter score for the C). 21:25, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Please do a separate post and do not destroy the former discussions.--Dgbrt (talk) 22:49, 5 September 2013 (UTC)

Update by ‎

clitoris 60
coistril 60
ostrich  12
historic 42
‎ (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
The best option would be lictors and hic, scoring 71 points. 14:48, 12 May 2014 (UTC)
Any prove? --Dgbrt (talk) 23:19, 12 May 2014 (UTC)

Randall uses the word "Ostrich" as an alternate word, but "Historic" or "Coistril" would gain more points. -- Matchup (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Top 17 Options taking into account what of the board opens up.

[Hic/Lictors 71points], [Lictors/Chi, 69 points], [Hit/Lictors, 69 points], [His/Lictors, 69 points],
[Lictors/Sh, 69 points], [Lictors/Li, 69points], [Trochils, 64 points], [Clitoris, 63 points]x2,
[Coistril, 63]x2, [Historic, 42], [Col/Oh/Li, 17 points], [Hic/Col, 15 points], [Hit/Lotic, 21 points],
[Chi/Col, 14 points], [Li, 3 points]

Top 14 Scoring words

[Lictors, 64-69]x6, [Trochils, 64], [Clitoris, 63]x2, [Coistril, 63]x2, [Historic, 42], [Lotic,21],
[Lictor,18-20]x3, [Colts,19], [Cots,18]x2, [Cost,18]x2, [Colt,18], [Cols,18], [Cist,18], [Scot,18]

Ostrich is a bad plan either way.

--- How can you get "historic" from the tiles shown? The player doesn't have an "h" and has only one "i." Jelsemium (talk) Jelsemium

Because 'Historic' starts with 'Hi', which has already been played. He can place 'storic' on the end of the existing 'Hi'. -Graptor 04:19, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

How on earth can "clitoris" ever be an inappropriate word? That is so sexist! -- The Cat Lady (talk) 15:51, 15 August 2021 (UTC)

Can't believe nobody mentioned the smaller size of lefthand Cueball. Neither the granny (presumably) nor the other grown woman (Mother? Older sister?) there might be too bothered personally (depends on the individuals concerned), but with an adolescent child (a boy in particular) it would greatly add to the issues in most family circumstances. Added to the transcript, accordingly. 19:02, 4 February 2022 (UTC)