Skip to content

TWOS Left — Hooks

2010 March 20
by admin

I used a dif­fer­ent approach (a visu­al­iza­tion exer­cise) in another post as an aid to learn­ing these same words (TWOS ALL (101) Cat).  This time around I’m going to focus on hooks.

Download this table: TWOS Hook Grid FILLED.  In this table, the alpha­bet runs ver­ti­cally down the mid­dle of the page and the 101 two-letter Scrabble words are rep­re­sented as exten­sions or hooks to the left and/or right of each let­ter of the alpha­bet. For exam­ple, twelve of the 101 two-letter words can be formed by adding dif­fer­ent let­ters to the left of the let­ter A – AA, BA, FA, HA, KA, LA, MA, NA, PA, TA, YA, ZA.

After study­ing the table linked above for a few min­utes, down this table: TWOS Hook Grid BLANK.  Get a good pen and a timer (and give your­self 10 min­utes). Your objec­tive is to write down the 101 two-letter Scrabble words. Decide whether you are going to form left hooks or right hooks, then start at the top and write down all the two-letter words that can be formed by putting a let­ter either in front or behind the let­ter A. Then do the same with the let­ter B, then C, and so on. By the time you fin­ish with the let­ter Z, you will (hope­fully) will have listed all 101 two-letter words.  Then give your­self 10 more min­utes and do the other side.

You might be tempted to cycle through all 26 let­ters of the alpha­bet look­ing for either front or back hooks for each let­ter of the alpha­bet on your list. For exam­ple, if you were work­ing on the left side of the chart (front hooks), you might start with AA, then BA, CA, DA and so on, ask­ing your­self each time, “Is AA a word?,” “Is BA a word?,” etc.).

If you look at left side of the com­pleted chart, how­ever, you’ll notice that more than half (51 to be exact) of the two-letter words end in a vowel, so more than half of the two-letter words are formed by adding a let­ter to one of the five vow­els on the list. 12 words can be formed by adding let­ters to A; 12 words can also be formed by adding let­ters to E, I, and O. 3 words can be formed by adding let­ters to U. Remembering the num­ber sequence 12 – 12-12 – 12-3 (12 “A” words, 12 “E” words, 12 “I” words, 12 “O” words and 3 “U” words), there­fore, pro­vides some use­ful structure.

Examining the left side of the chart also reveals that there are six con­so­nants that do not take any front exten­sions: C, J, K, Q, V, and Z. These six let­ters can remem­bered by recall­ing a sim­ple scene. Imagine an aca­d­e­mic admis­sion offi­cer at a four-year col­lege in charge of admit­ting trans­fer stu­dents from a local junior col­lege (or juco). She is worn out by the process and decides to sim­plify things. She begins call­ing up appli­cants and ask­ing them one sim­ple ques­tion. If they get the ques­tion right, she admits them. The ques­tion is, “What is Kava?” She is, of course, fired as soon as her col­leagues dis­cover the prac­tice, but she sub­se­quently becomes famous for what becomes known as her “Juco Kava Quiz.” Remembering the phrase “Juco Kava Quiz” gives you the con­so­nants that do not take front hooks or exten­sions to form any two-letter words: C, J, K, Q, V, and Z. It is also use­ful to remem­ber that B and G only take one front exten­sion – A in both cases (to form AB and AG, respec­tively). This can be remem­bered by adding the word “big” to “juco kava quiz,” as in “big juco kava quiz.”

It is impor­tant to remem­ber that there are three two-letter words that do not have any vow­els: sh, hm, and mm. These words are impor­tant because they rep­re­sent “sur­prise” entries in the exten­sion lists for h and m, respec­tively. Once you have sep­a­rated out the five vow­els (remem­ber, 12 – 12-12 – 12-3), elim­i­nated the six con­so­nants that do not take any front hooks (C, J, K, V, Q, Z), and pen­ciled in the three “sur­prise” exten­sions for the three words with no vow­els, then all you need to do is cycle through the five vow­els (a, e, i, o, and u) for the remain­ing 15 con­so­nants. Remembering that both N and S take all five vow­els (and noth­ing else) fur­ther sim­pli­fies this process.

The same approach can be taken for the right side of the chart (the right hooks). The 12 – 12-12 – 12-3 pat­tern for left hooks doesn’t hold for right hooks, but 50 of the 101 two-letter words are still con­cen­trated on the vow­els – A has 16, E has 10, I has 5, O has 13 and U has 6.  Only the C and V have  no right hooks (C and V have no front hooks either – there are no tw0-letter words with C or V).

Finally, when you’re ready, down­load this file: TWOS Hook Grid FULL.  Give your­self 15 min­utes to do both the front and back hooks.  When you’re done, give your­self 1 point for every word you got cor­rect and sub­tract 2 points for every let­ter com­bi­na­tion that isn’t a word – repeat until you can get a score of at least 190.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS