Sulky word wins fourth Scrabble world title for New Zealander

A Scrabble board
A Scrabble board Copyright Flickr/Thebarrowboy
Copyright Flickr/Thebarrowboy
By Alice Tidey
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The final score was 575-452 with "groutier" scoring 68 points.


"Groutier" means cross, sulky or sullen, but for New Zealander Nigel Richards, who laid it down as his final word during the deciding match at the Scrabble World Championships on Sunday, the word spelt victory.

Richards, 51, beat Californian Jesse Day in the final of the English-language World Championships held in London, UK, on Sunday.

The final score was 575-452 for Richards, with "groutier" scoring 68 points.

"I am absolutely thrilled to have won two world championships this year," Richards told the Press Association news agency. He also won the French language championship.

"It was a closely-fought championship and Jesse was a very impressive opponent to play," he added.

Richards also played "zonular" (a little zone, belt, band, or the like) for 100 points and "phenolic" (a synthetic resin), which earned him 84 points.

Meanwhile Day laid down "maledict" (to put a curse on) for 95 points.

Shortly after his defeat, Day wrote on Twitter that it had been the "most memorable game" of his life and said: "drawing the Q down the end did me in"

He added: "The experience of a lifetime, and an immense privilege to play the best player of all time, Nigel Richards. I hope that I showed good games to everyone watching."

Richards had previously won three English-language World Championships in 2007, 2011 and 2013. He has also won the French World Championships in 2015 and 2018.

Prize pool for the tournament was $20,000 (€17,500).

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