Man Speaks No French, Wins French Scrabble Title

Nigel Richards apparently memorized the whole French Scrabble dictionary
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2015 10:15 AM CDT
2008 National SCRABBLE Champion Nigel Richards spells F-O-V-E-A-E (a part of the eye) in the final game of the competition at the Royal Pacific Resort in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, July 29, 2008.   (Joe Kaleita/AP Images/SCRABBLE)
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(Newser) – You know that sense of accomplishment you get when you play all seven tiles in Scrabble? That ranks somewhere below child's play for Nigel Richards, who not only just won a Scrabble world championship, but won the French-language version. Oh, and the New Zealand native speaks no French. He does, however, know a whole lot of French words. The BBC reports the engineer is believed to have memorized the whole French Scrabble dictionary over the course of nine weeks this year. A friend tells the New Zealand Herald Richards' studying actually only began eight weeks ago, and adds, "He won't know what they mean, wouldn't be able to carry out a conversation in French I wouldn't think."

Yesterday's 2-0 win over Schelick Ilagou Rekawe of French-speaking Gabon is far from Richards' first victory: He has five US National titles and three World Scrabble Championship titles under his belt, per the Herald. The former president of the New Zealand Scrabble Association says this was the first time Richards had entered the French-language tourney. (In the realm of seven-letter Scrabble words, "sexting" is now legit.)

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