Tough Zebras, Sexy Coquettes and Frozen Judges

I have a new obsession.

It’s pangrams, sentences that include every letter of the alphabet. You can use letters twice (you pretty much have to), but you can’t include proper names, foreign words or abbreviations. The goal is for them to make sense (relatively speaking) and to have as few letters as possible.

The most famous of these is “the quick brown fox jumps over a lazy dog.”

I think my lowest count is 39 letters. I have a friend who claims her 32-word sentences are clear and logical, but they have no verbs, so I’ve disqualified them. From what, I’m not sure, but she’s going to have to do better.

Here’s one of my early (that would be yesterday) pangrams:

“Valued oxen graze quietly before heckling jumpy cows.” (45 letters)

Paints a picture, right? There’s a story there. I’m just not sure I’m the one to tell it.

Here’s one we all can relate to:

“Sexy coquettes dazzle big jocks when frumps arrive.” (43  letters)

The 39-letter pangram is a little disturbing, so I’m not going to include it. In fact, I’d prefer to forget it, so it may be burned before you have a chance to read this post. I have another one, but it’s a stretch to say it makes sense:

“Tough zebras vow to just mix funky cupid liquor.”

Here’s a headline you have to hope you never see:

“Quickly Hide Frozen Judge Mix Up, Beasts Vow.”

I’ve learned something with this little mind game. The obvious — and perhaps smartest — thing to do is to choose the words with q, x and z first, then maybe w and y. I typically start a sentence with the more challenging words, then write down the letters I’m missing. Sometimes filling in the blank is a clear choice, such as when I needed a word (or words) with m, p, r, and t in it.

I promptly figured that one out.

I seem to often get stuck with the letters c, g, k, and j. Putting the c and the k together seems obvious enough, but what do I do with the g and j? As seen above, “jock” is one answer, but there aren’t a sloughful of others.

(Sloughful — that’s a good word for this game, and I swear I’ve heard it many times before. But when I looked it up, I couldn’t find it. If any of you are familiar with it, I’d love to hear from you.)

There is a serious side to this fun. Word games are valuable exercise for our brain, and we all know brain health is important. So keep your mind active, and maybe give this addictive game a try.

Start with “wizards” or “zebras.”

Images courtesy of Pixabay, except for Young Woman — © micro – Fotolia


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