Monday, January 5, 2009

Today's Word: quincunx

quincunx: An arrangement of five objects with one in the center and one at each corner — like the 5 face on a die. It also a) happens to be the last word on p. 1177 of my dictionary, so I see it in that upper-right corner an ungodly number of times when I'm flipping through the dictionary; and b) is a great Scrabble play if you have one of the letters open: the letter tiles are worth 26 points, plus whatever bonus tiles you can grab, plus 50 points for using all seven of your tiles.

There also appears to be a band called The Quincunx. Visit their site to see a few other uses of this word. Quincunx also has botanical uses to describe a specific arrangement of five flower petals.

"The Beatles surrounded Yoko Ono, creating a quincunx with the doomed interloper at the center. Three of them began cudgeling her with ham-sized halibuts while the fourth wrote a song about it."