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Week thirty-four: CABOC (probability 11387), by David Sutton

CABOC is a Scots word for a double cream cheese rolled in oatmeal. It has variants KEBBOCK or KEBBUCK, which come pretty much at the bottom of the probability list, but you never know...

TUROPHILES, or cheese-lovers, have a useful enthusiasm as far as Scrabble goes, as there are quite a number of words for kinds of cheese that are much higher probability than KEBBOCK. Care must be exercised though: I still remember with some bitterness having EDAM* challenged off in one of my early games. You can have CHEDDAR, GRUYERE, MUNSTER or MUENSTER, even, for God's sake, WENSLEYDALE, so why does EDAM* stubbornly keep its capital? Ah well...

The vocabulary of cheese is also very cosmopolitan. Italian gives us, among others, ASIAGO, FONTINA, PARMESAN, PECORINO, RICOTTA, ROMANO and TALEGGIO. French gives us BOURSIN, CANTAL, CHEVRET, GRUYERE and, of course, FROMAGE. From Danish comes HAVARTI and MYCELLA. Norwegian contributes GJETOST, MYSOST and JARLSBERG. Modern Greek gives us HALOUMI (or HALLOUMI) and FETA (or FETTA). German gets in the act with SAPSAGO and SMEARCASE (or SMIERCASE). Even Hindi is not to be left out, with PANEER. But I still say you can't beat a good bit of CHEDDAR, which has the added distinction of being the only cheese with its own dedicated adjective: CHEDDARY.

   













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