In "Our Move" in the November 1971 Word Ways, Darryl Francis demonstrated that the only safe opening move for the first player in the game of Ghost (players alternately add letters, and the one that first completes a word of four or more letters is the loser) is the letter L. He allowed only uncapitalized words from Webster's Third Edition to be used; specifically, he excluded all words labeled cap, usu cap, often cap, or sometimes cap. In the article, he invited Word Ways readers to determine the corresponding strategies for other dictionaries.
Word Ways: Vol. 20
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.butler.edu/wordways/vol20/iss4/4