Thursday, July 10, 2003

never letter perfect

Wednesday night, at least when I can manage it, is Scrabble night. I have been playing in the Madison Scrabble Club (B Level) since the beginning of the year. Although my winning percentage is just over 60%, I have never managed to win all my games in the same night. My friend Corrie, who was the one who got my started on Scrabble, has done this multiple times.

Tonight, I started off winning my first three games, defeating my nemeses Corrie and Bert and making the bingos CHEETAHS, CLINGERS, SYRINGE, SOBERED, and SNAILED along the way. CLINGERS (93 points) even won the prize that round for the highest play with an "I" by anyone in the club--the prize letter rotates from round to round, week to week. Finally, I thought, I could not be denied a 4-0 evening. But, then, in the final game, my opponent Barb drew both blanks in her first two turns and used them to make DUMBEST and BRIEFEST, and the rout was on. She also made AERIEST before it was over, and challenged off my late desperation play of UNDRIES (not legal) after blocking the S on the board that I could have used to play SUNDRIES (legal). Ugh!

Scrabble terminological note: A bingo is when you use all seven of your tiles in a single play, which earns you a 50 point bonus in addition to whatever you score on the board for the turn. The best A level players in the club average almost exactly two bingoes a game. Corrie is the best bingo-er among the B level players, averaging about one bingo per game. I average about one bingo every two games, so five in my first three games is unusually good for me.

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