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Scrabble, in all its odd glory!

 
 
jespah
 
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 03:51 pm
Do you play?

How do you do? Are you more of a living room player (I am), or do you aspire to play in a tournament? Have you, perhaps, played in a tournament?

I just finished reading Stefan Fatsis's book on Scrabble, called Word Freak - Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble Players.

The author suggests studying word lists in order to improve. See, for example: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/adam.bozon/scrabblelists.htm#2letter

There are also numerous clubs where you can sharpen your skills. See: http://www.wolfberg.net/scrabble/massachusetts, which happens to be a list of all Massachusetts clubs. There are clubs all over the world - Israel, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands (yes, folks who may not speak English still play Scrabble - and in English!), South Africa, etc.

One thing that Mr. Fatsis also notes is that Scrabble, while ostensibly a word game, is also something of a numbers game. That is, not only are you always looking for the best score that you can get out of the tiles in your rack, but you should also be checking for things like the probability that your opponent has drawn a particular letter, or that a particular consonant or vowel remains in the bag.

Oh, and don't forget to ditch the Q ....

*** PS I have recently updated the Wolfberg link, at the request of Mr. Wolfberg.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 04:02 pm
I love Scrabble, and consider myself a decent player. I've been playing for over 30 years and can paste most garden-variety players. I can beat most computers at it, and like to play on-line. Soooooo, when a friend of mine told me about the Toronto Scrabble Club, I thought i'd drop by for a giggle. Yikes. Don't even ask me about being beaten into the ground by a nearly deaf, nearly blind, woman in her 80's, with her ticking clock and constant cackles. I did manage to win against 2 out of 5 players and make back my admission for the evening, but it was scary! and then, when i'm already freaking out, someone asks why i'm there - i explain who brought me - oh D_____, over there, i don't know if you know her. D______! Why, she's one of Canada's best players. Have you played with her? Did you know that we thought she should practice a bit more and go to the North American championships? Yikes, no and no.

those dang word lists. i hate 'em.
0 Replies
 
nextone
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 04:07 pm
Hi jespah,
When Scrabble first came out my family played at least one game every night. Unlike our Monopoly bouts, no one ever cried. (I've always believed in playing Monopoly with a potential spouse. Great character revelations ensue!)

While I still enjoy Scrabble, I've come to prefer Big Boggle, less waiting for your turn, level playing field as each player is looking at the same grid eliminating the "luck of the draw" , and then you have the noisy fun shaking the cubes for a new round. (Do not recommend Boggle on a night flight, unless someone has come up with"nerf" cubes.)
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 04:15 pm
Mr. Fatsis is a monomaniac. I see nothing wrong with monomania--megalomania is quite another kettle of fish.

I'm strictly a kitchen table player and I prefer opponents who will mourn the fact that a graceful and artistic contribution may be low scoring.

I'm passionately fond of words and the notion of memorizing lists of high scoring words and valuable letter combinations seems daft to me. To my mind list memorization is more like numerology than intellectual frolicing.

"Each to his own taste," said my grandmother as she kissed the cow.

If necessary to survive the evening, I'll play cutthroat Scrabble although I don't really enjoy blocking an opponent's access to triple word scores.

In my house, "IQ" is an acceptable word (as opposed to an illegal abbreviation) but I always honor home field rules.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 04:46 pm
I found while I was reading the book that I missed the game (horrors! We don't have a copy!). Used to play a bit with my mother, and was thrilled one day last year when I finally beat her. Gee, I'd only been trying for - gulp! - over 3 decades!

The Boston club is within walking distance of my home. Dare I?
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 04:47 pm
PS Hiya nextone! Welcome to A2K! :-D
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 05:03 pm
I love Scrabble! My grandma was some kind of wiz, and pulled no punches when I played her, starting at about 10. I don't think I ever beat her. My dad and I are both married to Scrabble-haters (well, my husband doesn't like it and my dad's wife [stepmom] is hopeless) so we always play with great relish when we get together. I made a little ceramic trophy a while back, "The Quartzy Cup" (for one of if not the highest-possible-scoring words), and we pass that back and forth fairly regularly -- we're a good enough match that it usually comes down to luck of the draw. Usually at least one 7-letter word each, usually about 300 points each -- I dunno how that ranks. We're definitely not GREAT.

Noddy, I LOVE those little artistic ones and have lost the Quartzy Cup more than once because I couldn't resist. I like doing stuff late in the game where I lay down 3 letters and make 5 words. Very Happy
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 06:37 pm
Jespah--

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. As ehBeth warns, be prepared for the rack&tile pool sharks who will gnash their pearly whites if you give little gifties to the opposition by opening triple possibilities.

Have you ever played duplicate bridge? Blood is stylish. Gashes are IN.

Sozobe--

I'm glad someone else has a weakness for Artistic Scrabble. Civilization is not yet dead.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 30 Mar, 2003 06:51 pm
My mom was a great scrabble player. She handled it like card counting and always went for the multiples of obvious words to keep her score high. We had certain house rules. (She had a blasphemy rule for cuss words)

Are there any scrabble game sites on the web?
0 Replies
 
mac11
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Mar, 2003 08:34 am
My mom was a serious life-long duplicate bridge player, and had just started getting serious about Scrabble when her vision started going fast a couple of years ago. She kept going at both for several months with bright lights and magnifying glasses, but has had to give them up now. I have never had the killer instinct required for her version of either game!

farmerman, I've occasionally played Scrabble at Yahoo Games. (I've tried all their word games at least once.) There may be other versions out there as well.
0 Replies
 
 

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