Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Living room Scrabble

I haven't played non timed livingroom Scrabble since July might have been July 1, 2007, if I recollect correctly. I was visiting my friends in D.C., a husband and wife duo which had been cleaning my clock at Scrabble for nearly ten years. They were so nuts about Scrabble that they brought the game with them to the delivery room when their daughter was born. They were very good, but after a year or so of playing tournament Scrabble, I was better. And that day in July, I won both games and pretty handily, they promptly vowed never to play me in Scrabble again. Truth be told, although I enjoyed beating them, without the fast paced action induced by the clock, I was a little bored. So I gave up on livingroom Scrabble too and just played with my fellow New York wordfreaks. But this week I'm out visiting my friends in Utah and one of them has just started to play the game with her friends. On the drive back from the airport she told me an all too familiar tale about losing all the time and needing a Scrabble tutor. So tonight we went over to her friends house, after going over some simple Scrabble strategies and played with her neighbors. They have some quirky rules, like one person keeps score (and hell, as long as that person ain't me, I was cool with it), you get to look up words before you play them AND once the blank is played, you can replace it with the actual letter, if you have it, as long as you use it on your next play. And of course, no clock. I got the sense that my friend usually loses during these games, so I went in with the express purpose of winning and winning by a lot...these house rules definitely helped. I pretty much reused those blanks on every other turn to bingo and I could look up the words I wasn't sure about to boot! Throated, roached, beadily - all good! All bingos! I also got to showoff my ever growing impressive anagramming skills. It was super, I think I've infected a whole community in Utah with my Scrabble obsession. Throated! That was an awesome play. I also had the oppurtunity to triple triple with anles?? Through a d, but just couldn't come up with anything and I felt like a jerk taking twenty minutes trying to find it when I had a million sevens. It was annoying though. I could have also regular tripled with some eight ending in an e with those same letters, but nothing. I ended up playing antlers/ami for 63. Bah.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


There's a famous opening sequence in a game (I think) between Brian Cappalletto and some other dude. One of them played entasis and the other played realise right on top for a perfect bingo bango.
Well, my Adam, had a similar play. His opponent played
boniest and he played back with

And if you're wondering why I'm writing about other people's Scrabble games, it's because I hate Scrabble again. Stupid losing challenges.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Whew. My rating will go down, but I won seven and lost seven, which is waaay better than losing more than I win. Crushed all of my opponents on the last day. Yet another chapter in the "Dawn still in bed stories," evidently the hotel made the director end the tournament earlier, so the day three was started at 9 instead of 9:30, as the nice lady informed me when she called me in my hotel room at 9:10. My opponent was really sweet and didn't start my clock...unfortunately, I went on to tear him brutalized. I bingoed four times with outraise, outpens, salines, and something else I don't remember now...maybe hurdler. I also bingoed multiple times in each of my next two games. I don't hate Scrabble anymore, but I'm not talking to it for a while.

Oh, and I just can't figure out why everyone laughed at my Scrabble board all weekend...just because the face is cracked, the plastic side is broken and it doesn't spin.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Find the bingo!


Not to be a total ingrate...but man double blanks are hard.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Awash in a sea of red

They make you put stickers next to your name after each game. Green is a win, red is a loss, yellow is a tie.
My name looks like someone stuck a sticker knife into it and red stickers are pouring out. Which is pretty much what it feels like, so I guess it's apt. My rating is going to plummet. Which is fine, my next tournament I will be put in the children's division and crush them. Ow. My head. I mean pride. Things we learned the hard way? People can play through the TWS both horizontally and vertically. Avast is a word. If you play a word because only one letter can hook on to it, your opponent has that letter.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Scrabble lesson the first


For the second time, SECOND, ladies and gentlemen, yours truly, Dawn Summers had been in bed while her Scrabble tournament clock was running. I am a moron.
In my defense, when I came back to my room and blog my sad 1-2 post, I thought the first day of the DC tournament was over.
As I said, my first game was against a woman who I thought I could beat easily because I am ranked eighth and she is ranked 21st in the field. I was wrong, she beat me and she beat me handily. I don't even think she bingoed, she just hammered me with an endless stream of nonstop 30-50 point plays. I, on the other hand, kept looking for "just one or two" more letters to get my bingo with my blank a n e l d. So promising...but no...I kept getting double as double is vees, by the time I did get a decent play, lo and behlod there were no spots. I ended up playing a phony (at least I think it is) climated with the blank as an m. Luckily she was too slow in challenging, so it stayed on.
I lost a challenge when I objected to joles. It's good.
My next game, I won. I played another phony (tilders) because I knew if I didn't just dump it, I'd spend forever trying to draw a tile that goes with lister. She was also too slow to challenge, so it stayed on. I then drew crap and had to exchange first five letters (oeeee) leaving me with es and then exchange six letters uuooee. But I ended up getting a play with q on Dl and r on dw (queer), i pretty much outplayed her from there.
My third (and not so much last) game was against the top seeded guy. The old woman from my first game had just beaten him and he seemed a little out of it. But he was ranked first so I didn't take anything for granted. He played just awfully. He left an e open on the Triple word line and I played through it with zeta (z on double letter and a on TWS). was winning right up until I wasn't. Toward the end of the game I was drawing awful. I should have changed, but I was ahead and wanted to keep it that way. Instead I started opening up profitable lines for twelve points and he punished me, And how. I lost by thirty.
Disgusted, I went back to my room. Took my medicines, searched for local Maryland crabhouses, blogged a little and climbed into bed.
I was merrily enjoying Countdown with Keith Olbermann when my phone rang. I thought it might be the folks I drove down with calling about dinner, so I almost didn't answer. But what the heck, I'd just say I was out because I was going to sleep.
"Is this Don?"
"Yes...we wanted you to know that there is another round of play going on."
"What? Now?"
"Yes, your clock has been started."
"Ok, I'll be right down."
I dashed downstairs (stopping to comb my hair, lest we have another "bad photo incident). By the time I got in my seat, I had 14:27 on my clock. It had been running more ten minutes. She still had her full 25:00. We drew to see who'd go first. It was me. She started my clock again I had a rack full of junk junida. I played jun. And from there I just raced. I looked at my rack and played the longest words I could fine, to speed through. Vetted. Petite. It was the four-five letter game that I should really be playing all the time. I even drew a blank and managed to find the bingo almost immediately ?niuadl (I know you guys like to play along at home) I had the lead the whole game until I challenged magi/indoles with the i as a blank. It was good. Pout. She drew seven tiles. Three were left. She kept trying to play FEH under indoles, but would realize at the last minute that Le was no good. I guess she could see my challenge finger getting ready. (By the way, at this point she was down to THREE Minutes on her clock and I HAD EIGHT AND A HALF!!! I think my insane speed Scrabble rattled her.)
She ended up playing FIN for 33 points and a twelve point lead. I then played zas for 32. She then hit me with KI going two ways for 23. I had orods left on my rack. I needed 24 points. I looked around and saw an outplay for 17 points. I was sad until I remembered her H!! That's another eight points, plus the other four tiles, worth at least another 8! Boom, baby! I quickly played doors hooking it to week and won.
I WON the game that started with me in bed.
I don't recommend that, but I will start playing more fives and sixes rather than fishing for bingos. If I get rid of tiles, the bingos will come.
And now, I am going to sleep. For realz.

I hate Scrabble

Yes, I am 1-3. I got beat by an old lady who played sooo fast I got flustered and almost went over my clock. ARRGGGHHH.
Oh, and in the not so random category, you should not be able to delay a game so you can go to the bathroom, come back and delay the game AGAIN to get some water.
I'm going to bed. Lessons tomorrow.

Politics and Scrabble!

If you anagram Republican, you get Cure B Palin! Palin '12! (But mostly because I'm a liberal Democrat who believes that she'd be the easiest person to crush in the 2012 general.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

My word against yours

I played in the final match for second place and lost. I didn't challenge the word vyse because the game was so close and I just didn't think she play a phony at such a point in the, I challenged wyn once and it was good. Blech. But I did beat two women that I rarely beat, so that's something. Oh, one of the women I played with told me a funny story. She said that she always likes to know what words mean before she plays them, so during a match one time she asked her opponent what a word meant and he said "what does it mean? 42 points."
I laughed. I'm the same way. I have no idea what anything means, just if it's good or not...and sometimes I don't even know that. Waaa.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Amazing Play

I'm playing Scrabble with a dude I hate. So, naturally, I want to win. He draws a B, I draw an L, he goes first.
I'm waiting for him to put down tiles and tell me how many he's trading in...instead, he just sits there. As in pass. Now, the last time he did this to me, I played something and he bingoed through my i down to the triple with painting.
Now, my rack looks like this qnolidu. Not awesome. I contemplate exchanging my tiles, screw him and his pass completely, but then I figure it's better to get my automatic double word score for my q. But I don't want to make this too easy for him so I play "quod" If he can use the u or the o for his bingo, so be it. I draw four new letters: Now my rack looks like this: bnolitg. I immediately see my bingo, but the board is not gerund play friendly. I cry. He's going to bingo and I'll have no place to put mine. No fair.
INSTEAD, he plays off a P and an R on top of the o making pro for 11 points and giving me exactly the place I need for my gerund!! YAY!!
I instantly play bolting (making qi, un and prog) and watch him die a little inside.
I love this game.