Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I felt really ready for this tournament. Of course, I felt really ready for Washington too. And just like that tournament, I went down in flames to my first opponent. She was all smiles before the game and real friendly-like, but the minute the game started she was super aggressive McGrinch Scrooge. At one point, after I played "rallies" using the blank as an ess, announced my score and what the blank was, I hit her clock. She hit my clock and snapped "you have to write it down on the paper first." A rule I have NEVER heard before. But whatevs. I'm all No drama Obama, so I let it go. She then bingoed twice in three turns and well, that was that. She tried to triple triple on me with needliest, but as we used to say back in the day I challenged that shit off the board. I lost by a huge spread. My next game was against an unrated player, who was playing in her first tournament. I was still reeling from my loss, so I was looking forward to an easy game. No such luck. She was very good. I had a million bingoes. A MILLION, but every time I'd open up a place for them, she'd close it. I finally managed to bingo with visitors, but it was waaay late in the game and no real comeback was possible. She bingoed with voicers, I wanted to challenge, but after getting burned with challenging wanters yesterday, I let it go. Ugh. I'm afraid to look even now. She also tried to play "pricings," which I let her spend a lot of time counting up the points for, only to insta challenge it since I know all the ing endings that takes esses (like endings) and pricing aint one of 'em.
I, sad to say, took out ALL my frustrations from the first two games on my Game three opponent, a very nice older gentlemen. It helped that the tiles were finally cooperating. I bingoed in my first turn with stamens, using the blank as an e. Then I go every powertile imagineable AND he was opening up every hot spot imagineable. I used my x on a TLS going to ways, Got the Z under the Q on the TWS (Zin/qi) Got the J on the TWS going two ways. It was gross. But I needed that win and I needed it to be big. My spread is still negative, but it's a manageable negative. Hopefully, we won't lose anymore games.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pay It Forward

Well now that the New England Patriots are done for the season, for ridiculous craptacular technical tiebreaking stupid rule reasons, I now find myself bitter AND with lots of free time! This is BAD news for my opponents in next week's tourney! I plan to take my hatred of the AFC East (except for the Bills, cause awwww, they're the Bills) on each and every person unfortunate enough to sit across me at a Scrabble board! I will break the thousand mark. I will have a winning record. I will cash! For Belichick!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Kicking ass, taking names

One of my all-time favorite shows is Buffy the Vampire Slayer...actually, it's probably The all-time favorite. My blogonym comes from a character in the show. Well, there's an episode where one of the bad guys shoots Buffy and as she and her friends hunt him down, she says "I find getting shot very motivating." Losing all my games last week, was very much like that. I've been studying up a storm ever since and even though my friend Ugarles managed to crush me in a game of Wordscraper yesterday, (I hate him and his little whap, too!) I've been feeling a greater confidence in my game.
So much so that when Woody, one of the expert players at the club, showed up early, I asked him if he wanted to play. I've only played Woody once, maybe a year ago, and it was such a disasterous blowout that about six rounds in we simply switched to him playing his rack and telling me what he'd do if he had my rack. This time was different. I started off poorly, playing Tom instead of Mot because I doubted my grasp of the threes. This led him to play boxy/tomb I then drew a rack of einortu, but there was nowhere to put my bingo, so I got rid of the crap letters playing off my new favorite word: roue (also euro) and then picked up aniy, he played Taj hanging off the triple line, so I bingoed with inanity on the triple line hooking an I off raj. He challenged it off because raji was no good. Waa. I played Tinny, he bingoed on the triple line with earners. It was not looking good for our hero. But I picked up another good rack, and double double bingoed with toadies to get back in the game. He opened up another triple line and I played zoea for a crapload of points and to tie the game. I bingoed again with something simple and took my first real lead, he mounted a brief comeback, but I was able to play qat with the q on the TLS for thirty-odd points. It was a nail biter till the end, but I managed to go out and with the tiles on his rack I won by twelve!
I couldn't believe it! I was in such shock I barely registered that I'd be playing my nemesis Adam in the first real game of the tournament. He had recently discovered my blog and swore to punish for everything bad I wrote about him. "I think the word was dork" he say after playing some disgustingly high scoring word like "quare" with the q on the TLS going two ways and the e on the DWS. SICK! I had opened with Hex, and then bingoed with "forties" making sox and ewe as well, he exchanged and instead of exchanging my double ui, I played them off, setting up his quare move. Boo. He went back and forth, he pulled head toward the end, but I managed to go out first and get the tiles on his rack. He did the math and in the end...we tied! Afterwards Joel showed me two plays that would have scored huge (glidepath for a TWS or icily, neither of which I saw. So he yelled at me.) I played Nancy next. We always manage to create a horrid blocked board early on, so I was making very low scoring single digit plays, using one or two letters. I played an a and e off a v, for ave, setting up Nancy to bingo with retinal. Boo. It opened up the board though and I managed to bingo a few turns later with denials. It was a close game, and then I drew esquire! She didn't block my one spot for it, so I pulled ahead by what I thought was a comfortable 60 points, right up until she scored 53 with jinn, with the j on a DLS and the blank on the triple word. So gross. We went back and forth again, but I pulled a lucky ess and was able to play hours for a bunch of points with no more tiles to draw. Whew.
I have nothing to say about my third game. I played like crap (case in point, I had aasnier and knew that was a stem, so I played off an a and hoped for the best, I drew another ess. So I had aeinrss. I played raisens. Joel was standing over my shoulder and when my opponent instachallenged, he said "no good" and snorted.) I then played off "ar" hoping to draw a t. I didn't. I didn't stop hoping. Horrific. I scored 6 points or less five turns in a row. Blah.
Anyway, my last game was with a guy I'd never seen before, so I assumed I would beat him. He played gama. I challenged. I lost. Uh oh. I bingoed with snottier, he used my e to make equine with the q on a TLS and the e on a DWS for 70 points. I triple worded with Josh, he bingoed with magnetic. Arrrgghhhh!!! I was losing and losing bad, my only hope was to bingo AND that he'd go over on the clock, I had like 15 minutes and he was already down to 3. Sure enough he went over, he was already at minus 20. But I was behind by 50, I played vow to open a bingo lane for myself...the only problem was I didn't have an a and I didn't draw one. In the end I was down by sixty. There were no more tiles in the bag and an open L and an open T. My rack was eeilrts I had a lot of time, so I shuffled and reshuffled till I finally came up with "retitles" through the t and hooking the s to ado. He sat and thought for a long time, costing him another ten points, before he challenged "ados." It was good! I managed a three point win! Woo!

I love Scrabble!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not my night

Here's how much not my night it was: I actually left my house early so that I wouldn't have to make now weekly call to Nancy to have her tell Joel that I'm running late. BUT I missed my exit off Park avenue and ended up ensared in third avenue traffic for 30 minutes. I think I was later today than I ever had been before.
My first match went terribly. I was outtiled, outplayed, outscored, out everything. I lost and by a lot. As I walked to get snacks I remember thinking it had been a long time since I had been beaten like that. Well, turns out it wouldn't be long before I was beaten like that AGAIN.
My second match, same thing, just beaten. I had a couple of bingo racks late in the game, but there was nowhere to play anything. AND when my opponent opened up a bingo lane on the triple for herself: my rack was titnesd and I needed a word ending in r. Nothing. She bingoed out with overbear and I had by second 100 plus loss on the night.
My next opponent was a 14 year old kid, who was winless on the night and when I challenged off his opening play of rancider seemed to give up on the game. So, naturally, I started to play badly too, fishing for bingoes, making terrible plays, ugh. I played so horribly. He started to realize that the game wasn't over, even though I had a nice lead, and he made quite the comeback. I picked up a q and y with my last draw and there was nowhere to put them. So I lost again.
And then to cap off the best night I have ever had at Scrabble club, somehow, someway on the day when I am 0-3 Jim freaking Piazza is 1-2, so he's my last matchup of the night. JIM PIAZZA.
WHAT THE HELL??????????????????????
Oh, and of course, he draws both blanks in his second turn and bingoes with weapons OH YEAH AND HE HAD AN ESS. Actually he drew three esses. I drew the last ess on my last turn and had a final rack of antions. I had to bingo out right then to win because he had the q on his rack. So I played antison. It's not good. I lost. 0-4. On my way out Joel told me I had anoints. Awesome.

I hate Scrabble.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I won!

Okay, second place, but still! I actually got money back from my buy-in to the weekly New York tournament! I want to say I felt victory (and yes, victory for the rest of this post...and um...well, this blog, will always be 3-1 with an almost three hundred point spread...if I ever leave the club with a 4-0 record...well, suffice to say with some degree of certainty, I will never leave the club with a 4-0 record.) when I sat down to play. But honestly, I hadn't been studying, the previous week I had gotten clobbered and well, my head was elsewhere. I played my first game against Jean Lithgow. Who, when she heard the matchup, said "yay, I love playing you." I made my sad face because she usually beats me. In fact, I think I've only beaten her once or twice before, so I wasn't expecting much. I opened with a five letter J play for a nice lead...maybe jewel. I think she must have drawn the blank at that point because her next two plays with two letter words for like four points and I felt like she was fishing for a bingo. I scored a steady 25-35 points when she finally used her blank to play qaids with the q on a double letter square and the s on a double word square, but I was ahead by enough points that it didn't matter. She then opened opened up the triple line and I bingoed through with mantles and I think that was the game, she couldn't catch me after that, though she did get both blanks and the rest of the esses.
My next game was against Jim Piazza. I would often refer to people who I can't beat as "my Jim Piazza" because I've never been able to beat Jim Piazza. I think I dubbed him the unbeatable Jim Piazza in a game where I was leading the whole way, until in one of the late rounds he took back the lead, but then I drew aenprst on my rack with two tiles left in the bag and the word ka was sitting right next to the triple line leaving me a nice bingo lane to take back the lead and probably win the game. I played panters/ska. He challenged. It was no good. He blocked the lane. I ended up losing by a lot. Anyway, here was the original Jim Piazza, he also drew a blank and opened the game with a bingo: tentiest. I think he thought I was going to challenge it. But I already learned that word the hard way against Steve Williams last year.
Pyscologically I probably lost that game when I was matched against Jim Piazza, his opening with a bingo cemented my state of mind and I lost. Not by a lot -- maybe thirty points or so, but he drew both blanks, I don't think I bingoed the whole game and at no point was I ever ahead.
My next game was against Dulce. She is one of the weaker players in my division, so I expected to win. This is the game where I relearned the lesson "no matter how weak a tournament Scrabble player is they are still a tournament Scrabble player!" I played a phony on her "bew" to get my w on a double letter square two ways, she let it go, but then bingoed on the triple line with both blanks playing minutia with the a atop my 'by' for minutia/aby. For some reason the word didn't look right to me, and for eighty odd points I decided to challenge (I thought it was supposed to end in e.) Obviously, the word was good and I lost my challenge, but she used the free turn to exchange letters, so I didn't fall too far behind. I bingoed twice: first with some stem word and the second time with charters to end the game. I ended up winning by 100 plus, but with a rocky start due to overconfindence.
My last game was against a guy I had dubbed "Jim Piazza" in the past. His name is Sal and he had his boy with him picking the tiles for him.
It was cute.
I picked a lot of high point tiles, but no vowels to go with them, so I had to use his vowels leading to him getting more points playing off my big tiles than I'd get. I played "wiz" through his i but landing the z on the triple line. He played le in front to score with lez. I used his u to play qua he played some crazy y word to make quay. The game was really close until he bingoed with sections using a blank. I had ettines on my rack, and was down by 70, so I took a chance and played et for four points and hoped for an a or a blank on my next draw. I picked up ag! Hooray, he used his turn to open a bingo lane by playing a u on top a p for up, so I had to play something with the t on top of the u (I didn't realize sup was also good.) which suck since the easiest satineg bingoes to remember are the ing ones...I finally remembered ingesta and played that. I was now only down by fifteen and with no more tiles in the bag. My fourth straight game without drawing a single blank! He tried to bingo out with his remaining tiles through an e on the only available lane. He played defasted which I challenged off. Then he played feastedd which I challenged off and in the end, I went out and then got all double for all the tiles on his rack for another 100 plus win!
Twas a good day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Not so random question

Is it wrong that I think those crossword puzzle people are nuts?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Kearns

Maybe this will be the year you finally beat me at Scrabble.