Thursday, November 4, 2010

Scrabble in Music City, and that starts with S

Big Scrabble tournament in Musical City last weekend. There were six of us "experts" in the top division. I won the division. In my most interesting game I led off with ANTEFIX for 100 points. My opponent was stunned, of course, but then he went to town adorning the word, first hooking it with an A (ANTEFIXA) and then hooking that with an E (ANTEFIXAE), scoring 40 or so on each play. Meanwhile I was busy elsewhere, following up my opening play with IODOPHOR and then RECURVES, all without the benefit of a blank. I had 247 points after three turns. I added another late bingo, and if it hadn't been for a little lull when I was saddled with a surfeit of vowels I would have scored over 600. I had 542.

Dumb word of the day (mainly because I challenged it and lost): toileted. The Scrabble dictionary says this the past tense of the verb toilet. Merriam-Webster does not count toilet as a verb, but since when has that ever deterred the intrepid adventurers responsible for the Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary?

The litmus test for including a word in the OSPD, to my way of thinking, ought to be this: Has anyone in the history of spoken English ever uttered the word?

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