My childhood memories include playing Junior Scrabble®, first the easy side, where the words were given and had to be covered with letters, then the freestyle version on the reverse. Next my parents invited me to join with them and sometimes Grandmother playing Scrabble®.
While I was not given any advantages due to my youth, they did help me learn some techniques to improve my score. I wrote in an early post on this blog about my competitive streak. I enjoy playing. As well as being fun, it helps keep my vocabulary active and (as I usually keep the score) gives me a reason to do simple arithmetic.
Now there are only two people left against whom I ever play. One is Mum, who taught me the word QI, after playing with a neighbour. However, she does not like the fact that I have learned most of the permitted two letter words! The other is hubby, who is not good at spelling, but has his own methods of winning. He is likely to block all the places the Q could be played, if he thinks I am trying to put it on the board!
Also we have adjusted the rules for our own enjoyment. Each of us has a reference book to hand. Instead of waiting to challenge a possible wrong word, we look before playing. My favourite reference book includes the meanings. If hubby puts down an incorrect word, I do not penalise him for it, but let him take his turn again. “What’s that word?” is a regular question. Sometimes it is a technical word I haven’t met (or remembered). Other times it is a genuine spelling mistake.
Recently I managed to play all the seven letters in my rack twice in the same game. I have to admit I played a word I did not previously know – MANDIRS.(I was checking whether MANDRIL was permitted (no) and spotted it. I also checked that REECHOES does not require a hyphen.
(In a subsequent game, when I had cheated by using a word I had discovered in the book, I lost. We considered that to be poetic justice!)
At the end of the game the scores were 481 and 236 giving 717 in total. Of course this included 2×50 in bonus points. I had two tiles left. As far as I remember they were both the letter I.
It is interesting that every game of Scrabble® seems to be unique. It does not seem to be possible to use every triple word score space in a game.
Do you play Scrabble®? Have you any interesting observations to make about the game?