Sunday, July 28, 2013

Club on Sunday, July 28

I won't make it to club today. I hope everyone has a good time. Still catching up. I hope to have Day 4 of my nationals write-up posted by the end of the night.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Dispatch from nationals, Day 3

Less craziness today, but more wins. I went 5-2 to end the third day with a winning record, 11-10. Woohoo! After I started 0-5, that feels pretty good.

I saw more blanks today: 10 of 14. That always helps. In game 1, I squeaked out a 16-point win with a mix of guile and good play. Ahead by two midgame, I decided to take a risk, playing PESTING for 92. I doubted it was good, but to my surprise, my opponent held but didn't challenge. My next turn, I played FATED in a hot spot for 49. I was in control with a 115-point lead, but two turns later my opponent played KUDZU to a triple for 54 points, WAD for 33 and then LOONIES for 86 to take a seven point lead. With no tiles left, I needed points, and I found YLEM on a triple, parallel to the OONI in LOONIES, for 43 points, enough to win the game. Final score, 410-394. Whew!

In game 2, I drew both blanks, played two bingoes and won a challenge, yet I managed to lose, 434-396. I played VARIATE on turn 3 for 77 and later played DIPPABLE for 66, drawing the challenge, but I couldn't capitalize on a 76-point lead. Opponent scored 46 with the Q and 51 with the Z, sandwiching plays of 39 and 26 points. I had to waste the blank on a 14-point play late in the game, followed by three single-digit plays. Not the way to take advantage of a lead.

In game 3, I opened with ANTIAIR, drawing a challenge. Opponent bounced back, though, with SCENDING for 60 on his next turn. Later I drew a challenge on ANTICK, but opponent stayed close. Late in the game, I held a nearly 50-point lead, and opponent played HURTLERS in the only available bingo lane. I challenged it off, and I couldn't see how he could bingo in that spot with EHLRTU?, so I played elsewhere for points. Opponent tried again with CHURTLE and I won my fourth challenge of the game. I played off my Y for 23 points. Opponent finally played THUD elsewhere for 32, but the game was mine, 402-334.

In game 4, I had two bingoes, TAWNIES for 95 (I think that was my highest-scoring play of the tournament) and CINEOLE for 65, plus the high-scoring plays of HAW for 37, BARYE for 46 and ZONED for 45. Opponent had SOARING for 83, but I won, 444-328.

In game 5, opponent opened with AVOIDED. I answered with JOVIAL for 32, and two turns later I caught up with DOPANTS for 76. On turn 5 I played REALIZE for 219 a 57-point lead, but that was short-lived. After playing MUS/REALIZES for 40, I tried to play through a junky rack, then I exchanged, but it didn't help. I hurt my chances when opponent played OXY, hooking the Y onto CLANG. I held, but I thought CLANGY, CLANGIER and CLANGIEST were plausible. What I didn't do and should have was to arrange the letters as an alphagram. CAEGILNR should have triggered my memory that the "good" words in that combination were RELACING and CLEARING. Therefore, CLANGIER* was no good, and CLANGY* probably wasn't, either. A challenge there might have changed the outcome.

In game 6, game 21 of the tournament, I opened with FRAME for 28, with the F on the double-letter square, three spots in from the triple-word score. On his second turn, opponent bingoed with RESONATE for 62, but I answered with SIGNETS/RESONATES for 75.Three turns later, after opponent played COW in a great spot for 41, I played TOLUIDES for 70. I drew drek, though, and exchanged on my next turn. Opponent then played BED in front of FRAME to make BEDFRAME for a triple, scoring 48. My lead was down to five points. Three turns later, holding ACLORT? and with three spots to play a bingo, I put down SCROTAL through a triple-word score for 80 points. Opponent challenged, and I built a 105-point lead. Opponent closed the gap on the last few turns, but I won, 436-362.

In game 7, it was a close game for seven turns. On turn eight, down by 18, I played SKIRTING for 64. Two turns later, holding a 36-point lead, I exchanged five tiles. Opponent then put down UMPTEENS through the M, with a blank as the U, for 74. I held. And held. The plurals of many numbers are good, but UMPTEENS? I decided UMPTEEN and UMPTEENTH were adjectives and couldn't be pluralized, so I challenged. And I won the challenge. My exchange on my previous turn paid off: I played FARSIDE for 80, building a 116-point lead. Opponent then found another bingo spot, playing STEEPEN for 67. But I answered with AYE for 52, followed by a 42-pointer (I didn't record the word). By then, the board was all clogged up, and we took 17 turns to end the game, 435-339 in my favor. Finally, I had a winning record: 11-10.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Dispatch from nationals, Day 2

I topped yesterday's craziness, right off the bat.

In Game 1, I went first and drew DOLEFUL for 80. My opponent challenged, and I drew GILMPSR. Wasn't sure about GLIMPSER, but what the hey. Opponent challenged, and it was good! Now I'm up 156-0. So I draw AINRR?? on a wide-open board. I play DRAINeRs down to the triple-word score for 74. Now it's 230-0. My opponent answered with UNSIGNED through the I in GLIMPSER, but nothing was going to go against me this game. Later I played TRACTION for 72, followed by DETACH for 41. My opponent later played RELEARNT, and the final score was 522-381.
In game 2, again I could do no wrong. I exchanged junk on my first turn, and played AH for 6 on my second turn. Then the fireworks began. I played VEALING for 68, followed by PRONATED for 76, followed by ANCHORET for 66. Three turns later, I played OVERBITE for 66. My opponent played EXcITES for 99, hooking the C to MAGI to make magic. She kept it close, and I won, 460-418.

Game 3, I lost when my opponent bingoed out with ENGRAILS, but I had three bingoes (not in a row): YEARLING for 74, EXTRUDES for 81 and NERVIEST for 76.

Game 4, I again had three bingoes in a 417-341 win: SMELTED for 70, DEFLATES for 74 and SECONAL for 69.

After lunch, it was back to reality. I beat my friend and nemesis Bruce Shuman, 395-369, but the magic ran out in game 6: I played INHALER for 61 on my fourth turn, but I drew drek for the rest of the game and had no answer for my opponent's high plays. She won, 414-316.

In game 7, I had an intense and close contest with a Thai-born player from Florida. I managed to play BRINGER for 69 and SONSIER for 71, but my opponent stayed close with high-scoring plays and had a late bingo, AIGRETS for 71, with both blanks, and I couldn't catch her, losing 411-397. We spent 15 minutes looking at our last four sets of turns, but we couldn't find any way for me to scratch out a win. I really thought I played my best. It'll be interesting what a computer analysis finds.

This has been my most memorable tournament by far. How could I top the last two days? Maybe I'll win all 7 tomorrow.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dispatch from nationals, Day 1

I arrived Friday evening, and I was treated to an unexpected sight: a furious thunderstorm. Not what I expected on my first day in the desert. Wind gusts of 70 mph, golf ball-size hail in some places, and downtown Las Vegas was flooded in some areas.

On Saturday, I got off to a terrible start. Game one was against Stefan Fatsis, author of "Word Freak," and after a close game, I thought I had the game with a late bingo of RETINAL, but immediately he laid down an out bingo of REALISTS to win by 21.

I lost my next four as well, staying close but not close enough. Against the No. 3 seed, Robin Lewis, I played a nine-letter bingo through two unconnected letters: RENOUNCED, with the first N and the D on the board. That was fun.

In game 6, my luck turned dramatically. On my second turn, I played ZOUNDS for 32, then drew the first blank. I played OUTBRAG for 89, then drew the second blank and played SHAKEUP, also for 89. After challenging off a phony, I played VAIRS/SHAKEUPS for 64. After that, I scored in smaller chunks, winning 503-245, my spread of 258 wiped out my accumulated negative spread.

Game 7 was similar. I played REDOLENT for 72 on turn 6 to take the lead, then two turns later, I found UNCREATE for 83 on a triple from the U. That left the E on a triple lane, but my opponent decided to open the board further, playing CAID elsewhere for 27. With AIILSTV, I played VITALISE to that open E on another triple for 86. I then played PEWEE to block the best triple lane, and opponent challenged. On his next turn, opponent, short on time and holding both blanks, played LISTAGE*, which I challenged off. Opponent finally bingoed out with the nice WATERAGE for 60, but I won by 171, 467-296.

That was one of my craziest tournament days ever. I wonder what Day 2 will bring.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Off to nationals!

I received my replacement tile and a new set of Protiles on Wednesday, and my new fold-up board arrived Wednesday. Just settled in at the Riviera, and ready to sling tiles tomorrow morning. Woohoo!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July Official Meeting Results

Seven of us made it out to play today.  The highlight of the day was Jan's triple-triple play of MOUNTERS for 140.  Woohoo!  The rest of the results are as follows:


Betty, 3-1, -5, DEBACLE 66, ENDICES* 74


Jan H., 2-2, -220, MOUNTERS 140

Victoria, 1-2, -122, CARATES 66, TENNIST 71, AVENGED 80

Margaret Yoder, 1-3, +71, MOLDIEST 70, SATIATE 72, TEENIEST 66, DONATER* 66, SINUATE 65, BLUNTER 63

Janny S., 0-3, -258, REPAIRS 83

Best of luck to Will as he travels to National in Vegas this coming weekend!

Friday, July 12, 2013

July Official Meeting This Sunday (7/14)

Our monthly (second Sunday) official meeting for July is this weekend, 2-6pm at Bob Evans Restaurant on Richmond Road in Lexington.  Hope to see you there!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Club tomorrow (July 7)

Sorry, I haven't sent out one of these notices in a while.  Who will be there tomorrow?  I'm hoping to make it but not 100% sure yet.