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Oh, SmAlbany!

Daily posts and occasional longer essays about politics, culture, and life in the Capital Region...updated M-F, midmorning


"I write this not as a booster of Albany, which I am, nor an apologist for the city, which I sometimes am, but rather as a person whose imagination has become fused with a single place, and in that place finds all the elements that a man ever needs..." -W. Kennedy, from O Albany!

Thoughts on Scrabble

A regional Scrabble tournament was held in Saratoga over the weekend. Two important points here. From the TU article:
Scrabble Hall of Fame inductee Gary Moss, 62, said typical "living room players" of the game might finish with scores of 150 to 250 points [in a 1-on-1 game].
This is so refreshing to hear. Why? Because the inside of the Scrabble box says:
The combined total score for a game may range from about 500 points to about 700 or more depending on the skill of the players.
So the box says 500 to 700 and the "Hall of Fame inductee" says 300 to 500. I guess that settles that.

My wife and I have know for years that the box had to be wrong, but it's still disheartening to feel like: (1) you are reasonably well educated and (2) not awful at Scrabble and (3) just played a pretty good game, only to find out that the combined total for all players was 472, below the "low end" of the "skill based range" on the box.

Trust me, we crack 500 less than 1/3 of the time, and we crack 600 maybe once a year. Formerly, that made us morons, at least according to the box. Now we appear to be on the better end of the "living room players."

Point #2. From the TU article:
There were 42 competitors at the tournament this weekend who paid $60 to $75 to participate. Players traveled from Toronto, Montreal, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia to be there. They played 13 games Saturday and Sunday. The winner of Division 1 took away $250.

Scrabble finds its way into other areas of a player's life, said Colosa, a fourth-grade teacher. At a gas station on the way to the tournament, Colosa said he saw a candle marked gardenia and thought about getting it onto a Scrabble board, along with its anagram, drainage.
Wow. Self-admittedly, I'm a bit nerdy, and i definitely have some idiosyncratic geek tendencies. For instance, I enjoy being good at competetive board games and card games, like scrabble. But who drives 10+ hours to spend a weekend playing scrabble for the glory of it?

More than ever, I'm definitely happy to be a "living room player."
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At 10:32 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

I guess I am happy that when I see the word gardenia, I key on the incredible smell of that flower, and don't automatically come up with its anagram drainage. Puts me in the glad I'm a "living room" player scrabble category, also.    



At 10:52 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said:

Me too. Ever play scrabble with anyone who takes it seriously? It's so boring. The whole game is making clever 3 letter words that get huge bonuses. Lame.    



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