We know that there are a number of ways for verbs to end up with ~ING,
● it’s being there in the first place: [to] ding-king-ping-ring-sing-ting-wing-zing
● through conjugation: to judge – judges – judged – judging
● or when the ~ING forms act/function as nouns: AGINGs BEINGs DOINGs GOINGs ICINGs
Note that in the third type, the ~ING variants can be pluralized (by adding an ‘S’ to them), just like nouns generally can. We should be very careful here though, since the majority of verbs cannot act ‘this way’ (that is, taking an S after ‘being ING-ed’).
What is your biggest one-move score? 200? 250? I rarely make it through the 100-point barrier myself (and when somehow I do, it’s usually barely—not way beyond).
Anyway, have a look at the diagram below.
It’s about time to pay the big guys a visit—watch them play. What good does this do to us? A lot. Vocabs, tactics, a couple of tricks.. It’s fun, nonetheless (it doesn’t matter who plays Red or Blue here, our concern is about the play).
Move one. And it pays already! Now how many seven-letter words starting with SES~ do you know? I know two: SESSION and SESAMES. Each consumes no less than three S’s. Cool, huh?
In the endgame, sometimes we have just to accept the fact that it is the other player who will make the last move and do our best to use up as many tiles as possible (especially ‘the big guys’, if we have any) before our opponent closes the game.
Check out the diagram. The bag is empty and there are only five tiles left on the opponent’s rack (we don’t know what they are but seeing that all ‘the tough guys’ are already down then it would be sensible to assume he will finish the game in one or two moves max).
Now suppose the scoring is tight and we are Blue. What are we going to do?
Clearly, we need to do some dumping. But a move like 6L:DID or 11A:ILL is not good for that would have thrown our last and only vowel without any compensation. Even 12M:LIP is bad here for it will give our opponent a free TWS out of nowhere.
And for the game is tight, we have something else to worry about: scoring (to give us some leverage for the penalty points we’ll have to concede if our opponent does end the game).
One thing about long words is: we tend to miss them—they are hard to spot, easy to overlook. The words themselves don’t necessarily have to be difficult, but on many occasions the sheer length is a cause enough to make them ‘beyond thinking’.
In this position, many players might suffice themselves with H11:RUTHS. But not Red here. She played D2:MASTURBATING istead—a twelve-letter word(!). See? It’s not a difficult word, but imagining it in the first place is.
And I personally think it’s better [than RUTHS] not only because it scores a little bigger, but also because it uses more letter and especially opens up the semi-closed second quadrant for new possibilities.
I love the spirit.
PS: thanks to Pssssst for sharing
Now why would anybody intentionally do that, really? The truth is, there are actually a number of reasons why we would, or should. But before we go to the whys behind such a stunt, let’s have a look at the diagram below.
Yes, this is a bingo alright—J9:OUTAGES (67) or 11I:GASEOUS (80). But look again. The bingo (either one, it doesn’t matter) while not being a bad move itself, will deplete the last blank not only from the rack, but also from the game. And with what we could nakedly see from the ’tiles left’, chance is both players will be playing short words for the rest of the game.
And we have some ‘security issue‘ here. Either OUTAGES or GASEOUS will give the opponent a chance for a crazy bingo (by using two TWS in one move).
Some people believe that a shrewd player is the kind of player who somehow manages to think about the whole board all the time. While not being that kind of a player myself (still a lover of silly mistakes), I know it for a fact that thinking deeply about everything all the time doesn’t even exist in a shrewd player’s wish list. Count on it.
Apart from words arsenal or strategy (or whatever), the key is knowing where to look, and how to deal with it. Where?: focus on the area(s) where it matters most. How?: find a way to deal with it—with what we have on the rack. The point is: think only as much as necessary. That is: never make a habit of giving too deep a thought, for it will surely wear us out.
Decision making is indeed an art: there are no exact rules. But before we decide anything of consequence, it would serve us good to know where to begin with in the first place. And a sensible start would be the sector(s) of the board where the ‘intensity of conflict’—factually or potentially, is the highest (here, they are indicated by the yellow arrows).
Reader discretion is advised
Every once in a while, for one reason or another, we are bound to play an ‘outlaw’ (or at least think about one)—a word that has already been in use but fail to claim its place in our holy book. And about why this outcast is [still] not on the list, we can only guess (if at all). What follows is just what I think about some of those bandits. Some people might find part of this a bit offensive, but it means what it means. Anyway, let’s start with some stories. All true.
For some players, the realm of the longer words is alluringly challenging—or even hard to resist at times. And this is rarely just about scoring.
So there I was, thinking about setting up for my longest ever: PREREQUIREMENTS. But weighing that the tile-fairy had something else in mind, I settled down with prerequired (not a bingo but a four-mover instead: quire-quired-required-prerequired—cool, eh?). Still very much excited, right after the game I checked. Oops! I thought that if to require→requirement, then to prerequire→prerequirement (just in much the same way as prepayment, pretreatment or prearrangement). Of course this kind of logic is not supposed to always work. OK, my bad. While English being not my arterial language and even though we do have the equivalent of ‘prerequirement’ in our language (were there one in English), I just can’t really expect two different languages being adjacently comparable all the time, can I? Still, it seems only natural to think that this ‘fifteener’ is good (yes, that one is bad too).
[Illegal] vulgar words are like dangerously persistent walking undead—they are many, and they just keep coming. And it’s not because their probabilities of occurrence are high, or even the fact that somehow they are easy to remember, but all the more so because no matter how scrambled the tiles are, people find them easy to spot. Well, some people do.
A [German] chess term. Roughly meaning, a situation where any move would put the player (who makes that move) to some serious disadvantage. Since we can’t pass in chess, it usually implies losing the game or conceding a winning one to a draw.
There is no zugzwang in scrabble, not really—since we can always pass if we want to here. Nevertheless, I stumbled upon some close equivalent to it a couple of days ago.