Phoney – when to let it be

mediumDealing with phonies can be tough sometimes. It makes us think because we are not sure with our own suspicion. We have doubts. But there are times when phonies are easy to deal with, even if we still don’t have a pretty good idea of the validity of the word in question. Here we have one of those situasions. Look at the diagram (the same board as in ‘Hotspot – the idea [2]’, only on some earlier stage).

phoney_timetoletgoBlue had just made his move. I knew the word OOZY. But OOZEY? Is it legit? I don’t know about you, but sometimes this –Y/–EY thing just gives me creeps. See the list below.

HOME NOSE BONE
JUICE SAUCE SHAKE
DICE FAKE YAW
OAT BOW EAR
HOMY NOSY BONY
JUICY SAUCY SHAKY
DICY FAKY YAWY
OATY
BOWY EARY
HOMEY NOSEY BONEY
JUICEY SAUCEY SHAKEY
DICEY FAKEY YAWEY
OATEY BOWEY EAREY

My point is, there is no way we can guess with such certainty when both ~EY and ~Y are good and when only one of them is, if any—unless we knew it already in the first place. Luckily, that was not even the case here. Look at the board again.

For a 27-pointer OOZEY, Blue threw a blank. I’ll rephrase: for a tile worth a bingo (the blank), Blue felt OK with only 27 points (thanks to the TWS), when in fact the game was still early. And while the motive was quite obvious (to deny his opponent the TWS), the compensation (for such a humble score for his blank) was presumably not.

And there was more. Have a look at my rack. I wouldn’t make it to the TWS even if it were my turn. So certainly this is one of those situations when I wouldn’t dream to challenge a word, even if I were sure it was a phony (which in fact I was not).

I did not make that challenge. I moved 7J: TEND instead. Gladly.

*****

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