Hunch – when thinking become crunching

hardThinking too hard—even in a thinking game like this, will do no one any good for (apart from becoming stressful) it will not only snatch the fun away, but also draw us away from our best potentials (nobody could do their best if they’re worn out).

Here, were there a U available on the board, this would be ANTIQUES (a bingo)—or, were there be another A, 4A:QANAT would still be a big timer (though not a bingo). But since neither seems to be the case, it would be better to forget about those ifs and all that jazz. Let’s stick with the facts instead.

Blue: 130 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Red: 139

Blue has just made N3:TEA. Seeing how the board is going (an open one), it looks like Blue’s having a hard time with his rack combination—and being desperate for a change. But this surely looks like a setup too. It’s like his way in saying: “So you want the top row, Red? Then I’ll do the bottom.” This might indeed be a good move by Blue, opening up new possibilities when whatever available doesn’t look very promising.

Nevertheless, be it a desperate move or a setup (or both), Blue’s last move heats up the board by some degree. There are now three(!) TWS bingo line on the board—and albeit available, none is workable for Red (“Nice going, Blue!”)

  • The one on the last column is the hardest because it has a predetermined G to start with—an eight-letter word starting with G. That won’t be as easy as it sounds. In this board and among the three, this is the hardest because it gives the least flexibility.
  • Then we have the first row. Bingo is a bit easy here, if one has an S to hook WORN (assuming that player doesn’t have some strange looking character like ‘Q’).
  • And thanks to Blue’s last move, now we also have the last row for a TWS bingo go-go.

So, what now?

Beats me. Figuring out what the best measures are in a rich board position is just beyond me (by ‘rich’ I mean ‘full of possibilities’). So I usually just stick with the obvious. And if that too is hard, then I’ll just act on a hunch.

Just for some common grounds: Any dump-for-luck antic like tossing the E for hopefully getting an R in return (to make QINTARS in the first row) would be downright silly (and I would not take the liberty of assuming you kind readers didn’t know why it is so). Likewise, a ‘freeing move’ like O1/13A: QAT or 6B: QI is arguably clumsy (with three U’s still up, we are in no such a hurry to part with the dreaded sweetie Q).

Anyway, in the game I played O1: NITE. Deliberately leaving the square below ZA ‘open’. Is this the best move? I don’t have the slightest idea. It just suits me best, I guess.


Among others, the move NITE was indeed a subtle setup for 1L: QUIN (just in case). But that wasn’t intentional. I just found it when writing this post.


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