Long words (1)

hardOne 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’.

4, 12letter masturbating (cut)

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

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Treat your Queen rightfully

hardEvery TWL or SOWPODS player knows that Q is the last tile anybody wants to pet around for too long. The reasons why that is so is obvious. The first being: it’s the least flexible letter. The second: it’s a ten-point letter—Her Majesty is a heavyweight. But getting rid of it quick doesn’t necessarily mean as soon as possible.

(1217) Blue: 80 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ (1240) Red: 78q-keep0

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Calculated risk

hardSometimes the only way to go any further is taking a risk, so we’d  better mind our step doing it. Here the scoring position is 252-250 (it doesn’t matter whose score is which). Only about ten tiles left in the bag. The endgame is right on the doorstep.

Now we have a homeless bingo (UNTAXED). Too bad. But hey, we’ve also got an advantage: the last blank on the game. Maybe it’s time to take some calculated risk.

calculatedrisk1N2: TAXED scores about 50 points, but it gives our opponent an (arguably) open bingo line (with some O’s and E’s still up, D is somewhat easy to parallel ). N4: TAXED scores less (not by much), but surely it gives us a decent 35 lead and a one-for-you-one-for-me split over the two TWS (red) squares on the bottom.

Which one is better? I guess nobody knows, for we just don’t go sneaking around peeking our opponent’s rack. Each option has its own risk. But the choice is always ours.

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.

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Easy game – or is it?

hardWhen things going or looking too easy, maybe it’s about time to take a second look—just in case we miss something ‘interesting’. Here the game had been going halfway. I was Blue, with some 50-point lead and a bingo (UNEQUAL) ready to fire. Easy game? Check again.

A 50-point diff is no big deal when about 40 tiles are still in the bag. And my so-called bingo just didn’t even have a place to materialize—homeless, as some people might say. What, then? I’d still got to dump QU, one way or another. And it’s obvious that 6F: QAT is out of the question, since it would leave me with 2 U’s (which in turn if I drew the last U from the bag could make my blank really look like a stranger).

Blue: 153 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Red: 1012 setup-QUUTiles left: 38 — Tiles left to note: AAA U ? SSS

The most obvious way to some decent score by using U might be F2: QUA (32). But, wait! With some A’s still missing, there’s a good chance that Red would hook this with AQUA along the first column—might as well with the DLS and TWS all at once. No way!

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