There's this scrabble club here where I work. They meet up every Monday and play into the late hours of the night. Then they send out e-mails to every one on the DL proclaiming how great their last session was - how one girl managed to score a full 50 by coming up with 'urinates', and how another managed to place four swear words in a row and all that. Naturally, my attention was piqued. And when my attention is piqued, Hari's the fall guy. So, last Monday, away we went, Hari and I, to the uncharted back-waters that make up third floor, Building-1.
We meet up with this Karthik guy who's the typical nerd. Plays scrabble, is a quizzer, and can also tell you the color of Darth Vader's light-sabre. (That yours truly can do all that too is a completely different story). Anyway, Govind (I do not know much about him), Rajeshwari (female version of the typical nerd), Hari and I start a game. Hari plays first, and comes up with a spectacularly imaginative 'TO' for a first word. Rajeshwari then plays out some 5 tiles and comes up with a strange word no one's heard. Hari challenges, loses, and straightaway sends his score plunging into the negative. Govind then comes up with another whopping 6 letter word, and enters a huge number into under his name. I do better than Hari - 'AND'. :D
So, we're well and truly into the game - no one opening up anything for anyone, and everyone except Hari and me making double digit scores on every word they put down. Hari's never played the game before, so he's a real mess. I put up an inspired performance and gradually catch up on Govind - more of a fluke though. I just managed to keep three tiles and make many words and send my score rocketing while Govind had to exchange his tiles twice after being blessed with a bevy of Zs, Qs, Js, Xs, and no U to go with the Q.
Suddenly I see an opening. I have a blank and the letters T, O, N, E, D. Right, I think - The blank can be S, and if I can fit these letters down somewhere, I might shoot my score to an unassailable lead. And then I see it - Two Os with a blank space between them - And the column along the blank begins with a Triple word score. So, I put my tiles out. Down STONED, Across ODO. (Ok, some 20 odd points only, but a good start nonetheless) The only snag was that I wasn't sure ODO was a word. I'd made vague plans of bluffing my way through how ODO was a widely accepted shortening of Odometer, but Rajeshwari would have none of it. So, she challenges, and bloody ZYZZYVA, yes, that's the name of the dictionary they use, says the word is unacceptable. In red. Well, that's me stumped. Rajeshwari grins, and for an encore, goes on to add 60 points to her tally by the strategic placement of a single Q. She then declares she's bored off this game and goes on to start a parallel timed game with Karthik.
We wind up the game - I am the first player to finish off all the tiles, which means everyone's remaining tiles are minused off their scores and added into mine. Whoppee!! And by sheer dint of this strange rule, I manage to over take Govind and come in second. Rajeshwari is in first place with a good 90 point lead over me. All in all a delightful experience. Looking forward to more such games in the future.