Hurricane Lee Scrabble

Mark and I visited his sister Patsy and her partner Jim in Bedford, Nova Scotia from September 13-21. Our trip coincided with the arrival of Hurricane Lee. We had frequent rainfall when we arrived yet Saturday, September 16 was the worst, because that was the day the hurricane hit. The news advised people to stay home and we wouldn’t want to go into Halifax anyway as we learned that power was out downtown and some places were closed, such as the YMCA. The wind was fierce and never let up.

I had been looking out the front window of the house and noticed something most peculiar. The ground looked as if it was rising, as if an enormous creature that lived underground was trying to break through the surface. No one believed me yet Mark and Patsy came over to take a look. The roots of three trees were rising out of the ground, creating gaps in the surface. We were afraid that the trees would be blown over, onto the three vehicles parked underneath or onto the house itself. Patsy and Jim moved the cars and Jim moved the birdbath. So this is how enormous trees blow over in a windstorm, I said to myself. There were already branches, one quite large, that had blown onto the backyard yet nothing had hit the house or windows. It was scary to watch the earth bubble like that when it exposed gaps in the ground, because all it took was another powerful gust to send the trees toppling over. The wind howled all day and night, and only on Sunday morning did the weather return to calm.

Mark and I stayed inside on Saturday, although we did take a short walk along Shore Drive to see the mansions at the end of the street and the boats anchored in the basin. The road was covered entirely with branches, acorns and leaves. We spent most of that day playing Scrabble and here is the overall Scrabble report and bingo count from our entire time down east. I won fourteen games, averaging 411 and Mark won five, averaging 361.

MINTAGE (75)INClUdE (70)
PUNGENt (76)pREEMIE (70)
OERsTED (70)vISITOR (72)
SARiCiNS (87)*
nOVENAS (74)
REGENTs (72)
CrUMBING (106)

Mark beat me for the first time in game five, where he also played QUASH for 70.

I was confusing RIPAsTE* with RIPOSTE.

In game ten I played ATALAYA for 24 through the third A.

I had both blanks in game eleven and made each of them a u (in TOuGHIES and the phony CuRTLED), so there were six U’s on the board.

ENQUIRE was an opening play. I struggled with racks of consonants after this commanding lead and Mark eventually overtook me. After I caught up with VALORiSE I picked one of the worst replacement racks ever, AAAAEEE, yet fortunately never fell behind again and won 403-353.

I played OUTBOXES from the O, which Mark placed on the centre star in his opening play, to the centre right TWS. As it turns out my rack also plays through an M to make BUXOMEST. In this game I had the rack AAARR?? yet found none of the three possible sevens (ARARobA, ARRAyAl and zAmARRA) and the only eight I saw was caRAcARA. I knew that word because it was a kind of bird–I tend to know my ornithological terms–and there were nine other possible eights I didn’t see.

I was confusing SARiCiNS* with SERICINS and SARCINAS. My phony, with the two blanks as i’s, does have a beautiful anagram, NARCiSSi, but it wouldn’t fit, as I needed to play a bingo starting with SA- in order to also hook TUN with the A. In that game there were eleven I’s on the board.

My final bingo, the 38th played over nineteen games, was the highest-scoring of all: CrUMBING for 106. During this game I also played JESSE for 70. I had the rack AEGINT? and nowhere to play any sevens or eights, yet noted the only possible bingo lane was to fit my tiles around I(space)A. There was an I underneath the space. I was surprised to see afterwards that one word would have fit: (GEN)I(T)A(lIA).

We visited Shelburne on September 18

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