It was a Scrabble blowout as Mark clobbered me in both games we played, averaging 412 to my 386. Here is the bingo breakdown:
|COGNATE (78)||RAINiER (64)|
|OAtIEST (78)||EXERTER (94) *|
|AMUSIAs (81)||BLUENoSE (80)|
I was desperate to win the first game where I had been behind at one time 192-70. I would have lost by more than seven points (398-391) if I hadn’t gotten away with FARMDOG for 36, which I played through the O. I was able to get rid of all those clunky consonants in one go.
Mark opened the second game with EXERTER, which I never even held. It is a phony, and not even acceptable as EXERTOR. Mark held me on AMUSIAs, where I hooked the S under EXERTER. Had Mark challenged the play, where I am certain he would have challenged EXERTERS as well, I would have had some serious thinking to do as I saw AMUSIAs immediately with my rack of AAIMSU? and with a reflexive recognition of a good word such as that, I would have had to reconsider Mark’s play instead. Had the play been challenged and been ruled unacceptable, I might have felt that if EXERTER was phony then EXERTOR was the only correct agentive form. As I was shuffling my tiles I did see MAIASaUR which I could have played through either R and would have chosen the final R in order to better take advantage of the -A hook making MAIASAURA. In theory that would have been my backup play had Mark gone ahead with the challenge. In this game I lost the courage to trust my reflexive reaction to recognize legitimate words as there was a D hanging freely and my rack was ACEHORT. I wrote CHORDATE on the back of my sheet yet didn’t play it. Why ever not? With me behind (the final score was 425-381) what did I have to lose? Words like CHORDATE don’t just occur to me out of nowhere. I had to have seen it somewhere. I was ticked off that I missed the (rather difficult to find, I do admit) bingo in AAKORST ( = OSTRAKA) which I have longed to play. I do not believe however that there was a spot to play it, as it was a late rack, but it still would have been nice to have had the smarts to find it. However in game situations where you will likely lose, it is sometimes pointless to look for bingos when the board does not even permit them. I challenged BLUENoSE (unsuccessfully) as I stood a remote chance of winning if it wasn’t good.