Bad Attitude Scrabble

I admit it — when I get several bad hands in a row in Scrabble, my attitude deteriorates. One hand is just bad luck. Several hands in a row is really bad luck and it leaves me feeling as though I don’t have a chance to catch up. It doesn’t help that this usually coincides with The Wife getting several seven- and eight-letter words in a row, racing so far ahead of me it seems I can never catch up.

This morning’s marathon Scrabble game (these can last three hours or more as one or both of us searches through seven vowels trying to find a word, any word) saw me come back from behind about halfway through the game. It’s satisfying to me to have had a chance to catch up and made the most of it; but The Wife was getting a series of bad hands, which gave her the bad attitude. I certainly understand; I’ve been there myself.

Here’s how it worked out today:

TL The Wife
48 zeros 48 68 greeting 68
18 trumped 66 31 spooky, greetings 99
30 growl 96 22 jog 121
28 he, healed, ed 124 24 jab 145
5 ague 129 18 fetid 163
32 ye, zit, red, yite* 161 22 mail, me 185
30 waive 191 21 wart 206
43 mails, squid 234 28 squids, rose 234
26 ibex 260 11 crum 245
14 caned 274 18 oxen, lo, de 263
22 ovoid, or, io, yo 296 7 pit 270
10 hit 306 10 fan 280
10 nab 316 9 ant 289
6 lime 322 5 deer 294
2 li 324 -2 292

Today, The Wife blames me for challenging her on the two-letter hook word “de” which appears in the instruction inset as an official Scrabble word, but which does not appear in either the physical** or the online dictionary as a stand-alone English word. I relented and let her make her play anyway (her tenth move above). I disagree and I still think that “de” is not a permissible Scrabble word.

But what gets me worried is that after a game of Scrabble, one or the other of us is usually in a bad mood. And these games take hours and hours out of our mornings because we’re both quite competitive about the game.

So I wonder if we should continue our tradition of Saturday morning Scrabble. We can’t seem to do it without one of us getting bitter and upset.

* A yite is a yellow finch that frequents England and northern France. And yes, I got lucky with “squids” and “ibex.” A lot of animals in play this morning.
** An aside: our physical dictionary is quite odd. The publication date is 1989, but the map next to the entry for “Dead Sea” shows what is today the West Bank as part of Jordan and puts what is today Egypt in the U.A.R. Israel severed the West Bank from Jordanian control in 1967, and Egypt withdrew from the U.A.R. in 1971.

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering litigator. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Recovering Former Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.