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:
|28||he, healed, ed||124||24||jab||145|
|32||ye, zit, red, yite*||161||22||mail, me||185|
|43||mails, squid||234||28||squids, rose||234|
|14||caned||274||18||oxen, lo, de||263|
|22||ovoid, or, io, yo||296||7||pit||270|
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.