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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Spell Bound... and Fascinated

I'm quoting The Guardian (big surprise, hah!) yet again.

'The highest score that it is theoretically possible to achieve in a single turn in Scrabble is for the word "oxyphenbutazone". Even at the top levels of tournament Scrabble, this has never actually happened: it would require the game to have unfolded in exactly the right way up to that point, leaving exactly the right open spaces, and the right combination of letters in the bag. But if it did, it would span three triple-word scores, creating seven other new words on the board, for a total of at least 1,778, depending on which official word list you used. The closest anyone has come in real life was a now deceased Kurdish player, Dr Karl Khoshnaw, who got 392 points for "caziques" at a contest in Manchester in 1982. (Oxyphenbutazone, in case you're wondering, is a chemical compound used to treat arthritis; caziques were ancient Peruvian and Mexican princes. But if you had a Scrabble champion's mind-set, you wouldn't waste brain-space on what words mean: that's not the point.)'

This is from an article on Scrabble, my favourtiest game of all time and what it has to say had me absolutely riveted for the few minutes I spent perusing it. It's by far one of the best examples of writing I've seen — informative, well laid-out, well-written and very enjoyable.

What do you know about your favourite game?

12 comments:

  1. I know everything about my fav board games. How can I claim so? Simply because I myself use to create those! Sheesh, those were the days...

    But I have a feeling that you must be an awesome scrabble player.
    How 'bout a challenge?
    I'll give you 5 words and you can write their meanings (without using any sort of dictionary of course:P)

    What say? Ready?

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  2. Ah! Scrabble!! Fundoooo game and I dont think that oxy-word would've dawned on me anyday! :-))) Now let me get back to that article you linked up :)

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  3. Zephyr: you made-up board game? Did you share them?
    Challenging me is all good talk, how do you mean to verify whether I've used adictionary or not though?

    Snippetsnscribbles: I'm still marvelling at the word and its scoring! What's your favourite word?

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  4. good u asked :)
    I love this word "Floccinaucinihilipilification" !! But never got to use it in Scrabble:(

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  5. I'm not sure if the spelling is correct..

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  6. Cool isn’t it? Making up board games, setting your own rules & fine tuning your way through as you please. Initially they proved interesting venture for a couple of friends but as we built up, it gathered an army of enthusiasts! And before I knew they were willing to pay 1,000 Rupees for a single go!!! Alright I made up that last line... but making games is a process every kid should go through.

    Now there is no way of verifying the use of dictionary but I don't need one with you. So here they are:

    1) Phantasmagoria
    2) Paean
    3) Aliquant
    4) Quaffer
    5) Jactation

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  7. Snippetsnscribbles: You did indeed get the spelling right! I've always wondered how one can actually build long words in scrabble... I rather like 'up words' for this reason, let's you build words by allowing you to stack tiles on top too!

    Zephyr: Ain't playing! :P

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  8. What? How come? Well they were tough nuts weren't they:D

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  9. That was an interesting tidbit!
    The husband and I often engage in serious rounds of Scrabble and Monopoly which often end in bloodshed.Scrabble especially.We are highly competitive that way,ri.

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  10. Zephyr: That's precisely what dictionaries are made for :P

    Ilovelucy: hehehe!! I'm liking the sound of this!!

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  11. it is not my favourite game but I enjoy playing it with my husband.

    My fav game is gossiping and I can say there is not much to know about it. :-)

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    ReplyDelete