So I have definitely overdosed on scrabble. Hopefully, some time off will rekindle my passion. It may be a little while till my next post. I will leave you with the top three (positive) moments from Orlando.
1) The knockout to end all knockout words showed up. Muzjiks, which means Russian peasants graced my rack with its beautiful presence. I did some checking of my own and some confirming with staff on site (more nice people by the way, particularly John Chew and his wife) and even with the blank for the "u", it looks like I beat the old world record for a first turn play by two points (126 to 124) which had been set by two people previously. The scrabble duck herself made it into the coverage http://www.scrabble-assoc.com/tourneys/2008/nsc/build/photo/5/DSC_0013.html
She was forgivably sleepy after the tough game she helped me with. How embarrassing would it have been to set a record on the first turn and then blow the game? Thankfully, we pulled it out despite our opponents inspired efforts. Hopefully, if they ever publish another edition of Everything Scrabble Professor P's secret identity will be dramatically revealed at that time (and not a second before).
2) I got to play on the first board of my division. This would "normally" indicate that I was in either first or second place, but thanks to the wacky scrabble system, it only meant that I was being randomly paired with the top ranked player. She went on to finish in second and as I said last time, she was a very nice lady and a pleasure to meet and play. I was extremely fortunate to beat her. I had found "candied" in my letters, but saw no place to put it. She was kind enough to play a three letter K word that got her a lot of points, but made a spot for me. Since there are no two letter C words she did not even get to do a high point answer after my bingo along the right side.
3) My last hurrah was in the 26th round (that just seems crazy to type). I drew the bag (I got almost all of the "premium" tiles) and got a couple bingos and several cheesy little words that got ridiculous amounts of points. I don't remember which ones, but it was stuff like qi or za on triple letter squares. She was a gracious loser and did the best she could with the tiles she got. Thanks to the scrabble obsession with spread I was officially in 4th place after that round. There were two more rounds to go though. I was outplayed by the eventual third place finisher in the next round and lost a close game. Final round it was my turn to get almost no good tiles and lose a laugher of a blowout. What goes around comes around. I clearly faded as the tournament wore on as my day by day record shows. I guess I'm just getting too old.
One last happy thought to leave you with while I go on temporary hiatus. With my rating gain I have moved up into the top ten list for my state. This is/was one of my secret goals. There are not many of these left, but there are a couple for me to still work on. For now though, its time to relax and wander off into the sunset with the coconut conundrum. Till whenever duckies, just remember: Just keep swimming (and whenever you get the chance, flying...).