Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Defective Scrabble Set:

My aunt was, for many years, an addicted Scrabble player. She once devised a sort of Scrabble Solitaire suitable for publishing in newspapers. Her game began with a rack of seven letters, and challenged you to find the best play. Then, in each column, the new board position appeared, and you were challenged to make the best possible play with your current rack, etc. I believe she did persuade a newspaper to run this Scrabble column.

I was an avid teenage player, and she gave me what was, at the time, the best Scrabble game for sale, a beautiful board with elegant plastic pieces.

After I married, I mostly played Scrabble with my father-in-law. We were evenly matched and appreciated each other’s style. When he visited us, of course we used the beautiful set I got from my aunt.

He hated it. There was a defect in the set that I had discovered shortly after I received it, and he also noticed it right away. A Scrabble set has 100 tiles, but mine had 101; there was an extra ‘W’.

I loved the extra W. I hated the situation that arises too often in Scrabble, where you have six or seven vowels and can’t make a decent play anywhere. To me, that W evened the balance.

My father-in-law complained about the extra W. He often insisted on playing without it. One day, the W disappeared. You can draw your own conclusions. I certainly did.
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