With Scrabblette allegedly studying this evening, I set myself a project of playing Super Scrabble Solitaire. Super Scrabble is just like normal Scrabble with but a 21x21 board and 200 tiles, so roughly twice as large. Also, the tile mix is slightly friendlier - proportionally there are fewer Js and Vs and more Ts and Ss.
I thought about the assessment rules on the train on the way home. It would be possible to attempt to set myself up for a really big score through careful planning... get the Q on the quadruple letter score, and the Z on the triple word score, and so on, but that would be really boring and not at all like the real game. So to compare games of solitaire Super Scrabble I will compare average points per turn. Hence I'm usually motivated to play the best word for any move. I did find myself not wanting to waste spaces that I thought I could get a good score on. The 7 spaces where BENEFITS ended up was an example - I knew it would be easy to play a 7 letter bingo ending in S on a triple word score, so I left the spot available until I had one.
The game lasted 2.5 hours and I found myself tiring about halfway through. The board is so big and there are so many places to play (though not as many as you'd expect) that you get worn out trying to consider all of the possibilities. Sometimes I just played a word because I liked the word and wanted to remember it later - BIOTA, VATIC, ZORI, ARIEL. And sometimes I played a poor word to get rid of some letters to try to get something decent on my rack.
Here are the words and what they scored:
TORNADO 66 (bingo #1)
VANE 38 - if there had been an L I could have played HEAVENLY!
BENEFITS 77 (bingo #2)
UNSATING 58 (bingo #3)
for a total score of 1776 in 52 turns = 34.2 points per turn.
My impression is that rack management is more important in this game than in the small game. If you think 3 Us on your rack is bad, consider the possibility of having 7! Also, although scores were slightly higher than the original game, they weren't dramatically so. The quadruple letter tiles and quadruple word tiles are way out in the boondocks, and a word like WONTS on a DWS and QLS is worth 40, when in the original if you got it on a DWS and a TLS it would still be worth 32. If I average about 340 points per game, and this counts as 4 games, then that's about 30% higher. High yes, but not silly.
Anyway, this game was hard work. I allow myself to look in the dictionary (because I'm here to learn, not to compete fairly) and 2.5 hours of anagramming, considering possibilities and looking up words that don't exist (e.g. BIOTECH and FUNCTOR) sucks the energy out of you. That's why I have to go to bed now.
By the way, here is a photo of my niece, just because she's cute.