Tuesday, April 08, 2008

AGONY, and other words

I think AGONY is a harsh word to describe the pain in my arm, but OW is certainly accurate, and those were the first two words I played in my Scrabble Cards solitaire games today. Scrabblette has taken the day off work to look after me (because the hospital made me sign a form saying someone would keep an eye on me for 24 hours) but she still has work to do. If only I'd got the hospital to make the form say she had to play games with me...

Anyway, I was playing by my usual solitaire Scrabble rules which are that your score is your average points per turn. I haven't soloed Scrabble Cards before so I didn't have a benchmark to compare to. Anyway, I decided a good strategy would be to use as many bonus cards as I possibly could, as they give you points and then you get another bonus card. I found that the bonus cards then sort of guided the game as the board position does in normal Scrabble.

Anyway, a few moves into the game I found the letters pictured above in my hand. It might not mean much to you, but my friend Bren Caperon died of cancer a few years ago, and I still find myself sometimes wondering what he's up to, and realising that's no longer a valid question. I hope people don't think the same about me in future!

It seems Bren brought me good luck, because I then noticed a bingo waiting for me - 61 points! On the next turn I played ZONKED with a "contains Z" category card for 35 points. I managed to keep the Z card on the table and scored from it for the next 4 turns, including a TWS and a DWS.

Eventually I had to let the Z go, and I scored slowly for a few turns as I couldn't even use my bonus card. (Note that under my rules taking a turn to swap the bonus card would decrease my score, so it's better not to, I think.) However the X came out and I had a lot of fun playing with that - DAG was a DWS on the G for 37 points, and I later played FAST with AX as a cross-word and a "contains X" category card for 33 points.

My final score was 620 points from 26 turns, and I used all of the category cards. The words played were:


A couple of hours later I got motivated for another bash, and dealt myself another hand. The start was unspectacular and after 4 moves I was 7 points behind the pace of my previous game. I found myself with AELNTW + blank and thought "there must be a bingo in there!". I pondered for a few minutes - WANTLESS? FAWNLET? LAWNETTE? until I figured out WETLAND.

I'm usually very bad at finding composite bingos like that, as the letters don't follow the patterns of the language so closely. Is there any other word with ETLA in the middle? SHETLAND... but it's almost a composite as well. So I was fairly pleased that I found WETLAND.

I then drew a V which I always find a painful experience, but I was able to play VARIED, and next turn I could make DUSTED next to it. Not great points, but fun to find. When the Z came out in this game I was looking to repeat my success with it from the previous game (I scored it at least 7 times), but my letters weren't helpful - you need Os and As - and after only scoring it twice the Z went away. After 10 turns I was 25 points off the pace.

However the game turned. I played BASHO on turn 16 for 22 points, and then drew the X and beautiful letters to go with it - I had MOXIE and a D as well so I could have made OXIDE. However MOXIE fit better and with the TWS it scored 80 points. Woohoo!

My next bonus card was a DWS and I was able to lay JAKE below MOXIE for 63 points. Woohoo again! BTW BASHO had to stay on the table because the B and the A were both in use - if it had been only one of them then the other letters would have been removed.
My luck continued - I drew a blank and could make PUDDIES for 79 points. Then I drew more good letters and made POLARISE through the A of BASHO for 66 points. Then there was only one card left and I finished the game with 661 points from 21 turns, a much better score than in the previous game. The words I made in this game were:


Back to bitching about my injuries, things I'm looking forward to include:
* alcohol (this evening - but in moderation, as digestion of alcohol and digestion of paracetamol don't happen at the same time)
* finding out how much pain is caused by the injury and how much by the dressing (tomorrow)
* washing my hair (tomorrow)
* typing with all my fingers (don't know)
* sleeping on my right side (don't know)


Björn said...

Hi, I was googling people I used to know when I worked in Oz 93-94 and was looking for Bren Caperon when I stumbled across your post. If this is the Bren Caperon who enjoyed growing macadamias and had a patch of land outside of Nimbin and who worked in the software industri during daytime could you please contact me (Björn Stenberg) at bstenberg64@gmail.com. Thanks in advance.

John said...

I found your post through a Google search. I was wondering if you were refering to the same Bren Caperon I went to school with at Iolani in Hawaii 30 years ago. Thanks for a reply. John Lemke

mandalj said...

I've just found your post when I was doing one of my regular searches to try to track down Bren Caperon. We were friends during uni and afterwards for more than 10 years but we lost contact. I have no idea why previous searches didn't show your blog post, which gave me a huge shock. I would love to know more about what happened and how I can get in touch with his family - please contact me at mandalj @ gmail.com. Thanks, Manda