December 30th, 2008

behind the lid scintillating

Scrabble brainteaser, and Legend of Hero: 021

On Christmas, kadyg and I travelled down to my parents' house. One of our presents to them was a Scrabble board*. We ended up playing a game to break it in.

On my first turn, I had a handful of 1-point letters -- including an "S". I made a Hail Mary play for the 50-point bonus you score when you use up all your tiles -- dropping the S on the end of an existing word, and building a seven-letter word that also used the S. (The board position was such that the S could have been in any position in my seven-letter word.)

My word was TREANTS. My parents, not being Dungeons & Dragons geeks with a love for sentient plants, immediately challenged. We discovered that we didn't have a Scrabble dictionary handy. It wasn't in the regular dictionary we managed to dig up, so we reached a quick deal: If I took it back and played something else, I could redo my turn rather than lose it.

Not wanting to give up the quick 50-point boost, I furiously anagrammed, and finally tried the same tactic again, dropping down TARTENS. ("Oh, come on, that's misspelled!" Kady immediately protested. "No, I'm not going for the things Scotsmen wear," I replied. "I'm conjugating the verb that describes when something becomes more sour." I got challenged anyway.) As this was my second try, it was ruled that if this wasn't in the dictionary either, that was it for my turn. Sadly, the arbiters of official English didn't approve of my cruftipose verbizulation.

Esprit d'escalier being what it is, it wasn't until next morning that I realized I could have thrown down a legitimate seven-letter word, immune to challenge -- even with only a moderately sized standard dictionary at hand. Facepalming ensued.

Can you tell me what word I should have played with those seven letters?**

The answer may or may not be in the new installment of Legend of Hero over at ttustories. You should go read it and find out! It also may or may not resolve the incredible cliffhanger in the previous episode. You should go read it and find out! Either way, further updates will continue to follow the M/W/F schedule.

For the record: We're catching up on a character we haven't seen in a while, so you may also want to check Wastes: I and Wastes: II for context.

* Technically, Super Scrabble, but I'm considering that a subset of the larger "Scrabble" genre.
** No, none of them were blanks.