M, T, T, E, G, F, S!

I really like playing word games. I didn’t think I play word games that often, but I took stock and found that in fact I do play often. I confess to a little freerice vocabulary-building every week, and I usually try some online boggle every week as well. I have a stash of crossword puzzles from the Sunday newspaper going back a full year, and while I don’t finish one a week I occasionally go through bursts where I do several in a day or weekend. Plus I do a lot of them in the summer.

I also play fictionary (it involves the players making up definitions for an unknown word, then voting on the definition they think is correct) over e-mail with a group that I’ve been playing with for about 15 years. We recently tried defining the words “gnammas” and “tafoni.” I did not win, which is just as well. The winner (whoever gets the most votes) has to choose the next word and run the next round. Once all the players have submitted their definitions, the person running the round has to compile them into one file, make them all have the same format, remember to put in the real definition, and send the ballot out for votes. Then they have to count all the votes without losing track of anyone’s e-mails, and announce the winner. It’s a great game! Usually when I run the game, I have to go through 3 or 4 words before hitting on one that nobody else thinks they know. The players in that game have really good vocabularies!

While I am a physics geek, I think I have a pretty good vocabulary (if I say so myself) and I like to show off sometimes. For example, I have been on level 50 of freerice more than once. I’m pretty sure I got this vocabulary from reading too many books…a topic I will write about some other time. I like to play Scrabble®, Boggle, and Bananagrams® (though I don’t have my own bananagrams set yet…). Unfortunately, I generally think of myself as “too busy.” Well, that is not entirely true–I could be playing a word game right now but I am writing in this blog instead.

Last week, while I was on Spring Break, I played Scrabble against my husband. While I think I have a slightly better vocabulary than he does (I play freerice at a slightly higher level than he does, usually), my husband is an excellent gamer. Gaming is what he loves. He is a whiz at determining winning strategies, and even seems to win games of chance (cribbage comes to mind) more than chance might lead you to expect. He can look at a Scrabble rack of M, T, T, E, G, F, S and scope out the board, and all of a sudden there’s a tiny word snuggled next to another word making two more words and he’s got another 23 points! He’s an expert anagrammer, has a great memory (especially for things like the list of acceptable two-letter words), and is a superb strategist. Here is our board from last week’s game, which he won by over 40 points:

Scrabble Board March 2008

We were pretty pleased with ourselves–our combined total was only a little shy of 700 points, which is a nice total for two-person Scrabble!

Do you like word games? Which ones do you like to play?

2 Responses to “M, T, T, E, G, F, S!”

  1. gpitter Says:

    It’s fair to point out that we play a pretty non-competitive strain of Scrabble… not quite collaborative, but certainly without a timer or challenges. So our point totals come out higher than people playing a more combative style. Still, that was a great game.

  2. E.C. Says:

    I haven’t been able to get beyond level 48 on freerice. Sigh.

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