The trials and tribulations of a life of leisure...

Followers

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A dreadful year for UK Scrabble

I at last got around to reading my scrabble magazine yesterday. Inside was an obituary of Karl Khoshnaw - best known around the scrabble world as the world record holder for playing CAZIQUE for 124 points on his opening move. I had first met Karl when he was a member of the Richmond club. I used to play in the East Berkshire team, and the Richmond v East Berks match almost always decided which of us would win the Southern Counties league for that year. He had died whilst awaiting a liver transplant when he contracted pneumonia and septicaemia, aged only 57.

I logged in to the uk-s scrabble mailing list to write an email regarding the '5 minute challenge' inside the magazine. This is a regular feature, containing 4 sets of 10 anagrams, the first set supposedly for beginners, increasing in difficulty and the final set for experts. I had been thinking that David (who sets the challenges) was losing the plot. David has come into scrabble with an excellent and exotic word knowledge, and definitely not what most people would call a scrabble players vocabulary. Scrabble players tend to learn words in probability order of the tiles, but David's challenges do not seem to take that into account.

(answers at the end of this post)
Group 1 contained ABGLMOU
Group 2 contained AILMPRU
Group 3, which according to David should be known by players with ratings 151-175 (n.b. I have a rating of 193) contained the following: CCEEIOR, ENRSUY and BEIIMNNR
I won't even tell you what was in group 4...

I sent my email.

I checked half an hour later to see if it had arrived and whether there had been any response.

That was when I received the dreadful news. Graeme Thomas, a former chairman of the Association of British Scrabble Players, had been involved in a fatal car accident on the early hours of the morning. There had been a severe frost, and it was thought that his car failed to take a sharp bend and hit a tree.

As with Pete earlier in the year this news has been greeted with shock, great sadness and a sense of disbelief. Emails have been coming in from around the world expressing people's sorrow and passing on condolences to Graeme's family.

Graeme was a one-off, which is saying something for an identical twin.
.
.
.
.
.

With respect to Graeme, moderator of the uk-s scrabble mailing list
.
.
.
.
.
As is customary on uk-s there follows a spoiler space for the quiz answers
.
.
.
.
.
Graeme also had an exotic and extensive vocabulary, and was well known for berating us on our lack of education. I was wondering whether I should include the quiz in this post, but I think he would approve
.
.
.
.
.
.
Answers:
LUMBAGO. Although a common word I would not expect the majority of low-rated players to get this.
PRIMULA. Again not an obscure word, but not high up on the probability stakes of scrabble.
CICOREE - certainly not a word on everyones lips and very low probability
SENRYU - 6-letter words are the least valuable to scrabble players and as this does not take an S would not have been learnt even as a lower-probability 7. Add to that it is an American import...
RENMINBI - enough said...

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

A ciggie a day will help YOU on your way.

AC said...

You don't know RENMINBI? Don't you ever follow international financial news?

DC said...

Negative

Blog Archive

Contributors