Wee Scoops

Measure for Measure

Lessons in Life from Scrabble #3: Someone has to Open Up the Board

So you’re starting in the middle, with a mediocre word, but at least it’ll be doubled.

I’m hoping you put the last letter of the word on the centre square, certainly not the first.

You have to have an open board.

Top-left good; bottom-right bad.

Sometimes the board gets choked, every move stymied, with some bright spark fencing off the playable area, forcing the players to hog the bottom right corner.

But what do you do? Egoist or utilitarian? Or are you necessarily an egoist either way?

Something inside makes you want to wait until an opponent cracks, and plays a long and low-scoring seven-letterer to “open up the board”. Then you can pounce on the triple. (That’d be 30…?)

Simultaneously there is the urge to be that player, who risks providing a plethora of playable spaces for the others, in the knowledge that when it gets back to them, the board may well be saturated again. But you’d feel warm and magnanimous for a time.

Do you create opportunities or wait for them? Do you create opportunities for yourself?

Or, do you create them for others, in the hope that in some roundabout way, you will ultimately benefit?

Who will play their tiles for the greater good? Who will reap the benefits?

Bottom line: we need an open board. Someone has to play the long-low word.


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6 thoughts on “Lessons in Life from Scrabble #3: Someone has to Open Up the Board

  1. It sounds as if you are able to find as much food for thought in Scrabble as you did in Exodus. I can just imagine what your discussions are like with your children. Lucky kids.

  2. I really like the way you are using the series form in your analytical dissection of subjects as different as scrabble and Exodus. It keeps everything fresh and original. I’m enjoying quite a lot.

  3. Ah well, as Socrates said – children these days.

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