Scrabble reunion today….at Jill’s house. The excuse, although she didn’t realize it before she arrived, was a baby shower for Ali. And we were all desperate to chat and catch up.
Of course we also had a Scrabble board going.
I had a bingo, or hoped I did, on my first turn. “Is BENDIES, a word?”
“Oh, go ahead,” said Patrice, queen of generosity.
A few turns later, Linda played CAYE. I was suspicious, but after BENDIES—for 83 points—I didn’t have ground to stand on.
None of this would have lasted a minute if Jill was still around. Even when she was sick, Jill was queen of the dictionary and we were playing serious scrabble. If she got a bingo, you could be damn sure it was a legit word.
I checked–you knew I would, right?—and neither BENDIES nor CAYE is legal according to Merriam-Webster (Scrabble edition.)
So, were we cheating?
I’d say no. We were having a super casual game. With BENDIES, enthusiasm got the better of me. And my friends let me have it. A bit later in the game, Patrice called from the other room: “You can take my turn for me,” as she was ogling the new baby. I played MOOT on her behalf for 29 points.
Now, If we’d palmed the blank tiles to make bingos later, THAT would be cheating. Even in a casual game.
A 13 year-old boy did just last at the Scrabble national’s last week. There had already been suspicions about the boy’s over-competent play. And when a fellow player thought he saw the kid palm two tiles at the start of the game, he challenged the tile count. The kid dropped the tiles on the floor, was escorted from the tournament in presence of a friend’s mother.
As every parent of a teen-ager will testify, kids do stupid things. I’m glad they didn’t print his name. And hope he learns a big fat lesson.
Me, I learned a lesson today.
BENDIES is not a word.