I'm playing Scrabulous again with Mary Anne. Good words so far: she led with TILDE, I countered with PORCINI, she played AEGIS. At which point I was just about ready to resign; how can you top AEGIS?
But then I looked at my tiles and saw that I had a host of possibilities.
Only most of them didn't quite work.
I was one tile off from being able to play each of the following:
- VICARIOUS (which would've spanned two triple-word scores! Of course, it would've required me to have eight tiles in hand--details, details)
I got very excited when I saw that I could use all seven of my tiles to play VICEROIS, which I attempted to do--and then the game told me it was an illegal play. Which is just as well, because that spelling turns out to be wrong. Maybe "viceroi" is French? Maybe I just made it up? I had managed to convince myself I'd seen it somewhere, but maybe not.
At any rate, though I'm glad the game didn't let me play it, I'm confused--I've seen words played in Scrabulous which I thought weren't in their official dictionary; I thought the game left it up to the players to play illegal words if they wanted to (and to the other players to then challenge them).
. . . But now I see that the main words that I had assumed weren't in the official dictionary--PUJA and TROGS, from two other games--are in fact in the official dictionary. I easily forget that the official dictionary does not match my dictionary of choice, MW11, which doesn't list either of those--although MW3 unabridged lists both. Turns out "trogs" is a chiefly Scottish synonym for "troth." (As in "I pledge thee my trogs." But the word sounds too informal and slangy for that. Maybe "Yo, dude, I pledge thee my trogs." Or "Och, lassie, ye have me feckin' trogs.") So I guess the game does prevent illegal words. Knowing that would've saved me a lot of trepidation over various words whose spellings I was unsure of. (In my ideal game, if I were unsure of a spelling I would just look it up, but various people had indicated to me that they considered that to be cheating, so I don't do it. But apparently the game will do it for me automatically.)
In the end, I was faced with a challenge to my Scrabble principles. I had a choice: I could play VIZIERS, a great word, for 11 points; or I could play VICARS, an okay word, across a triple-word-score square for 36 points.
I am (occasionally) weak; I picked the triple-word option. Partly because I don't think I've ever played a triple-word-score square in Scrabulous (and maybe never in Scrabble); partly because that's a big point difference; partly because Mary Anne whomped me in the last game, 345 to 205 (and did so partly by hitting six of the eight triple word squares); partly because VICARS isn't bad, just not as cool as VIZIERS.
Ah, well. Occasional pragmatism is probably a good stretching exercise for idealists. (How's that for a rationalization?)