Up until today, you might have been forgiven for not knowing that Tanner Glass had agreed to play Scrabble with PITB. The challenge had made its way around the Twitterverse and the Blogosphere, but it hadn't yet escaped to a larger audience. If you weren't online, you probably wouldn't have known. But now, the mainstream media's got the story. Now it's news. It's true. Yesterday, both Jason Botchford of The Province and Ian Walker of the Vancouver Sun offered up stories on the Tanner Glass Scrabble challenge. Let us examine them together:
- Tanner Glass Taking Scrabble Challenge Seriously -- Jason Botchford, The Province
Now, Glass doesn't like to lose much and herein lies the rub. While Mooney has been playing regularly for five years, Glass had only played about 15 times before this year when he started what he calls a heated word rivalry with Aaron Rome, on the road."I played very little before this year," Glass said. "I played a bit in Rochester with this kid Pete Aston, he was good, and his girlfriend, they were both really good. Never played (as a kid). I'm no Scrabble whiz by any means."What does he do about it?"I've been researching a lot," he said. "Words that are seven letters or less."
- Canucks' Tanner Glass Willing to Take on Scrabble Babble -- Ian Walker, Vancouver Sun
One thing led to another and … Glass's sister soon got involved.“She saw it on Twitter and I guess the Pass it to Bulis guys and her got to talking online so she called me up asking if I was interested,” said the affable Glass, 27. “It's amazing in this day and age. You can't say anything without someone getting wind of it. It really is the world wide web.”
Glass, on the other hand, can count on his fingers and toes how many times he's played the game before this season — and then he would still have digits left over to wiggle his little piggies and scratch his nose.
“He doesn't have a chance,” boasted Mooney, who is one major paper away from receiving a Masters in English. “I lose friends because I'm so good. I may not be a stickler for rules — he can use the three-letter variety — but I'm going to crush him.”
This is funny stuff. While I admit these are real quotes, I was chuckling as I said them. Unfortunately, they do nothing to dispel the notion that I'm some sort of monomaniacal nerd--the black Artie Ziff.
One other thing to add here: the quote about the three-letter words is a bit off. What I meant was that I probably won't be a jerk and play an overly technical game, full of three-letter words I know are legal but could never hope to define (like CWM, or RHO). That would be dickish.
That said, here's a quick tip for people trying to expand their word list, like Tanner. Most bingos (words that use all the tiles in your rack) also include one tile already on the board, so they're actually eight-letter words. You could never know all the words in the English language that are eight letters or less. Instead, just memorize all the words you can spell with the letters in LATRINE and one additional letter. These letters are the most common seven in the game.