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Subject: An Exciting Solitaire BASHO rss

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John Farrell
Australia
Aspley
Queensland
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Buster Keaton from 'Go West'
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As I have the day off sick, I've been playing Scrabble Cards solitaire. My aim is to get the best ratio of points to turns. On my first attempt I scored 620 points from 26 turns. This is the story of my second game.

I started unspectacularly, with GLIM for 14 and COWL for 18, both using DWS bonus cards. My score was looking forlorn when I found myself with a hand of AELNTW + blank. That looked like a bingo, so it required some thought. WANTLESS? WANTLED? ANTLEW? LAWTEN? FAWNLET? Nothing was valid.



Eventually, somehow, I thought of WETLAND and was able to play it. I find composite words difficult to find as the letters don't follow the common patterns of the language. I've really got to find them half at a time. WETLAND was accompanied by a DWS for 78 points.



I then drew a V (yuk) and a category card "uses a blank". VARIED seemed to be my best option, slightly better than DRIVE. I had a D left in my hand then picked up another one, and the new category card was "2 letter word". I was quite pleased to see how well DUSTED fit alongside VARIED, although it was only 24 points for all those words. However my next category card was "contains Z" which is difficult when you don't have one.



I wasn't able to play the category card for a couple of turns - the other option was "all letters worth 1 point". There were Ds all over the board, and I'd drawn F and Y. Then I drew the Q which I played through the U of DUSTED, and finally drew a Z and played GAZED for 31.

I would have liked to kept the Z around for a few turns, as it's worth 10 points each time you score it, and you can reuse it as the words around it keep evaporating, but I didn't draw many As or Os which can be used to keep the Z in a cross-word. After GAZED and BIZ the Z went away.

The game then went into the doldrums for a few turns, with difficult yet low-scoring letters and the "contains IN / ends with S" category card which was difficult to claim without an S.

When I scored 22 for BASHO on turn 16 I was 11 points behind the pace of my previous game.



My replacement letters were very nice - an X, which of course would dominate the hand - and DEIOM and something else. OXIDE and MOXIE stood out like a beacon, and MOXIE fit best. With the TWS card that was 80 points.



I then drew J, K and a blank. I could have made JACKIED but it's not a word. If you must have the J and K together, it's nice to have a blank as well. I realised though that I didn't need the blank straight away, and could play JAKE for 63 points with a DWS.



I refilled my hand and realised I had PUDDIES, and luckily it *is* a word. 79 points for that (with the "contains D" category card). I then drew EILOPRS, and played POLARISE for 66 points (ends with E). I was on a serious roll here, but there was was only one letter card left, so I played LA and a DWS for 4 points.

Wow, what a rush! I scored 278 points in 4 turns. The words and scores were:

GLIM 14
COWL 18
CHURN 19
HAVE 18
WETLAND 78
VARIED 18
DUSTED 24
FATTY 19
QUERY 17
GAZED 31
BIZ 14
OAR 16
GENIC 21
FUN 24
ONTIC 16
BASHO 22
MOXIE 80
JAKE 63
PUDDIES 79
POLARISE 66
LA 4

661 points in 21 turns. I suspect that score will take some beating.
 
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