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(CBS News)   Clever nerds, exotic dancers, and quirky scientists hope to dazzle at annual Scrabble championships. This headline was worth 426 points   ( cbsnews.com) divider line
    More: Interesting  
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6725 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 Aug 2005 at 9:45 AM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

50 Comments     (+0 »)
2005-08-07 09:48:30 AM  
What's next? "World Series of Scrabble" on ESPN?!?
2005-08-07 09:49:13 AM  
It's on ESPN2.
2005-08-07 09:53:46 AM  
From what I understand, Alpha-Bits cereal is trying to become the event sponsor.
2005-08-07 09:54:12 AM  
It has to be more exciting than watching poker.
2005-08-07 09:55:53 AM  
"There's a message in my Alpha Bits! It says, 'OOOOOOOOOOO...'"

"Peter, those are Cheerios..."
2005-08-07 10:07:37 AM  
"Roman Castevet"

/not that obscure, right ?
2005-08-07 10:08:08 AM  
Word Freak is an excellent book - highly recommended whether you care about scrabble or not.
2005-08-07 10:09:22 AM  
Farkeologist: "World Series of Scrabble" on ESPN?!?

I'd watch it. I rented "Word Wars" (the documentary mentioned in the article) recently, and really enjoyed it. I have never seen a bunch of more totally brilliant, and yet completely mal-adjusted people.

Oh, wait. I'm on TF. I guess I have. Never mind.
2005-08-07 10:12:09 AM  
I never knew the book,"Word Freak" existed. I just ordered it on Amazon. Being a memebr of Fark pays off once again. This time it didn't have anything to do with boobies.
2005-08-07 10:12:56 AM  
Three words: Full Contact Scrabble.
2005-08-07 10:14:59 AM  
For anyone who may be interested, but has not heard of these things, the book "Word Freaks" and the documentary "Word Wars" covers the same span of time in the Scrabble world, and both cover a lot of the same ground.

I recommend reading the book, and then renting the documentary to see the real people described in "Word Freaks". I swear the author, as good as he is, cannot do justice to how bizarre these folks really are.
2005-08-07 10:16:28 AM  
It's on ESPN8, "the Ocho"
2005-08-07 10:18:11 AM  
[image from photodump.com too old to be available]

...courtesy of Tresser
2005-08-07 10:20:29 AM  
Heh, the photo's in German.
2005-08-07 10:23:17 AM  
These people are sick.
Anyone who is any good has memorized every single 2, 3 and 4 letter word (and many longer ones).
2005-08-07 10:27:43 AM  
"Scrabylon" is another good Scrabble documentary.

/once played "qwertys" on a triple word space
2005-08-07 10:28:33 AM  
This story is a transcript of a rerun of a story that was on "CBS Sunday Morning". Really people, recycling is getting out of hand...

Qat is a fabulous word, BTW...

2005-08-07 10:35:52 AM  
This transcript of a rerun of a story that was on "CBS Sunday Morning" made my head assplose.

couldn't finish R'ingTFA.
2005-08-07 10:39:40 AM  
Comedian Matt Graham from New York
"This is chlorophyll, just to kind of clean out all the toxins..."

No, that will have absolutely no effect. Stop talking crap.
2005-08-07 10:39:51 AM  
I have to admit, I am a bit of a Scrabble junkie. The keys to the game are hooks and knowing all of the 96 two-letter words.

/learn 'em, love 'em
2005-08-07 10:47:10 AM  
Word Wars was fairly interesting, although it lacks car chases and boobies.

"KWYJBO": A fat, dumb, balding North American ape with no chin.
2005-08-07 10:47:48 AM  
aendeuryu: Three words: Full Contact Scrabble.

[image from img.photobucket.com too old to be available]

2005-08-07 10:48:07 AM  
Yeah, this is from last year's National Scrabble Championship. This year's NSC is in Reno starting in 2 weeks. I'll be there.

Are we geeks? Yeah, most of us. But I enjoy their company. Most of them, anyway. And I'm pretty damn good at the game. I'm one of the top seeds in division 3, having attained a rating near 1600 in 2 short years.

To be an elite player (rated over 1800) takes years of study. And it's much more than simple rote memorization. The strategery involved is amazingly complex at times.

I'm also running an NSC roto, in which I have been selected by more teams than anyone else in my divisional half. So, I'm clearly a favorite to win my division. Hell, I might as well just save the trip and have them give me the prize money now.

-Steve Hartsman, also known on the Scrabble circuit as "Trashman" (a valid anagram of my last name)
2005-08-07 10:50:08 AM  
These players know more words than we do. Where we might know 20,000 words, they know like 100,000.

Wow, has using "like" to mean "approximately" become proper English?
2005-08-07 10:58:15 AM  
the winner won with the word 'teopans.'

it's considered a valid word, but has no definition- it's meaningless.

how stupid is that?
2005-08-07 11:03:22 AM  
Yikes - will that be wedged between the baseball and football games or what? They certainly have come up with just about everything to air as a "championship". Next up - Sorry championships.

And such has been the rapid decline of decent journalism. I see lines like that all of the time. Sad, really.
2005-08-07 11:08:51 AM  
"Wow, has using "like" to mean "approximately" become proper English?"

2005-08-07 11:12:35 AM  
the winner won with the word 'teopans.' it's considered a valid word, but has no definition- it's meaningless.

All valid words have definitions. Duh. A "teopan" is defined by OSPD3 (Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, Volume 3) as "a teocalli", which is "an Aztec temple".

Most Scrabblers learn "TEOPANS" from studying the 6-letter high-probability "stem" word "ATONES" + P. "ATONES" along with a blank yields 12 bingos. One way to memorize which letters can be added to "atones" to form bingos is with the "anamonic" "tip cup, rid guilt".

2005-08-07 11:13:50 AM  
hoohoodilly: having attained a rating near 1600

That's quite good. Best of luck to you!

/Hovers around 1300
2005-08-07 11:17:19 AM  
Meh. I submitted this headline with a better Triple Word Score.
2005-08-07 11:27:25 AM  
What's next? "World Series of Scrabble" on ESPN?!?

Yeah, it's on The Ocho.
2005-08-07 11:28:10 AM  
Kiribub: Thanks. I'll need it. One of the great things about Scrabble (and one of the most maddening) is that in tournament play, anyone is capable of beating anyone. At last year's NSC, for example, I got off to a quick start, going 4-0. I was in 2nd place out of 169 in my division. My next opponent was an 80+ year-old woman who had started 0-4. She trounced me.

I have beaten some of the best players in North America, yet been humbled by players rated below 1000. One can never get too cocky, as it offends the tile gods.
2005-08-07 11:44:10 AM  
why did you have to play the 0-4 player having 4-0 score ? don't you use Swiss pairing system (high score vs. high score each round, commonly used in big chess tournaments). Just curious why such a mismatch occured.
2005-08-07 11:49:20 AM  
Acrosstheborder: The first day (7 games), the pairings are done on a "snake" system. All opponents are predetermined by rating, and everyone faces similar average ratings, on the whole. Starting with day two (game 8), players with similar records face each other. Here is a much more detailed description of how the system works for the NSC.
2005-08-07 12:08:11 PM  
2005-08-07 12:15:20 PM  
By the way, 426 points (the amount the headline was worth, though I'm not sure how the submitter calculated that) represents the average score of elite players.

For comparison, a "living room" game usually scores around 250 points. In last year's NSC, I averaged 395, slightly better than my normal average of 390, but lost too many close games, and finished 17-13, good for "only" 36th place.

So, any farkers care to play for nickel a point?
2005-08-07 12:40:30 PM  
I played in the 2002 championship but that was my last tournament. I won the very first tournament I ever played in six months before that, but I stopped playing in any club atompshere around the beginning of 2003 because I was getting my ass handed to me regularly. Now that's one big xiphigilly if you ask me.
2005-08-07 12:53:58 PM  
wunnuy: Now that's one big xiphigilly if you ask me.

yea, quite a cromulant situation, you festoozio
2005-08-07 01:01:01 PM  
[image from indianapolismusic.net too old to be available]

I can't wait to get to play it...
2005-08-07 01:16:04 PM  
My dad & I play for a penny a point
2005-08-07 02:02:00 PM  
I truly enjoyed the movie, I'll have to check out the book. Anyone else think that G.I. Joel used his gastrointestinal problem as a psyche out? I'm not implying that he's faking it, but I really got the impression that he embellished it a bit, spitting right there at the table. Farking gross!
2005-08-07 03:49:18 PM  
freda neato: It's not an act. Everyone at the expert level knows full well about "G.I." Joel's problems. No, what Joel uses as a "psyche out" is his stone-cold knowledge of the dictionary. If you don't have the same, consider yourself at a huge disadvantage.
2005-08-07 03:54:11 PM  
Then there's Joel's impeccable decision-making, which few people dispute is as good as it gets.

But, hey, he really doesn't like me, so I won't kiss his ass any further...
2005-08-07 04:16:53 PM  
the winner won with the word 'teopans.'
it's considered a valid word, but has no definition- it's meaningless.
how stupid is that?

A teopan is a mexican temple.
2005-08-07 10:06:31 PM  
Zumaki: the winner won with the word 'teopans.'
it's considered a valid word, but has no definition- it's meaningless.
how stupid is that?

nanded: A teopan is a mexican temple.


/How many points for that one?
2005-08-08 12:58:15 AM  
Zumaki: the winner won with the word 'teopans.'
it's considered a valid word, but has no definition- it's meaningless.
how stupid is that?

nanded: A teopan is a mexican temple.


/How many points for that one?

From earlier in the thread....

hoohoodilly All valid words have definitions. Duh. A "teopan" is defined by OSPD3 (Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, Volume 3) as "a teocalli", which is "an Aztec temple".

So ah...Yahtzee!
2005-08-08 03:22:47 AM  
Would it be considered 'nerdish' to know what two letters the submitter had to use blanks for in the headline to make all the words on a scrabble board (with a normal english tile set to work from)?
2005-08-08 11:56:18 AM  
xria: No, what would be truly nerdish would be creating a "tile-gram", a headline that uses all 100 tiles. Note that the J is missing from this headline, for example, although the submitter clearly intended to include the other "power tiles" (K, Q, X, & Z).

There are Scrabblers who can come up with thematic, topical "tile-grams" rather quickly. I don't have the requisite talent or patience, not to mention nerdishness, for it.

One guy even proposed via a "tile-gram". She accepted. His wedding invitation was done in a similar manner, I think.

Another guy used to compose "tile-grams" daily for a Scrabble newsgroup I subscribe to, pulled from offbeat news sources (sound familiar?). Here's one sample:

BOISE, Idaho - A strip club in Boise, Idaho has found an artful way to prance past a city law that prohibits full nudity.

On what it calls Art Club Nights, the Erotic City strip club charges customers $15 for a sketch pad, pencil, and a chance to see completely naked women dancers.

In 2001 the Boise City Council passed an ordinance banning total nudity in public unless it had "serious artistic merit" -- an exemption meant to apply to plays, dance performances and art classes.

In the two months since they began, Art Club Nights have drawn full crowds of 60 people but no police citations, [Owner Chris Teague] said.

Or, in 100 Scrabble tiles:

Boise exotic dan(c)e purveyor using questionable method skirting feared law. Joint gazed upon live fare with (C)rayola, mac!
2005-08-08 12:23:18 PM  
I know this thread is long since dead, but here's another clever "tilegram", based on a story I clearly recall being on fark. Credit should be given to its creator, Michael Turniansky.

LONDON (Reuters) - A Welsh rugby fan cut off his own testicles to celebrate Wales beating England at rugby, the Daily Mirror reported Tuesday.

Geoff Huish, 26, was so convinced England would win Saturday's match he told fellow drinkers at a social club, "If Wales win I'll cut my balls off," the paper said.

Friends at the club in Caerphilly, south Wales, thought he was joking.

But after the game Huish went home, severed his testicles with a knife, and walked 200 yards back to the bar with the testicles to show the shocked drinkers what he had done.

Or, in 100 Scrabble tiles:

Jerk rugby devotee Geo(f)f Huish, desexed con(s)equentially to Wales beating rival, airs firm opinion, "I am a putz, not a coward!"
2005-08-08 04:49:53 PM  

[image from sineswiper.com too old to be available]
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