Yes, I am addicted to Scrabble. It seems I’m not the only one:

Gotta love XKCD… except this particular comic bugs me. A veteran scrabble (tm, c, r, wheres-my-capital-letter get-lost-and-die-under-a-torrent-of-lawyers-scrabulous all-rights-reserved-hasbro) player would never play OSTRICH for a mere 13 points, not even making a second word and destroying the beautiful bingo-potential set of {O, S, T, R, I, L} (or even more potent 5-letter subsets thereof).

A veteran player might play a small word to keep the bingo potential and get rid of the less-valuable C, e.g. COL forming HI & LI for 17 points. A small score, but good strategic play. A less-experienced player may make HISTORIC, using up the mid-right triple for 42 points and still leaving {L,T,S}. Not bad. Heck, even CHI if they liked the prospect of keeping their other 6 letters (but there are plenty of more valuable non-bingo moves, letter turnover is good).

A seasoned strategist would spot the morphological possibilities and may eventually come up with COISTRIL (thanks to a decent medieval vocab) for 63 points. A zoologist might end up with TROCHILS for 64, but that’s possibly a long shot.

However, even a superfluous superficial (although the former typing slip makes it seem more erudite :P) knowledge of Roman History would instantly reveal the prospect of LICTORS in no less than 7 locations on the board ranging from 64 to 71 points. (If you’re struggling to find the 71, yes CH is a valid word).

So CLITORIS is only the 3rd-best possible word (9th move) on sheer points alone. How much one adds for amusement factor is a separate issue 😛

I had 24 lictors in a past life.


P.S. In case you missed it, all XKCD comics have a final comment shown if you mouseover the image. It’s often a fine display of paraprosdokian.

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