Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis is also a competitive Scrabble player. Earlier this month, he was competing in his 116th Scrabble tournament while contemplating retiring from the game. But one night during the tournament, he and some other Scrabble experts discussed a game that day in which top player Will Anderson could have scored a bingo (using all of one’s tiles, for a 50-point bonus) by using the word “highveld” but didn’t see it. Highveld is a South African term that is in the Collins list of words used in Anderson’s tournament, but not in the North American list used in Fatsis’ tournament.
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Finally, Sokol, who had told us about Anderson’s miss, pointed out that the North American lexicon includes only one of those -VELD words: bushveld, a veld with “abundant shrubby and often thorny vegetation,” according to Merriam-Webster. Interesting! So what was your record today? Make any fun plays? How’s the salad?
Fatsis has never heard of “bushveld” until that discussion. The very next day, Fatsis played against Anna Miransky. At one point in the game, against all odds, his tiles were DEHLSUV. And there was an open B on the board. You might guess what happened, but you’ll enjoy reading the whole story. You don’t even have to be a Scrabble player to appreciate it. -via Metafilter
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