Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Carpenter Breaks Previous Scrabble Point Record 125

Posted by Zonk
from the dumb-luck-is-my-favorite-kind dept.
theodp writes "Unimpressed by Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game? Think Don Larsen's perfect World Series game was no big deal? How about Michael Cresta's 830-point Scrabble game? Not only did Cresta shatter a 13 year-old record for the highest sanctioned Scrabble score in North America, he also set a new record for the most points on a single turn — 365, for QUIXOTRY."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Carpenter Breaks Previous Scrabble Point Record

Comments Filter:
  • by Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:31AM (#16607380)
    Is this the English or Klingon version?
    • What kind of petaQ would play scrabble?
    • by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:38AM (#16607444)
      'Quixotry' is a variant of 'quixotic,' which means (from Merriam-Webster) "foolishly impractical especially in the pursuit of ideals; especially : marked by rash lofty romantic ideas or extravagantly chivalrous action." The word derives from Cervantes' Don Quixote.
      • To be more specific, 'quixotic' is an adjective while 'quixotry' is a noun. A quixotic deed could be called a 'quixotry'.

        • Yes, I realized that I should have mentioned that quixotry is the noun form of quixotic right after I posted. I figured someone would come along and make that distinction for me. : p
      • by n2art2 (945661)
        Next word you should look up on dictionary.com is rhetorical. Thanks for playing.
      • by ronanbear (924575)
        That's IMHO a very apt word to be the highest scoring word in scrabble. Quixotry itself seems like such a foolishly practical word.
        • by jomegat (706411)
          I think "Quetzals" would score 374 points if it were played in the right place (doubling the Z and tripling the word twice). The Z in quetzals gets doubled instead of the X in quixotry. But what are the odds of coming up with all the letters you'd need for that, and someone opening the two triple word scores with the right letter in the right place? Quixotry will prolly hold the record for a while.
          • by ebh (116526)
            CHUTZPAH scores even higher (383).
          • by thelenm (213782)
            365 for a single play is just the American record... in 1982 in the UK, a man named Karl Khoshnaw played the word CAZIQUES for 392 points [wikipedia.org]. It means "native chiefs of West Indian aborigines".
      • But thanks to time and different languages, the word itself is pronounced in such a way that its not even comparable to the name.
      • by MidoriKid (473433)
        'Quixotry' is a perfectly cromulant word!
    • by Gorath99 (746654)
      According to the article, "vrow" is a Dutch woman. Can anyone confirm that? Dictionary.com doesn't know the word, but does know "vrouw" (which is also the proper Dutch word for "woman").
      • by hcdejong (561314)
        I can confirm that 'Vrow' is *not* a Dutch word.

        • by Gr8Apes (679165)
          It's "vrouw", and means woman or wife, depending upon context.
          • It sounds similar to the German frau. Dutch, as a german speaker, is a language that seems similar but not enough to be readly understandable; it is much more readable.
            • by Gr8Apes (679165)
              That's because Dutch is just slightly more gutteral than German, from which it most likely (d)evolved. As a Dutch speaker, it is easier to learn German than the other way around. Native German speakers have trouble properly pronouncing Dutch sounds like 'g' or saying words like "Scheveningen" (which confusingly doesn't have the glottal 'g' sound but does have the throat-clearing compound 'sch' sound).
          • by aichpvee (631243)
            Would it also apply to a "Dutch wife" [wikipedia.org]?
        • by ProppaT (557551)
          Woman, not word. If it was a Dutch word it wouldn't count to begin with (else everyone and their mom would use Russian for those tripple word scores using nothing but Z's and X's).
        • by hcdejong (561314)
          I've looked it up in
          - the most comprehensive dictionary (Van Dale) we have,
          - the 'official' word list/spelling guide (Groene boekje).
          Neither mention the word 'vrow'.
          The correct spelling is 'vrouw', plural 'vrouwen'.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        According to the article, "vrow" is a Dutch woman.


        VROW is actually a pretty common word in tournament level Scrabble; just Google Scrabble+Vrow for examples.

        • by 1u3hr (530656)
          VROW is actually a pretty common word in tournament level Scrabble; just Google Scrabble+Vrow for examples.

          Though I do find it listed as a "valid Scrabble word", I can't find it in any real English dictionaries. Even Onelook [onelook.com] which indexes dozens of dictionaries. Closest is

          vrouw (plural vrouws) or vrou (plural vrous)

          South Africa woman or wife: a woman or a wife, especially one who is Afrikaner [Late 18th century. Via Afrikaans

      • by krlynch (158571)
        The OED knows about "vrow" (and its alternates vrouw and vroa), and claims it's derived from the German "frau", by way of Dutch and Flemish, and dates the first appearance in English to about 1620.
    • ...spelling-naziism, but this is a scrabble thread. Quixotry, not Quixtory.
      • by XoXus (12014)

        No, you wouldn't, because you would not get the double/triple letter/word benefits.
  • CSI (Score:4, Funny)

    by aadvancedGIR (959466) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:38AM (#16607446)
    I just had an horrible vision of this guy being crucified to a windmill by some other player.
  • Daft words.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tomknight (190939) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:49AM (#16607546) Homepage Journal
    What annoys me about Scrabble is the dictionary used. The rules I possess state the Chambers 20th Century is to be used (actually a problem as my edition hails from 1908 and lacks a fair few words), but now you are required to use the authorised Scrabble (R)(C)(TM)(IP) dictionary which has a whole load of bollocks two letter words. No longer is Scrabble about vocabulary - simply memorising swathes of daft vowel/consonant combinations seems to work. Yes, there is a difference.
    • by foxtrot (14140)
      No longer is Scrabble about vocabulary - simply memorising swathes of daft vowel/consonant combinations seems to work.

      I dunno. You feel free to play all those garbage two-letter words. I'll play from a real vocabulary, and we'll see who wins. I'm betting the guy with the 835 point game that started this whole thing didn't once play the word 'ao'.

      It is about more than vocabulary-- being able to look at the board and know what's left in the bag and what might be on your opponent's rack so you can block plays
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by LargeWu (766266)
        Most experienced Scrabble players aren't just playing the two letter words. They're playing 5,6 and 7 letter words that also have to make two letter words in order to fit on the board. Plus they're playing these in the endgame, which might make the difference in winning or losing.

        Not knowing the 2 letter words for a Scrabble player is like not knowing how to code Hello World.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DarkFencer (260473)

        I dunno. You feel free to play all those garbage two-letter words. I'll play from a real vocabulary, and we'll see who wins. I'm betting the guy with the 835 point game that started this whole thing didn't once play the word 'ao'.

        I actually would be surprised if he didn't use those B.S. two letter words. No - he wouldn't have ended his turn with one two letter word - but there's a good chance he spelled a long word, which formed a bunch of two letter words at once.

      • by 1u3hr (530656)
        I'm betting the guy with the 835 point game that started this whole thing didn't once play the word 'ao'.

        The board shows: AW, TA, ZA, NO, AN, NO, KA, OP and UP.

    • by sottitron (923868)
      I think it happens everywhere, though. People no longer play games, they game games (i.e. find every loophole and exploit it). I wonder how much actual fun people have when they play this way?
      • by krzysztof (684977)
        In Scrabble, what happens is that at a certain level, it transcends "making words" and becomes more like chess, with the give and take with your opponent across a board. Since the letters you get are random, is has that poker element of having to "play the odds" in hopes of not getting stuck in a bad situation, or lucking out and finding yourself in a good one. And each game is a set of completely new situations, since there are so many combinations possible. It's actually quite thrilling.
      • I think it happens everywhere, though. People no longer play games, they game games (i.e. find every loophole and exploit it). I wonder how much actual fun people have when they play this way?
        You mean like how in most (video) games you can glitch bots to run into a bottleneck and pick them off one at a time (in shooters->with the terrain, in strats->with walls and dozens of base defences->in rpgs, whoring the infinitely respawning weak bad guys)
        • with walls and dozens of base defences


          Haha, I SO remember that bug in C&C where the AI would never attack a "wall" (sandbags). You could actually build a line of sandbags all the way to their base, and wall them completely in! No resource-gathering for you! HAHA!

          GOD that was lame--but funny.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mikael (484)
        It's the same in just about every game - even with the platform video games. You could play Super Mario just to complete every level as quickly as possible and not care about collecting every gold star and coin. Alternatively, you could take as long as you liked in order to get every last coin and star. In this case, you would have to know every secret hiding place, combination move and portal.

        If you wanted to play those games that have skill levels with high scores but with no save feature, then you would
    • Re:Daft words.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nagora (177841) * on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:49AM (#16608252)
      Indeed. The "Official" Scrabble dictionary is not even a dictionary. It's just a long list of words, many many of which are in fact illegal under the rules as they are foreign. We play with a Concise Oxford with allowances to appeal to the Shorter Oxford (which is in the other room and a pain to carry about) only if the player can correctly define the word.

      The "Official" Scrabble dictionary is just a marketing toy and of no interest to either serious players nor ones out for a simple, fun game. Anally-retentive boring bastards, on the other hand, love showing off their ability to robotically reel off lists of words which they have little or no understanding of. The best solution is not to play with morons like that.

      • "Serious" players play in tournaments, which you cannot possibly do with any hope of winning. You wouldn't use 'qintars' apparently, because you think it's a foreign word. Well, if I am going to refer to Albanian currency, this is a proper English sentence: "My pockets were full of qintars". If there is no English word to describe something, the foreign word becomes an English word. It's how we've acquired so many more words than other languages.

        Take your anti-foreign-word jihad elsewhere. :P
        • by Dun Malg (230075)

          Well, if I am going to refer to Albanian currency, this is a proper English sentence: "My pockets were full of qintars". If there is no English word to describe something, the foreign word becomes an English word.

          No it doesn't. It is a proper English sentence, but the word "qintar" is still foreign. If you wanted to say the same thing using English only, you would say "My pockets are full of Albanian currency." Not having a single word direct translation of a foreign word does not confer membership upon th

        • by nagora (177841)
          "Serious" players play in tournaments,

          Serious players play with their mates on a regular basis. Sad autistic nerds organise and play tournaments and console themselves with a feeling of superiority because they can bend the rules and have the backing of a crowd of other nerds who will say that it's okay. It's the same in every boardgame, whether it's Go, Chess, Bridge, or Cosmic Encounter.

          As a very serious gamer indeed, I repeat my advice to avoid all such groups of morons.

      • by Kagura (843695)
        Wow! Such hostility! You might think your parents were killed by members of the Scrabble mafia, with your show of raw hatred.
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      The rules I possess state the Chambers 20th Century is to be used ... but now you are required to use the authorised Scrabble

      The rules I have state that as long as everyone agrees to the same dictionary, that's valid. (Unless you're talking about an official scrabble event, but I don't attend those).

      Having said that, I kinda have to agree with you about the wierdness of the scrabble dictionary. They seem to have accepted every mis-spelling of some common words, and apparently introduced some wholly new on

      • by krzysztof (684977)
        The Official Scrabble Player's Dictionary is a compilation of all (acceptable*) words found in any edition of about ten or so different college (abridged) dictionaries. It's not a list of abritrary strings -- quite the opposite actually. *acceptable = not upper cased, not italicized (ie foreign), not an abbreviation (that is, there's no period at the end, and it has a pronounciation, part of speech, etc). Slang and jive are okay, etc.
  • 'zas', 'em'? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah I think they may be using the Klingon version. I know you can use slang in the official rules but some of the words I saw on their board I couldnt find on dictionary.com at least.
    Strictly the Queen's English when I play. ;-)
    • by mrjb (547783) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:53AM (#16607590)
      Yeah, that's a very convenient way to cheat. After all 'Colour' is worth more points than 'Color'.
      • by Convector (897502)
        I wouldn't be wasting that 'U'. You'll be needing it when you draw the 'Q' on the next turn.
      • by tambo (310170)
        Yeah, that's a very convenient way to cheat. After all 'Colour' is worth more points than 'Color'.

        Also, "grey" has an advantage over "gray", since Scrabble has 12 E's and 9 A's.

        And don't get me started on this "bollocks" and "carport" and "wanker" rubbish. ;)

        - David Stein

    • Strictly the Queen's English when I play.

      For an extra challenge, you could use George W. Bush's English. All those 2- and 3-letter words would come in handy.

  • is to play badly?
    That's interesting to know. Wonder if that works in poker...
    • by jthayden (811997)
      I've noticed in a lot of sports and games that involve strategy it is hard for an expert to play a novice well. An expert is usually used to playing other experts and this makes it possible to plan moves ahead of time because you can assume they will move with intelligence. Part of playing a game well is to be able to plan moves in advance and this is hard to do if the opponent doesn't have a plan or is moving with some degree of randomness.
      • Part of playing a game well is to be able to plan moves in advance and this is hard to do if the opponent doesn't have a plan or is moving with some degree of randomness.

        I think that's true pretty much for anything. If I played a tennis match with Federer he'd win 6-0, 6-0, but nobody'd be congratulating him on a well played match.

  • by Lethyos (408045) on Friday October 27, 2006 @07:54AM (#16607596) Journal

    “A, uh, big, dum, balding, North American ape.”

  • Op and za are abbreviations, apparently. ISTR the rules didn't allow them, but it's been a while since I played.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      za: slang for piza
      op: a style of abstract art

      za was just added in the past year.
    • by MBCook (132727)
      Abbreviations are not allowed. I'm not sure about "op" (probably a shortened version of operation, the singular version of "ops"), but I know "za" was just added to the official dictionary this year, it's a shortened form of "pizza".
      • That's pathetic. Whoever says za to talk about pizza. What, two syllables is too complicated?

        They should just cut the charade and add every possible two letter word combo to the dictionary now.
  • by Shivetya (243324) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:01AM (#16607688) Homepage Journal
    Essentially competition scrabble is tiered like similar games (chess, checkers). Hence you have an elitist group that looks down on others and seems to have no problem dismissing the accomplishments of others. Basically the old "we're much smarter than them, its just a fluke, DUMB luck". In other words, how can they give any credit to their accomplishment as they would never associate with the likes of those "people"

    Two guys both out playing to win, just not playing to win by rules established by the high brows. Of course they could take risks, they are more concerned with the fun aspects than the competitve ones. That alone puts them higher up in the scrabble echelon for me as they remember one of the most important parts of gaming; having fun
    • by cowscows (103644)
      Yeah, they were playing like a couple of human beings, instead of systematically analyzing everything like a computer might play. God forbid they treat it like a game instead of a mathematical exercise with only one correct solution.
      • Yeah, some of the discussion about how they *should* have played made me wonder why these people don't just type their tiles in to a computer program and let that calculate their moves, since if a player makes a "mistake" and it ends up being in his favor at a later time, that success is somehow invalidated.

        Jesus.
        • by krzysztof (684977)
          That actually happens a lot, where the "wrong move" turns out to be better than the "right move" due to dumb luck.

          In a couple weeks, in Toronto, they're having a "Human vs Computer Showdown" as part of the Toronto Scrabble Open. During the tournament, human players will play Quackle [quackle.org] and Maven, and the winner of the human tournament will play whichever of the two computer programs has the better record in a best-of-five final.
    • Hence you have an elitist group that looks down on others and seems to have no problem dismissing the accomplishments of others.


      Or might take things to the [tv.com] extreme [tv.com].

    • by Chris Pimlott (16212) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:31AM (#16608042)
      Scrabble is very much a tactical game; what you can do at any time is dependant on the actions of the other players. For example, you could get a much higher score than normal if you had a poor opponent who kept setting you up for easy triples,

      In this case, though, it doesn't look like that was going on. The other player had a pretty strong game himself. In the end, the comments from the 'serious' players just sound like bitterness.

      Congrats to the new champ.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:05AM (#16607720)
    So, basically, two guys claim to have been playing Scrabble in a basement when miraculously one of them spell a dubiously-admitted word riddled with rare letters on a triple bonus. There's no official judge or standards body monitoring this hobbyist competition.

    And we're supposed to believe them because it took place in a church?

    Next week, Salon will report about the guy in a threelegged race at the Scientology picnic who tripped on a sprinkler and wound up beating Carl Lewis' long jump distances.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by krzysztof (684977)
      Actually it took place at the Lexington Scrabble Club, and there were about 30 other people there to witness the game. I guess by the end there was a pretty big crowd watching.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Paradise Pete (33184)
      one of them spell a dubiously-admitted word

      As fancy scrabble words go, I'd say quixotry is surprisingly legit. If I were in a situation where I wanted to say something like "Enough of your quixotry," no other word would work nearly as well.

      • Agreed, especially when compared to some of those two-letter words. Eek, even if those are technically legit ("Ah", "ho", "hm"? WTF?) I don't think anyone I know would use them, simply because if it led to a victory, they'd feel like it was kind of a dirty win.

        Then again, I think that my friends and I may have an unusually strong sense of honor when it comes to board games. That "official" dictionary seems kind of bullshit-y to me.
  • FTA: If 830--or any record--happens as a result of ... the pursuit of a good time, should it count? Or should records be reserved for those who have earned the right to set them, and who set them in expert fashion?
    What kind of argument is that?
    Should we award the fastest 100-m runner, or should we only award people that run really fast to work?
    He studied mercilessly words starting with F and Q, and that's where today's advantage is created - by focusing on a certain area.
    If every single one of us would
    • by bcat24 (914105)
      I couldn't agree more. For example, I like bowling. I'm no professional, it's strictly for fun, when I have time. That said, there's a very small chance I'll bowl a perfect game someday. (Hey, it could happen to anybody.) If I did, would it be any less "real" because I'm not a competitive bowler? If the guy broke the record in a fair game, then I say more power to him.
      • I second that, I used to have my own pool table, only once in several years of play did the boys score a "pants down". Be it scrabble records or the holy grail of "pants down", the sense of acheivement is a buzz.
  • From TFA:

    Since virtually all sports involve variable conditions, comparing one performance to another is technically imperfect. Consider the absence of black players in Babe Ruth's day, or the presence of steroids in the Barry Bonds era. On its face, the new Scrabble records seem to avoid such problems. No one's juicing in Scrabble. Points in a game are just points in a game, and Michael Cresta scored 830 of them.

    Right... but, then you look at all the new words that have been added in the latest update of t [scrabble-assoc.com]

    • Yeah, at least when I've played, there's been a sort of unspoken rule: if you can't keep a straight face while claiming that a word is valid, it's not, regardless of what the dictionary says.

      "Official" or not, that two-letter word list reeks of bogosity.
      • by myster0n (216276)
        if you can't keep a straight face while claiming that a word is valid, it's not, regardless of what the dictionary says.

        I'd guess that botox would count as an illegal substance at your place?
  • by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:14AM (#16607824) Journal
    Unimpressed by Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game?

    I suppose a 100-point game of Scrabble isn't too bad for a professional basketball player. Of course, I can't imagine when he would have had time to ever play scrabble with all of his other extracurricular activities... [wikipedia.org]
  • Wow! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Megane (129182) on Friday October 27, 2006 @08:14AM (#16607838) Homepage
    Holy disestablishmentarianism, Batman!
  • Flatfish? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fatphil (181876)
    "... isn't a common word."

    WTF? I've known the word since I was a kid. It's a perfectly common word in English.
    Most of the rest of the words used in competitive scrabble are just plain bullshit. I believe that when challenged, a player should have to provide a definition, _and_ it should be present in a universally accepted dictionary (e.g. Oxford Shorter, not words marked archaic etc.) . Then it would be a challenge of English language, as in the language used to communicate, vocabulary rather than of just
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by krzysztof (684977)
      I believe that when challenged, a player should have to provide a definition, _and_ it should be present in a universally accepted dictionary (e.g. Oxford Shorter, not words marked archaic etc.)

      This wouldn't accomplish much, aside from making people memorize long lists of definitions along with long lists of words.

      The Scrabble dictionary already is a list of words found in one of several universally accepted dictionaries. That's how it was created.
    • WTF? I've known the word since I was a kid. It's a perfectly common word in English.

      They meant it isn't often played in a scrabble game.

    • by thelenm (213782)
      WTF? I've known the word since I was a kid. It's a perfectly common word in English.
      Most of the rest of the words used in competitive scrabble are just plain bullshit.


      That's what most people say about their own particular vocabularies. Everybody knows words that are "perfectly common" in their own minds, that many people would say are "plain bullshit". In fact, flatfish is a great example. Just because you don't know a word doesn't mean it's not a word.
  • A carpenter 2000 years ago founded the most powerful multinational company on earth, and now this !

  • I think it is great that Carpenter uses his off day to play a little Scrabble and set a record, but I'd prefer he just be ready to pitch for the Cardinals against the Tigers in game 6. He shouldn't just assume that they'll clinch the series tonight.

  • Does no one else play where words like AYBABTU, ROTFLMAO , or PWNED?
  • I think it's kind of ridiculous that they seem so surprised that a carpenter or a deli clerk could spell, much less set a Scrabble record.
  • "If 830--or any record--happens as a result of boneheaded play, tactical ignorance, or the pursuit of a good time, should it count?"

    yes it should, if the great players are so great then they should be willing to accept a challenge. if the experts want to claim the record then they should try for it, rather than dogging on amateurs for playing what they consider foolish play. in my book the only thing that should be taken into consideration in records like this; "is it clean". as long as he didn't cheat th
  • It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that while the 'expert' strategy may lead to consistently high results, it doesn't necessarily lead to optimal results. The most probable words aren't necessarily the ones giving the highest scores.

    Which doesn't invalidate this record, quite the opposite. If you start playing scrabble professionally, you have to realize that a part of winning is just damn good luck.
  • I bet he had been waiting for years to use "quixotry", a word with a Q and an X. He probably almost passed out when he finally saw the opportunity present itself.
  • An interesting fictional short story about Scrabble obsession [youtube.com]. Perhaps the dating of the story is the reason why the highest score in one turn declared in the story is less than that of the carpenter in the article.
  • I once witnessed a game in which the validity of a word was determined by the rest of the people around. As a result, mrt (as in Mr. T) was allowed because everyone decided it was funny. I think I died a little inside that night.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by wishmechaos (841912)
      Sometimes me and my friends play what we call Drunk Scrabble. The rules state that if you can pronounce a word, and make up a definition that sounds credible, it's valid. No real words are accepted, unless they're really funny words.

      It's not serious at all, but it's way more fun to play!

Be careful when a loop exits to the same place from side and bottom.

Working...