Nicholas Tam: Last Mohican

Friday, 25 June 2004 — 3:12pm | Scrabble

Vote Out Anders! – which, incidentally, anagrams to “devout treason” – had the courtesy of putting me on their links page, under the heading “Canadian Politics Blogs”. While this may not give me an upper hand insofar as my position in the global game of Six Degrees of Paul Wells, it is rather amusing to think of the potential visitors who come here looking for analytical treatises singing the praises of Star Wars and instead, find… well, analytical treatises singing the praises of Star Wars.

I received an invitation to their All-Party Block Party last night, but was tragically unable to attend. With just over a month to go until the National Championships and over a month since I had last played, Scrabble took precedence, and will continue to take precedence in the weeks ahead. In the North American lexicon, there are 96 playable two-letter words; those I’ve had down cold for years. The 972 three-letter words were in the bag about a year ago, but more than a little rust has accumulated. Somehow, within the next five weeks I need to establish a study regimen that will address these issues and cover the 3903 four-letter words au minimum, not to mention high-probability bingo stems, front and back hooks, vowel dumps, and power-tile fives.

Yeah, right.

Speaking of the great pastime, the documentary Word Wars has yet to screen in Alberta, despite being a hit on the festival circuit since its Sundance debut last year. Now, one would at least hope that it will screen in New Orleans, but it’s not listed. By all appearances, it features pretty much the same gang of kooky top-rated players as all the other publicity about the competitive circuit; in fact, in his NSC 2004 registration, former world champion Joel Sherman quite accurately lists his occupation as “Featured character in books and films on Scrabble.”

More fun with anagrams, for the Students’ Union hacks in the room: in addition to the one Steve Smith mentions in his post dated 25 June, I’m particularly impressed with the discovery that “SU BOG rep Roman Kotovych” has a tendency to “hack up tomboy governors.”

Which, of course, brings me back to Star Wars. These are not mine – they come from the endlessly amusing alt.anagrams newsgroup – but observe: “Ronald Wilson Reagan, the late President of America” not only “dares generate a plan for the Cold War’s elimination,” but “the man fails to recall weapons ordered in Irangate.” And in much sadder news, “England’s team knocked out with defeat by jubilant Portugal” – “Gaunt idiot won jokes; fatal penalty blunder gutted Beckham.” Man, those guys are good.

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