Tag Archive: words with friends

Pulling out the Big Words

When I am not focused on anything else or when I do not want to be focused on anything else, I play Words With Friends.

words with friendsIt is my relaxing task, the one that helps me keep it together when I am about to spin out from grief. It also distracts me from tasks at hand and the things I need to get done.

It is my sin and my salvation.

Through Words with Friends, I have become a master with four-, five-, and six-letter words. If the opportunity strikes, I can place a seven-, eight-, or nine-lettered word. But those moments are rare. Satisfying, as when I was able to place ‘seances’ on two triple letter tiles and the triple word tile.

But recently my daughter competed in a conference spelling bee. She forced asked me to help her study for this contest. Before I would have said I am a woman of letters, i know tough words. I am willing to use those words in a sentence.

I was wrong.

oxford dictionaryOh, sure there were some simple words such as ‘wok’ and ‘aria.’ Then came some of the simple hard words such as ‘zygote’ and ‘quiche.’

None of these compared to ‘chiaroscuro’ or ‘fuliginous’ or ‘mulligatawny.’

I pulled out the dictionary for a pronunciation guide. I tried pulling it up on google to hear the words spoken out loud. After we got through her list, I felt as if I should be crumpled on the kitchen floor waiting for a bit of wine to revive me. Shakespeare had never made me feel this incomplete.

In the end, the girl was third overall in the spelling bee. One of her girlfriends made it to first place and their team won the competition overall over seven other schools.

Now that the bragging is done, you must excuse me. I am still trying to figure out ‘persiflage.’

What is your favorite time-wasting addiction?

Mine is Words With Friends.

I play it early and often. Like many people who play, I have the usual suspects of ether people who play a round-robin starting from the time I get up until I play my last words before bed.

What I love is that most of these people play just as hard as I do. My favorite opponent, zgrandmom, beats me by at least 100 points all of the time. Except for the few times I have beaten her.

Image by Rode To Hell

Once I got her by one point, another found me thirty points ahead. Some of it was luck and some was good wordplay at the right time.  Our next game after those wins features a setting back as you would not believe.

There are other opponents who are at my level. We go back and forth over the victory but the battle is worthwhile. That is what makes it fun.

The frustrating part is when I come across people who don’t seem to play as hard. You know, the ones who swap tiles 3 or 4 time a game. Or they pass a lot. Or they quit the game when you finally can pull off a terrific but terrifying word.

I lost one opponent when I played “tantric.” I reveled as I placed it on a double double word score line. The points were unbelievable!

That is till I checked and saw the other player has given up. She simply did not play anymore until the game faded.

Another opponent kept swapping tile. I have had bad tiles before but when you change them three times in the space of six moves either you are an idiot who does not know how to play or your eye for pattern really sucks. I told one person to stop swapping because I was going to take advantage of them and get a really high score. This was after I was 100 points ahead. They resigned the game shortly thereafter.


To be honest, when I have lost once again to zgrandmom or Etay at least I know I have been challenged. I know these ladies (I assume) are going to battle it out to the last letter. Chances are I am going to learn a few new words or combinations that will win a game later on down the road. They will not give up, change tiles or get scared off by a slightly naughty and difficult word.

If it were poker, these women would show me how they were going to up the kitty with complete aplomb.

So bring it on because chances are I have a whole bunch of constants without an available vowel on the board. And I am bucking for that triple word score!!!

Are you ready to go against me?