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Wednesday 23rd February 2005

Dammit, those Scrabble nerds have suckered me in. I spent an hour today learning all the 3 letter words allowed by SOWPODS (don't ask) from A through C inclusive. Obviously I knew quite a few of them already, such as CAT and COW, but others such as CWM and AAL were less familiar.
So I had to come up with some clever ways of remembering them, and to be safe I would have to readily be able to recall every letter that could (and thus couldn't) follow, say CA.
So I got out a notebook and started making notes of the words allowed and which letters would for example follow CA and then try and think of some way to remember them.
So let's take CA: the letters that can follow it are B,D,M,N,P,R,T,W and Y - of which possibly only CAM, CAW and CAY might be unfamiliar words. You might just try and remember those, but what if you were playing a game and were wondering if CAX was allowed. You might have some doubt. So I devised a clever memory cheat to help me never forget. I tried to make something memorable out of B,D,M,N,P,R,T,W and Y. For me this memorable thing was BoDMiN PaRTY W. Of course one would have to remember that none of the vowels in this actually counted themselves, but by keeping the letters in almost alphabetical order, I should be able to remember where the interlopers were and not allow them. But how to connect Bodmin Party W to CA? I decided to create a mental image of Chris Addison (C.A) from TV's dotcomedy going to a party in Bodmin. But what about the W? Hold on, what if Chris Addison was dressed up as Robert De Niro in one of his gangster films, which would cause him to pronounce the word "Party" as "Pwarty"? And what if, just to be sure, this party had a sign on the door saying "Strictly No Vowels Allowed"? This stupid mental image would surely forever remind me that CA takes the letters from Bodmin Pwarty, but not the vowels. Come up to me in ten years time and ask me which three letter words starting with CA were allowed in the SOWPODS dictionary of Scrabble in 2005 and I will tell you immediately what they all are - even though most of them a child of seven would know. I can be sure.
Obviously I can't give you all my mnemonics and memory cheats because then you will be as good a Scrabble player as me. But you will understand that when I die and my brain waves are put into a computer by a future scientist, why they will find a mental image of BI-sexuals going on holiday to BuDGET ZONeS, with a sign on the bus which says, "Not You and No E".
I think I am probably the only person in the UK who knows all the three letter words from A through C who actually also has a girlfriend (other Scrabble nerds do not count) and I suspect if this goes on, then I may not have a girlfriend for much longer.
I also played a few games on line at the ISC (I think the middle letter probably stands for Scrabble) website. I won all four games today, though I was playing against not massively impressive opposition as the good players won't touch me because of my rating.
If you are good at Scrabble and want to play me, then my "handle" is Herring 67. Only come looking for me if you are really good though, cos I don't want my time wasted and don't cheat by having a dictionary open (though I will still beat you even if you do).
Then you can be as cool as me.

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