During the Mississauga Scrabble Tournament held on Saturday 4 June, in addition to help direct the event, one of my duties was to rove up and down the rows of tables, stopping to chat with players and take note of their interesting and notable plays. I took notes after every round and made the following observances:

Rounds One and Two:

Allen Pengelly opened with WEENiER for 76. Not a bad start with an overload of the same vowel. Allen’s opponent Jason Ubeika had a fabulous LOGJAM for 48 and a nine-letter bingo, LITERATES for 63 through -ER-. In other games, Geoffrey Newman got away with a 94-point phony PARODIZE; in Round Two Jason opened with ADUNC for 22, onto which Evan Berofsky extended -ATE to make ADUNCATE for 33. I love seeing boards where two plays have been made but with only one word on the board. This has happened to me only twice, with the plays HONEY extended to HONEYBEE on the right TWS, and BITCH extended to BITCHILY, also on the right TWS.

Other spectacular bingos: rEDEYES by Sam Hollington for 92; Dave Leonard’s SPARERIB (with the S on the top right TWS entending to end in -B, for 89); Ember Nelson’s ROSeLIKE for 74; Shelley Ubeika’s BLINDEST for 65; Lynette Stewart’s TRUEING for 75; and Jean Barinque’s LENDAbLE for 68 and LINeAGE for 74.

Round Three:

Sophia Ozorio double-blanked her opponent with FUELlInG for 88. Jackson Smylie got down REUSING for 82. Sam Hollington played baith MISEASE for 69 and COENURE for 66. John Robertson played EVITABLE for 82 and got a bingo-like score of 69 for TRaNQ. Roger Cullman scored 94 for NEEDFuL and 80 for VETTING. Joan Buma flanked GOVERNS around two DWS squares for 44. Gene Rawlins got 64 for ShORTER.

Bernadette Surman told me how happy she was to have had her first tournament win, and she did it without even scoring a bingo.

Round Four:

The chairs at the Erindale College Student Centre caused quite a shock to the system when they were pushed against the floor. The sound of the legs scraping the floor was similar to running one’s nails down a chalkboard. A sudden lurch from one’s seat could be heard well across the campus. Thus Sophia Ozorio expressed what all of us were no doubt thinking when shortly after the beginning of the round she said “Stop moving your chairs”. This remark proved as effective as placing a bowl of potato chips in front of me and telling me to eat just one: it was impossible to resist. Immediately after Sophia said that, the whole room erupted in deliberate, annoying chair-scraping. It gave the entire room a good laugh!  

At the very end of their game, Nicholas Schneider played OArLESS for 68 and Allan Brown laid down BOILERs for 80. Tina Cur played SOLUTiON for 68 and her opponent Adele Peltier played RETiNAL for 71. Now as if there weren’t already too many I’s in this game: in Tina and Adele’s game, there were eleven I’s on the board! Mark Edelson scored 78 for a delicious LICORICE, 64 for the vowel-dump ROULEAU and 63 for TROLANDS. Geoffrey Newman managed to get down 72 for PUNISHER.

Round Five:

Mark Hamilton was looking for his board and couldn’t find it. The tournament’s Play-By-Play Colour Commentator, yours truly, found it…sitting on top of the garbage bin. What the–? All one hundred tiles had been squared and thank goodness none were missing. If you’re going to move someone else’s equipment, perhaps you can be considerate and move it somewhere else than balanced on top of a garbage can. Mark and I did joke about this all weekend, and when I went over to Mark’s house to play Scrabble on Sunday, I deliberately left his game on top of the various garbage cans in his house.

John Lodinsky played DoWNIeST for 83, using both blanks for much-needed vowels. Sam Scheiten played a nice SERInGA (I didn’t get the score). I liked it that he made it into a word that wasn’t “obvious”, and that it ended in -A. Sometimes your only bingo possibility will be to find words that end in unusual letters, like Dave Leonard’s spectacular SPARERI- onto -B from Round Two. Geoffrey Newman got down CATERESS for 83, DIALLAgE for 66 and BROKENLY for 86. Geoffrey’s opponent Christopher Sykes played BOLDEST for 74 and UNVARIED for 80.

In the game between Sophia Ozorio and Ida Scaglione, each player had made the blank a U. That’s six U’s in their game!

Vera Bigall bulldozed her way to the highest score in the entire tournament: 583. She slapped down BRAINIEr for 80, OXIDANTS for 82 and TRAWLERS, a non-bingo triple-triple (through -AW-) for 108. Her opponent Roger found a dandy WHEELERS for 78. Vera’s second-last play was ZLOTY, which scored a bucketful of points, but left her with a horrid final leave of CCV. There is no doubt in my mind that Vera would have hit six hundred if her rack leave wasn’t so clunky. Congratulations on the 583!

Sharmaine Farini impressed me with her 104-point KHAZEN, She slotted the K on the TWS and the Z on the DLS, and hooked another word to surpass the three digits.

Round Six:

Birthday girl Priya Fernando played SEnHORA for 71 and phony RADONES for 77, while her opponent Andy Saunders laid down OUTRANG for 66 and ONErIEST also for 66. I liked Geoffrey Newman’s VALOnIAS for 61. I even knew the definition of this weirdie when I saw it! Geoffrey also played VARIATED for 64. His opponent Glenn Dunlop played BLOWSIER for 67 and STRIDING for 86. Lou Cornelis played OvERDRY for 82 and BeSTREWN for 70 while his opponent Jason Ubeika got down SONATINE for 77. Allen Pengelly whacked down four bingos: ELATION for 62, ARENITE for 68, OuTDARE for 71 and ABUSINg for 62.

Round Seven:

ZING is already on the board. What does Lou Cornelis do? He plays RACEMI- on top to form RACEMIZING for 44 points. Talk about a bug-out eye play! Lou’s opponent John Robertson played OUTLAND for 70 and MANNERS for 69. The Mississauga Scrabble Club’s Bingo Goddess Yvonne Lobo plunked down a phony, PANTOSAN for 64 but scored a legit bing with DISCANT for 78. Yvonne’s opponent Lilla Sinanan laid down her bingo damage with four rack-clearers: LOGICiSE for 89, RELINING for 62, REROUTE for 65 and DEALERS for 85. In the game between Jerry Scheiten and Vera Bigall, VETCH lay on the board for an eternity. Jerry eventually takes the front hook with BLINK, scoring KVETCH as well, for 62. His play just before that was QUERN for 68. That’s 130 points for two plays, neither of which was a bingo.

Round Eight:

John Lodinsky showed me that when your bingo INJURES won’t go down, play it through a P. His impressive JUNIPERS scored 83. John also scored 80 for SCOOTINg and 72 for sADDEST. John’s opponent Jerry Scheiten got down NEONATES for 77. Lilla Sinanan played the freaky BAWTIEs for 73 and INSNARED for 80, while her opponent Steve Ozorio got down ALEGARS for 77 and bEHAVIOR for 78. Lisa Kessler, like Allen Pengelly in Round One, played an E-heavy bingo. Lisa scored 74 for BREEzES while her opponent Jackson Smylie scored 77 for ETESIANS and 80 for INTeRLAY.

The only tie in the entire tournament was between Mark Hamilton and Nicholas Schneider. They tied at 343. Mark prevented Nicholas from attaining a perfect 8-0 record. Nicholas’s remarkable 7.5-0.5 record was the best performance in the entire tournament.

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