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NSC 2000 Round 17 Commentary

As the tournament progresses, the tension mounts and it can be measured in the "challenges" heard around the room. There has been a remarkable increase this round alone. It sounds like a virtual chorus in different tonal ranges, from the unsure soft challenges to the confident "get this word off" calls! The word judge's are actually burning rubber on the bottom's of their sneakers!

We had a visit this round from Matt Gildea from Hasbro Publishing. I hope he took the time to admire the big board's write up in giant tiles: JOVIAL IN FAIR PROVIDENCE, WE PLAYERs EXHIBIT GOOD ANAGRAMMATIZING AND LUCK TO SEE THE ENdLESS BEAUTY OF WORDS. In case it isn't obvious, Daniel Stock from division 2, based this on the complete set of the 100 SCRABBLE® tiles. Pretty clever, huh? Thanks to Flo Turkenkopf for writing that down for me!

Kristen Chew, on the lookout for good plays between word adjudications, spotted a beautiful play by Betty Collins in division 6. Betty had played NERTZ with the Z on a triple letter square going both ways (it would be nice if I knew the other word, but I'm hopeless with the details sometimes....) for 100 points!! No surprise, she won the game against Jane Tacker.

Andrea Ross-Greene fell to Miriam Saldanha, 453-264. Miriam played REaLiTY on her first play and INVOICED to the triple in a later play. Miriam admits to having the tiles that game and Andrea points out her one power tile play of EX!

Monika Schaeffer is one of our great computer operators here at the event. I told her mother, division 5's Teresa Schaeffer, how quick she was in problem solving (a fair amount of this is required to reconcile the numbers after each session of play). Her mom credited this quickness for earning Monika a full merit scholarship to Johns Hopkins this fall. Teresa is a proud mother!

Division 2's Gregg Foster is 3-0 this morning and he just beat Diane Firstman, 433-211. She says she tried AIRSPUR on him and he challenged it off. Considering that Gregg 4 wins going into today (and one of those was a bye), this is great news!

This round, division 3's Dean Cullen lost to Jamie McCune, 460-305, which moved Rusty Peltz into the leader's seat. Both have 15-2 records, but Rusty's cume is +1411 and Dean's is +1054. What a battle we've got going here!

In division 1, Randy Hersom fell to Sammy Okosagah, 361-390. I spotted the lovely DUVETYN by Randy on the board.

Joe Edley (div 1), with his win this round over Randy Greenspan (who say's he is having a bad morning. . . ), jumps into first place! All at 14-3, Joe's cume is +1035, Sammy Okosagah's is +875, and Randy is hanging in with +867.

Division 1's Dave Mallick beat Cynthia Pughsley, 434-370. He got down EUDAEMOnS through MO for 72, STRINGER from the S to the triple for 80, and Cynthia got away with the phoney, DRUGlESS.

Rob McNeil (div 1) beat Bruce D'Ambrosio this round. I see Bruce's LOUSIEr, and Rod's BINARIES through the I for 72 and STRiATE. It isnt' lost on me that I failed to record this game's score......

In division 3 news, Dave Englehardt beat Stephen Haraske, 466-375. Dave got down UnCLEAN, then Steve played VIBRATE, which was followed by the crushing blow of a play: GREASES down the triple, making VIBRATES. Other good plays: FIGS for 46 and TAJ for 49 by Stephen.

I spot a Mark Pistolese vs. Mark Fidler board where Mark "Hawaii" Pistolese got the win, 459-259, according to the papers left behind. I see the bingo SWIN?ERS and assume someone was swinging toward a win.

Burke Riley in division 5 had a bad case of bingo revenge. After playing a bingo, he drew EIIIIUU!

Division 2's Phil Polsky stopped by our desk to say, "SCRABBLE® players are so considerate. More than 600 players and not one cell phone has rung. We are now on the 4th day."

So, as this round ends, there is a three-way tie for the first place in division 2: all 14-3, David Johnson +1164, Cynthia Seales +755, and Bob Lundegaard +704. Division 4 still has Michael Ecsedy at the top at 14-3 +1175, and div 5's Rob Matthews is 14-3 +1056. In a true battle, Connie Creed and Andrew Ross-Greene are both 15-2, however Connie's cume is +998 and Andrea's is +1041.

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