UVSC Session Report
Monday, May 20, 2019 (Session #228)
(authored by BJ)

This week featured a potluck dinner between rounds, with contributions
built around a main dish of home-harvested ham from Jeffrey.  Fueled by
the culinary deliciousness, the seven of us in attendance played 17
total games, which included some wordily delicious moments as well.

Johanna was able to join us for the first time in a while, and cashed in
on STAIDLY (in a staid manner) for 92 points and a free turn against
Jeffrey.  Jeffrey, for his part, had the high play of the night with the
triple-triple ANTRORSE for 113 as well as the funny-sounding (to my ear)
STRAWIER, about which he admitted he was a bit surprised that it drew
neither a challenge nor even a hold.  Marilyn roared out of the gates in
one of her games with bingos on her first two plays (VIOLATOR and
INTREPID), only to see David, her opponent, battle back to win the game
in which both players scored over 400 points.  David was plowing through
opponents left and right, getting down 13 bingos in his first five
games!  That streak eventually came to an end when he met Iliana, who
bingoed with the lovely RUGOSAS (a RUGOSA is a garden rose) on her way
to victory.

Ellen and I had a strategically fascinating endgame situation which
hinged on the fact that I wasn't 100% sure whether "oasises" was valid
or not.  I was comfortably ahead by perhaps 80 or so points with about
five tiles in the bag on a difficult board.  Using the blank, Ellen
found an impressive 4-way disconnected parallel play of the
aforementioned word of uncertain validity.  If it was valid and I
challenged, being a TWL game I would lose my turn, she would get the
last five tiles in the bag and likely go out and win.  Though I
seriously doubted the validity of the word (knowing that OASES was a
valid plural of OASIS), I ended up not challenging because I thought I
could play out the game and hold on for the win.  I did manage to do so,
but only by the tiny margin of five points after a lot of pondering of
different endgame play sequences, as well as Ellen's graciousness when
at one point I carelessly put down an obviously Collins-only word (she
let me take it back and retry).  If only I had been sure that OASISES*
was not valid (and indeed it isn't), this all could have been avoided,
but in the moment it sure made for an interesting and strategic endgame.

Other notable bingo words from the session were UNCRATE, DETANGLE,
colorless liquid chemical used in perfume), ARBALEST (a type of
crossbow), CHOREES# (a CHOREE# is a type of metrical foot in prosody),
GENOMICS (the study of genomes), BIGNESS, INCASED (INCASE is an
HEXANES (HEXANE is a volatile liquid chemical), FUSSILY, GENITOR (a male
parent), SEASIDE, OBTENDS# (to OBTEND# is to allege), TARDIES (a TARDY
is an instance of being late), GENISTA (a spiny shrub), IDOLATER (an
idol-worshipper, also IDOLATOR), and COGNISE (to become aware).