It’s always a thrill when one or two letters thrust a game from fair to fantastic. You’re plodding along, and the game is looking like one that’ll end up tugging your stats down somewhat. A letter you’ve been holding out for would raise it to respectable, but time is running out. Then, like a well-directed dust-kicking movie cavalry charging from around a muslin mesa matte or one last can of spinach rolling up to a downtrodden Popeye, your letter flashes into the corner in reassuring blue. A-glug-glug-glug-glug <anchor-tattooed muscles pop into shape> Ding! Ding! You guide that precious package right where you wanted it, and now you see even more points ring up than you were expecting. Read on for a recent game that followed the turnabout from fair play script to a T. Words we formed are in bold.
Needing a jolt
In the game below, we’d been sitting under 100 points with three letters to go, crossing our fingers for an A to go in the bottom center. It would give us stare, derate, east, etc.. The third-to-last letter we got was R, which really had to go next to the G at lower left, as the other two spots needed vowels. That would raise our energy level from 91 to 92 with erg. Not great, but we’d actually been thinking it would also give us great if we got that A.
You knew it was coming. As we placed the R to give us 92, up into the dock came the A, setting the scene above. We’d recently lost the upper right bubbles by putting the S where we’d planned a vowel (leaving ‘fhsn’). We also passed up a chance to put an I where we wanted the A. So we thought placing the A wouldn’t give us all that much, though it would put us comfortably in the 100s.
Well, we got the comfy part right. But 287?! We stared in disbelief. A moment earlier we wouldn’t have minded breaking 100. Now in a turnabout from fair play, a star of fate had reared its unexpected head as stars are wont, and all those A-words we sold ourselves short on were suddenly listed and tallied a thousand times faster than we could have done by hand. It’s certainly gratifying that the app just works that way, though we wouldn’t mind some of the hair back we somehow misplaced along the way getting it there.
Have no fear
Oddly enough, the last letter was an A as well. We shouldn’t have been too surprised though, as the overall balance of consonants to vowels is reliably consistent from game to game. And so far in this one we’d gotten two Is and a U besides the Es. The great laundry dryer of letters ended up serving us magna cum laude. A+.
If you’re curious, Blu Yonder wrangled 211 out of this, not getting much for its double-S gamble. Blu’s general approach can’t afford to be as freewheeling as our own personal real-time seat-of-the-pants style. Interestingly, though, ‘derate’ ended up in almost the same place. In general, looking at Blu Yonder in Spell the Coffee can be a good way to build up basic STB skills.
When the going is mediocre, always remember, the mail carrier may be just around the corner with a nice letter or two in the bag for you. Keep your yard hazards in check and have a smile and maybe a snack out to share. Happy letter writing.