Monday, March 12, 2007

Scrabble and the flow of life

Yesterday, I fed my current Henry David Thoreau jag at Powell's by buying a little book titled "Daily Observations—Thoreau on the days of the years."

The editor has compiled Thoreau journal entries for each day of the year.

Be patient. I'll get to today's in a second....

By chance, friends returning from a Hawaiian vacation brought me a Scrabble gift. My friends know that I regularly subject myself to Scrabble humiliation at the hands of my in-laws. (My visiting brother-in-law breezed by me in the final rack last night with the word "viniest" on a triple-word score. I mean REALLY!—"VINIEST"!).

Anyway, the gift from Hawaii should help and offer an intriguing counterpoint to the Thoreau book. The gift is one of those flip calendars that devotes a daily page to some joke, tidbit of knowledge or piece of self-improvement advice. This one offers a Scrabble situation to solve.

So now I have before me today's Scrabble conundrum...and, as promised, the Thoreau journal entry for March 12. The year for him happens to be 1853.

Thoreau: "Dwell as near as possible to the channel in which your life flows."

The Scrabble calendar: "The word below has three useful anagrams. Can you find all of them? A G R E E."

What to make of these seemingly disparate offerings for March 12?

Will ferreting out three "useful" anagrams—useful in Scrabble that is—put me as near as possible to the channel in which my life flows?

I think not, but we can't be slavish about these things. Besides my brother-in-law is still in town and I'm eager for revenge.

"EAGER," by the way, is one of the anagrams from A G R E E.

The others: EAGRE (a tidal flood), RAGEE (an East Indian cereal grass). Pretty useful—even to Thoreau, a cereal-eating vegetarian and a keen observer of natural phenomena, including tidal floods.

It's 6 a.m., and Monday, March 12, is dawning. With a little cerebral straining, the day is making some sense—here near the channel where my life flows....

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Blogger Peter said...

If you would like to beat your inlaws, you might want to look at

If you practice this seemingling Scrabblelike game a few times, you should be able to crush them at least the first game.

I invented it because I got tired of being beaten at Scrabble though my competition mostly killed me with those short odd words that drive you nuts.


7:59 AM  

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