It May Only Be A Board Game But He Can Strike Fear Into Your Heart

Do not tell me you thought the Agarwalla brothers were the only brown in town on the Scrabble board! Witness Mehal Shah, he of the deceptively friendly face and evil Scrabble strategery. (H/T to my awesome webmistress, who sent me this link to an Ignite talk, which she got via mentalfloss. They rightly dub Mr. Shah “Jedi Master.” Because of his Jedi mind tricks.)

Watching “Fighting Dirty in Scrabble: How To Beat Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere, and At Any Cost” will take only five minutes of your life! Your living room competition will never be the same! (This is an important note: these are not your Stefan Fatsis-level tips; these are for people who, like Shah, “love to play Scrabble and really, really hate losing.”)

What won’t he do? No cheating, no stealing tiles–but I’ve gotta laugh when I hear Shah talk about aggressively making up words. I haven’t forgotten that a certain British relative of mine made up T-R-A-X a few years ago when I wasn’t looking. (“It means… You know. Trax,” she said when I looked again.)

I will admit, I am part of the Scrabble Rabble. With the demise of Scrabulous, I took to Scrabble Beta over Lexulous, and I play “live” whenever time permits. (As fate would have it, this week I am teaching Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale to my contemporary political fiction class at the University of Michigan. Scrabble even makes a fateful appearance in that novel! It’s a good board game for some literary analysis.)

Now, how much of what Shah says is applicable beyond the board? I tremble in fear. :)

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Previous word nerd coverage here.

4 thoughts on “It May Only Be A Board Game But He Can Strike Fear Into Your Heart

  1. Thanks for the article! Everyone should see if there is an Ignite! event in their area and go, or should seriously consider giving a speech. It’s a huge amount of fun.

  2. What is with all the hoopla about Scrabble? This is coming from a voracious reader who hates the game and always loses.

  3. Trax is actually a valid word, just like pushpa! I will take you down in Scrabble, one letter at a time. Just remember that my high score is 606 and my one turn high score is 224.

    Earn it. Love it. Mean it. Own it!