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NSC 2010 Commentary: Round 4
Go to: Before the Tournament, Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, Round 4, Round 8, Round 9, Round 10, Round 11, Round 12, Round 13, Round 14, Round 15, Round 16, Round 17, Round 18, Round 19, Round 20, Round 21, Round 22, Round 23, Round 24, Round 25, Round 26, Round 27, After the Tournament.
As I work my way back toward the command center (what we are calling the raised stage upon which the directors, assistants, inputters, and web team sit), I see that Mark Przybyszewski (Depew, NY) has opened up his game with Trip Payne (Boca Raton, FL) with the lovely WATAPES.
Trevor Sealy (Oshawa ON) slaps down SERVINGs through the G for 74. I see MISDONE and SOLDATED on their board and it appears to be a close, tense almost endgame as I mosey off.
Jack Allard (Pryor Creek, OK) vs. Paul Wood (Central City, IA). I see RIOTING and ROUGIEST*. As I was walking away, I heard Paul say "I'm only here for the beer," with a bit of British Isles accent. Later on I see it was a 522-249 win for Jack!
On the road to 406 players at this year's NSC, we had to break that magic 400th player mark. We hovered at 399 for several days when the ever innovative Judy Newhouse (division 4 director) had an idea to offer a $50 restaurant gift card to that person. During this round, she found and presented it to the mystery man: William Giblin (Hahnville, LA)!
Post-it note queen Cara Canik (division 2 assistant) slipped me a yellow missive: Kurt Davies (Chapel Hill, NC) had a 515 win this round. Lo and behold, who do I find in front of me moments later? The world traveller himself! He brought me over to his second 500 game in a row (he is now 3-1 and essentially tethered to the firmament with a string tied to his chair). It was, as he described it, a "battle of the fedoras." He and Chris Bonin (Toronto ON) shared a lively game. UNRAISES was Chris' first play. Kurt played EpIMANIA* which was held but left. Chris evened the score with the 42- point MUCOID. Kurt played FIX for 44 and they remained close until Kurt got DEPARTEd through the A, creating OD/DE for 79. Two turns later, Kurt had back to back "SATIRE plays": FAINTERS for 65 and VERITAS for 79.
Lila Crotty (Metairie, LA) has been having a fine day. Up to this round, she was undefeated. And then, she hit David Bibb (Del City, OK). Though she fought valiantly and did get down ESCROWEd and DUELING, David played HIRSILES and BRINGINg, winning, 433-392.
Jason Ubeika (Mississauga ON) arrived late today due to a plane malfunction. He received the round 1 bye win in his division, which translated to a win. His wife, Shelley Ubeika (Mississauga ON) lucked into an opponent willing to play their game during lunch (he could have had a forfeit win for +50 spread points). They both were thankful to be here and to not have the stigma of losses on their records. This round, Jason played Scott Leifer (Middleboro, MA). He played ANEROIdS and QINTAR to Scott's GARMENTS and VERACiTY through the R. Scott's win, 400-338.
Scott told me of an informal game he played last night with Mark Fidler (Waltham, MA). Mark had, but was unable to play TZADDIK. Wow!
We have a visiting class of photojournalist students with their professors here today. They all have these swanky cameras with lenses the size of something off the Hubble space telescope! I've been skulking around with my inferior small camera smiling through the pain of my "lens envy." As usually happens, they wander by division 1, get their shoes stuck on the glue of "what are these words?" and they don't seem to move on. I gave them the standard AEONRST anagram puzzle and explained a SATINE bingo stem, and then had to define the word "bingo." We've had a lot of interested photographers around today. John D. Williams and his media engine are revving it up!
Before he heads off to lunch, Lucas Freeman (Delaplane, VA) tells me of his 2-2 morning, complete with a super fun first game with Nigel Richards (Malaysia). He opened with back-to-back bingos: ADJUROR and HELLFIRE through an L. In game 2, Lucas played Bradley Whitmarsh (Attleboro, MA). Brad's DIsTAIN for 72 and CILIATE for 91 weren't enough to keep up with Lucas' FOUR bingos: PEATIER for 72, ENAMOURED for 76, DERATED for 68, and EBONIZES for 90. It was a 498-443 win for Lucas. In round 4 it was time for Lucas to experience some pain and he lost to John OLaughlin (Boston, MA) by 300ish points. John's better plays were GUIDEWAY, DARKSOME, and GLOSSAE.