It Boggles the Mind
I must admit, I was overconfident going into the game. I'm a writer; my husband is more mathematically inclined and my eight year old just learned how to read, so yeah, I had it in the bag.
But my husband, whose number one goal in life is to beat me at every game on the planet, had a surprise strategy.
He plays the caveman version of Boggle. Arrange letters to make a sound, and declare it a word.
This actually works. Who knew that ooh and haha were endorsed by Webster himself?
Haha: n. A fence, wall, etc. set in a ditch around a garden or park so as not to hide the view from within.
Yes, come to think about it, we were just talking about that at our neighborhood book club.
Diane, I just love your new haha.
Well, we didn't want to mask the view from within the garden.
Of course not. The view is wunderbar. (Also in the dictionary as an alternative to wonderful.)
Thank you. We're having a wunderbar time now that we have our haha. More tea?
We play where if you challenge a word and it's in the dictionary, the challenger has to subtract a point. Still, there were times where I'd challenge every word starting with Noa (the abbreviation of Noah, according to Justin, which wouldn't work anyway because there are no proper nouns!!!!) and ending with nont. Which is "nont" a word.
Challenging ha ha and ooh cost me the game. Then I let Justin convince me that otir, though not an animal, is, in fact, a word. I later found out this was a bluff.
Johnny also was a surprisingly good player. He found beet. "You know," he said. "Like I beet you in basketball." And "Peat," which he said was short for Peter. (Do we need to review the definition of "proper noun"?)
Justin won the game. (Or can you also spell it wun? I don't know, why doesn't he write it on his Boggle sheet and find out?!)
I demanded a rematch.
In the second game, sadly for Justin, hoo and hals, which he defined as an abbreviation of halls (because who has time to write an extra L anymore?), were not in the dictionary, so I won.
By this time, Johnny had dropped out of the game, and was getting a kick out of watching us challenge words.
Afterwards, he said, "I never knew haha was a word." Summarizing the definition, he said, "Haha. It's what the farmer said when he saw a hole in his garden. Ha. Ha."
Well, I'm glad he learned something about our language.
I learned something, too. It's a big dictionary. As it turns out, you don't have to know what's in it, you just have to know how to win. My husband does a wunderbar job of finding a way to win any game.
Little does he know that I intend to read the entire dictionary before our tie breaker game number three. He'll never see it coming, not even if we build a haha in our garden.