Words on Target – Game Plans

no darts are used in the playing of this game

Quick Game Summary

Start with 301 points. Choose a five-letter word on your turn and calculate its value using the scale below. Subtract from your current score. The first player to reach exactly zero wins. Lightning round: when the second player’s balance drops to 75 or less, all players play at once and can use as many words as needed to reach zero. More details can be found in the March issue.

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

 N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26

Two possible game strategies are Laying Back and the All-Out Blitz.

The All-Out Blitz

A 3-dart average for an elite darts payer is 100 or more. In the 20 wedge there are strips that score double and triple 20. So one way to score 100 is to hit a triple 20 and two doubles. In Words on Target we have 100-point words, so it is possible to obtain 301 total points on your third turn. These words are not plentiful, and so first, it might pay to know some, and second, it is another good reason to allow their use only once each in an evening’s play.

The Blitz Bank. In February, we used some 100+ point words to demo the play of the game. Those were FUZZY, YURTS, WRYLY, NUTTY, and BUZZY. Of course, to score 301 you’ll need one or two words worth slightly under 100.

1. How many 97+ point words can you find?

Refinement. Use the words above and those you find to form sets of three that sum to exactly 301. One such set is {YUMMY, FUZZY, NUTTY}.

2. Can you find three other blitzing sets of three?

Laying Back

There are advantages to playing a four-word game. As stated in the rules, a blitz miscalculation could put you out of the competition, but while your opponent is looking for that final just-so word, you could strike from a distance. You could have a pair of words ready: the first to put the game into the Lightning Round and the second to get you to zero immediately.

The Lay Back Bank. A four-turn strategy might be to have two 90-point words on average and then a pair that sum to 121.

3. Find example pairs that combine to a perfect 4-word strategy. Example: TURNS 92, WORMS 88, followed by TRAIL 60, PRIME 61. TOTAL 301.

Good hunting, and remember – eye on the bull’s-eye and wrist flexed. Ha!

solutions