‘LARKIER’, that’s how. Last night my cell phone’s mini-Scrabble dropped this obscure gem on me for 41 points.

I admit I’m the sole cause of my undoing. I chose to tangle with a computer brain on the most difficult level of this classic game. (The download cost me eight bucks for unlimited frustration plays). Whenever I poke my finger in that snake hole I seem oblivious to squaring up against an apathetic agglomeration of circuits that can consult an unabridged dictionary’s worth of verbiage at fiber optic speed. Brazenly I pitted my lowly neurons, already busy with thoughts on the Orlando Magic’s double-digit deficit and the large male mosquito dancing and bouncing its way up the living room wall. The result is not surprising. A few turns into the match I’m down 57 to 163 and wonder why I bother to go on.

If only I can grow intellectually from the flogging, things wouldn’t be so bad. Since the ‘larkier’ flash card in my 2nd grade English class apparently slipped out of the stack leaving me dumb to its definition, I consulted the good word book for help. That’s where the trouble started. Google’s “define:” feature turned up nothing. Another high-octane multi-language translator/dictionary/thesaurus that easily churns through complex French business terms and spits them out in plain English couldn’t crack it either. It did, however, point me to the root word “lark” and offered the adjectives ‘larkish’ and ‘larky’, but no ‘larkier.’ Perhaps it was a fouled spelling attempt at ‘lacquer?’ . If so, I want my $8 back.

I then resorted to the Random House Unabridged. I flipped through its weighty mass. No luck there. I got ‘larker’ (close!), ‘larkiness’, ‘larkishness’, ‘larkingly’, ‘larkish’, ‘larky’, ‘larkishly’, and ‘larksome.’ I failed to spy ‘larkier’ anywhere on that page 1084, in the appendix, inside the back cover flap, or hidden under the price sticker. Perhaps the dictionary came with a bookmark with words shamefully left out from the printing? No, it did not. At least not my inherited copy. Where to turn next in search of meaning for that mysterious assemblage of letters? Must I pore through Turkish technical manuals, Inuit igloo scribblings from days preceding Erik the Viking, or signals beamed from interstellar inhabitants graciously suggesting additions to our lexicon? I’d had enough.

So, Scrabble parent company Hasbro, consider this a formal complaint. There ain’t no such damn word. I demand the return of a bunch of points, my pride, and six interrupted hours of writing this blog. Go larkier yourselves!