Choices: OX 9g (22), MOXA e8 (26), AXIOM e4 (28), OXIM e5 (26)
In Puzzle 1, you have a strong bingo rack and hope to bingo in the near future. There are no good scoring plays, and all your good options score between 20 and 30 points. OX 9g scores 22 points and keeps AEILS. While AEILS will lead to more bingos than any other leave, it contains a poor vowel-consonant ratio. As a result, while you will draw a bingo fairly often, you could also draw two vowels which will lead to a very low scoring play next turn. By playing off another vowel or two, you will minimize this possibility.
AXIOM scores 28 and keeps a solid leave, but it opens a huge scoring spot for your opponent. Your opponent will often get to use high point tiles to score 35 or more points making a play that parallels the AXI of AXIOM. Thus, you’re better off making another play and withhold the extra vowel at the cost of two points.This leaves two options: OXIM and MOXA. OXIM keeps a slightly better leave and sets up your E: however, MOXA is a better play. The first reason MOXA is better is that it sets up your S hook in line 12 to make a potentially high scoring play next turn. The second reason is that your opponent played EMOTE last turn: a play that infers they might have been keeping an E in their rack. Thus, the OXIM-E hook which seemed like an asset is actually a slight drawback.