I started playing Scrabble with a group of people a few months ago. This is unusual on a couple fronts. I’m not a big joiner and as a rule not a fan of groups (and my feelings haven’t changed) but I must say as a newcomer to the game itself, I love it! I should have started playing years – decades – ago. At least I’ve started now; that’s what I’m telling myself. The game plays to my strengths with one caveat thus far: I lack speed. I’m much better than when I started but still feel the absence of speed – being able to quickly see potential, high-point words from a bunch of letters – puts me at a disadvantage. Also, because I can’t read upside down, when I’m playing against 3 or 4 people I’m lost until the board is facing me. To be fair, no one else I’m playing against has only recently learned the game. And I have won games, more than once.
To practice and get the hang of things, I made a makeshift game (don’t laugh) to play against myself since I didn’t initially know whether it was worth buying one. Playing against myself (I’m evenly matched) has absolutely improved my skills. What I’ve done is occasionally keep score by totalling “both sides” points all together. In October my total was around 500 to 570 but I’ve surpassed 600 points several times recently (676 once!).
If you’re not familiar with Scrabble, the basic idea is you get seven letter tiles and try to make a word with them on a board. If you use all seven letters on one turn, you earn a bonus 50 points. Last week, for the first time, when playing a solitary game, I got my first 50-point bonus. I was so excited I yippied!😊 It was a definite breakthrough in my mind’s processing. (The word was parlors.)
In a subsequent solitary game, I used all seven letters two times. Naturally I took a picture to show you. The words were aliases and frighten. (There are 100 letter tiles including two “blanks” – that can be any letter you want – one of which I used in “frighten”.)
The next day I again used all seven tiles, shown here with misheard. Equines doesn’t count because I put down “equine” on one turn and added an “s” on another.
A couple weeks ago I found a Scrabble dictionary (yes, they have their own) tossed out by the road with a bunch of other books. It felt like a sign. I am so smitten with Scrabble and playing it – with people or alone – is good for me. I’m on a self-propelled mission over the last year or so to sharpen up my mind. Scrabble makes me think and I get a thrill from coming up with words and improving my game. I have a love affair with words and I’m intensely courting them again.