I dream of djinni.

via Daily Prompt: Genie

Computer Scrabble cheats.
Not every version… the one that’s downloaded on my phone is somewhat reliable… but the one that’s on my laptop is devious and nasty and determined never to award me the 1600 point rating I’ve been trying so hard to earn.
What does it have to lose? It’s already smarter than I am. When I play against it, it’s set to a level of 1800, so it’s guaranteed to win 4 out of 5 games. It knows I’m not brave enough to challenge it at the Champion level, where it’s set to 2100, and primed to deprive me of all my scant self-respect.
All that I ask is that it give me a fighting chance… and the bugger is determined not to.
After years of struggle, I was within 20 points of the coveted 1600. Do you know how hard I had to work to get there? I had dutifully memorized all 2-letter English words, and most of the 3’s. I memorized all the variants on the word “genie:” djinni, jinni, jinn, jin, djinn and djin.
Are there others?
I learned a bunch of “q” words that don’t require “u’s”… some of them even ending in “q,” like “tranq” and “suq.” I even found out, much to my discontent, that some words which were accepted by the Scrabble on my cell phone, like “qi,” were haughtily rejected by my laptop.
Did you know that no electronic Scrabble game will recognize the word “yoyo?” It won’t… and I’ve learned to accept each version’s questionable right to select its own valid lexicon.
So why won’t the damn thing let me win???
Every time I’m near the coveted 1600, it starts giving me lousy tiles, and giving itself long, beautiful words like “quixotic,” which can be placed where it scans two triple-space squares, yielding enough points to equal what I weighed in my late 20’s.
Meanwhile, it either deals me rack after rack of seven vowels, or hits me with an avalanche of consonants. Oh, I know. Good players can always dish out “ourie,” “aioli,” “qwerty” and “cwm,” but once… just once, I’d like my rack to spell “jonquils.”
Ha. If it did, the board would probably be full, and I’d have no place to put my word.
I haven’t won a lousy game in weeks.
And honey, I’ve played a lot.
One of the joys of retirement is that one is encouraged to perform mental calisthenics as often as possible, to keep the mind from deteriorating. I now play Scrabble with all the diligence I used to devote to my job. As a matter of fact, I’ve thought about making it my job, and traveling from tournament to tournament with a menacing look and a bag full of wooden tiles.
But you can’t play professional Scrabble until you’ve earned a 1600 rating… and my bloody computer won’t let me.
I’ve suffered loss after painful loss, and I’ve seen my rating plummet to a paltry 1490. Some games are humiliating bloodbaths, in which I barely break 200 points while my opponent throws down four Bingos and scores well over 500 points. Others are heartbreaking squeakers, lost on the last move, with final scores less than a few points apart.
I don’t suppose it does any good to complain. I suspect I won’t be happy until the situation turns around, and the damn thing lets me win a few games. However, it’s something I needed to get off my chest… perhaps as a public service announcement to other old women trying to retain their wits by obsessing on this addictive game.
Expect it to cheat.


5 thoughts on “I dream of djinni.

  1. FIRST: WHERE DID YOU FIND A FUNCTIONAL COPY OF SCRABBLE FOR YOUR PC? It’s my favorite game and I have NOT been able to find a copy for years. I WANT it. And Boggle, too! I don’t even care if it cheats … just please, make it something I can PLAY.


      • I think I had that and it wouldn’t play on Win 7 (and it was pretty old). I had installed it on EVERY computer since … the early 1990s maybe? I’ll have to see if it is still lurking around. It aggravates me that you can’t buy a newer functional copy anymore.


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