I have a new nemesis: CPU, aka central processing unit, my on-line Scrabble opponent.
Thanks to my tech-savvy daughter, who bought, set up and downloaded apps I’d like on an Ipad mini, I’m playing lots of Scrabble.
I’ve been a Scrabble lover since childhood, when I played with me three siblings.
Living about 35 minutes by train from New York City, I’m in and out of the city a lot- for family, work, and entertainment. Train travel used to be my magazine time- I’d catch up on the New Yorkers and others that had accumulated. This month, I’m doing a lot of flying—it’s our daughter’s last college tennis season and I’ll be back and forth to Ohio a couple times before her graduation in May. The Ipad, complete with its eReader capabilities, are in my carry-on. The Scrabble is what lures me; I find it hard to do much of anything else while on the train or plane.
As kids, my siblings and I would accuse each other of looking at the letter racks if one of the players left the room for the bathroom. I don’t cheat when playing against real live humans. I obey the rules, take my turn, try to use the dictionary only to check spelling of a word, not to go on a fishing trip as we always called it.
I can’t really cheat against CPU. I can’t see its letters or anticipate its next move. It irritates me that CPU knows all the 101 two-letter words. CPU rarely passes, and needs only about a second of thinking time.
Yet I’m as competitive as ever against CPU, whether it knows it or not. So I cheat, a little.
I frequently see what the “Best Word” feature will produce; and sometimes use the words if I’ve heard of them. If I haven’t, I don’t. I’ll experiment with my own two-letter combinations, hoping they’re on the approved list. Like a GPS informing me I’ve made a wrong turn, CPU quickly tells me if a word doesn’t exist.
I try to convince myself that I’m not really cheating; just using the available tools designed to make me a stronger player. If a game isn’t going well, I’ll delete and start over; CPU never calls me a sore loser. CPU doesn’t gloat about winning or complain about losing; it never blames the poor letters it receives or the order of play. Not a bad opponent.
What about you? What games do you play and how do you beat the CPU?