Word games confirm my standing as genius

·3 min read

Jan. 23—I am a certified genius. If you don't believe me, just ask The New York Times.

That's right, our nation's newspaper of record has confirmed my brilliance. The proof: Whenever I hit a certain level on TNYT's Spelling Bee game, a tab pops up that says, "Genius!"

I have already begun my application process to MENSA.

But seriously, Spelling Bee is my latest word game obsession. It's simple, but challenging. You have seven letters arranged within a honeycomb shape, and you see how many words of four or more letters you can get — and you have to include the middle letter in each word.

I've been a fan of word games since I was a kid. I used to play Mad Libs with my sisters; I'd work the Jumble puzzle in the paper; I'd do crosswords, word searches, etc. I guess I should have known that words would become my vocation.

I've always loved to play Scrabble, although my ex-wife didn't enjoy it much because I usually won. Whenever she did beat me, she had to make a big deal out of it.

She never bested me in Boggle, though. Undefeated, undisputed champion.

I don't play those games as much these days — at least, not the physical form. For one thing, she got them in the divorce. But also, they're on my phone. I've been playing Words with Friends for more than 10 years, and it appears I'm one of the few still playing it, aside from the insanely hot women who keep starting games with me and want to try and chat.

I'm not saying insanely hot women don't play Words with Friends. I'm sure many do and are very good at it. Sarah Michelle Gellar is probably a pro.

But these ladies on WWF are, in all likelihood, actually a Ukrainian guy named Boyko. And he's probably ugly. Most of them are terrible at the game, playing words for 5 or 8 points. Like, when did catfishers decide phone games were a great place to find their prey?

And what man would be dumb enough to think, "OMG, I think I've just met my soulmate in WWF chat. IT'S A TRIPLE BONUS FOR MY HEART."

I digress.

There's another word game out there I haven't tried yet: Wordle. It has absolutely blown up the past few weeks, and it seems every other person I follow on Twitter is posting their results. All I know about it is you have to try and guess the word of the day in as few tries as possible.

Apparently it's very addicting, just like Spelling Bee.

As with Wordle, there is one Spelling Bee puzzle per day, and so it gives me a little something to look forward to during the drudgery of winter. In fact, I'm trying real hard to finish this column on time instead of picking up my phone to finish today's puzzle.

I haven't reached the genius level yet today. But trust me, I will. My brilliance has already been established.

BRAD LOCKE is senior sports writer for the Daily Journal. Contact him on Twitter @bradlocke or via email at brad.locke@journalinc.com.