Puns confirm my genius position

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January 23 — I am a certified genius. If you don’t believe me, just ask the New York Times.

It’s true, the official newspaper of our country confirmed my talent. The proof: every time I reach a certain level on TNYT’s Spelling Bee game, a tab appears that says “Genius!”

I have already started my MENSA application process.

But seriously, Spelling Bee is my latest pun obsession. It’s simple, but difficult. You have seven letters arranged in a honeycomb shape and see how many words of four or more letters you can get – and you must include the middle letter in each word.

I’ve been a fan of puns since I was a kid. I used to play Mad Libs with my sisters; I would work the Jumble puzzle in the journal; I was doing crosswords, word searches, etc. I guess I should have known that words would become my calling.

I’ve always enjoyed playing Scrabble, although my ex-wife didn’t like it very much because I usually won. Every time she beat me, she had to make a big deal out of it.

She never beat me at Boggle, though. Undefeated and undisputed champion.

I don’t play those games as much these days – at least not fitness. On the one hand, she had them during the divorce. But also, they are on my phone. I’ve been playing Words with Friends for over 10 years, and it seems like I’m one of the few who still play it, other than the incredibly sexy women who keep starting games with me and want to try chatting.

I’m not saying incredibly sexy 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 WWF ladies are, in all likelihood, actually a Ukrainian named Boyko. And he’s probably ugly. Most of them are terrible at the game, playing words for 5 or 8 points. For example, when did catfishers decide that phone games were a great place to find their prey?

And what man would be stupid enough to think, “OMG, I think I just met my soul mate in the WWF chat. THAT’S A TRIPLE BONUS FOR MY HEART.”

I digress.

There’s another word game I haven’t tried yet: Wordle. It’s absolutely exploded over the past few weeks, and it seems like everyone else I follow on Twitter is posting their results. All I know is to try to guess the word of the day in as few tries as possible.

Apparently, it’s very addictive, just like Spelling Bee.

Like with Wordle, there’s a Spelling Bee puzzle a day, so that gives me a little something to look forward to during winter chores. In fact, I’m really trying to finish this column on time instead of picking up my phone to complete today’s puzzle.

I haven’t reached the genius level yet today. But believe me, I will. My shine is already established.

BRAD LOCKE is senior sports editor for the Daily Journal. Reach him on Twitter @bradlocke or by email at [email protected]

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