You saw it here first! A new variant of the word game "Scrabble" --- call it ^Zen Scrabble, or maybe ScrabBLANK --- invented by your obedient servant ^z. Simply play using all the standard rules but with 100 blank tiles instead of the normal mix of letters. (For those who have forgotten, a blank tile is a wild card that can stand for any letter, but has zero point value.)
To make your own ^Zen Scrabble set you can buy 50 normal Scrabble sets and from each discard the 98 lettered tiles, keeping only the two blanks. (You will also need to discard 49 of the 50 boards.) Or you can play with the 100 tiles in a regular set turned face-down. (Note to computers: if you draw a normal blank you must be careful not to get caught in an infinite loop of turning it over repeatedly in order to orient it "face-down".)
^Zen Scrabble is a unique advance in that:
Like chess, go, checkers, etc., ^Zen Scrabble is a game of perfect information --- there are no hidden secrets or random elements. The mathematics of Game Theory thus guarantees that there is an optimal strategy, though no one yet knows what it may be.
Coming soon, to a game store near you ... ^Zen Scrabble!
(Doubtless "Scrabble" is a trademark of whoever has most recently bought the rights to that crossword-forming board game. For further commentary see Stefan Fatsis's book Word Freak as well as ArsMagna (27 Sep 2002), ...)
TopicHumor - Datetag20021007
Zen Scrabble game underway --- first player penalized by 25 points to remove advantage (if any) of going first, and to prevent tied games ...
score: ^z = 375, R = 400
ZYMURGY BROWSINg ANAGRAmS rEPEATER IRrADiATE aNSwERING PANCrEAS MEMORIaL mNEMONIC EMbROILS sTAgNATED [[PiZz]]ERIAS IDIOTIC PESTiCIDe AmPHORAS AEsTHEtIC
I resign! - ^z