I first discovered the iOS game Letterpress while reading Marco Arment's The Magazine (Letterdepressed, Josh Centers, Issue 5). I installed it immediately after finishing the article and was instantly hooked. It's a compelling mix of strategy and vocabulary demonstration. Easier to learn and quicker to play than Scrabble, while still providing a means for Liberal Arts majors to demonstrate superiority over their gainfully employed peers, if only for a few minutes.
A few days ago, I needed a distraction from finishing my upcoming book. Writing a Python based Letterpress "assistant" cough seemed like a fun diversion. I started with code originally written for Scrabble, but it was painfully slow. In this post, I'll show how I optimized and refactored the original code to the point that it's actually useful for Letterpress.