It’s Scrabble Day today , celebrating the popular game on the birthday of its inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts born in Poughkeepsie, New York on April 13, 1899.
Butts, an architect, created a board game called “Criss Cross Words” in 1931. In 1948, Mr. and Mrs. James Brunot, who owned a Criss Cross Words set, suggested the game be marketed. They made strategic changes, including the rule about starting across the middle instead of in the top left corner, and changing the name to Scrabble.
There is a whole lot more to Scrabble than most of us occasional players appreciate. Ask a devotee and they will no doubt wax lyrical about the combination of chance and skill. It’s also a game that continues to evolve as words do, with words such as MEME – 8 points, SELFIE – 9 points, HASHTAG – 14 points, BROMANCE – 14 points, FRENEMY – 15 points, SEXTING – 15 points, CAKEHOLE – 17 points and CHILLAX – 19 points all now appearing in the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.
There’s also plenty of debate about the words which will bring you the highest score. Jennifer M Wood has a list of show off words including- OXYPHENBUTAZONE – an anti-inflammatory medication used to treat arthritis and bursitis which under a rare set of conditions will get you 1,778 Points, QUIZZIFY – to quiz or question at 419 Points, MUZJIKS – a Russian peasant which will present you 126 Points or my favourite ZA – a slang term for pizza which builds on two As—one directly below, the other directly to the right of a triple letter square—to hand you 62 Points and a seriously annoyed opponent.
Scrabble is a gift to gift wrapping. A single tile makes a marvellous monogram, a word in scrabble letters looks grand, the pattern on the board itself makes for a great wrap and a random collection of tiles packs a punch. I have gone for a wrap from the little boys room in rich wooden tones rather than the more traditional ivory. I have matched it with a flat knot ribbon in black, and while the look is masculine, I like it a lot. It makes me Quizzify why I haven’t used a scrabble look a lot more than I have.