Word Games

Fanfare! A first review

DNA Discovery

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
An advertisement for a new word game called One Up! caught my eye:

One Up! – It's way faster/funner than Scrabble and Bananagrams.

I've played many word puzzles, one of the first being the paper and pencil game of Hangman. There are many, many word games for playing at home and watching on television:

Word game - Wikipedia

One of the best-known televised games is Countdown, whose format has been sold worldwide:

Countdown (game show) - Wikipedia

Scrabble, with its many variants, has been around since 1938—rumours that it precipitated WW2 are probably untrue—but its interminable nature rivals Monopoly, which tries the patience. I've known several Scrabble bores who insisted on finishing the game, sitting up until the early hours of the morning. One had a gold-plated version whose glistening board and engraved letter tiles were difficult to read without tilting one's head, making it tricky to remember which letters were in play.

Magnetic letter tiles to attach to fridge and freezer doors are a diverting way of having fun and leaving messages, though slamming the door is inadvisable, as stepping on a tile in bare feet is unpleasant, though not as painful as a Lego brick.

I've gone through phases of doing crosswords, never being addicted to them. I prefer puzzles based on general knowledge, as the satisfaction gained from working out cryptic clues escapes me. It's been said, that doing crosswords is a good way of warding off dementia:

Science Explains Why Crossword Puzzles Are Good For You

But a 2018 report in the British Medical Journal denied this was so:


I think that I'll stick to my own word game, which is best played in bed as a way of hypnotising yourself or a partner to fall asleep. Using the alphabet, name a dog breed beginning with 'A' and so on—or a country or your favourite forename or a car or food...whatever you fancy. Take it in turns with a partner. You may well find that they and you go to sleep at the same letter each night.

Are you a crossword addict?

Do you have a favourite or hated board game?

How about word games you've invented?

Love Scrabble, but I also love a variant that was also published by Hasbro, called Upwords. In Upwords, you can play your letter tiles directly on top of existing tiles to change words. You score for all the tiles, including the ones below the in-play letters. Really added a new level of strategy to the game.

Scrabble doesn't need to be interminable. Half an hour is generally plenty of time for a full game with decent players. I'm just leery of some of the words the official dictionary will accept. "Za"? "Qi"? "Grrl"? And, of course, "Em" and "En", which are two words I thought would never be legal without at least a hyphen.
You could say I'm a crossword addict. I just love to do cryptic crosswords.
I do The Times Jumbo Cryptic crossword every Saturday, (although to my shame I don't often complete it before the next Saturday.:()
Love scrabble and always have.
I like all sorts of word games, anagrams, puzzles etc.
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Fanfare! A first review

DNA Discovery