Letter-by-Letter Word Games FAQ

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Originally Compiled by Steffan O'Sullivan and now maintained by Graham Toal, last updated 16th February 2022.

This is an attempt to list the letter-by-letter word games that have been published -- called "letter-by-letter games", or "word-building games", to distinguish them from word games which use whole words, phrases, sentences, etc. Examples of the latter include Taboo, Guestures, Trivial Pursuit, and Charades; all of which can be considered "word games", but are outside the scope of this list. Instead, this list focuses on games in which the basic element is a letter, and words are built up from there. We will also not be listing traditional word games which can be played without special equipment, although many of the games here could also be played without the paraphenalia listed here (typified by Jotto, for example); To include pencil and paper word games would turn this project from a web page into a book! Similarly we will also be avoiding purely electronic word games (such as Jumble) unless they also have a board, card or tile component.

ScrabbleTM is probably the best-known letter-by-letter word game today. Many of the games below were invented to cash in on the popularity of Scrabble; but many of them pre-date it, especially the games using lettered cards and letter-dice which were played in cross-word fashion but without a board or with a plain board devoid of the premium word scores we have come to cherish.

The games currently listed are mostly from the USA with some from other English-speaking lands such as Britain and Australia, but submissions of games from other countries and for play in other languages will be most welcome. (Here's a good list from France that I haven't yet had time to go over individually) We hope to eventually document all aspects of a game, so that if you are going to buy one (on eBay, for example) you'll be able to check here and see just how many tiles or cards there should be before you buy a set with some missing items. We'll also be documenting the rules, when possible, so you can play on an old game whose original rules are lost. (Meanwhile, the Games Cabinet, About.com, D'Antiques, and the AGPC (not online - photocopies by mail only) have a fine selection of rules, and John McLeod has a huge database of rules for card games. The about.com site also has some advice for buyers. As, occassionally, do we.)

This list is not done yet - there have been an astonishing number of such games published. We'll continue to add any new submissions and corrections that are mailed to Graham Toal <gtoal@gtoal.com>.

My thanks to the contributors (listed below), and to anyone else who responds to my plea to fill in either more game titles, comments, or both. Also thanks to external sites we've linked to, which may have a review or an image of a game. To keep the loading time of this page reasonable, I'm not placing any images inline within this page.

If you want to see my collection of images - which is unsorted at present - CLICK HERE

The games are in alphabetical order, and are numbered merely so I can easily see how many we've been able to list. If we give a date, it's the oldest date we're aware of; if we give a tile count, it's the highest tile count we're aware of - but beware, games may be older than we know or we may have info from boxes with tiles missing!

I've recently started adding some price guide information, basically just summarizing the prices fetched on eBay for the permanent record, before eBay forgets old sales. These are not to be taken with any authority. Anything you sell is worth what you can get for it. I've seen the very same game sell at times for $10 and other times for $50.

The latest major change to this page is to add some images of the games. A few words of explanation are needed here. The principle source of research for finding uncatalogued games is the online auction site, eBay. When I find a new game, I generally mail the person selling it and ask if I can use the image from their page. Usually they say yes with no strings attached. Occassionally they ask that I link to their auctions, which I'm happy to do in exchange. However most times I don't get an answer at all, which is a little depressing, though certainly understandable because many auction sellers aren't interested in what they sell - they get job lots from a house clearing when someone dies and sell everything off as fast as possible. It's a business. And I wouldn't want to put someone out who was trying to get some work done. So... although in life I'm generally very strict about copyrights and things of that nature, I have in these pages included some graphics from people from whom I have not had explicit permission. In those cases, I generally check their 'other sales' pages first, and if they are a specialist in word games, I'll include a link to it because no matter when you access it you'll probably find a word game. People who have only ever sold one word game however I don't generally link to as the word game will be long gone from the memory of eBay by the time you click on their link. In those cases I may out of politeness include a generic link to eBay, or have no attribution at all. If any ebay advertiser spots one of their scans here and is offended by this appropriation of their images, I will remove it immediately. My common sense feeling is that no-one is likely to object. I know I certainly wouldn't. Now that the page below is starting to get a pretty good coverage of what's available, new games are arriving more slowly than before and I have more time to pursue requests to include images. When I first started this page, I was adding 10 or 20 a day, and it just wasn't possible to track everyone down to ask their permission. On the plus side, we do have quite a lot of good pictures here :-)

So, without further ado, the games:

Letter-by-Letter Word Games

Compiled by Steffan O'Sullivan and Graham Toal

Quick index: [A] [B] [C] [D] [E] [F] [G] [H] [I] [J] [K] [L] [M] [N] [O] [P] [Q] [R] [S] [T] [U] [V] [W] [X] [Y] [Z]

  1. 1000 Namen von A-Z by Ravensburger
    See the
    web site [German].
  2. Academie by US Games Co., 1949
    A Word game with Wooden racks to hold cards. 3 minute timer, score cards, rules. Part of the "Cavendish Academie System Part 1." Registered U.S. Patent Office and Copyrighted in Great Britain and the Dominions. Cards have two letters on them, differing letters on opposite corners. Word point value table: For winning round with 1 word: 30, 2 words: 21, 3 words: 10; Plus Value of Words of 2-3 letters: 1, 4 letters: 2, 5:4, 6:7, 7:11, 8:16, 9:22, 10:30, 11:40, 12:52, 13:68, 14:90, 15-16 letters: 120. Extras: 3 of a kind: 15, 4 of a kind: 25, Two word couplets: 10
  3. Accent by Radio Printing Corporation, 1954
    No details of this game at all, not even 100% sure of the name. Radio Printing Corporation of Bridgeport, Conn. The game board looks Scrabble-like, but the point of the game is to play words which rhyme with something. Not sure what!
  4. Add a word, 1955
    Funagain Games [or maybe not. I have this one somewhere so if someone is looking for it, mail me and I'll type in the info from the box sooner than I might otherwise get around to...]
  5. Ad.dic.tion by Createk Inc, 1968
    Players attempt to form words WITHOUT completing them. The one who DOES complete a word is the loser. Bluffing is part of the game, but can be costly for the player whose bluff is discovered.
  6. Addiction by Waddington's House of Games, Bramalea (On), 1979
    Solo or with any number of players. The box contains 13 dice with scored letters on their sides (yet another
    Scribbage clone) and a playing surface consisting of a 5x5 grid and a dice chute.
    Each die is rolled and must then be placed in the grid; the object is to build words in the grid crossword-fashion; all words must be linked to score --any unlinked cubes at the end of the round are removed. Game is played in 300 points. [DUT] [SOS] Note that this is an interesting half-way house in the development of dice games. Until now, most dice games - even ones which required solutions laid out interlocking crossword fashion - we simply spilled on your table or carpet. This game constrains the solutions to a 5x5 board (which also forces a higher degree of interlocking than say a single 8 letter word intersecting a 6 letter word). In some way it is almost a miniature Scrabble. Note that the dice have point values, also like Scrabble. This is about as close to a hybrid of dice games and board games as you can get.
  7. Ad Lib published by ES. Lowe, 1963, 1971, 1975
    Also known as "Ad Lib Crossword Cubes". This appears to be a renaming of
    Scribbage in response to a lawsuit from the trademark owners of Scrabble.
    The faces of the 13 dice are: [V N U O C K] [Q A I F L G] [W V A D T E] [H R E N O T] [O W U M P Y] [A S X E B Y] [E R I S D BLANK] [D J N A R E] [Z A I F C E] [M P BLANK G E I] [S B N M U O] [A S E L T H] [O E L I R T]
    The scores on the letters are: A 1 B 4 C 4 D 3 E 1 F 4 G 4 H 3 I 2 J 6 K 5 L 2 M 3 N 2 O 1 P 4 Q 8 R 2 S 2 T 2 U 3 V 4 W 4 X 8 Y 4 Z 10 BLANK 0
    [poor quality image] Each player has an identical, but differently colored, set of thirteen cubes. Each roll one's set of cubes and tries to make the highest possible crossword using the letters rolled. When time has expired, each records the words made secretly. Each then scrambles the order of the cubes. The players then exchange cube sets and tries to make a higher score than the opponent using the same letters! [AS]
  8. Duplicate Ad Lib by E.S. Lowe, 1975.
    Variant of
    Ad Lib for two players. The version I have has each player with one's own gameboard and letter dice trying to make the highest possible set of scoring crosswords. Each player secretly records one's own play then, after shuffling the order of the letters, but not changing the positions of the dice, hands the gameboard to the opponent. Each player is trying to better the other's score using the same letters [AS].
    Each player has an identical, but differently colored, set of thirteen cubes. Each roll one's set of cubes and tries to make the highest possible crossword using the letters rolled. When time has expired, each records the words made secretly. Each then scrambles the order of the cubes. The players then exchange cube sets and tries to make a higher score than the opponent using the same letters! [AS]
  9. Ad Lib published by ES. Lowe, 1970
    This is NOT the dice game above. I have minimal information on this, but it appears to have a grid board (like Scrabble) and relief-cut letter tiles. (white on black) [GT]
    Players maintain a hand of nine letters and play words crossword-style on a fifteen-by-fifteen grid. The value of the word is dependent upon the numbers on the squares where the letters were played. Premium squares double or triple the value of the word. [AS]
  10. Administrative Waltz published by Ariel.
    This is a satirical board game about rising to the top of various bureaucracies (the military, politics, etc.) in the UK, but in some way it incorporates the making of words from letter tiles. [DB]
  11. Alfapet by Alga
    Swedish version of Scrabble
    Alga now no longer have the rights to Scrabble (which is now handled by JW Spear's in Sweden) so they have modified the game slightly and sell it under their own name. The new Alfapet has a 17x17 board. There is also a "Children's Alfapet" and now a "Kort Alfapet" (Card Alfapet - like Waddington's Lexicon)
    > From: o'rourke.m@ucles.org.uk
    > We were given a wedding present of the Finnish 'version' of Scrabble   
    > called Alfabet which is played on a 17 x 17 board with x4 Word squares   
    > and 8 letters on racks - maybe that's where your information came from? -   
    > I believe it is a popular game in Scandinavian countries. The tile   
    > distribution is fun when applied to English!!
    > Mike O'Rourke
    I believe this page contains an image of the Alfapet rack.
  12. Alfred's Other Game published by Selchow & Righter.
    This tile games is for 1-4 players, and is basically solitaire, whether played alone or with others. Each player has three areas: a place where tiles are laid out randomly at start, a place where completed words are spelled, and a place for leftovers. You form words from each line of six tiles - unused letters go to the leftover area, and can be reused later. Not a great game, unless multi-player solitaire is your thing. 114 hardwood letter tiles: 72 natural coloured and 72 stained dark brown. Bag. Score pad. By Alfred M. Butts, the creator of
    Scrabble. [SOS]
  13. Alpha Beta
    Instructions printed in Sydney, Australia. Crossword card game/word rummy. Cards have scores on them. Date unknown - probably 1930's plus or minus 10.
  14. Alphabet Soup by Dang Fun Games
    Spill the letters out of the oversized soup can the game comes in and make words faster than the opponent. Great Fun for kids. CONTENTS: 116 Letters, 4 Option Chips, Score Pad, & Rules
  15. Alpha playing cards http://pweb.netcom.com/~hexchex/alphapc.html
    Various games can be played with these alphabetic playing cards. (See also WhizORD and Slam!) [GT] [NEW: print your own free sample!]
  16. AlphaBlitz Wizards of the Coast - http://store.wizards.com/product/product.asp?productid=181
    One of crop of family-oriented games by Wizards of the Coast. Two games in one: Alpha for two players, Blitz for 3 or more. Both use the same mechanism of using the letters shown on the table to form words; letters can be reused in the same word. At each turn one must play a card atop an existing pile: a new letter, or a Blitz cards which closes that pile for the rest of the deal. In Alpha, find as many words as possible; in Blitz you only can claim one word, but it must be longer than earlier words claimed that turn, and you get more points the more people go ahead of you (but you risk losing your chance if that length of word is claimed first). All reviews I've seen are enthusiastic. [BS] [Funagain Games]
  17. Alphabok by Springbok Editions, 1968
    From an eBay ad: "challenging new solitaire word puzzle"
    Alphabok, copyright 1968,1969. Springbok Editions.
    The directions are written on the box bottom. The contents are: playing board; 200 letter squares, which adhere to the playing surface; sorting platform; alphabok record book; 25 key phrases. The PLAY: 1. Select key phrase. 2. Spell out the phrase vertically on the circled squares on the playing board. 3. Build words from left to right using each letter of the key phrase as the first letter of each work. 4. Word Building may begin at any row. 5. When the first player finds he is unable to complete the words with the unused letters and must rebuild previous words by revisions, deletions and additions. The game is won when a word is built from each key letter and all 200 letters have been used. To WIN: You add up your score, depending on the point amount written on the letters.
  18. Alpha-Bug Soup
    Unknown details. Sounds like the
    Campbells Alphabet Soup game! See it at eToys.
  19. Anagrams
    There are more games out there called "Anagrams" than you can shake a stick at. We will be adding many more to these pages as we identify them. They are most late Victorian/early 20th C, before copyrights and patent lawyers reduced the number of essentially similar games.
  20. Ana Grams
    Green box, mottled pattern. Only text on box is "Ana Grams". Tiles have green letters on grey, with a Fleur-de-lys pattern in white on red on the obverse. (Or so I'm told, it looks to me more like a crown)
  21. Anagrams, or "Words Alive" 1800's?
    The box is 5 3/4" x 4 1/4" x 1 1/4" deep. It comes with the original instructions and the alphabet many times over on 1" x 3/4" card stock.
  22. Anagrams by Harter Publishing, Cleveland. 1935
  23. Anagrams by All Fair
    350 large letters. Anagrams, and other letter games. Two boxes for the same game from All Fair. One box has a large letter A on the cover, the other is a horizontal tricolor in blue, white and red.
  24. Anagrams by Playtime House Co, Rochester NY
    Cardboard tiles, green backs. Instructions.
  25. Anagrams by Russell Press Inc., Leicester, Mass
    Game No. 531. This game appears to date back to the 1930s, judging from the illustration of the family (and the clothes they wear) as shown on the box's cover. Box is approx 5in x 7in. Cardboard letters.
  26. Anagram by Oxford Games (modern)
    Designed by Finch & Scott. Based on an old and popular victorian game, Anagram is a fast and exciting word game for 2 or more players. It contains 90 letter tiles (with various points on each) which are picked up one at a time by every player until someone recognizes a word that can be made out of some or all of the exposed tiles -- the person then picks up those tiles and arranges those letters in front of himself to make a word. But it gets even better -- as the new letters turn up anagrams can be enlarged or changed -- the game ends at a time designated by the person who picks up the last tile -- new anagrams may be made and points won during that time by recognizing and claiming new words -- at the end of the game the person with the highest number of points wins.
  27. Cube Anagrams published by Parker Bros., 1899
  28. Anagrams & Letters published by Parker Bros.
    97 letter tiles - white letters on red plastic. Players in turn choose a tile; if the letter chosen can form a word the player keeps the tile. However, if not it is placed in the center of the game and is considered "up for grabs" to other players. Play continues until a player cannot add to his/her word and is forced to drop out. Last player left is the winner.
  29. Anagrams published by Milton Bradley.
    Game 4719. 360 wooden letters. Black lettering on yellow tiles. Thin serif old style face. [GT]
  30. Anagrams published by Milton Bradley.
    Game 4720. 200 wooden letters - black text on green background. Tile distribution: A 16 B 8 C 8 D 10 E 20 F 6 G 8 H 8 I 16 J 2 K 6 L 6 M/W 10 (Can't tell difference between M and W tiles) N 10 O 14 P 4 Q 2 R 8 S 10 T 10 U 6 V 4 W See above for M X 2 Y 4 Z 2
  31. Anagrams published by Milton Bradley.
    No copyright date anywhere and can't find the game number. Unfortunately my set is one short of 360, so I can't give a definitive tile distribution. My set has the following: A 37 B 12 C 12 D 14 E 42 F 8 G 12 H 12 I 35 J 4 K 8 L 11 M 7 N 14 O 32 P 6 Q 4 R 12 S 14 T 14 U 22 V 6 W 6 X 4 Y 6 Z 4
  32. Minstrel Anagrams by Cutler & Saleeby, 194X
    No info.
  33. Anagrams published by J Pressman & Co of New York
    Game #4031. Red letters on glossy cream-colored card (on face side anyway). One-page instruction sheet. Colorful green and red box.
  34. Anagrams published by Milton Bradley, 1939
    350 letters. "Letters for Cross Word Puzzles and Other Letter Games" Game #4306? 4308? (Difficult to tell from the scan I'm looking at)
  35. Anagrams published by "Major", an imprint of Miner Industries, Inc., 200 Fifth Ave, New York NY 10010, (c) 1979.
    a.k.a. "Anagram Games". Ages 7 and Up,".
    The leaflet is for Anagrams Set #1152 or #1153, which must differ only in tile pool size; this copy is marked #1152. It gives rules for Anagrams, Word Fun (building crossed words), Word Rummy, Word-Fun Solitaire, Word Dominoes, Snatch Words (the major difference from Anagrams seems to be that all players expose a tile at once), Word Ghost (the classic game, with tiles). Anagrams is the one-letter-at-a-time game with stealing that we know and love, plus scoring according to tile-values. The set came with 6 plastic racks stating "Transogram". This set comes with 216 tiles with lower-left-imprinted values, including:
        Splotch 8    
        A 16    N 14    
        B  4    O 16    
        C  6    P  4    
        D  8    Q  2    
        E 24    R 12    
        F  4    S 14    
        G  4    T 20    
        H 10    U  6    
        I 14    V  2    
        J  2    W  4    
        K  2    X  2    
        L  8    Y  4    
        M  4    Z  2
    Note the connection with Transogram - and the similarity to
    Word Fun from 1954; and note that the address is the same as for A.A. Burnstine (Kan-U-Go)! - GT
  36. Spelling and Anagrams 1930
    Game #1930? Instruction sheet has 1930 at the top which a seller claimed was the date but I suspect was more likely the manufacturer's game number. 114 wooden letter tiles. Box is 6.25in x 4.125in x 1.125in and has two children facing each other across a table. The boy on the left is saying "I love to spell words"; the girl on the right is saying "I love the anagram game". At the top of the box is the title "Spellinga nd Anagrams", "A-B-C etc 216 block letters". A sample game on the cover shows the words at/eat/heat/wheat being built up, giving some indication of the type of game. The instruction leaflet starts "Rules for playing the game of anagrams and other letter games". Sells for between $10 and $20 on eBay.
  37. Educational Anagrams by A.I. Root Company, Medina Ohio, 1930
    "Root Anagrams No. 46". 130 wooden letter-tiles. 60 page booklet with over 500 anagram and word puzzles by Milton Goldsmith.
  38. Anagrams - A Game of Letters published by McLoughlin Bros, 1903.
    Red box with a cherubic child on the cover. Black letters on white card. [GT]
  39. Anagrams published by Selchow & Righter, 1964
    200 tiles, build words from them. You can steal your opponents words if you can add one or more letters to make an anagram of their words. I like it. [SOS]
  40. Anagrams, Embossed Edition published by Selchow & Righter, 1953
    Game #79. 90 tiles. No copyright statement or dates anywhere on this set but
    justcollectors.com lists it as 1953 and adds that the blocks are maple.
    The tile distribution is: A 7 B 4 C 3 D 4 E 7 F 4 G 4 H 3 I 7 J 2 K 2 L 4 M 4 N 4 O 5 P 2 Q 1 R 4 S 5 T 3 U 3 V 2 W 2 X 1 Y 2 Z 1
  41. Anagrams, Tricolor published by The Embossing Co., Albany NY
    Plastic Letter Pieces. Three different colored letters (Red, Blue, Yellow). Number 3302. Looks to be 1950-60's.
  42. Anagrams, Ivory Edition (Eyerest) published by The Embossing Co., Albany NY
    Game #3503. The 206 pieces in this set look *extremely* similar to those of the Selchow and Righter Embossed Edition. Box lid is attractive blue with red bands near the outside; bottom is red. Good aesthetics, nice font. Instructions have an ad for "
    Anex-a-gram" on the other side.
  43. Anagrams, Eyerest, Embossed published by The Embossing Co., Albany NY
    156 Wooden Letter Pieces. These black tiles with yellow lettering are 3/4" on a side - presumably for people with poor vision. Box is red with intaglio lettering which reads "Eye Rest. Anagrams. Embossed."
  44. Anagrams, Eyerest, Embossed published by The Embossing Co., Albany NY
    Game #3015. 90 black tiles with white lettering. Box is a washed-out green with dark lettering which reads "Eye Rest Anagrams For All Word Games Embossed."
  45. Anagrams published by Transogram, 1957
    Plastic tiles and 4 racks - again, trying to adapt Anagrams to be more Scrabble-like; 108 letter tiles (white letters on black plastic). Instruction book shows how to play 7 different games. [GT]
  46. Anagrams published by Transogram, 1963
    Plastic tiles and 4 racks - again, trying to adapt Anagrams to be more Scrabble-like; 160 letter tiles, 5 blank tiles, 4 racks. Instruction book shows how to play 7 different games. [GT]
  47. Anagrams published by Parker Brothers
    Game #324. 96 red plastic tiles. [GT]
  48. Anagrams published by Whitman, 1934
    Game no. 3004. The cover blurb "270 large letters on heavy board" doesn't mean it has a heavy board that you play on, it means the tiles are made of thick cardboard. [GT]
  49. Wood Anagrams published by Whitman, 1934
    Box says "165 letters". Black letters on white wood. Rule book. No other info. [GT]
  50. Anagrams published by Endless Games (modern)
    Currently sold at
    Black letters on wood tiles, like Scrabble tiles without the points. [GT]
  51. Anagrams published by Halsam
    90 embossed white on black wooden tiles.
  52. Anagrams published by Halsam
    180 embossed white on black wooden tiles. Blue box. Rules.
  53. Anagram-Poker published by Beachcraft Games
    2-8 players, no designer credited, Beachcraft Games, no year listed Five-card Draw Poker played with a deck of alphabet cards. The longest word is the best hand. In case of tie, alphabetical order rules. [AS]
  54. Anex-a-Gram published by Embossing Co., Albany New York
    This is one of the earliest anagrams games I've seen that uses a board, and racks for the tiles, in the style of Scrabble. Unfortunately I do not have a firm date for this product, but it does appear to be 1930's. There's a chance this may be the first crossover from playing Anagrams on a table to playing on a set board. Board is 13x13 squares. Donald Sauter has done some research into this game and published a page about it at
    http://www.donaldsauter.com/anex-a-gram.htm (Significantly updated, Dec 2017)
  55. Anagrams, Salem Edition published by Parker Brothers Inc, Salem Mass/New York/London
    3/4in tiles, black lettering on pale green (off-white?) paper glued to wood. Elegant box design. (blue with gold lettering)
  56. Annex published by Sterling Games Inc., 1986
    Playing board of 100 squares, laid out in "trails" with multiple intersections where the direction of words can change. Words may be spelled frontwards, backwards, up, down, and around corners. Contains 135 white tiles with colored letters, game board, 4 tile racks, and instructions.
  57. Auction Anagrams published by Parker Brothers Inc, Salem Mass/New York/London 1912
    "Parker's Famous Auction Anagrams (Trade Mark)" "A Remarkable and Skillful Game for Adults" Includes rules, colored numbered tokens, cards.
  58. Bali published by Avalon Hill, 1954
    Oldest box I've seen says "(c) 1954 I-S ULTD., INC. / 148 E. 38th New York 16, N.Y". Originally published by Avalon Hill before being purchased by Selchow & Righter (1972) when the word "Scrabble" was added to the name. Returned to Avalon Hill by 1980.
    Word building game similar to rummy where you build words as melds and they can be stolen with anagrams: you build columns of letters on a common area which are either words or word fragments; and, while other columns can be stolen, they are not rearranged as in Anagrams.
    Each player has a set number of columns of letter cards, and during his turn combines two or more columns (your own or others') into longer columns to form longer words or word fragments; empty columns are filled with single cards from the deck. Bali comes with two decks of 54 cards. Each card contains one letter of the alphabet except for the special "Bali" cards ,which are wild. Consonants are worth from one point to five points. Vowels are valueless. The wild "Bali" card is worth five points. To score a completed word, add up all points and multiply that total times the number of letters (cards) in the word. For example, take the word "taxman". T (1) + A (0) + X (4) + M (2) + A (0) + N (1) = 8. Multiply that by the six letters (cards) in the word and you get a total of 48 points for "taxman".
    Made The GAMES 100 in November issues of Games Magazine, 1983, 1984, 1985, and 1986. [RI] [BS] [DUT] [AS] [JB] Here is
    Bali in French and in German by Milton Bradley. [image]
  59. Bataille de Mots Croises (Crossword Battle)
    A French variant of Battleship using letters instead of ships! Read about it at
  60. Beyond Words
    The game begins with one letter in the middle of the board and builds from there. Vowels and consonants are color-coded so you can draw the appropriate one when you replace your played tiles. The game also includes some defensive strategy.
  61. Bible Spell-a-gram, 1961
    No info.
  62. Bild-a-word Educational Card & Game Co., NY 1929 (maybe first 1922)
    36 letter cards, and 70-off 5-point and 75-off 10-point small scoring cards. Letter-card distribution is: A 2 B 1 C 1 D 1 E 3 F 1 G 1 H 1 I 1 J 1 K 1 L 2 M 1 N 2 O 2 P 1 Q 1 R 2 S 2 T 1 U 1 V 1 W 1 X 1 Y 1 Z 1 Blockade (bull) 1 Blockade (policeman) 1
    Set contains rule book and a fold-out rule leaflet with the same rules on it. Rules are for 5 different games. [GT]
  63. Bits & Pieces published by Samuel Ward.
    Some of the dice sides have individual letters, some have letter combinations. Race against time. [SOS]
  64. Blockword by Waddington's
    Vertical rack like RSVP but grid is only five-by-five. Reviewed in Jan/Feb 1978 issue of Games Magazine. [JB]
  65. Board Script by Jumbo (Dutch)
    Blatant Scrabble rip-off.
  66. BoggleTM (& variants) published by Parker Brothers.
    Boggle has 16 dice in a 4x4 pattern (Big Boggle, later called Boggle Master, has 25 in a 5x5 pattern). Shake the holder, the dice settle into place with a single side up, and start the timer. You have 3 minutes to find as many words as you can. A word can be spelled by moving from die to die, orthogonally or diagonally, without hitting the same die twice. Each die can only be used once in spelling a given word, but may be used over and over again for each new word. Words must be a minimum of three letters. Very good game. The premiere issue of GAMES Magazine (Sep/Oct 1977) carried a review of Boggle, and it made the first GAMES 100 in the Nov/Dec 1980 issue. Big Boggle was reviewed in the Mar/Apr 1980 issue and began its virtually annual appearances in The GAMES 100 in Nov 1981. [SOS] [Funagain Games] [rules at the Games Cabinet] [play 'Jumbalaya' online] ]
  67. Boggle Master
    5x5 boggle. Green and blue box. More hard to find than Big Boggle. If you're lucky you can pick this up for $30.
  68. Big Boggle
    5x5 Boggle. Red box. One variant (1979) with "Challenge cube" which is a cube with more challenging letters on it (eg Q etc). (Similar box, but has yellow "FREE" stripe in corner). I've seen Big Boggle go for between $30 and $40, and the Challenge Cube version go for $50.
  69. Boggle Deluxe
    COLLECTORS BEWARE: Although the original 5x5 "Big Boggle" and "Boggle Master" are now collectable items (especially the latter), "Boggle Deluxe" is still available in the shops at retail, despite what some people are saying on auction sites. Although it is not the purpose of these pages to advertise, I can't abide to see people paying $70 for something that was bought the week before for $30 - so
    here's a link to at least one site still selling "Boggle Deluxe" at retail. Funagain Games below may also have it.
    One of the major toy chains dumped their leftover Big Boggle games through one of those outlet mall junk toy shops at $10 each, so if you're quick you may still get a bargain! (I did :-) ). If you're a sucker, you'll pay someone on ebay $40 for the same $10 game.
    Boggle Deluxe has an adaptor so you can reduce it to a 4x4 game if 5x5 is too challenging for you! [GT] [Funagain Games]
  70. Boggle Bowl
    Both players roll cubes on a table and try to score the longest word. The point value is determined by moving a pawn across a 9x9 grid and trying to trap your opponent in a low scoring corner. First player to 100 points wins. Play is a little more frenzied than regular Boggle, but the scoring makes the game kind of a mini-board game. Boggle Bowl made the GAMES 100 of Games Magazine in Oct/Nov 1987, although it wasn't called the "GAMES 100" that year. [
    Rules at D'Antiques] [JP]
  71. Body Boggle published by Parker Brothers.
    Weird cross between Boggle and Twister. Floor mat and cards.
  72. Boggle Jr Letters published by Parker Brothers.
    Looks more like an educational toy for children than the sort of spelling game we're interested in here, but I included it anyway just to keep the "Boggle" info complete. [GT] See it at
  73. Boggle Scratch Off by Play Bites
    Scratch-off cards where you reveal a boggle board. I don't have much info on this. It may have been a free promo with some other product. Each box has 6 cards and a keyring to use as a scratcher which is of the form of a boggle die.
  74. Boggle Scroll-o-matic Travel Game
    Apparently there is a "travel boggle": A really neat little game which scrolls the letters, comes complete with timer. Surprises me because standard boggle is pretty travel-worthy. I did also see a novelty "Boggle Keychain" that was a smaller boggle unit, but large enough to play real games with, which might be mistaken for a Travel Boggle.
  75. Thème Boggle
    Originally called "Coggle", this
    French game is a variant of Boggle whereby you have to make words using the letter dice which are in the domain of the subject (theme) dice.
  76. Buchstaben Suppe by Schmidt Spiele
    Alphabet Soup game in German. Small round plastic tiles, scooping spoon, soup bowl to hold the tiles. Looks very similar to the 1957
    Goomicus Alphabet Soup Game
  77. Buzzle published by Fanjos in 1994.
    This is the German rerelease of
    Runes. You can read all about it at the Spiel des Jahres site. [KM] [image] Designed by Bill Eberle, Jack Kittredge and Peter Olotka. [image]
  78. Buzzword by The Great American Puzzle Factory, 1995
    You roll a cup full of dice and put them on a Scrabble like board. Recent game (a few years). Not as good as it sounds. Reviewed in Games Magazine. Includes timer, score pads, gameboard and letter dice.
  79. By The Numbers by Milton Bradley
    This game is based on a televison show by Desilu Productions which played locally in the Los Angeles area. Players reveal letters from a gameboard containing thirty parts. When a player can recall having seen enough letters to spell a word of three letters or more, that player reveals the letters to win the game. A winning player goes on to the bonus round where the object is guess a secret six letter word by seeeing only sections of each letter that make up the word. [AS]
  80. Campbell's Alphabet Scoop & Spell published by Warren Industries, 1979
    Scoop piles of letters out of the Campbell's alphabet soup can to spell words. [SOS] Plastic letters in a plastic canister. Canister measures 5 1/2" x 5 1/2". Object of the game: Campbell's Scoop and Spell is a word game for 1,2,3, or 4 players. The play consists of forming words directly on a player's own colored place mat. Each player competes for high score by making as many words as possible with the letters scooped from the container. Includes 4 placemats, 216 letters, 4 scoops and 1 score pad. [See also
  81. Cashword by Spear's Games.
    Faced with a nine-by-nine crossword grid with all the letters concealed, the players have to bet on identity of each concealed letter. [AS]
  82. Catchword published by Games International, 1982
    "From the makers of UNO". Consonants on 54 letter cards, vowels on 6 dice, which are thrown anew each turn. Variations given. Incl. 6 player identification chips, and rules.
  83. Catchword published by Whitman Publishing, 1954
    May or may not be same as above. From an ebay listing: This is a neat older board game titled CATCHWORD. It was copyrighted in 1954 by Whitman Publishing, Racine Wisconson. The game has the item number 5628-98. The game has the original price tag that reads B M $1.00 The board is similar to a Scrabble board but has various colors on some of the squares and letters from the word CATCHWORD on the board also, to use during play. The board and the instructions are decorated with the same emblem as on the front of the box, the Knight on a Horse. The box measures 8" x 15 1/2".
    [AS] adds:
    This (needlessly complicated, in my opinion) game is for two to four players. Each player gets a set of sixty letter tiles of a unique color. The gameboard is a 21x21 grid which has been divided into five different playing areas of various shapes and sizes. The smallest playing area is only five squares! Many three-space areas are marked with each player's color. A player's score is based on the length of the word (not on which letters are used) and playing words on one's own color scores double. A player may score for a word by playing a letter on top of another on any of the ten "Catchword" squares. "Catchword" is also spelled across the gameboard diagonally. Each letter of this word may not be played until the letter has been covered by one of the players. Words on the gameboard do not have to intersect. Players may play a tile face down to continue playing across a row or down a column.
    (Alfonzo recommends
    Montage as a more enjoyable game)...
  84. Chain Letters published by NBC/Hasbro, 1969
    See review in the gamepile
  85. Chessword published by Waddington's House of Games, 1972.
    Played on an elongated chessboard where the white squares have the alphabet on them, and using only the non-pawn pieces. Each player tries to maneuver any one of his pieces onto the letter he needs for his word, whilst preventing the opponent from doing the same. [DUT]
  86. Des Chiffres et des Lettres
    French version of Countdown Contains two games, the Letters Game ("Le mot le plus long") and the Numbers Game ("Le compte est bon").
  87. Click-a-word by Clicker Inc., Brockton Mass. 1961
    To play you spin to get beginning letter and number of letters in your word. Flip White timer for most players and Black timer for the leading player. Click out your word. Add numbers across bottom windows to get your word score. Two eggtimers, clicker, replacement parts order form.
  88. Clock-a-word by Topper Toys, 1966
    Plastic toy combining a timer and a one-armed-bandit which shuffles 9 letters, which you then use to find the longest word before the timer runs out. Should have 4 differently-colored keys. Often used ones don't.
  89. Clusters unknown manuf.
    Educational game. From the blurb: "This exciting word building game includes 98 plastic tiles in ten bright colors representing the most common letter groupings of the English language. Unique two-tiered tile holders provide up to four players with work spaces to create their own words in preparation for play. Tiles include double vowels, diagraphs, blends, silent letters, and more. Word games are a great way for children to learn to spell and read."
    See it at this
    home-schooling site.
  90. Code Wort by Parker
    German description.
  91. Coggle
    Thème Boggle.
  92. Comana
    The Phenomenal Game of Phraseology, for 1 to 8 players ages 12 to adult, Comana Ent. Ltd. 1985 (Anagram-style word game?)
  93. Countdown published by Piatnik (Austria)
    Designed by Frederic Leygonie, 2-6 players aged 10+, pub March '97. Make words by playing letter cards: longest wins. I think could be based on the extremely popular British TV word game, whose guests have included many world-famous Scrabble players. (If not then there are two word games called Countdown!) [PE] [GT]
    Also available in French as
    Des Chiffres et des Lettres.
  94. Crazy Bomb
    Swedish word game. Spell words against the clock to stop the bomb exploding.
  95. Criss Cross by David Mair.
    German word game.
  96. Cross Cubes published by Baron Scott.
    19 letter cubes, 6 black cubes to use as blanks, as in crossword puzzles. Place the black cubes first, then shake the letter dice and start a timer. [SOS]
  97. CrossCheck published by "Products of your imagination" (or TSR?), 1985
    A crossword game, something like
    'Swoggle, but here you are actually answering clues. [DB]
    Write answers to cross-word style questions on an erasable 19x19" board, to create a chain of words to your home square. 2-4 players. Contains board, 10-sided die, pencil, 3 adult and 1 children's question books.
  98. Cross-o-grams by American Newspaper Promotion Corp. 537 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, ILL, 1932
    A card game similar in style to Scrabble (and many other card games of the period). It is
    suspected that Alfred Butts may have played this before he invented Scrabble.
    Within it are two side-by-side piles of very small cards (each about 1.5 x 2.5 inches). There are 54 cards (52 + 2 jokers), with a letter on each card and a value of either 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50, with each joker worth 100. [The Q is actually a "Qu" card "...to render the card more playable," say the sage instructions. Some excerpts:
    "There are two Joker cards in each deck which may be used by the holder for any letter he himself designates. During the same game, the joker continues to represent only the letter originally designated."
    "The dealer distributes one card at a time until each player holds twelve cards....The player at the left of the dealer begins the game by placing on the table, in the center, a word of three or four letters....If the player is unable to form a word, he must draw a card from the top of the pack in the center of the table, and must then await his next turn."
    "The new word must include one or more letters of a word previously played on the table...." A sample layout was provided:
            D      A
            U      T
            CAB PASS
            T ATOM
    [Not too shabby for 1932!] 
    "Proper names, abbreviations and foreign words are not allowed. Players may use the dictionary as a means of settling disputes. If a word is querstioned and is not found in the dictionary, the player must take back the word and lose his next turn. If the questioned word is in the dictionary, the one who disputed it must lose his next turn."
    Game variations are provided, including AN-O-GRAMS ("...a fascinating new variation of the old parlor game") which, coincidentally, includes in one of its examples the word SCRAMBLE.
  99. Cross Up published by MB, 1974.
    "The competitive crossword game." Lucille Ball appears on the box. Oddity: everything inside the box (equipment, instructions) spells it "cross-up" *with* a hyphen, but the outside of the box has it everywhere as "cross up" without a hyphen. Divide the 108 letter cards into six roughly equal piles and turn them all face up. Players take turns selecting one of the letters shown, and everyone has to write it down somewhere in his 5-by-5 grid. Then score for words across, down, and diagonal, like a word search. [JB] [
  100. Crosswise published by Wise Guys (James McKay Morton), 1989.
    Not to be confused with Jim Homan's
    computer game of the same name, this is a multi-directional complex large-board scrabble-like game.
  101. Crossword published by MB, 1978.
    Nearly identical to
    Scribbage. [AM] Also available in French (though probably not much different except for the box?)
  102. Crossword published by Herbko, 1997
    Funagain Games
  103. Crossword
    2-4 players, no designer credited, no publisher credited, no year listed Each player is assigned one of four colors. Players maintain a hand of ten letter tiles from the pool of one hundred twenty. In turn, each player plays a word crossword style on the fifteen-by-fifteen gameboard. Each letter played is worth five points. Any tile played on one's own color is worth double. Each player has five colored spaces marked with a cross. Any tile laid on one's own cross is worth a bonus of the number rolled on two (two, I presume, the rules are vague) dice. Placing five or more tiles earns the player fifty bonus points. The game ends when the last tile is drawn and the possiblity of playing new words is exhausted. Highest score wins. [AS]
  104. Crossword Anagrams by the Embossing Co., Albany NY.
    Game #405. "A word-building game for two to four players". "It keeps both Yound and Old Spellbound". This is the old game of anagrams placed on a board. The packaging and the board layout STRONGLY suggest that this is post-Scrabble and a deliberate attempt to look like Scrabble. To compare a possible pre-Scrabble version of Anagrams that uses a board, see
    Anex-a-Gram. Four tile racks (red, yellow, blue and green). Instructions printed in box lid.

    (see also Donald Sauter's page on Crossword Anagrams)

  105. Crosswords by JRS Games, 1987
    Funagain Games.
  106. Crossword Bingo published by Skor-Mor/Samuel Ward.
    240 letter tiles. Words must be formed before you can place tiles on bingo cards. Timer, simultaneous play. [SOS]
  107. Crossword Cross Word Cards by Russell Manufacturing Co., Leicester Mass, 1935
    Volume VI in the "Big Little Card Game" series. 47 cards, 2 1/2" x 1 5/8" (i.e. small format). Scores on cards as for game below. Includes Free Letter card. May be only 47 cards? 48? Small pink box. Includes instruction sheet.
  108. Crossword Letter Game by Russell Manufacturing Co., Leicester Mass, 1938
    Common crossword card game style with no special rule variants. 96 cards. Letter scores are: A 8 B 4 C 6 D 4 E 8 F 2 G 2 H 6 I 8 J 2 K 6 L 6 M 6 N 6 O 6 P 6 Q 2 R 6 S 6 T 6 U 6 V 4 W 6 X 1 Y 2 Z 1 "Free Letter" 0
    Card distribution is: A 6 B 3 C 4 D 3 E 8 F 2 G 3 H 3 I 5 J 4 K 2 L 4 M 4 N 4 O 5 P 3 Q 2 R 5 S 5 T 5 U 4 V 2 W 3 X 1 Y 2 Z 2 "Free Letter" 3
  109. Crossword Lexicon published by Parker Bros., Salem, MA, Ney York, 1935, 1937.
    This is basically the same as Waddington's
    Lexicon, below. The game was originally published in Britain, and so the US sets (with a 1937 copyright date on the manuals) boast "Over 4,000,000 LEXICON Sold in England"! I believe that these were published for many years after 1937 so collectors should note that the date on the manual (the only date anywhere in the set) may be misleading.
    This game comes in two boxes, one red and one blue. They are otherwise identical. The cards are also in red or blue. I believe there are some games that you can play with two sets together but I don't have any info about rules for these.
    The distributions of cards are: A 4 B 1 C 2 D 1 E 5 F 1 G 2 H 2 I 3 J 1 K 1 L 3 M 2 N 2 O 3 P 1 Q 1 R 3 S 3 T 3 U 2 V 1 W 2 X 1 Y 1 Z 1 Master (wildcard) 2.
    The cards also have point values, like Scrabble tiles: A 10 B 2 C 8 D 6 E 10 F 2 G 4 H 8 I 10 J 6 K 8 L 8 M 8 N 8 O 8 P 8 Q 4 R 8 S 8 T 8 U 8 V 6 W 8 X 2 Y 4 Z 2 Master (wildcard) 15.
    The 1939 box has slightly different artwork from later boxes, recognisable from the thinner font face on the box. Manual and cards look the same. [SOS] [GT]
  110. Cross Word published by Jaymar, 1953
    Contains directions,
    board, 119 tiles, 2 joker tiles, 4 wooden racks, score pad and 4 letter distribution cards. Another approximate Scrabble rip-off.
  111. Cross Words National Games Inc, West Springfield, Mass
    Game #5010. Scrabble lookalike, but sufficiently different board layout to avoid a lawsuit. There is no copyright and no date on the box. Rules are printed inside the box lid. Very similar to
    Skip-a-cross in quality - cardboard board, cardboard tiles. The letters have no point values. Letter frequencies: A 9 B 3 C 3 D 5 E 12 F 4 G 2 H 4 I 9 J 2 K 2 L 4 M 4 N 7 O 9 P 2 Q 1 R 7 S 6 T 8 U 6 V 1 W 1 X 1 Y 3 Z 1 Blanks 4 (Total 120). Mild deviation from Scrabble: instead of playing on the center square to start, you must place three tiles over the center square and its adjoining neighbors. Scoring: 1) 5 points for each letter played, 10 points on own color square [Each player chooses one of the four colors before playing (red, green, blue and yellow)], 5 times dice throw on any cross square, 10 times dice throw on cross square of own color. 2) Any word over 5 letters gives player 50 points bonus (i.e. he must place in one turn at least 5 letters) 3) Letters left in rack at end of game count 5 points against score. 4) Challenges count 25 points for or against according to findings in dictionary. [GT]
  112. Crozzle published by Cadaco.
    Paper in special holders (4) form crossword frames. Letters are drawn one at a time, and all players fill their own in at the same time, one letter at a time. Try to have the most words when the puzzle is full. Incl. 4 pencils and score sheets. Instructions on underside of box.
  113. Crypt-O Manufactured for Development Products Corporation-West Orange, NJ by Newark Paper Box Co.. 1955
    Crypto hidden word board game. Included in this game is the board, 52 letter cards and 7 clue cards.
  114. Cue by Lowell Toy Mfg Corp, approx 1950.
    Solving the code is your 'CUE' to excitement and challenge in this stimulating word game! CUE is a fascinating game for 2,3, or 4 players based on the solving of secret codes or cryptograms. Includes: 10 master code cards, a large plastic "Master Code Breaker," 5 Special dice, a dice cup, blank pad of paper, instructions, and a code book containing 200 phrases in secret code and their solutions. [From an eBay ad]
  115. Cue Me! Manufactured by The Games Gang, Author Frank Thibault.
    The game contains a six-sided die, with the numbers 1-4 occupying four of the sides and an asterisk (*) on the other two sides. Upon rolling the die, the clue-giver correlates the number on the die to the number on the game card. There are five words on each card. If you roll a 1, the word will be a person. If you roll a 2, the word will be a place. If you roll a 3, the word will be a thing. If you roll a 4, the word will be an event. If you roll an asterisk, you can choose to try the asterisk word (generally much harder but worth more points) or you can choose to do any of the words, one through four. Once the word is decided, you are free to tell your partner or team how many words it is and whether the answer is a proper noun. The clue-giver then rolls four 12-sided dice, which have a letter on each side (except one side on two of the dice, which contain an asterisk for a wildcard letter). The object now is to get your team or partner to say the word on the card using clue words that begin only with the letters you rolled. And you can use each letter only once. For instance, if the word is apple, and you roll A, T, F, and W, you can say, "Fruit William Tell Arrowed." Then you must be silent and allow your team to guess. No other clues or pantamime is allowed. The clue-giver can re-roll the dice twice more, giving new clues with new letters. If the next roll is D, J, R, and P, the clue-giver could say "Johnny planted red delicious." But the clue giver doesn't need to use all of the letters. Once the team guesses, the clue-giver MUST ROLL AGAIN. Only one guess per roll, or three guesses total. The team gets two minutes. It is a very challenging game that tests your vocabulary and diction skills.

    I believe the following is the point scale:
    8 points for a "one-on-one" (one-word clue, correct answer).
    4 points for getting it on the first turn (with more than one word as a = clue)
    3 points on the second turn
    2 points on the third
    2 bonus points if it was the asterisk word
    I'm not sure how many spaces are on the board, but it's a very simple layout. The first one around wins. There are also squares where both (or all) teams get to guess at the clue-giver's clues, but we have never played with them, so I'm not really sure how they work. Anyway, it's a great game, and VERY addictive. It just so happens that, as far as I'm concerned, my brother owns the only copy known to man. I NEED a copy of the game. [JT] (I'll pass any offers on to Jim who contributed this review! - GT. By the way this doesn't strictly match our criteria for inclusion, but then there are a few others such as "Chain Letters" that are borderline as well. It was such a good review I thought I'd include it anyway)

  116. Decrypto by Armand Jammot
    (Armand Jammot is the originator of
    in this French game you uncover your opponents letters by a complex process of triangulation (on a hex grid). See also the French game Bataille de Mots Croises and the English game Decypher.
  117. Decypher by Pressman, 1982
    "The word game where your logic and deduction lead to your opponent's destruction! For word game lovers and strategists alike! Combine the skills of deduction and logic to outwit your opponent and win!" Two players, ages 8+. Two sets of letter tiles and a board that consists of four 5x5 grids separated by a screen (two grids per player). You apparently fill your grid (like a crossword?) and try to deduce the contents of your opponent's grid. Sounds like a cross between Scrabble and Battleship. [DUT]
    See the French games
    Bataille de Mots Croises and Decrypto.
  118. Diabolo from Klee
    Funagain Games.
    Matthew Gray informs me: The Reiner Knizia game "Diabolo" was just republished in the US under the name "My Word!" and "My Word! Junior" by Out of the Box games.
  119. Dial'n Spell by Milton Bradley Company
    May be more of a children's education toy than a game.
  120. Diamino made in France
    This is a box of 63 small wood tiles that have the letters of the alphabet on them and a small number up in the corner. I have no idea how this is played, but looks like some sort of Scrabble or word game/domino mix. Box says Diamino, Marque & Modele Deposes-Brevete. SGDG France & Etranger. Made in France. Box is 7" long, 3 1/4" wide and about 1" tall.
    [From an ebay advertisement]
  121. Diamino Chinois made in France
    "Chinese Diamino". An attempt to make a crossword game on a hex grid. Has 12 wild-cards to make it easier. Read about it at
  122. Diamino Duo made in France
    As the editor of
    this review says, "What a lack of imagination!". Has a few small rules that make it different enough from Scrabble to avoid a lawsuit, but why bother?
  123. Dictionary Please by Eric G Clarke, 1954
    Made in Portland, Oregon. 180 letters, bag, dictionary. 4 tile racks, score pads, note pads, rules. Find highest scoring word from a draw of 10 letters.
  124. Dig by Parker Bros, 1959
    Players use wands with a gummy end to dig out words from a pile of letters. Money and cards feature the Monopoly Man. Gummy wands liable to dry up with age. [AS] [GT]
  125. Dig-It published by Cadaco.
    378 letter tiles, many cards with a subject printed on each. Deal out subject cards, players simply dig into the common pile of letter tiles, spelling words relating to their subject. [SOS]
  126. Dirty Words
    Variation on Scrabble Word Cubes. 23 word cube dice, timer and instructions.
  127. Dixit published by Waddingtons, 1983
    For 2-4 players aged 8-adult. This is a fast moving, thought-provoking word game involving crossword style word making. This game includes a Collins Minigem dictionary to act as a referee and add ingenious twists to play.
  128. Dizzy Spell published by Gabriel, 1978.
    The board is 5x5 with holes which are initially covered with reversible O/X pieces, all on the O side. Then a card with letters which align with the holes is inserted in the base. The first player uncovers two letters, making sure his opponent sees them too, then replaces the plugs, X side up. Play continues with the players alternating. After the third pair of letters has been revealed, each player may guess a word every turn. To do so, announce the word, then expose the letters (from the Xs) in the correct order. If correct, the player keeps the pieces removed and those letters can no longer be used. If incorrect, remove 2 points from the guesser's score. Once all letters are X side up, continue the process but flip the pieces back to the O side. Play continues until all the pieces are back to the O side or both players decide to give up. Score 1 point per piece. Reviewed in Games Magazine in the Jul/Aug 1980 issue. [DUT]
  129. Double Dare from Milton Bradley, ca 1900
    "Game of Words and Sentences". 295 (?) letter squares (brown backs), instructions for 4 games. [
  130. Double Eagle Anagrams from McLoughlin Bros, Ney York, NY, ca 1890.
    326 (?) letter squares. Rules for 10 games. There is a similar set called the "Golden Eagle" edition, with fewer letters.
  131. Double Talk from Continental G.I.
    Race to form two four-letter words. Reviewed by Games Magazine in Feb 1985. [JB]
  132. Double Quick by Winning Moves, 1999
    Funagain Games. Also available from etoys. Word game with a time limit.
  133. Duoword
    Duoword is a progressive new word game, produced in Australia, that combines attacking strategies with creative word building skill. With 14 letters to play 2 words each turn, the word potential is enormous! Score by counting the number of letters in the words played and apply the bonuses/penalties that are covered. Extra Word Bonuses entitle the Player to refill to 14 letters and play an Extra Word during that turn. It is not uncommon for Players to use 14 letters or more during a turn. Making words has never been easier. Educational entertainment for the whole family. Played on a unique circular board with 112 MAGNETIC letters, suitable for 1-4 Players aged 10-100+
    DUOWORD(R) is also a fascinating solo puzzle. A quality Australian product.
    Web site
    http://www.ozemail.com.au/~duoword [RF] (You can tell this blurb was written by the author, right?)
  134. Educational Game of Words by Crosley.
    Two Decks Per Package. The game consists of four sets of consonants (21 cards per set) and five sets of vowels (5 per set). Two to four players for one deck. For more players add another deck. For ages 5 and older. This will describe only one game that can be played: Separate the vowels from the consonants. Shuffle vowels. Deal each player 5 vowels. Place surplus vowels on table face down. Shuffle all consonants. Now deal each player 7 to 12 consonants. Place surplus consonants on table, face down. There is no need to hide cards from other players. Try to spell a word from your set of cards. Only one play for each turn. Player can draw a card from top of deck by placing a card under the deck (one exchange per play). Keep consonants and vowels in separate stacks. A player gets one point for each letter in a word. A player gets a point for each letter added to a previously spelled word. Game is over when only one player has cards but has no play. Player with most points wins the game. Example: JOY = 3 points; JOYFUL = three additional points. Crosley Products, Hampton, Florida.
  135. Escape from Elba from Cheapass Games.
    This is a board game in which the players are insane asylum inmates, trying to escape. (You each believe you are Napoleon and the asylum is Elba, where Napoleon was exiled in 1814.) In order to escape, you need to collect cards with letters on them and spell various words - you can also use them to spell weapons during the game to help you fight. [SOS]
  136. Eureka published by Amigo Spiel (Germany)
    Designed by Haim Shafir, 2-6 players aged 10+, pub April '97. A word is hidden in the mechanism, players roll dice to enable them to open flaps, revealing letters. When they guess the word they score the values of the closed flaps. [PE]
  137. Express published by Adlung Spiele.
    Designed by Reiner Knizia. The dealer reveals one card at a time. The first player who shouts out a legal word that uses only the revealed letters claims the cards that form that word. Jokers with one question mark represent any one letter; jokers with two question marks represent any two consecutive letters. The game is over when the deck is exhausted and no one can form any more words. The game is only available in Germany but is certainly adaptable to English. [AS]
  138. Buy Word published by Face 2 Face and designed by Sid Sackson.
    Someone roles a die to determine how many letter tiles each player may draw. Each tile is rated from one dot (for commonly used letters) to four dots (for rarely used letters). A player may elect to keep the letters by paying in play money the total of the dots value squared. It costs nothing to discard all the letters. The object is to make large words to make a profit. [AS]
  139. Flamboozle from Pad Games
    Cross between Probe and Battleship, came with pads of game sheets. Reviewed in Games Magazine, July 1983 [JB]
  140. Flip A Word by Smethport Specialty Co, Smethport PA 16749
    Game #234. This is designed like a pinball machine, you pull back a flipper and it rolls balls into letter slots. The back opens for cardboard letters.
  141. Fluster Parker Bros 1973
    (same box size and style as the rest of the series:
    Grapple, Boggle and Razzle) "Strategy counts as players call out letters and try to make them into words. Using your special game pad, you"ll form words vertically or horizontally, using every angle to protect your words and block opponents. Score the most points fo rthe best placed words and you'l be the winner." Game pads consist of two 5 x 5 grids, each box numbered randomly from 1 - 25. Players grids are different from each other. Players take turns calling out a letter and a number (or a blank space and a number). Players then write the letter in one of the boxes with that number. Players score points for the number and length of their words. A nice quicky when you're sitting around the living room. [MS]
  142. Foil published by 3M, 1968.
    Players score points for forming one or more words from the hand of letter-cards they're dealt. They then scramble the word(s) and show it (them) to their opponents. The latter score bonus points for unscrambling the word(s) within one-minute. [DUT] Cards. Timer. Directions. [
  143. Foresight aka 4Cyte: 1967, Milton Bradley.
    "The Smart Set Word game". (Twin Set Table Model) Each player tries to score points by making 3 to 6 letter words on the game "square". The players, alternating, choose each letter as it is used. [DUT]

    Packaged version of the game which the book "The Way To Play" calls Crosswords. Players alternate calling out letters. Each playing the letters in one's own six-by-six grid. Players score for coming up with the longest possible words in the six rows, six columns and two diagonals. [AS]

    It should be noted that as a letter is called in Foresight it does not have to be played immediately. A player may save one letter to be played later or not at all. [AS]

  144. Foursight
    I used to play Foursight when I was young. Players have a Battleship-like scoring grid. Each player in turn consciously chooses a letter, then each player adds that letter to his hidden grid. Evil. Plays like a word version of Take It Easy. [FB] This may be the same game as Foresight above. [AS] found an pre-Milton Bradley edition by Gelles-Widmer.
  145. Four Letter FRENZY
    Card version of Mastermind? See comments on
    Lingo. [image]
  146. Four Letter Words published by Lakeside, 1975.
    Using a 4x4x4 3D tic-tac-toe board, players try to make four letter words. [DUT]
  147. Gallows
    Cheap plastic version of Hangman. "The Classic Game of Words to Keep You in Suspense!"
  148. Gemini
    Danish card game.
  149. Glossa
    French card game that is a cross between a word game and poker. Has some chips for betting with.
  150. Go Gin by Ideal, 1968
    Maybe similar to Word Rummy?
  151. Gold Medal 7 Word Games 1940?
    Instruction booklet for Anagrams, Word Ghost, Word Squares, Word Ladders, Word Dominoes, Word Bee and Word Maze. Looks similar to one of the
    Transogram sets. Wooden letter tiles. Each tile appears to have a small number at the top center. Could this be the first time that scores were put on tiles?
  152. Goomicus Alphabet Soup Word Game by Alphabet Soup Company, 1957
    Four colored playing surfaces, a bowl, a scoop, instructions, three original score sheets and many red and green letters and "goomicus" pieces. The pieces look almost identical to the more modern German game "
    Buchstaben Suppe".
  153. Got a Minute published by Selchow & Righter
    Seven cubes with red letters (no point values) are encased in a clear 3x3x3 cube & with a minute sand timer. You have 1 minute to find as many words using the 7 letters. [RI] This game later had the "Scrabble" name prepended to it and was renamed "
    Scrabble Got a Minute". The original can be seen here.
  154. Grabitz--by the company who makes UNO.
    Not a super game--players are dealt cards. These make up words that have one of the letters from "Grabitz" in them. Different point values are given for better hands. (I'll try to send a better rules update--this one has made it to the back of the closet in a hurry!) [JP]
  155. Grapple (Parker Bro 1973)
    Haven't played it, seems a lot like
    Foil. From back of box - "Players compete to outguess each other in this crazy mixed up word game. Everybody chooses his own secret word, assembles the letters and scrambles them before showing the other players. Can you find a word in the mixed up letters? You have to be quick, your opponents are looking for it too." [MS] The tiles have no scores on them. Letter distribution is: A 6 B 2 C 3 D 4 E 9 F 3 G 2 H 3 I 6 J 1 K 1 L 3 M 2 N 6 O 6 P 2 Q 1 R 7 S 6 T 7 U 3 V 2 W 2 X 1 Y 2 Z 1
    There are also 5 numbered tiles, [10], [20], [30], [40] and [50].
    At least one set also came with 5 blue plastic racks for storing letters on, a la Scrabble. (Mine had none - may be different set; or may be lost!) [GT] [Lost your copy of the rules?]
  156. Grid Word published by Waddingtons.
    Cards with two letters on them, must be played with other cards to make four-letter words. [SOS]
  157. Le Jeu de la Guerre des Mots
    See under
    Le jeu de la Guerre des Mots.
  158. Hangin' Harry
    On a recent stroll through "Toys'R'Us" I spotted a cheap plastic hanger pack version of "Hangman" called "Hangin' Harry". However when I got home I wasn't able to find it on the web anywhere, including at the
    Toys'R'Us web server. I'll watch for it next time I'm there and make a note of who the manufacturer is.
  159. Hangman published by MB.
    An old paper and pencil game revived with hardware: each player's word is kept hidden from the opponent - simultaneous classic hangman, basically. [SOS] When a player missed, a dial on the case showing a hangman was turned adding another "body part" until you were hung. The only problem is there were far too many misses allowed (something like 12). At least one version of the box is classic 70's design with Vincent Price on the cover (1976). [RI] [GT] See a modern version at
  160. Hardback published by Fowers Games, 2018
    This is
    Paperback with more chance cards that affect all players not just the individual who draws it.
  161. Head to Head published by E.S. Lowe (1972) / MB (1974).
    This game was the successor to 1970's "
    Ad Lib," using the same 3-D plastic letters and a similarly designed board.
  162. Hearts published by MB (old).
    Actually tracked this down recently in an eBay auction where it is described as a 1914 copyright from Parker Bros. May be two versions. Two throwing cannisters, 6 wooden lettered dice, rules. On the back of the box is a list of other Parker Bros games. Object is to spell the word "hearts".
  163. Intersect 90 by Family Games.
    A card game using cards with 1-4 letters on each (the more letters on the card, the more it's worth). Players form a word (word 2) using cards from their hand and one card from the previous word (word 1). The previous player scores for all cards in word 1 except the one used in word 2. [PS]
  164. I-Qubes by Capex, 1948
    Seven 5/8in bakelite dice with single letter on each side, three sides in red, three sides in black, one WILD in black and one WILD in red. Maroon leather case (4 1/2'' x 7/8'' x 5/8'') with snap has I QUBES stamped in gold on top. Instructions copyright 1948. Manufactured by CAPEX Co., Inc. 615 South Boulevard, Evanston, Ill. Distributed Exclusively by M.WILLE, INC. 225 Fifth Avenue, New York 10, N.Y.
  165. Inword by Milton Bradley, 1972
    Trivial game of guess the missing letters. Somewhat like the US TV show "wheel of fortune". A complete game comes with original box inserts, game instructions, 5 "magic slate" work slates, 5 marking instruments for slates, a ton of words coded, a decoder, and a spinner.
    Bob Jackman from Australia wrote, in a report on a Scrabble tournament trip to Malaysia:
    "BTW in my suitcase were three 'illegal' versions of our beloved game purchased (at four dollars each) for their trivia value including the cute ISKRABOL with embossed crappy tiles and a tiny bag designed to dislocate your index finger. The prominent MB logo of course referred to MaBuha Education Centre in Quezon City (near the Sulo Hotel) where the sets were fabricated."
  166. Jack Straws by the Electric Game Co. Inc., Holyoke, MA 1953
    A strange hybrid anagrams game that is also somewhat like 'Operation', where you remove letters from a tin can with metal tweezers that are connected electrically.
  167. Jago by Speak/Apex, Author Alex Randolph
    "Jago", combining interesting game mechanics, is a refreshing change from the large mass of crossword-puzzle-games. The game definitely shows the hand of the grand master of game design - Alex Randolph. A player may put down words on the game board until the letters of his colour are a majority on the gameboard. A cleverly constructed timer, which increases the time potential of the enemy for each minute that ticks by, prevents all too long thinking pauses. It is especially efficient to go hunting for the words of the enemy. If you manage to change their meaning by adding your own letters or by exchanging some letters against letters you own, you may change the colour of the whole word. Thus you not only decisively increase your letter-domination of the board, but in one stroke the enemy also suffers grievous losses.
    Contains board, 110 tiles, 2 letter racks, tile bag, 1 minute timer, timer board and rules. Made in Canada
    (Hans-Ulrich Schneider)
  168. Jarnac published by Chieftain in Canada, 1977
    Also published in France by a different company - here's a French review of the game which is VERY popular in France. Possibly more so than Scrabble. An outstanding and heady Anagrams game in which two players build words on individual boards but have the option to steal letters from their opponents. Superb scoring system. [MT] My favorite word game. [BF] Contains 2 non-slip JARNAC gameboards, 144 non-slip letter tiles & 1 letter tile bag and the rules.
  169. Jigsol published by Perigames, 1985
    This unusual word game uses hexagon-shaped letter tiles to form words (no board). Includes a huge pile of cardboard letter tiles, a timer, two letter "dealing tubes", and an illustrated rule booklet. Designed by Eric Whittler. (There was an article about the game in the Ann Arbor News on 27th May 1987.)
  170. Jitters published by MB, 1986
    Jitters has 12 dice with letters and 20 cards with crossword patterns. Start the (noisy) timer, turn over a card, throw the dice, and then use some or all of the dice to form a word pattern that matches the card. If you're stumped you can reroll all the dice. When you succeed, you have the choice of stopping the timer or turning another card and rerolling. If the timer goes off by itself, you lose credit for all the cards you finished that turn. Some of the patterns are easier than others. The harder the card, the more points it's worth. Play ends when the score reaches 250. Package includes timer, cup, writing pad and instructions. Reviewed in Games Magazine in the Aug/Sep 1987 issue, and made the GAMES 100 in the next issue. [DW] [GT]
  171. Jotto published commercially in 1956/1957 by The Jotto Corporation, later Selchow & Righter.
    Basically Mastermind with letters - an excellent game, especially while waiting for your food in a crowded restaraunt - you just need two pieces of paper and two pencils.
    Here are the rules as I learned them. [MK] [SOS] Actually this game goes further back. In my youth it was called "Bulls and Cows" and you were awarded a "Bull" for a correct letter in the correct position, and a "Cow" for a correct letter but in the wrong position. Old word gamers sometimes rail against versions which give both pieces of information, as they're much easier than the variations where you are told only if the letter is correct but not if you had the position correct too. Note that traditionally you must play actual words as your test; a variation where you can play *any* letters at all is considered way too easy for word-gamers, though it is roughly how the traditional mastermind game with coloured pegs works. [GT] [image]
  172. Jotto by Endless Games (contemporary)
    These guys are on the net now. Check the
    manufacturer's page. See also Amazon.Com.
  173. Juicy Words
    Looks almost identical to "
    dirty words". May be a repackaging to help it sell better. 21 dice.
  174. Jumble by Cadaco (contemporary)
    Despite what I said in the introduction, it looks like Jumble should be included here because there is a board game version as well as the electronic one: See
    Cadaco for details - gameboard, 110 letter tiles, plastic letter tray, sand timer, 6 letter tokens, bonus sleeve, scorepad, pencil. [GT]
  175. Jumble Plus - "That Scrambled Word Game"
    And breaking my own rules again, I've decided to include "Jumble Plus" because although it is essentially a pen and paper game, this version uses letter tiles and a board for you to place your solutions on. (The problems are pre-printed sheets of anagrams that you have to solve)
  176. Jumble by Cardinal, 1975
    Maybe I'm going too far now. This is a pencil & paper game with preprinted cards and a little holder to stand them in.
  177. Kan-U-Go published by Porterprint. 1934
    Players make words from the cards in their hand, adding them to what's on the table in crossword style. If you can't go you pick up a card, first to get rid of all their cards ends the hand. Score is values of cards left in hand, which count against you. Games ends when someone reaches 100 points and player with fewest points wins. Similar type of game to
    Crossword Lexicon, and indeed they have pulled the same trick as crossword lexicon of having complimentarily-colored boxes (one box is red with a blue stripe; the other vice-versa). There are both red and blue sets of cards but there doesn't seem to be a fixed rule as to which box they go with.
    It's interesting to note that as time goes on with these games, the cards get smaller and smaller as they converge on the cardboard tile format of the old Anagrams games and eventually mutate into the small tile format we know and love from Scrabble. Kan-U-Go is practically Scrabble without the board. There are 60 cards including the two "Kan-u-go" wild-cards: Frequencies - A 4 B 2 C 2 D 3 E 4 F 2 G 2 H 3 I 3 J 1 K 2 L 2 M 2 N 2 O 3 P 2 Q 1 R 3 S 3 T 3 U 3 V W 2 X 1 Y 1 Z 1 Kan-U-Go (wild) 2; Scores - A 10 B 5 C 6 D 5 E 10 F 5 G 4 H 7 I 10 J 2 K 2 L 6 M 7 N 8 O 10 P 7 Q 2 R 5 S 10 T 6 U 3 V 2 W 7 X 2 Y 2 Z 8
    Although it was originally listed here as being published Waddingtons in 1937, my copy says "Sole Proprietors PORTERPRINT Ltd, Leeds England" and has a copyright date of 1934 at the back of the manual. [image]
    Here are the rules from a British edition. Note there is also a US edition with a rule book copyright 1937 by T.G. Porter (Printers) Ltd., Leeds. It was distributed by A.A. Burnstine Sales Organization, 200 Fifth Avenue, New York.
    A later edition (1960's?) says 'For 2 to 7 players. Made in England by Jarvis Porter Limited, Leeds' [PE] [GT]
  178. kan zen from Landmark Games
    A small ad in the Mar/Apr 1979 issue of Games Magazine (and even smaller ads in the following three issues) called it a "word game." No review nor indication of how to play, though. That first ad said "the perfect word game -- for those who love action as well as words." [JB]
  179. Keep Quiet published by Kopptronix.
    Letter dice with the manual alphabet for the deaf on them. One game is crossword-style, another longest word. Timer and dice cup. Just like Scribbage et al but with alternative alphabet. (Makes me think there ought to be a version of Scrabble like this...)
  180. Keep Quiet Reword published by Kopptronix.
    Cards are played four or five at a time to make words, then words can be partially covered up to make new words, as in Up Words. The cards have the English alphabet on the reverse side of manual alphabet. [SOS] Not to be confused with "
  181. Keyword published by Parker Brothers, 1953.
    Crossword game similar to
    Scrabble with the added gimmick of getting bonus point if you can spell your randomly drawn word. Each letter is 5 points unless played on your color, in which case it's 10 points. There are also keyword squares, which are worth +20 points. And keyword cards, which are turned over one at a time until claimed - if you spell the keyword, claim the card which will add 50 points to your score at the end of the game. The board has four colors of squares, mostly clumped together in each of the corners. I have fond memories of this game, as it was my grandmother's favorite game, and I played many times with her while growing up. The 88 tiles (one ebay ad said 90?) are wooden, with white lettering on a black background, reminiscent of domino tiles, and actually very much like the tiles from Anagrams Embossed Edition or Anagrams Ivory Edition. Also includes four Scrabble-like wooden letter holders. (Here is frequency info from an incomplete set: A-6, B-1, C-3, D-4, E-11, F-3, G-2, H-2 (should be 3?), I-7, J-1, K-1, L-3, M-2, N-6 (should be 7?), 0-6, P-2, Q-1, R-6 (should be 7?), S-5 (should be 6), T-6 (should be 8?), U-3, V-1, W-1 (should be 2?), X-1, Y-2, Z-1, with 2 extra blanks, (they have been written on). 89 pieces in all (should be 96?)) [SOS] [AS] [GT] [image] There is also a nicer maroon box version of this which looks more 'up market' and may be designed to look deliberately like the early Scrabble boxes. This edition has black lettering on white tiles - also more Scrabble-like.
    See also the French version, La Clé
    Note also an edition "manufactruedin England by John Waddington Ltd" dated 1953 also. Box has a copyright "Parker Bros, Inc., Salem Mass, USA" Contents look identical to US edition. Much nicer box art, IMHO.

    Donald Sauter has put together a much more comprehensive page on Keyword which I heartily recommend.

  182. Knock-on-Word: Xanadu Leisure
    Prince Kansil reworks
    Montage by replacing the color tiles with letter tiles. [AS] [PJK]
  183. Kontrast published by Matthews & Marshall.
    112 cards - empty hand by spelling words. [SOS]
  184. Kort Alfapet Swedish
    Card Alfapet (Kort Alfapet)
    The card and travel version of Swedens most popular word game (Alfapet), is based on the idea of creating words out of the letters on the cards. One of the most successful card games in Sweden, the game provides hours of fun in a simple way. For 2-4 players, Age 9 and up, Playing time about 30 minutes. [Rules in pdf format]
  185. KumKom by ???
    Another Scrabble rip-off from Thailand, although unlike "Crossword Game" I think this one is played in the Thai language.
  186. Kwip by Playbox, 1978
    French word game in the style of Drafts (Checkers).
  187. La Clé 1954.
    Keyword in French. Brought out the year after the English version. Read about it at www.avo.fr.
  188. La Roue de la Fortune
    French version of "Wheel of Fortune".
  189. Last Word published by Milton-Bradley, 1985.
    A 10x10 board is loaded with tiles, randomly. Players then walk their piece across the board, picking up tiles as they go, trying not to become stranded. On your turn, you get to pick up an entire word, so this goes pretty fast. The board is treated as wrap-around (toroidal continuity), which keeps the edges from being traps. Bonus points for isolating an opponent and for being the last to pick up a word. 2-4 players.
    Contents: Board, 92 letter tiles, 4 blank tiles, 4 coloured pawns. Instructions. Reviewed in Games Magazine in Jan 1986. See
    image and description [DUT] [GT]
  190. Leapin' Letters by Parker Bros, 1969
    I didn't have the game myself, but I remember both it and the TV commercial for it, which fortunately gave a very detailed description of the game (ah, those great old days of TV game spots that ran 60 seconds and didn't have to rely on a lot of animation or special effects to get you to take notice...)
    The object of Leapin' Letters was for each player to obtain the plastic letters necessary to spell a nonsensical word printed on the player's card. These letters were drawn from the lid of the plastic container the game was in. If a player drew a letter that he/she didn't need, it was placed into a plastic device which catapulted it into the air when a lever was hit, and any player who needed the letter to complete their word would then try to catch it as it came down. First player to complete their word won.
    BTW, you may have noticed a small "MG" logo in one of the bottom corners of the front of the container. That meant this game was a creation of Marvin Glass and Associates. Mr. Glass, who died in 1975, was a toy and game inventor who created some of the most ingenious and elaborate plastic device-driven games of the 1960s and early 1970s. It was he who created all three of Ideal's Rube Goldberg contraption games (Mouse Trap remains today) as well as their now-highly-sought-after Mr. Machine, Odd Ogg and King Zor toys, Milton Bradley's Time Bomb, Operation and Mystery Date, and Golferino by Hubley, plus countless others. His designs were a perfect fit for Ideal, which specialized in big plastic games. Sadly, nothing made today matches those great games of yore from my youth. Thank heaven for eBay. [DJ]
  191. Lecardo, made in Britain, by Leo Marshall
    A hybrid word game, playing card game, and domino game. There appear to be two 'lecardo's - an old one and a modern one; the modern one can be seen at
    their recently updated web site. I haven't yet contacted the author of the modern one to confirm that the two are related, but I suspect they are.
    In the older set, there are the two main games, Lecardo Farmers and Lecardo Football, plus four other games. Also on the rule sheet are two 'playing boards', which I guess you are meant to somehow copy onto cardboard. The game also includes a sheet of money counters to be used with the Farmers game. There are 55 cards with three values on each card. At one end are the standard playing card values and three jokers. In the middle are domino pictures, descending in value from 9:9 on the Ace of hearts, thru 9:8 on the Ace of Spades, 9:7 on the Ace of Diamonds, 9:6 on the Ace Clubs, 9:5 on the King of Hearts etc.....down to 0:0 on the third joker. At the other end is a letter. Aces have As, Kings Es, Queens Is, Jacks Os and 10s Us. Then in the same descending sequence there are three Hs, Ls, Rs, Ss, Ts, Ws, one B, C, D, F, G, J, K, M, N, P, Q, V, X, Y, Z, and two symbols on the last two jokers. The domino value is also reproduced numerically. [Cookie]
  192. Le Jeu de la Guerre des Mots
    French game which is a cross between a military strategy game and a word game. tactics is more important than vocabulary.
  193. Le Mot le Plus Long
    The "Letters Game" from
    Countdown, French version. This, Scrabble, and Jarnac are the three staples of French wordgaming.
  194. Le Pendu
    French version of "Hangman".
  195. Letra Mix by Schmidt Spiele
    Described as a "Scrabble-style dice game". Almost certainly another Scribbage variant. Includes 13 dice, cup, timer and instructions. There's also a
    Norwegian version.
  196. Letre Deck 1978
    The side of the box says "Create your own exciting card game". Contains 50 cards with letters & 2 Wild Cards. Each card measures approx. 2.5" x 3.5"
  197. Letres
    Another Word Rummy?.
    Description here.
  198. Letter-Bags invented by Alexander Millar.
    "A Word-Making Game For Any Number of Players on an Entirely New Principle". No date, but the printing style is somewhere between 1900-1940 is my guess. The box reads "The Late Alexander Millar" so I presume this was published posthumously.
  199. Letter Grams by Milton Bradley, 1938
    Yet another of the many cross-word card games of this era. Cards have scores on the corners.
  200. Letter Jam by Czech Games Edition, 2019
    In this cooperative deduction word game each player is trying to deduce the five-letter word that each has been assigned. The words are generated by an app or by the partners. When each player receives a word, the letter cards that make up that word are shuffled and one letter is placed in a stand in front of that player. The players can see the letters of the other players but never their own! The players have to deduce what letters they have been dealt based on the words made up by their partners can comprise using the letters each can see. A wild card that can be used as one letter as often as needed in a word is available to all. A detailed system insures that all players are encouraged to participate in giving clues.
  201. Letter Perfect publisher unknown.
    84 letter tiles, 8 spelling cards, boards. This is really a children's educational spelling toy, and may not be appropriate to these pages, but although it is for 4 and up, the board and number of tiles suggest it could be adapted for play by adults too, or at least older children, with a bit of ingenuity. So I'll leave it in.
  202. Letter Pile by Schaper, 1974
    Stylized letters are printed on clear plastic cards. Players gather the letters of their secret words into stacks; opponents try to guess the words by examining the lines and curves on the pile of overlapping cards.[BB2] 4 colored plastic letter holders & base, 60 transparent letter tiles, 1 clue pad, 1 timer, box insert.
  203. Levenger Crossword Dice
    Seven dice. 4 sides have letters, remaining two sides are wild. Leather carrying case, unusual game box.
    From the
    Levenger web site:
    The object of Crossword Dice is to obtain the highest score in an allotted amount of time. Each player throws all seven dice and tries to create words, horizontally and vertically. The game can be played by groups or as solitaire. It's fun to play for short periods of time, or it can be a long-running game between partners. You can play it almost anywhere without requiring the space and time commitment of Scrabble® or crossword puzzles. It's good for teaching children, too. The buttery yellow dice are packed in a eather case, which makes it great for traveling. The game comes with easy-to-understand rules and is small enough to keep in a pocket or purse. We recommend you buy more than one because you may want to enjoy giving a few away. The leather case measures 4 5/8” by ¾” by ¾”. The Dice are 5/8” square. Gift boxed.
  204. Lexicon published by Waddingtons.
    First published in 1933, this game uses cards, crossword fashion. Cards left in hand when someone goes out count against you - low score wins. Combine two sets to play with up to eight. [SOS]
    Actually I have this one somewhere although I can't find it at the moment. What I do remember though doesn't agree with Steffan's recollection: I'm sure it was played as a one-dimensional game, not a crossword game. Here's a web page, recording an "
    anagrams" game, which is pretty much identical to my recollection of how Lexicon played. It may have been both, with different sets of rules being published at different times? The most recent package I've seen is dated 1968. See also Crossword Lexicon [GT]

    UPDATE: Finally... my memory was not wrong. The Lexicon I remember playing in Britain was not a crossword game, but was indeed played in a straight line, somewhat like paper and pencil games such as Ghost. Here are the rules to the French edition, which are very close to what I remember of my British edition bought somewhere around 1980. [Confirmation here!] Aha! I have at last aquired a copy of Waddington's Lexicon, and indeed the rules are as I remembered.

  205. Lexicon with tiles published by Waddingtons.
    A variation on the card game above. Four players round a square tile rack - not so much a board, just a common place to lay your tiles while working on them. 1970's.
  206. Leximania published by ???.
    "An educational and challenging word and letters game!"
  207. Lewis Carroll's Chess Wordgame published by Kadon.
    Played on a chess board, each player starts with a letter in each of his first rank squares. You try to spell words on your fifth rank, moving letters one at a time as if they were queens. You may not stop on your fourth or eighth rank, but may move to your sixth or seventh, in an attempt to block your opponent. Despite the name, it's actually by Martin Gardner, based on a brief mention of the idea in one of Lewis Carroll's notebooks. It's okay - neither great nor bad. [SOS]
  208. Lingo published by Lingo Games.
    Words are built on a 5x5 grid, any direction, even diagonally. [SOS] This is not to be confused with a game called Lingo which is a version of Word Mastermind for 5-letter words, where you get 5 chances to find the hidden word - they look very similar. I have only seen the latter on web pages, don't know if it is a physical game or not. It seems popular in some European countries and in particular, the Netherlands. I did come across a note that said that the game in the Dutch "Lingo show" was similar to a card game called "Four Letter Frenzy". This implies that Lingo is a TV game show in the Netherlands, explaining its popularity and the number of online clones of it I have seen. UPDATE: As of Jan 2023, the Lingo TV game is now running on CBS on US television, hosted by RuPaul. It's clear that Lingo has been revived and brought to the US to take advantage of the popularity of Wordle without incurring a legal liability to the New York Times. Wordle is a variant of Bulls and Cows with 5-letter words (or a variant of Word Mastermind if you're not familiar with the progenitor, Bulls and Cows) which was created by programmer Josh Wardle and sold to the New York Times for a ridiculous amount of money. Success story for a fellow word-game programmer I guess!
  209. Lingo published by All-Fair (EE Fairchild Corporation, Rochester 2, New York, USA), (c)1938.
    This is a blatant Scrabble rip-off - or more likely, a rip-off of the licensed Scrabble clone
    Skip-a-cross, because the production values, coloring, contents etc are almost identical. The board has the word "lingo" written one-letter per square in various places, and you score extra points for playing the letters of "Lingo" on their own squares. Also extra points for playing words conforming to a fixed list of themes: animal, mineral, vegetable, fruit, tree, bird, insect, clothing. Similarities to Scrabble: double score for first word. Two wild-card tiles with a "Joker" image on them. Tiles have a score in the corner - the upper right corner that is. Red squares: double letter value, Yellow squares: triple letter value; Blue squares: double word total; Purple squares: triple word total.
    The set also contains two blank tiles that can be used in case any letter tiles are missing. The tile distribution is: A 10 B 2 C 3 D 3 E 13 F 3 G 3 H 4 I 10 J 1 K 1 L 4 M 3 N 6 O 9 P 2 Q 1 R 6 S 5 T 6 U 4 V 2 W 2 X 1 Y 2 Z 1 Joker 2. The points values are: A 1 B 4 C 2 D 2 E 1 F 4 G 4 H 2 I 1 J 8 K 8 L 2 M 2 N 1 O 1 P 4 Q 9 R 1 S 1 T 1 U 2 V 4 W 4 X 9 Y 4 Z 10 Joker 0
    The 1938 attribution is not from the board but from the AGCA Collectors Site
  210. Lingo published by Centaphrase Society, 1916
    623 Heed Bldg., Philadelphia PA.
    AGCA site also has a reference to another game called "Lingo" which is neither of the ones above. The reference to it can also be found here.
  211. Lingo, M&B Games
    A correspondent writes:
    I'm trying to find out more about a game which I have been playing since the late 1970's but which quickly disappeared from the shelves here in Ireland. It is called Lingo and was distributed by M&B Games. It is a Scrabble type game but with absolutely no board. The letter tiles click together and are held in a hard plastic shell which is ingeniously designed to separate them again as they are pushed back into it. The game is truly simple and brilliant and can be played anywhere with minimum of fuss. Two or more players simply make up words from a central pool. Letter tiles can be moved around by other players who can 'steal' your word by adding one or more new tiles from the pool. Far superior to Scrabble as all letters can be scrambled. Words are 4 letter minimum but can end up being very long indeed. I've been playing this game for so many years that I can't understand why it didn't last and take over the world ! Some of the 'i' tiles have umlauts above them suggesting that the game originated in a Germanic or Scandinavian country. Does anyone know anything more about it ?
  212. Lingo, by Western Publishing Co., Inc., Racine, Wisc, 1985
    "A Golden Game #4890". The box says Lingo is slanguage of its own, an Adult game for 2 to 6 players. The object player to flip over a predetermined number of category cards by identifying words or expressions in each of the required categories wins the game. The game is complete and contents include: 216 question cards, 72 category cards, 6 slide viewers, 6 squeakers and Instruction sheet.
    This is not a letter-by-letter game - included here only to help avoid confusion with the other Lingo games, if you see one for sale.
  213. Lingua
    German game, manuf. unknown. Crossword word game in the Scrabble vein, board has more colored squares than Scrabble; cardboard? letter tiles (circular, for a change) are also colored. I presume that as in "wordy" there must be bonus scores for matching the tile colors to the board colors?
  214. LinguiSHTIK by Robert W Allen, National Academic Games 1973
    An academic game for school children, not generally sold to the public. (There's an
    interesting side-story to this game involving a lawsuit you might want to read.) The game has 23 differently-coloured letter dice. I believe part of the game is to make the rules up as you go along! The rules are more like meta-rules. [GT]
  215. Litterax 1994
    French game which is a cross between a word game and battleship. (What, another one???) 7x7 grid. When your opponent guesses a letter, you have to tell him all the positions (eg A3, D5 etc) where that letter is on your grid.
  216. Logol published by Editrice Giochi
    Italian word game.
    See the home page.
  217. Logomachy, or War of Words published by F.A. Wright Co., 1874.
    Mentioned in Sid Sackson's book, A Gamut of Games, "The Premium Game of Logomachy, or War of Words" was originally published in 1874 by F.A. Wright, then by McLoughlin, then by Milton Bradley. The earliest version (I believe) had 56 cards: A4 B2 C2 D2 E4 F2 G2 I4 H2 J1 K1 L2 M2 N2 O4 P2 Q1 R2 S2 T2 U3 V1 W2 X1 Y3 Z1 (i.e. 4 of AEIO, 3 of UY, 1 of JKQVXZ, 2 of all else). JKVX are Prize cards, QZ are Double Prize, and they each have a unique black-and-white drawing; all they others have the same drawing of a song-bird. Later there were the Victorian pastel or water-color paintings: this deck has 72 cards: A6 B3 C3 D3 E6 F3 G2 H2 I6 J1 K1 L2 M2 N2 O6 P2 Q1 R3 S2 T2 U6 V1 W2 X1 Y3 Z1. Then there were abstract designs: first one with swastikas (the old Christian and Vedic/Hindu version, facing the other way from the ones later adopted by the Nazis in WWII), then one with silhouettes of a man's helmeted head which looks circa 1940 to me; these all have the same letter distribution. I did once see one on eBay with color paintings of dogs and cats, which was said to have 42 cards.
    Logomachy plays like
    Casino with words: players in their turn either combine one card from the hand with cards on the table to make words, or add a card from the hand to the pool. At the end of the hand, one scores 3 points for taking the most cards, 1 for each Prize card, 2 for each Double Prize card, and 1 for each sweep (a sweep is if you remove all the cards currently on the table during your turn).
    [SOS] [BS] [image]
  218. Logus Sr from Ideal, 1971
    billed on the box as "the slide-letter word game." For two players or teams. The Logus boards are constructed like those sliding puzzles where you have to slide the squares around to make a picture or put the numbers in the right order and you have only one empty space to work with. The boards in Logus Sr. have four rows and five columns containing 18 letter tiles and two empty spaces in the grid. F, J, K, P, Q, V, W, X, Y, Z are omitted, while E and O get two tiles apiece. You draw a card specifying the goal for each round. It could be anything from "make a 3-letter word beginning with B in column three" to something similar specifying three or four intersecting words. Some even call for words fitting a certain theme, such as baseball terms or boys' names. The more difficult cards are worth more. Players race to slide their letters around and whichever one fulfills the card first wins it. After you've played however many cards you agreed to, high score wins. One of the cards has an ad for Logus Jr., a children's version of the game.
  219. Maestria, by Productions Mava, Montreal (Qc), 1991
    Copyright Martinez-Vachon 1991
    102 square tiles representing blanks, straights, knees and tees. Two boards, rules, bag for the tiles, scorepad. The two players (or teams) draw some 40 tiles at random each and try to assemble them so as to spell a 5+ letter word. Letters are three tiles high and between one and three tiles wide. Once a player is satisfied, the other has a limited time in which to complete his word. Scoring is based on the overall word width.
    > >    Maestria, by Productions Mava, Montreal (Qc), 1991
    > >    Copyright Martinez-Vachon 1991
    > > 102 square tiles representing blanks, straights, knees and tees.
    > =
    > You mean letter components, as in Runes?  Interesting - how do you do Q
    > or C?
    I cannot give you a definitive answer as I only saw that one on the shelf and jotted down its description. You'd make a C out of three straights, four bends and two blanks (an O with the right-hand straight replaced by a blank); a Q probably would be an O with the lower right-hand bend replaced by a tee. [DUT] Was in the "Games 100" several years ago. [CS]
  220. Magnetic Formaword published by Thos. Holdsworth and Sons, 1976
    Similar in style to Scrabble but the board is bigger and is played with 130 (magnetic) tiles. Box contains 6 stands to hold the player's racks so presumably for up to 6 players.
  221. Magnetic Phonetics published by Cascadilla Press
    their web page. Includes a version of their IPA font refrigerator magnets with scores on the tiles meant to allow you to use them in a Scrabble-like game. [People interested in such things may also be interested in Playing Scrabble in Lojban]
  222. Maxim Emmor Ray Sperry
    Charityware? (Not in production.)
    See his web page. The web page says you need explicit written permission to copy these games, but the intro page says: Any individual or group that would like to make and play these games for their own use has permission to do so, "FREE". Manufacturing, for sale or rent of these games, in whole or in part by any means, without written permission from the "Superlative Game Co. Ltd." is strictly prohibited.
  223. Mensa IQ Word and Number Puzzle Pack published by Mensa, 1999
    72 page book, 100 cards, game board, dice, counters, several games including 9 word games.
  224. Mind Movers 3 by Mindmovers Limited, London, England, 1974
    "A multilingual word game of detection challenge and infinite variation."
  225. Miramis by Laurent Montels, 1986
    French crossword game with the tweak of colored squares and colored tiles. Sounds like "wordy".
  226. Montage published by Gamut of Games
    Designed by Prince Joli Kansil. You form a word on a board with chips, each color of which signifies several different letters, and give a clue to it; your partner tries to guess it before either opponent can. Whichever side gets it owns those chips. See the review in
    The Game Report. The new owners of Eagle Games are re-printing Montage. The publisher is working with the game's designer to have the game available by September.[TU][AS]
  227. Mots de Tête by Habourdin International
    French game where a free choice of words is played on a board cross-word style. Unlike Scrabble, the game is in the placement, not in the finding of words.
  228. Motus 1993
    Version of a French TV Game which looks a lot like Word Mastermind.
  229. Mudiwoga from Mudiwoga Distributors
    Name is acronym for multi-dimensional word game. Build a crossword puzzle, tiles have multiple letters so a tile doesn't have to represent the same letter in the across word as in the down word. Reviewed in Jan/Feb 1982 issue of Games Magazine.
  230. My Word published by Gamut of Games
    a.k.a "Zig Zag" by Prince Joli Kansil. Similar to
    Jotto. [MK][PJK] Made the Games Magazine's GAMES 100 in Nov 1985 and Nov 1986.
  231. My Word by Waddingtons
    is a word-forming game very like a simplified
    Scrabble with no board - but all the words are of four letters. This not only makes it less of a strain on the brain, but also, of course, opens up the opportunity for unofficial extra points-scoring rules for adults in a juvenile mood. Keep it clean, and it is suitable for children down to eight or less. It is for 1-6 players, and works well for any of these numbers of participants. And I like it. [DUT]
    (Source: http://www.spiritgames.co.uk/reviews.html)
    (This is not the same game as Upon My Word)
  232. My Word by Out of the Box Games
    See the Reiner Knizia game
  233. Nab-it! by Hasbro.
    Set of interlocking letter tiles (one color for each player) for a crossword game. The tiles can be linked side-by-side or stacked. There is no gameboard so the size of the playing area is virtually unlimited. [AS]
  234. The Next Word from Decipher Inc.
    This is (I think) EXACTLY the same game as Pressman's
    Overturn. Decipher just had an earlier version under a different name. Listed in the GAMES 100 in the Oct/Nov 1987 issue of Games Magazine. Also was reviewed in the Summer 1987 issue of Gamers Alliance Report. [JB]
  235. Nexus published by Lodestone Games.
    Six variations of
    Anagram style games for one (actually the box says two) to four players. 160 tiles; some have letters, others syllables, the latter scoring more points. [SOS] [AS]
  236. Nomina published by Berliner Spiele
    See the German description.
  237. Oh Scrud!
    Read this review, with image. 108 cards, fast paced simultaneous play. Buy it here.
  238. On Line by the Michael Kohner Corp (Swedish)
    Look for Online under word games at the left in this link
    Trivia game where each answer must share a letter with the next. May not really be appropriate for this page, but I thought we could do with more non-English listings... Similar to Chain Letters
  239. ON-WORDS from Wiff'n Proof Publishers, 1971
    The Game of Word Structures - objective is to spell words or networks of words while preventing others from spelling theirs. [DR] Designed by Layman Allen, according to a Nov/Dec 1979 article in Games Magazine on the National Puzzlers' League convention. Article also describes a solitaire version called Word-Making that was presented at that convention. Apparently Word-Making was not published commercially, as it could be played using only pencil and paper. [JB]
  240. Option published by Parker Brothers, 1983.
    A crossword game using prisms. Play includes flipping prisms already on the board to switch them to the alternate letter. Players score extra if the word is all in one color. Why they didn't use all three sides of the prisms is a mystery. [DUT]
  241. Ord på ord
    Word on word (Ord på Ord)
    A very simple crossword-type family game, where you play head to head by randomly selecting letter tiles and try to create as long words as possible. The longer the word, the more points you score. When all 49 letters have been used up, the player with most points win. For 2 or more players, Age 9 and up, Playing time about 20-40 minutes. [Full-page ad in pdf format, 761K]
  242. A new and Amusing Social Game of Orthographical Representations published by William MacGill, 1870
    This is an early Anagrams game. From an ebay posting: A mahogany box containing many letters of the alphabet (over 400?). They are made of a kind of cardboard, printed and glazed. Called "A New and Amusing SOCIAL GAME of ORTHOGRAPHICAL RECREATIONS." C.1870. Size of box 12 x 7 x 1 7/8 inches.
    This is an extremely attractive case set and looks like a real collectors piece. The tiles are not just letters but include ligatures and other characters, much like a printers type case. The ebay reserve on this was 50 pounds sterling. I can just make out on the photo of the label: William MacGill, Artist-Colourman, Printseller and Stationer, 105 Princes Street, Edinburgh. Always on hand - a surfeit of Artists' Material of the Best Quality. Drawings Lent to Copy.
  243. Overturn published by Pressman.
    The letters are printed right on the board in this game. The board for a single game is made up of 9 small squares, each with four letters on them. There are 18 squares included - rotate and shuffle them after each play, and you'll get a different setup each time. There are circles (green on one side, silver on the other) which fit over the letters. Spell a word as in
    Boggle and claim those letters by placing circles around them, your color up. The next player must use at least one new letter and one used letter, flipping any circles around letters used to his color. Very good game. I have an article on three-player Overturn. [SOS] See also Next Word from Decipher Inc. This is also available in French, except that it is sold by Mattel! I tell you, I have trouble keeping track of all these companies.
  244. Pago Pago published by Just Games
    Players race to fill in crossword puzzles, using different colors of pencils so as to tell who filled in which squares. Review in July 1986 issue, made the GAMES 100 in Nov 1986 issue. [JB] (not a perfect match for the letter-by-letter games page, but we'll include it anyway)
  245. Palabra published by Kondrick, 1990
    Seven-card hands. Two or three stars on some cards serve as multipliers so you can score 2*2*3*3*3 times the base score if lucky and careful. Player interaction is minor. Requires some defensive strategy. There is a detailed review in the
    Game Report Online This positive review points out several kinds of defensive plays one can make. [TU] [BS]
  246. Parlay published by Real Deal Games.
    Each card of the standard deck has a letter. Each letter has a value from five to twenty points. Players make the highest possible scoring word they can make with their hands. Then, they may risk their scores on who has the best poker hand. Variants are included in the rules and available at the publisher's web site. [AS]
  247. Paperback published by Fowers Games, 2014
    Deck-building game where the value of your word lets you buy word letters to make more valuable words. (See also
  248. Pass the Bomb published by Gibsons Games, 1996
    (box text: "Invented by Los Rodriguez and licenced by Weekend Games; Made in Austria by Piatnik, 1994"). Like Hot Potato, you don't want to be the one holding the bomb when it explodes. In order to pass it to the next person, however, you must first say a valid word containing a given sequence of letters (or, since bluffing is encouraged, make people _think_ you did...). [BB2]
  249. Patch Word manufactured by Fairchild Corp., Rochester NY
    Crossword card game with small cards. No details yet. Dated somewhere between 30's and 50's perhaps? [GT]
  250. Peeko 1964
    "192 word games for the whole family". "Open the window and find the word"
  251. Le Pendu
    See under
    Le Pendu.
  252. Perfect 10 published by Smethport.
    Yet another variant of
    Anagrams, but with only 100 tiles. [SOS]
  253. Perquackey published by Hollingsworth Bros, a product of Cardinal Industries, Lakeside Industries, MINN, 1956
    (I haven't confirmed other reports that "Pressman Toys" had their name on a Perquackey box yet, but with the across the board aquisitions and megers of toy companies in latter years it may well be true - GT)
    Old version is red box with PQ cubes showing and hourglass. (This one has a rules leaflet dated 1956, copyright The Shreve Company). 1970 version (Game #8313 is white box with photo of spilled cup on front). 13 cubes; 10 black; three red. Players roll 10 dice, then rattle off all 3+ letter words. You can only get points for the first 5 words with the same # of letters (5 3 letter words, 5 4 letter words). Point scoring is based on number of words of each type. Once you are vulnerable, you add a few red dice (with more obscure letters) and must start with 4 letter words. One becomes vulnerable after reaching a certain score. When vulnerable, if you do not score at least 500 points, then you gain NO points for that turn, AND in fact you SUBTRACT 500 points from your previous score. Solitairish (take turns, race point score). One of many similar dice game. Unlike
    Scribbage, Ad Lib and others of that style, you do not have to form crosswords in Perquackey. [BB] [GM]
    See the Games Cabinet for rules. [GT] [image] [1970 version image] [1982 version image]
  254. Phlounder published by 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co), 1962.
    Letters are fed randomly through chute-like troughs; players try to make words out of what comes out. [DUT] Here's a good external link to
    The Gamepile.
    Contents include board, 90 wooden letter tiles, metal bell, 3 special dice, score pad and instruction folder.
  255. Pick Two published by Tah Dah, 1993
    Form words with cards as quickly as possible. When you form one the other players have to take two more cards and continue. [RI] [
    Description here] [Review] Games Magazine Best New Word Game of 1993.
  256. PiQadilly, by Chatham Hill Games
    Score your Wordplay with a grand PiQadilly and Riffle along the Ruffle! The Queen awaits! Welcome to the fabulous world of PiQadilly, the "Alice in Wonderland" of word games! Created in the fanciful spirit of Victorian whimsy, PiQadilly is both a thoughtful challenging crossword style word game and a wild, rousing board game that will have you "Riffling along the Ruffle" You are in a race to be the first to dine with the Queen, waiting majestically in the center of PiQadilly Circus. Through skillful WORDPLAY, you move around the colorful game board, "Riffling" along the "Ruffle". Move ahead while sending your opponents back with the right plays, and dont forget about the Q! Once youre moving along the Ruffle, the game gets "curiouser and curiouser" (as Alice would say). Your playing piece changes size during the game, if you plan your WORDPLAY carefully, youll be in control but its not always easy. BIG and LITTLE usually dont get along, so be careful you dont get BUMPED! The colorful alphabet spaces let you make BONUS plays that can speed you on your way. Once you completed your way around the Ruffle, you're ready to enter PiQadilly Circus, but only LITTLE can squeeze through the EXIT. If your BIG well, youll just have to wait a trun to shrink! Once your in PiQadilly Circus, its a wild race to enter the Palace and win the game. But remember if you or anyone can spell "QUEEN" at anytime during WORDPLAY, the game is over, and you win!
  257. Platypotapus by Wattson Games.
    A deck of sixty playing cards. Each card can represent either of two letters, one black and one red. Each letter has a value from one point to five points. Players are encouraged to develop their own games and upload and download games from the publisher's web site. [AS]
  258. Play On Words, by Copp-Clark, 1971 (under licence from E. S. Lowe)
    Equipment consists of a
    Scrabble-like 9x9 board (with some double and triple word score squares), 20 dice whose faces have letters and points, and a timer. Apparently, one rolls the dice and then has a time limit within which to decide on the word to play on the board. [DUT]
  259. Play On Wordz published by Milton Bradley, 1986.
    It has a plastic case with 9 dice (called a dice roller), and custom scoring sheets. There are 6 dice in an outer circle and 3 dice in the middle. Each die is in a cavity and can't be removed. A player rubs his hand over the dice, rotating them, and places the game on the table for everyone to see. The object is to use the letters shown to make words of 4 or more letters. Letters do not have to be adjacent. First player to make 10 words says STOP and players compare lists. Duplicate words are eliminated. Each remaining word counts one point. Words with more than 4 letters get an extra point for each letter over 4. We like it a lot, and adjust the rules for younger players or poor spellers as needed. [CK] Includes score pads. See also
    Stellar Speller
  260. Travel Play On Wordz published by Milton Bradley, 1986
    above. Identical. Actually there may not even be a non-travel version...[GT]
  261. Plug-a-jug by Parker Bros
    Their gimmick is 32 letters in a jug instead of the usual dice cup or bag.
  262. Pokari by Warren Paper Prod. Co. Inc, 1979
    Also copyright 1979 by Creative Learning Associates Inc. "Play Poker with words". 25 games listed in the rule book, two decks of cards (70), and dice. The game contains a deck of seventy cards. Each card contains two sets of letters and suit (spades, hearts, diamonds, or clubs). The rulebook includes variations on standard card games (Solitaire, Poker, Rummy, etc.) using this novelty deck. A special die is included to let players know which set of letters is to be used at any given time. From an
    eBay seller, and [AS].
  263. Pounce
    No details at present [DUT]
  264. Drew Pearson's Predict-a-Word 1949
    I'm afraid I let the eBay page with this on expire before I got around to adding it, so the images are gone and I've no idea what kind of game this was.
  265. Prefix
    Find all words that begin with a given prefix.
  266. Probe published by PB, 1964
    Game #200. Word guessing game like a sort of simultaneous Hangman. [RI] [DUT] [Rules at the
    Games Cabinet] [1964 image] Here is info on Probe in French.
  267. Pronto published by Selchow and Righter in the late 1970's (1978 seen).
    A letter dice game, where you receive credit for various combinations. Similar to
    word yahtzee but with different scoring possibilities. Excellent solitaire. Rule book. Score pads. Reviewed in Games Magazine in July 1984 [MT] [GT]
  268. Protiles
    See the website. Unofficial tiles for Scrabble playing. See also Transparent Tiles.
  269. Punch Line from Parker Pros
    It had horizontal strips of letters that slid back and forth in a rack so you tried to spell a word vertically that would complete the sentence that had been drawn from the deck. Reviewed in Games Magazine, May/Jun 1979. [JB]
  270. Puzzle Struggle from Innotoy Inc.
    "The Challenging Crossword Game." No review, so unsure if this is truly letter-by-letter or not, but ads sound like it probably is. Ads in Oct, Nov and Dec 1986. Ad says, "Puzzle Struggle is the exciting new word game to play with your family and friends. TIRED OF WAITING for others to finish a turn? The unique challenge feature allows all players or teams to participate in every turn. There are 20 complete, reusable games in this big, 169 piece, top quality game set." [JB]
  271. Pyramid Crossword Cubes from Crisloid, 1969
    Comes with plastic playing board, timer, dice cup, instructions, and 15 letter dice. Looks like cross between scribbage and boggle, with dice being emptied into a triangular shape rather than a square.
  272. Qixit by Whitehall Games.
    Each player plays one at a time. Letter cubes are drawn from the bag and rolled one at a time. The player places each letter rolled in the five-by-five plastic grid tray. Every cube has an X and X's are wild. After all the letters have been placed or after the six-minute time limit has expired, whichever comes first, the grid is scored. Words placed orthogonally are scored based on length. [AS]
  273. Quadtriple published by Eltron.
    No information at present. Once had a link to http://baymoo.sfsu.edu:4242/3333 Advertised in Games Magazine in May/June 1979. [DUT]
  274. Qubila by NBC TV, 1955
    "Steve Allen's Quibila". 7 dice?, shaker, scorepad, instructions.
  275. Quble by Geospace (contemporary)
    Rubik's Cube but with letters on the faces as well as colours. Looks like you make words boggle-style as well as solving the cube. See
    Includes egg-timer. Sold in bubble-pack.
  276. Que published by Knots.
    Cards with letters - some have one letter, others two-letters, and there are two wild-cards. Many variants given. [SOS]
  277. Questique published by David English, 1987.
    Questique is a strategy crossword board game that can be played in a home, school or further educational environment and is suitable for children, families and adults. A simple handicapping system allows players of mixed abilities to play together and each stand a good chance of winning. For example, a highly educated language teacher and a below average ability child of eight can be a match! The game can be played solo or by up to four players. More about the game and its educational applications can be seen at the
    author's web site.
    Contents: 150 letters [A-15, B-4, C-3, D-6, E-20, F-3, G-5, H-3, I-14, J-1, K-1, L-6, M-5, N-9, O-11, P-4, Q-1, R-9, S-7, T-9, U-5, V-1, W-2, X-1, Y-1, Z-1, blanks-3], letter bag, 8 blanks for excluding star squares, 4 letter racks, game board, illustrated summary and game in detail leaflets. [image]
  278. Quibbix published by Intelli, Author Gilbert Obermair
    From the
    Spiele Des Yahres site:
    You take 10 tokens (each showing a letter) from a pile of 120 letter tokens (printed side downwards) and try to use them all in forming words with a time limit of 5 minutes. You receive points for the used letters -- depending on the difficulty of the letters 1 to 3 -- and note these points on a notepad. All points of the letters in the longest word count twice. Then you take five more tokens and combine them with the old ones to form new words. In the third round you increase your stock of letters by five more tokens (20 altogether) and try to make as long words as possible again. Finally you add up the points of all three rounds to find the winner. This simple rules were written by Gilbert Obermaier, who left our jury at the same time he created one of the wittiest word puzzle games of late. (Uwe Petersen) (Play-test in German)
  279. Quibble published by Just Games.
    Ten wooden sticks have 10 letters on each edge. Randomly place them to make a 10x10 square of letters. Some variants require finding words in a given row, others in the whole array. [SOS]
  280. Quick Spell
    Battery-operated gadget which I think just shuffles dice, which you then find words in. Requires also pencil and paper (not supplied).
  281. Quickword, by US Game Systems (or Aristoplay?)
    "The Ultimate Word Game": This is a wonderful word game for travelling. It calls on a number of different word skills: listing subjects in categories, listing subjects in categories according to first letter of name of person or object, listing words according to a beginning and middle letters, etc. Wonderful for someone in a boat or RV or tent or travelling with a suitcase. It measures only about 4 x 7 inches, about 1 1/8 inch deep. Can be played as solitaire as well, but not as much fun... Comes in a blue case the size noted above. Included is instruction sheet, a pair of mini dice, Blue, Pink, gray and aqua cards, score sheets, scratch pads. egg timer, board with a built in spinner. See it at what may be the
    manufacturer's site. [not 100% match for inclusion in this web page. May remove later]
  282. Quiddler, by SET Enterprises Inc
    It's a deck of letters similar to Word Madness, with better rules. You are dealt a varying number of cards each round, similar to the card game "Oh Hell", and have to either make all the letters in your hand into one or more words or discard and draw. There's a bonus for lots of short words, and a different bonus for longer words, plus the letters all have point values which count towards your score - or subtract, if you're holding them and they can't be used in a word when someone else goes out. [SOS] See it at
    More info from the manufacturer's site.
  283. Quizzle published by Copp Clark Games, Canada, 1978.
    There are four plastic crossword grids, a supply of cardboard letter tiles (also wild blanks and black squares) and a special die marked (1 1 2 2 3 *). On a player's turn, he rolls the die and places that many letters of his choice on the grid (other players simultaneously draw the same tiles but place them on their own grids as they choose). A Joker (*) counts for either 3 tiles or the replacement of an already-played tile. The game ends once the grid is filled. Only completed words count for score. [DUT]
  284. Qwink published by Selchow & Righter, 1985
    "Quick as a wink" word game. 100 word tiles, foldable partition (battleship style), and word-tile case.
  285. Rätsel Turm, a game by Heinz Meister, published by FX Schmid, 1992.
    The aim of the game is to build towers with coloured blocks, the lowest block representing the first letter of a word, etc. There are blocks of different colours: green means A, B or C; yellow D, E or F, etc. Five different games use this basic system. For example, each player on his turn builds a tower, and the first other player who finds a corresponding word scores 1 point. Another example: The first player chooses a block, and each player on his turn must add a block on the top of the tower, or accuse the former player of bluffing when he cannot name a corresponding word. [BF]
    German description.
  286. Razzle published by Parker Bros, 1981
    Try to move a carriage towards your opponent. The carriage has six letter dice which rotate when the carriage is moved. First to find a word formed with the letters showing moves the carriage towards his opponent, which then rotates the dice to reveal different letters. [SOS]
  287. Red Letter published by Games Gang.
    Scrabble - not entirely accidentally one suspects - except all letters are worth 1 pt. Letters can be either upper or lower case allowing proper nouns. Bonuses for using all red letters (especially in the red zone -- outmost 5 rows/columns of the board) and bonuses for using words that fit a category listed on a card and with so many letters. Probably a game designed more to outwit patent lawyers than anyone else. [RI] [GT]
  288. Red Seven
    French game which is a poor hybrid of Bridge and Scrabble.
  289. Reflective Word Game by Marcel Mayes
    Unpublished game
    looking for a manufacturer.
  290. Republican Word Game 1984
    These were handed out at the 1984 Republican National convention.
  291. Reword
    I have no info on this other than a picture, showing a shoe-box like container holding lettered playing cards in one of 5 compartments. It is not the same game as
    Keep Quiet Reword, though the packages are very similar in style and they may be related.
  292. Rock and Roll by DEWL Plasti-Toy Corp, 1957
    200 5th Ave, Ney York 10 NY. 8 plastic dice with letters and scores, some faces have a musical note on them. Faces are red and black (on same die). A variant of Scribbage-like games with a punning musical theme. Company slogan is "Make it a rule - Buy DEWL!"
  293. Rol-It
    "A fast crossword game" "Educational * Fun * Exciting". Grey box, name in red. 11 or 12 dice, maybe more, shaker. Looks like the many crossword dice games of the thirties to fifties.
  294. Roll-A-Word
    7 letter dice (I think), cheap plastic cup. Simple game to find longest word from throw. Originally sold at 39c. 1950's?
  295. Roll-A-Word freebie with Post Cereal
    8 letter dice, cheap plastic cup and rule sheet. Simple game to find longest word from throw. Sent off for from a Post Cereal box. Shipped in a brown cardboard box. No fancy packaging.
  296. Roll-A-Word
    A different version - looks much older - with 12 wooden dice and a cardboard cylinder cup with lid. Spotted on eBay. Single-sheet foldout rule leaflet definitely says "ROLL-A-WORD" at the top.
  297. Roll-A-Word
    The dice in this one look like the dice in the first Roll-A-Word above; this variation is packaged in a transparent plastic ball and may have been sold in a gumball machine. The cubes are all marked "W Germany". The container is embossed with "registered 2 V". Just a guess, but this may be from
    Keiler Corp?
  298. Rologram by Rosebud Art Co., 1934
    This is a very old game by Rosebud Art Company (1934) that can be used to "play Anagrams and other entertaining games". The game is complete with bright red playing board, 10 marbles, instruction book/score book, and dice cup. The board has 60 holes, each assigned a letter and a number. The marbles are rolled onto the board, and the holes that they land in determine which letters are used to form words. The box itself measures 13 by 9.5 inches, is in very good condition, and has beautiful graphics showing a boy and girl playing Rologram. [eBay ad]
  299. Rondo published by Ravensburger/FX Schmidt (Germany), designed by Abrahami/Netz
    2-4 players aged 12+, pub 97. Stand holds letter cards and can be extended as the length of the word increases. Players make words by adding, changing or blanking out a letter in the word that's already there. [PE] Played in the
    Netherlands and in Spain. There may be an on-line version here sometime.
  300. Rootie Kazootie from Ed-U-Cards
    30 cards? At least pre-1973. No more info.
  301. Roots from Heritage Products Ltd.
    An ad in the Sept/Oct 1978 issue of Games Magazine said: "...the excitement of poker ... the suspense of gin rummy ...the smartness of Scrabble. America's new family word game. ROOTS. ROOTS is a head-to- head competition, your brains against everyone else in the game. There's suspense right up until the last card is played. And your family name, your 'roots', can help you be a winner." [JB]
  302. La Roue de la Fortune
    See under "
    La Roue de la Fortune"
  303. Royalty published by US Games, 1959
    Similar to
    Word Rummy except you only score if no one can steal your word in one round. [RI] Copyright dates on the rule book I have here are 1959, 1961, 1964. It's in a nicely presented little clasp pack. Game has two sets of 53 cards: one pack has RED: a 3 b 0 c 1 d 1 e 3 f 0 g 1 h 1 i 2 j 0 k 1 l 1 m 0 n 2 o 2 p 0 q 1 r 1 s 1 t 1 u 1 v 1 w 0 x 1 y 1 z 0
    BLACK: a 2 b 1 c 0 d 1 e 3 f 1 g 1 h 0 i 2 j 1 k 0 l 1 m 1 n 1 o 2 p 1 q 0 r 2 s 0 t 2 u 1 v 0 w 1 x 0 y 1 z 1
    The other pack has them swapped over: BLACK: a 3 b 0 c 1 d 1 e 3 f 0 g 1 h 1 i 2 j 0 k 1 l 1 m 0 n 2 o 2 p 0 q 1 r 1 s 1 t 1 u 1 v 1 w 0 x 1 y 1 z 0
    RED: a 2 b 1 c 0 d 1 e 3 f 1 g 1 h 0 i 2 j 1 k 0 l 1 m 1 n 1 o 2 p 1 q 0 r 2 s 0 t 2 u 1 v 0 w 1 x 0 y 1 z 1
    Both packs have one red/black wildcard called a "Knave".
    The scores on the cards are: A 2 B 6 C 6 D 4 E 2 F 6 G 4 H 6 I 2 J 10 K 8 L 2 M 6 N 2 O 2 P 6 Q 12 R 2 S 2 T 2 U 4 V 8 W 8 X 10 Y4 Z 12
    The rules to this game are couched in a royalty metaphor throughout which personally I find makes them much harder to understand. [GT] [Late news: guess what, this is still in production]
  304. Runes published by Eon.
    The basic component of this game is actually the letter element: a small straight, a large straight, a small curve and a large curve. Each player's board lists each letter with the one legal way to create the letter using the letter elements. Think of a secret word (five or six letters, determine before starting), and the others try to guess first what elements compose a given letter, then which letter it is, then which word. Excellent game with four players, a bit lacking with less. Reviewed in Games Magazine May/Jun 1982.
    Longer review. [SOS]
  305. Sabuca by Frederic A. Herschler
    German description. Card game.
  306. Safety Dice from the Northern Illinois Gas Company, 1957
    Promotional item awarded as a competition prize. Make as many words with high points as possible (point values NOT on dice though). Bonuses for playing the words "safe" or "safety".
  307. Sark Crossword Cards by Owens Krass Inc., Rochester NY, 1949
    There may be two versions of this game; one which has two letters on them (eg "W or Z") and one that that has just one letter. In either cae, the letters have points. Box is gold foil.
  308. Scirmish by William Maclean
    See here for more info.
  309. Score
    French rip-off of Scrabble on a 9x9 board. Has some of the elements of Scrabble such as double and triple word score squares. Avoids copyright suit by the two following minor tweaks: 1) each turn is played on a clean board; and 2) it uses dice, not tiles. In many ways this is like many of the dice games of the past, but with the Scrabble board style bonuses and scoring added. Not unlike Waddington's Addiction.
  310. Score-a-word by Transogram, 1953
    Scrabble-like board game with enough variations to avoid a lawsuit. I'll post more details here once I've had a good look at it. [GT]
  311. Scrabble designed by Alfred M. Butts, published by Selchow & Righter, later Milton Bradley.
    Predecessors to the game were published at various times from 1931 onwards as Criss Cross Words or Lexiko. 15x15 board with 100 tiles. The letters are given a value (not always in keeping with their frequency - "H" is worth far too much, for example - Alfred got his original distribution by counting letters on the front page of an issue of the New York Times! - although it has been pointed out to me that H's comprise 2.4% of Official Scrabble Words, which would make the value and frequency about right.), and some spaces are special: double-letter, double-word, triple-letter, triple-word scoring spaces. This is definitely the classic wordgame - one of the best. Read the
    Official Hasbro potted history of Scrabble, or see what the Games Museum has to say about Scrabble. (This history is pretty good with dates and game details)

    Some people think Butts didn't invent anything recognisable as Scrabble until quite some time later than the ambiguously worded official biographies imply (in fact several biographies suggest that it was Brunot who designed the recognisable Scrabble board as late as 1948).] The suggestion is that the early games he came up with - Lexiko and Criss Cross Words - with were little more than modifications of existing card games such as Crossword Lexicon and Cross-o-Grams, and that the board format and bonus squares etc came much later - perhaps even after some other companies had similar products (cf Wordy, Lingo). One site that questions the official history is The Great Idea Finder site. There is also an interesting letter in an addendum to the Scrabble FAQ. However it seems that these comments are not entirely founded. Our current information (much of it from Philip Nelkon at Mattel UK) is that the board was added to Lexico in 1937 or early 1938 at which point it was renamed "Criss Cross Words". He applied for a patent for Criss Cross Words in March 1938 which was rejected. Criss Cross Words looked like Scrabble except that it had 4 more premium squares. This version was sold to a few friends between 1938 & 1941. Changes made by Brunot in 1947 were elimination of the 4 extra squares, designating the centre as a double word score, introducing the 50 point bonus, rewriting the rules and naming it Scrabble. Butts described some of this timeline in a court deposition which this site is currently trying to get access to.

    We will eventually be adding here a full list of all the foreign language versions of Scrabble, plus some tedious detail about various different boards that were sold at different times. See also "Skip-a-cross".
    Note to collectors: be wary of the shiny red plastic box version of Scrabble often advertised as "1948". The board may be "Production and Marketing Co. 1948", but as far as I know they were made first in 1953 and the giveaway is the copyright date in the manual. Likewise, regular Scrabble sets often have a box copyright and perhaps a manual copyright of 1948, but the board turns out to be something like 1952. Be *extra* wary of a "SelRight" (Selchow and Righter) early box with a Production and Marketing early board, as the two may not have started life together. Taking the earliest parts from two sets and "marrying them up" as they say in the antique faking trade is an easy way to increase the value of two cheap games by a factor of ten! You have been warned!

    The most convincing pre Selchow & Righter set I have seen - and I've only ever seen one of these in all the time I've been researching word games - is a Production & Marketing Company version with a 1948/1949 copyright, where the tiles are made from two types of wood veneered together; a light wood on top and a dark wood underneath, with the letters printed on paper and glued to the plywood tiles. I believe this is one of the small production run of a few thousand sets from before S & R took over mass production under the P & M name. (Independant confirmation of these early tiles can be found at the official Mattel history page, where it says: "The tiles were similarly hand lettered, then glued to quarter inch plywood and cut to match the squares on the board.") [SOS] [GT] [Rules direct from Hasbro (pdf)] [Scoring sheets for tournaments] [A very good FAQ]

  312. Foreign language Scrabble
    A source of confusion in keeping track of the various foreign language versions of Scrabble is that although Spears (now Mattel) have the rights to the rest of the world outside the USA, Selchow & Righter (now Hasbro) do actually produce foreign-language versions in the US - ostensibly for sale for use in the US only, primarily as a language-learning aid. Most of the foreign sets they made were produced in the seventies; I'm not sure if they still make them (except for Spanish which is being sold now as a native language game to Spanish-speaking Americans, rather than as an educational product for non-native speakers).
    Here are some of the foreign language versions of Scrabble available. This list will eventually be exhaustive, if the author is not by then exhausted.

    The information below was compiled from various sources, but a significant part was contributed by Philip Nelkon from Spear's Games/Mattel UK. Thank You, Philip.

    I do NOT have distributions for Bulgarian and would be appreciative of any of our readers who would care to submit them.
    Scrabble in Japan is played in English, but here is the "Scrabbler's Domain" game site in Japanese, and a Japanaese Word Game homepage.
    There's a Thai game that as far as I can tell is a rip-off from Scrabble, called "Crossword Game". (See also "KumKom")
    See also Magnetic Phonetics for a set of tiles which allows you to play Scrabble using the phoneticians' IPA characters.
    Steven Alexander's excellent Scrabble FAQ has some information on foreign sets.

  313. Braille and Low Vision Scrabble
    These are available from Columbia Lighthouse (RTF File - see VS 3515 and VS 3516), Clovernook, or Sight Connection
    The large type edition is described as follows: 50% Larger Type - Bigger, Bolder, Easier to Read. Large Black Tiles with letter and values printed in large white type. Enlarged Playing Board printed in large-type. 8-1/2'' x 11'' Rules Booklet printed in large-type. 9'' Tile racks. Tile bag for mixing and storing tiles (although I have to question the point of fishing a Braille Scrabble tile from the concealment of a bag! Maybe you have to use leather gloves? :-) )
    In the UK you can get Jumbo Scrabble from Nottingham Rehab. 0115 945 2345. The board is on a mat and the tiles are wooden. I think the cost is around £40.
    Mattel are working exclusively with the Royal National Institute of the Blind to bring out a version close to the new Scrabble design, which should be available in March/April 2001. [PN] There is also a "Deluxe Edition" in Braille.
  314. Scrabble Turntable
    Two metal arms open out from the centre to form a square onto which you can set the game. In the centre of the two arms is a small turntable which 'allows the board to face each player'
    See also the Roto-King turntable which is similar.
  315. Scrabble Time-Life Edition, 1970
    Smallish board in dark plastic snap-case. Case and rule-book are co-branded with Time-Life name.
  316. Scrabble 50th Anniversary Edition
    FYI This sold for $29.95 at ToysRUs for a long time (which is where I got mine). I have also seen them selling at $50 on eBay. Suckers! They're harder to find now, but still not worth $50. [image]
  317. Scrabble Collectors Tin by Hasbro
    Of the 'fancy' scrabble sets, in my opinion this is one of the least attractive (excluding the clear top-of-class in ugliness, the Franklin Mint edition). Comes in a blue tin.
  318. Scrabble/Monopoly twin edition
    By "Twin Play Classics": this turned out to be a surprisingly well finished product at a reasonable price. The board and pieces are slightly smaller than a normal set, but larger than a travel set. The board sits on a wooden case roughly similar to the Franklin Mint table in design, but done more tastefully. This set would make a good present, as it is both well made and functional; something you'd enjoy playing with, rather than a 'collector's piece' to be left on a shelf.
  319. Scrabble 50th Anniversary Edition by Spears/Mattel
    Here is the British 50th Anniversary Edition. This was until very recently still available, at UK17. Not as fancy as the US version. (The Brits would say it's in better taste ;-) ) I saw some idiot pay UK36 (over $50) for this in eBay. I suspect he thought it was the US version above :-(
  320. Scrabble Original by Spears/Mattel
    The standard game in Britain.
  321. Scrabble Classic by Spears/Mattel
    Despite the name, the box is actually rather modern in styling. Recognisable from the motto "Get Smart. Get ahead" on the box. Manufactured in India.
  322. Millennium Scrabble by Spears/Mattel
    And this is still UK35 at One shop for all or UK34 at UK eToys. But can you believe these cowboys are asking GBP 61 ??!?!
  323. Travel Scrabble
    Regular and Deluxe. Game #52: 1977
    1954 edition There is a 1948 (really? I bet it's later) travel Scrabble in a blue plastic box with wooden tiles, which play into a recessed surface. One 1950's edition has thick yellow tiles with magnets inside. The board/case is metal. (This one may turn out to be a pocket rather than travel edition). There is also a British version from Spear's Games where the letters fit into a pegged board.
  324. Pocket Scrabble
    At least two magnetic versions, and one surface friction sticky version I'm told. One magnetic version with a foldup case is copyright 1948 and 1954.
  325. Deluxe Scrabble Production and Marketing Co, 1953
    One very old Scrabble (1953) in a red simulated leather case may be the oldest Deluxe Scrabble; modern ones have luxuries such as a spinning board holder, competition timer, etc. This one has cribbage-style point counters built in to the tile racks. Plastic tiles (much like the current tiles used in the UK and Europe) The manual in this set is a joy to behold. Hard to believe it was drawn by hand, pre computer graphics. This is often sold on eBay as "1948" which is the date on the board. It was never made that early however. Beware a 1948 deluxe set that is sold without a manual.
  326. Deluxe Scrabble Selchow and Righter, 1954
    1 Revolving 16 1/2 x 16 1/2 Scrabble Board with molded plastic grid to hold tiles when rotating board or storing a game. 4 Blue Plastic Score Keeper Tile Holders 100 Red Wooden Letter Tiles 16 Aluminum Scoring Pegs 1 Blue cardboard box to hold Scrabble Accessories 1 Original heavy Blue cardboard storage box.
    (From an eBay posting)
  327. Deluxe Scrabble Selchow and Righter, 1982
    Rotating gameboard on sturdy base. Burgundy-colored wood tiles. Blue box with yellow lettering.
  328. Scrabble by Polymertex, Manilla
    I have very little info on this set - I tried to buy it on ebay the one time I saw it sold there, but was sniped. (From memory I think by a certain famous Scrabble player/author who is also a realtor in his day job...). The only info I have is that the box says "Modern Plastics Scrabble" and is by Polymertex, from Manilla. (A company that no longer exists there). This may be a licensed version but I very much doubt it. More likely it is a bootleg, but there's a possibility it was a trade sample. This is possibly one of the rarest Scrabble sets I've seen.

    See also Iskrabol.

  329. Sydney 2000 Limited Edition Scrabble
    Special release from Australia: Sydney 2000 Scrabble limited edition. Features playing board incorporating the Sydney Pictograms, Indigo coloured tiles, Rules with sydney 2000 word list and Bonus word list where you earn points with GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE Words. (Looks like Hasbro has discovered the "Monopoly" marketing technique of local customised releases. Can't see how it will work as well for Scrabble as it did for Monopoly! Maybe this is a test market of a new strategy?)
  330. Golf Edition Scrabble by USAopoly
    Looks like I was right about the *-opoly lesson being well taken - and look who the publisher of this is.
  331. Franklin Mint Scrabble
    This one is almost too embarassing to describe. No, strike the "almost" - I'm not going to describe it. Should you be foolish enough to buy this monstrosity. please do not tell any of your intellectual Scrabble-playing friends as you will be marked for life as a
    Nyekulturny. [image]
    Branding - and by that I don't mean something violent with a hot poker - is a great way for a business to sell unrelated goods to a dedicated audience. Putting a famous name on a new product guarantees sales to the addicts and saves considerably on advertising expenses. People assume "it's just like the original" but better, because it's newer. Selchow & Righter are unfortunately one of the worst companies for this - below are a number of Scrabble branded games, which had they stood in their own right without the Scrabble name would undoubtedly not have done nearly so well (or at least, more badly) in sales. Note that one thing they did to keep the Scrabble metaphor throughout, was to use the same Scrabble points for any letters in different games.
  333. Scrabble Cards published by Spears/Mattel
    UK-only card game based on Scrabble point values. See it at
    UK eToys. Although eToys charges 6 pounds for this, these are often found remaindered for two or three quid at highstreet cheap book stores.
  334. Scrabble Crossword Companion by Hebko, 1996
    A "Roll-a-Puzzle" system for one person (i.e. a dispenser for pre-printed single-sheet Scrabble puzzles). 5.5" X 9" game has drawer with built-in pencil sharpener and space to keep pens/pencils. Refills. Probably out of production now, although
    this very similar product was spotted on sale recently.
  335. Scrabble Crossword Cubes published by Selchow & Righter, 1968
    14 dice, you get two to four tosses (as in
    Yahtzee), forming words in crossword fashion. You can only score one word of each length from 2-8 letters. [SOS]
    This is one of many similar games, the most well known probably being Scribbage. The letters on the cubes in this game are: [V F R N E L] [A U I Y O E] [H M E R G L] [S Z W X T N] [G N L V D H] [C I S A O E] [G S B R K D] [O U E BLANK I A] T B R N Q J] [C P M F T R] [I T A N O E] [P L D S W T] [U I BLANK A O E] [O U E Y I A]
    The scores for each letter are: A 1 B 3 C 3 D 2 E 1 F 4 G 2 H 4 I 1 J 8 K 5 L 1 N 3 N 1 O 1 P 3 Q 10 R 1 S 1 T 1 U 1 V 4 W 4 X 8 Y 4 Z 10 BLANK 0
    Note the dice which have all vowels to guarantee that some words can always be made. [GT] [1976 box image]
  336. Scrabble Anagrams published by Selchow & Righter, 1962
    As below but with 200 tiles. Blue box.
  337. Scrabble Anagrams published by Selchow & Righter, 1964
    Probably the predecessor of the game below. This one had Scrabble-like wooden tiles, but did not have scores on the tiles. Much truer to the old Anagrams games, not yet forced into the Scrabble mould. 180 tiles.
  338. Scrabble Scoring Anagrams published by Selchow & Righter, 1975
    Game #92. Similar to
    Anagrams, with a scoring system instead of final goal. 180 polished hardwood tiles with red letters. Early versions may not have had the Scrabble brand name attached. 1975 version is definitely Scrabble Brand. [SOS]
  339. Scrabble Sentence Cubes published by Selchow & Righter.
    Although we said in the intro "no games of manipulating whole words", I'll use my editor's discretion here to include the Scrabble Sentence Cubes game just because it is easily confused with the Crossword Cubes game. In this one, the basic unit is a word and the object is to form sentences. I can only assume that the sentences may be allowed to exhibit some mild grammatical errors, such as a lack of subject/verb agreement, because as far as I can see some of the words on the cubes could *never* strictly be used with *any* of the other cubes. Here are the words on the faces: [GT]
    note: "NO" looks identical to "ON"
    * (6 faces)
    * (6 faces)
    but/too and/or as/not
    from/to in/out off/on
    me/us them/it her/him
    he/she we/i they/you
    a/the that/this which/what
    well/such also/will may/very
    hear/turn start/live lift/want
    fine/bad new/clear same/slow
    had/did told/lost gave/got
    human/left young/later let/big
    cute/lazy fat/green smart/ugly
    do/be take/have are/does
    use/love hate/laugh walk/stop
    funny/good most/cold old/clean
    if/why who/where how/when
    that/i the/these it/both
    and/on a/the any/some
    small/now blue/next one/like
    came/saw found/made held/took
    bac(k?)/eye lady/box arm/time
    was/are be/can is/but
    part/case heart/hand man/baby
    at/so to/with in/of
    foot/house face/girl air/work
    our/my your/their its/his
  340. Scrabble Crossword Dominoes published by Selchow & Righter.
    I have one of these so I've no excuse for not writing it up properly! Until I do, however - a quick note: domino-like tiles with two letters, reading horizontally on one side and vertically on the other. There's a bonus for playing all five tiles in one hand, but they must all touch each other. Much be harder than it looks at first because the particular combinations of tiles you get are hard to play out. Cheating one evening, I tried to see if I could find *any* way of playing all tiles in a crossword - looking at them all at once, not just the few you're supposed to pick from the bag. It took me an hour to find a way to play them all out and it was so interlocked I don't believe it would have been possible to play that layout using the tiles sequentially as I should have. This is a game I'll be revisiting as I learn it. It looks like it should be most challenging. [GT] [SOS]
  341. Scrabble Dice J W Spear, 1990
    My copy of this turned up today: the most interesting thing about it is that although the box is in standard Spears livery, it says "Scrabble is a registered trademark of Murfett Regency Pty Ltd" on the box. Murfett owned the copyright for Scrabble in Australia from some time after 1968 (they bought it from a company called T.R. Urban who were licensees in Aus. from 1954) to 1993 when they were bought out by Spears.
    Anyway, it appears to be an unbelievably stupid version of
    Scribbage et al, with just 7 dice. (Presumably to justify the Scrabble name?). Three red vowel dice, 5 black consonant dice. The red and black are not used anywhere in the game, except perhaps to help Australians identify which are the vowels. The letters have scores and blanks as in Scrabble. Tabled scoring system favours longer words (close to other games that simply give the square of the word length as the score) [GT]
  342. Scrabble Challenge by Spear's Jeux, 1997
    I found a reference to this game on a
    French Web site (and this one). The latter page says:
    2 joueurs / à partir de 10 ans. Le jeu se présente sous la forme d'un plateau avec 3 rangées par camp, et au centre un chariot mobile contenant des lettres-dès. L'objectif est alors de trouver le meilleur mot (même tirage de lettres pour les deux joueurs) afin d'amener le chariot au fond du camp adverse. 175 Francs environ.
    "Scrabble Challenge" is the French name for "Scrabble Head to Head". This was a variant of Scrabble Dice; the game was played on a plastic frame with ratchets every couple of inches. There were 7 dice with letters and values on them in a container which flipped over when they came into contact with the ratchets. Each time this occurred you had 30 seconds to make the highest scoring word. If you got the higher word then the frame moved away from you towards your opponent's end. Depending on where you were on the frame it was marked double word, triple letter etc. The object was to get the dice to your opponents end of the frame. [PN]
  343. Scrabble - Competition by Mattel UK
    5 Travel Scrabble boards + pieces in one box (pegboard version). You can then play Duplicate Scrabble with 3 of your friends using the fifth board as the master containing the best words played.
  344. Scrabble Duplicate published by Selchow & Righter, 1975
    In France, where I presume they have an unimaginable dread of allowing something as unpleasant as actual *luck* into their games, the normal form of Scrabble in tournaments is duplicate Scrabble. In these games, both teams get the same tiles and the same board layout, and the scoring is for the highest play with those tiles. The best play is kept, the tiles are removed from both teams, and the next play again starts with an identical board and identical tiles. This makes for a game with *NO* strategy, and one that would always be won by a computer playing the highest play. If a computer were playing a human (a very good human that is) in regular Scrabble, the human would have a chance of winning because he could play a less than high-scoring move on one play to lead the computer into opening up a high-scoring area.
    Anyway - this vesion of Duplicate Scrabble doesn't use two boards, but rather 7 cards (playing-card versions of Scrabble tiles) which were displayed in a rack. Each player uses their own scorepad (with a Scrabble board on it) and writes in the word they used. And then 7 new letters are displayed.
    Apparently there is a variant that includes (and I quote) "a really neat "Automatic Letter Dealer" with deals out Scrabble cards with letters on them as you slide it across the platform."
    Reviewed in Games Magazine June 1983. [GT] [RI]
  345. Scrabble Flash (known as Boggle Flash in Europe because Spears Games owns the rights to Scrabble) by Hasbro.
    Five electronic cubes each of which will generate a unique letter of the alphabet. The player has one minute to find as many words as possible by simply arranging the cubes in order. The cubes contain a built-in, family-friendly vocabulary to verify valid words with a beep. When time is up, the cubes reveal the player's score and the maximum possible score. The rules contain three variations on gameplay. [AS]
  346. Scrabble Got a Minute published by Selchow & Righter, 1975
    Seven cubes with red letters (no point values) are encased in a clear 3x3x3 cube & with a minute sand timer. You have 1 minute to find as many words using the 7 letters. [RI] See also
    "Got A Minute"
  347. Scrabble Ipswich published by Selchow & Righter, 1983.
    Each of the up to 4 players has a board with crossword spaces on it (4 intersecting word tracks). Each player draws 14 tiles and arranges as many of them as possible to make up words on his board within 10 minutes. Within the first minute, you have the option of trading tiles in for new ones (this costs score). There are bonuses for making words that intersect. After this first round, players retain any 4 tiles of their choice and then pass the boards, with their remaining tiles, to the left. Each player draws 2 more tiles. Repeat for a total of 5 rounds. 153 letter tiles, bag, 4 boards, score sheets and advertising leaflet. Better quality hardware than the average word game. Reviewed in Games Magazine Jan 1984. [DUT] [GT] [
  348. Scrabble for Juniors published by Selchow & Righter.
    Actually the side of the board where you could make your own words would count as a legitimate game. [RI] (I had originally requested no pure children's game, listing this game as an example, but Rich Irving rightly points out that it should be included.) [SOS] NOTE: I did see a reference to "Scrabble Rebus" which may be the same as one side of the Scrabble Jr board.
  349. Scrabble Sentence Game for Juniors published by Selchow & Righter.
    No information at present.
  350. Scrabble Slam! by Parker Brothers (Hasbro).
    Each card of the fifty five-card deck has a letter on each side. Players agree on a starting four-letter word. The word is spelled out using the cards and others are dealt out to the players. Players are trying to get rid of their hand by changing the base word into other four-letter words one letter at a time. Everyone plays simultaneously. There are no game turns. [AS]
  351. Scrabble Overturn(?) published by Selchow & Righter.
    The letters were on cylinders which could be rotated to change the color of the player getting credit for it. Different from the Pressman game
    Overturn. [RI]
    This game is similar to Scramble which was the subject of legal discussions between Spears and the makers. There was a French version of this which Spears - France sold but I don't recall its name. [PN]
  352. Scrabble pocket puzzle by Plas-Trix Co., Brooklyn 8, NY 1954
    Made under licence. Take a standard sliding block puzzle (such as placing the numbers 1-15 into order) and replace the numbers with Scrabble tiles (27 of them, 4 wide by 7 tall) Letters present are: g b u y f t m e h r a i o i p w s j s d a c k n o l e. Frame is red. Letters have usual Scrabble scores attached. There may be two products by this name from Plas-Trix, because one descibes the box as 9.5in x 11in with the puzzles being 3in x 5in. This does not fit with the sliding block puzzle description - unless there were more than one of the sliding block puzzles in every box?
  353. Scrabble Poker by Fun Brandz.
    Players play any version of poker they choose using cards that have Scrabble tiles on them. There is a Deluxe edition that includes poker chips. [AS]
  354. Scrabble Quip Qubes 1971 Selchow & Righter Co.
    A sentence game played on a board. Uses wooden dice rather than tiles (14 of which are on the box photo) - I suspect this similar to the Scrabble Sentence Cubes game but with the constraint of a board. Undoubtedly to make it more "Scrabble-like". Included is the game board, 27 red cubes, 27 blue cubes, red cup, blue cup, score pad, and instructions.
  355. Scrabble RPM 1971 Selchow & Righter Co.
    The revolving word game for quick-thinking players.
    "RPM is a word game for 2 to 4 players played on a revolving board. The revolving board is divided into 4 Quarters. Each quarter has a top and bottom section. The object of the game is to form and capture words of 2 or more letters by placing letter tiles, one per quarter, as the board revolves. All players make their moves at the same time. The board makes exactly 5 revolutions before it is automatically stopped. This gives each player 20 opportunities to place his tiles. Colored tiles are used to capture completed words." One set is reported as having 76 letter tiles and 20 color tiles. Don't know if this is the full complement. [CL] [FB]
  356. Scrabble RSVP published by Selchow & Righter, 1970
    You have an upright grid, in which letters can be placed from either side. A letter placed shows on both sides - but if one reads "BY" on one side of the grid, it reads "YB" on the other. Object is to score more words than your opponent, taking turns placing one letter at a time. [SOS]
  357. Scrabble Switch-up by Hasbro.
    Play traditional Scrabble or several variations: Some variants call for a smaller gameboard, allow use of diagonal placement of words, and random placement of premium squares. [AS]
  358. TV Scrabble: Selchow & Righter, 1987
    The game was based on the televison game show. It was a Hangman variant with clever clues. [AS]
  359. Roto King (Scrabble) Turntable by Natslo Products, Brooklyn.
    Independantly manufactured turntable for Scrabble games.
  360. Scrabble Turntiles published by Selchow & Righter, 1986.
    Extra-large 1.25in Scrabble tiles, printed on both sides, played Scribbage-fashion without a board. Drawstring bag, timer. 61 tiles. Letter pairs are: [AU] [BD] [CN] [DB] [EK] [FY] [GT] [HL] [IS] [JX] [KE] [LH] [MV] [NC] [OP] [PO] [QZ] [RW] [SI] [TG] [UA] [VM] [WR] [XJ] [YF] [ZQ].
  361. Scrabble Up published by MB.
    Build words up a rack while the letter come sliding down another track. [RI]
  362. Scrabble Brand Upperhand Selchow and Righter, 1970's? (def.1981)
    Game combines Bridge and Scrabble as letter tiles have suits. Players bid to score the highest amount of points in their suit by placing their tiles on a Scrabble like board. The board has various bonus squares on it. Better game for 4 than for 2. [MT]
  363. Scrabble Word Rummy
    Details to follow. I believe this is not the same game as
    Word Rummy listed below. Made Games Magazine's GAMES 100 list in Oct/Nov 1987. [GT]
  364. Something that is NOT a Scrabble Board from a company that happens by coincidence to have a website called scrabbleboard.com
    A piece of art that has some resemblance to a
    Scrabble Board apparently, which one could if so inclined play a game of Scrabble on. These guys are walking that thin copyright tightrope that many computer-based Scrabble-like games have walked right into a battle with Hasbro & Mattel's lawyers!
    Related products: See Protiles
  365. Some other things that may or may not be Scrabble Boards from a company that happens by coincidence to have a website called scrabbleboards.com
    If it wasn't for the fact that I've actually seen the Franklin Mint Scrabble board, I'd say these were the ugliest Scrabble boards I've ever seen. There seems to be a lot of it around. I'm just waiting for the next guy to camp on "scrabble-boards.com"...
  366. Transparent Scrabble Tiles from Walter Dray
    See his
    web page. See also Protiles.
  367. Scramble
    Scrabble Overturn.
  368. Scrambles published by Frederick H Beach, 1937.
    Pre-printed anagram puzzles to solve Sheets have themes such as "English and American Authors". Several sheets come wrapped in a sleeve (similar to new paper money from a bank). Interesting mainly as an early use of the word "scramble" meaning anagrams, perhaps influencing the choice of "Scrabble"...
  369. Scribbage published by E.S. Lowe.
    Archetypal (although not necessarily the first!) game of shake the dice, roll them out, you have X minutes to create words in a crossword pattern using as many dice as you can, pass the dice and cup to the next player, etc. The dice in Scribbage have both letters and a value for each letter on the faces - many dice games have just letters. [SOS]
    The 13 dice have faces as follows: [I A G F Q L] [E O H R N T] [D E A W T V] [O L E R T I] [V K O N U C] [R D E I BLANK S] [M I BLANK E P G] [B M O N U S] [A S B X E Y] [Y W P M O U] [D J E A N R] [L T S H A E] [E A F I C Z]
    Scores on the letters are: A 1 B 4 C 4 D 3 E 1 F 4 G 4 H 3 I 2 J 6 K 5 L 2 M 3 N 2 O 1 P 4 Q 8 R 2 S 4 T 2 U 3 V 4 W 4 X 8 Y 4 Z 10 BLANK 0
    NOTE: from the Scrabble FAQ - a reference to a lawsuit over this game:
    Production and Marketing Co. v. E.S. Lowe Co., 390 F.2d 1013 (Ct. of Cust. & Pat. App. 1968) (denying defendant use of the name "Scribbage" for a crossword game, as infringing on "Scrabble")
    - the FAQ does not mention who won! However... I have seen a reference to "
    Ad Lib (formerly Scribbage)" so I suspect P & M won. This is reinforced by looking at the letter distribution on the Ad Lib cubes, which are identical to Scribbage.
  370. Twin Scribbage published by E.S. Lowe.
    above, but with one set of red and one set of black dice. Players each play what they throw, note their scores down, then swap the dice so that both players get to play with each set of dice. This way the luck of the throw is eliminated in head to head competition. Almost identical to Duplicate Ad-Lib. [GT]
  371. Scrosswords by Word Origin
    (Was reviewed in a recent issue of The Game Report which is not yet available online). Scrosswords combines elements of
    Perquackey and Pick Two. One player draws a bunch of letter tiles and assembles them into a crossword as quickly as possible. The other players anagram the letters into as many words of 5 or more letters as they can. The crossword builder scores points ala Scrabble. The anagramers score a fixed amount for each word, but only for words unique to their list (ala Boggle). Words fitting a bonus category score extra. The role of crossword builder rotates each turn. Outstanding game. [PS]
  372. Scrummy: The First Colony from Murluk Games Ltd.
    This was spotted in an ad in the Sept/Oct 1981 and next two issues of Games Magazine. Ads simply called it "a theme word game" and also mentioned Crossword Scrummy and Lone Scrummy. No indication of how any of them played, although I'd guess that last one was the solitaire version. [JB]
  373. Sea of Vowels published by Ideal
    Board game with a path to follow of squares which have vowels in them. Looks like a race to a treasure chest in the middle?
  374. Shake Words published by Peter Pan Playthings, UK
    I suspect this is very like Scribbage et al. 14 letter dice. Small box 4x4x2, cardboard tube for shaking dice. 1970's?
  375. Shake A Word published by Kohner Bros, NY
    Game #215. "SHAKE-A-WORD the thrilling word game". it was sold by Kohner bros. New York, Made in West Germany, packed in U.S.A. 6 red dice, 3 green ones and 3 black ones. Instruction booklet. [
    image from Rodney Guisewite]
  376. Shoot & Spell published by Tiger Games, 1989.
    Letters are shot out of dispensers at each corner of the boxing-ring-like board. Players must make a word as quickly as possible from the displayed letters. [DUT]
  377. Shrinkwords published by Murfett Regency
    Fill in the words that are missing from a sentence. Each subsequent word is an anagram of the previous word but missing a letter.
  378. Sisco
    A simple
    French game in which one person choses a 10-letter word and the other tries to guess it. Reminiscent of "Wheel of fortune".
  379. SI: the sporting word game published by Parker Bros, 1961
    I own this, but no rules, so am not 100% certain that what follows is correct. There are 30 dice, each side a letter, and a number of cards and a cup with "Sports Illustrated" on it in gold. The cards are specific to a given sport, and have Bonus Words on them. I'm assuming you draw a card, roll the dice, and have X minutes to form as many words as you can related to the sport - scoring extra if you can spell the Bonus Words. [SOS]
  380. Skip-a-cross1953
    A licensed clone of
    Scrabble from the height of the 50's Scrabble craze, on a cheap cardboard playing board with cheap cardboard tiles. Clearly made for the low end of a burgeoning market. Despite it's rarity compared to regular Scrabble sets overall, it's not particularly rare compared to Scrabble sets of the same period, so be wary of paying high prices for this! (I bought mine for $3)

    There are at least two different packages of this game. One is a large box with a non-folded playing board nestled in the box; the other is a half-height box with a playing board which folds in half. Unlike a typical Scrabble board, this one folds *backwards* ... because it's just a sheet of cardboard which has been scored down the center to make it bend without creasing too badly. The tiles come new in a cardboard perforated block, and an unpunched set is probably more collectible that most of the sets which are punched. The Cadaco web page says this: "In 1953, (Doug) Bolton got the license for a cardboard version of SCRABBLE, and CADACO-ELLIS sold the game under the name SKIP-ACROSS. The popular game sold one million copies the first year it was introduced." [GT]

  381. Skirmish published by KDS Industries.
    Battleship with letters. Really. You make a word using pegs to form the letters, and try to hit the other player's pegs and guess the word. [DB]
  382. Slam! http://home.pacbell.net/jacmcw/slam.htm
    See the website. No further info. [GT]
  383. Slip Disc by Mattel
    looks like a pachenko-style word game.
  384. Smart ABC
    Unknown alphabet game. See it at
  385. Speedy Graffiti
    Anagram game with cards, uses a noisy clockwork timer to get some excitement going, rather than the more common egg-timer. Details to follow. [GT]
  386. Spellbinder published by Mattell.
    No information at present.
  387. Spellbinding
    From an ebay posting: Contents 6 playing pieces, 1 minute timer, 2 dice, 1 deck of spelling cards (approx 200?), 1 pencil, 1 spellbinders pad, instructions.
  388. Spellbound published by Exclusive Playing Card Co, 1954.
    Chicago Ill. (Manuf. may also be known as Golden Rule Educational Products Inc). "SPELLBOUND, A Playing Card SCRAMBLE Word Game is Fascinating and Instructive" says the box top. The box is 3 3/4" x 4 3/4" made of cardboard with a green label pasted on top. There are 105 alphabet/number card plus 2 joker type cards. The backs of the cards show a picture of a puppy and a kitten with the name SPELLBOUND and 4 cards spelling out P A L S on the bottom. From the front page of the instruction booklet, we see a play of "CAT" -> "CATTLE" -> "SCATTER" which makes me think it is played like the UK version of Lexicon. The vowel cards earn 12 to 4 points each and the consonant cards earn 6 to 2 points each. Yellow box and green box versions (which probably imply a version of the rules that needs two sets to play with, like the US crossword lexicon game with red and blue boxes) [From two ebay ads]
  389. Spellbound published by Hasbro, 1975
    26x26in box with Jerry Lewis on the cover. Large square plastic card table similar to that of Waddington's Lexicon with tiles, except it seems to have a built-in timer counting down on a display of discrete RED LEDs.
  390. Spellbound published by Lakeside, 1981
    Letter dice fall into an upright stand which shows letters vertically, on four different sides at once. It has 4 rapid fire word games in it with 2 challenge levels in one unit. Each side requires players to find a different type of word formation. 7 white dice with letters in a Roman font. Silver box with cut-out to display the vertical stacker. Timer. 2 to 4 Players, Ages 8 to Adult. There are four rapid fire word games including: Free Spell- Find as many words as you can that have 3 letters or more. Chain Words - Write as many words as you can that begin with the last letter of the previous word. First Letter Choice - Pick a letter and find as many words as you can that begin with that letter, and Crosswords - Connect as many words as you can to form a crossword puzzle. There are two challenge levels. [SOS] [GT]
  391. Spellbound published by Vance Manchester. (private production)
    Here's a little treat for our readers: a word game that you can build yourself from materials on the web. Vance Manchester invented an educational word game called SpellBound in 1994 and received a utility patent for it in 1997. He is a graduate student and is using the game in his action research project. He created a web site for his game along with over 20 of his father's math puzzles.
    A free version of his game is available at his site. (We sincerely hope Vance doesn't get into trouble for his independent use of the name SpellBound and we would like to recommend to him that he finds an equally clever name that isn't in use already)
  392. Spell-O-Fun
    This is a bootleg copy of Scrabble, made in Bombay, India. [In India, Leo-Mattel, a subsidiary of Blowplast, is the legitimate trademark owner.] Cheap quality. Plastic covered board, plastic tiles that generally have smudged printing on them. Probably very cheap in India but I'd be wary of buying it on eBay even as a curiosity unless you're specifically a collector of forgeries. (In which case you probably want one of the two Arabic forged sets that appear on eBay frequently as well...)
  393. Spellway, from Pressman.
    It's an educational game, involving drawing hands of letter cards and spelling words with them in order to move your piece along a track. [DB]
  394. Spellwell published by Value Wargames.
    Mostly a table using a percentile dice - roll the dice X times, make words. Then make sentences with your words. [SOS]
  395. Spill & Spell published by Parker Bros, 1957
    10 dice, timer, make crossword-type words, longer words score more; variants included. [SOS] [AS] (Conflicting information. I've seen a 1957 Parker Bros with 15 red dice with black letters, although the cover had white dice with red letters.) (
    justcollectors.com notes one dated 1955) Note that although this was later published by Phillips, it went back to Parker sometime before 1966. [1966 image]
  396. Spill & Spell Phillips Publishers Inc, 1955
    Unless someone had simply included a stray piece from some other game, I did see one of these on auction at eBay with a brass hourglass. This was in a red box with "new exciting fun game" on the cover, crossword fashion. Unlike the
    Parker Bros version above, this one had 15 cubes. [GT] [Rules at the Games Cabinet] [image]
  397. Spill & Spell
    I have also seen a Spill & Spell box with two cups and two sets of dice, which I presume is for playing duplicate style. The box however did not say 'Duplicate' or 'Twin' or anything such. One set of dice were red with black letters and the other were ivory with black letters. The box is red on the left, and white on the right, where there is an image of a crossword like layout of cubes, saying "new exciting fun game".
  398. Spin-a-word by Keiler Corp
    There is no name on this piece, but the back is marked with its maker, Keiler Corp. Made in USA, Pat Pend. When you push in on the yellow button on the side, The tin disk with letters inside spins around, making the five small steel balls spin and flip, like a multi-ball roulette wheel with letters instead of numbers. You form a word with the letters where the balls land. The plastic unit is approx. 2in in diameter. Note: the dice look VERY similar to those in the
    Roll-A-Word games, also reported as Made in Germany... There is also a reference to a 1930's game by "Master Toy Co" called Spin-a-Word which I'm fairly sure is a totally different kind of game.
  399. Spuddle by William Maclean
    Board game with 7 letter dice.
    See here for more info. Looks like ludo (parcheesi) crossed with Scribbage.
  400. Stackwords by Canada Games, Concord, On, 1995 (under licence from Joshua Toys & Games Ltd.)
    Consists of an 8x8 upright grid into which letter tiles may be dropped at the top of each column. Each column fills from the bottom up, of course. The two players each face a different side of the grid, so what is a legal left-to-right word for one isn't for the other. Only the vertical (top-to-bottom) words are in common. The players score by making words vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
    If the letter tiles were two-sided, things could get even more twisted. [DUT]
  401. Starters...a word game by Friends of Friends Fun Factory (contemporary)
    See it at
    Yahoo Stores. Contents: 1 deck of 44 starters (letter) cards, 1 one-minute timer, 1 die, 1 Instruction sheet, 2 pads of score sheets, 9 spare (blank) cards. 2 to 8 players or Teams. ages 8-10 to adult.
  402. Stellar Speller by Discovery Toys (contemporary)
    Almost a straight clone of
    Travel Play on Wordz! Fewer dice, otherwise I can't see any difference. See for youself at eToys.
  403. Stir 'em Up! by Patch Products.
    After everyone has fished all of the letter tiles from a bowl, a die tells the players which tiles must be changed and how. After the change, the players race to make as many words as possible with their tiles. [AS]
  404. Sum-Words published by MPH Games.
    Ad in Nov 1982 issue of Games Magazine says, "Sum-Words is a brain-tantalizing card game for all ages. It's played by one to five players who use lettered cards to build words. Devoted Sum-Words players soon become intellectually stimulated wordmongers." [JB]
  405. Swipe, by Waddington-Sanders (copyright Pokonobe Associates 1988)
    2-10 players, contains 85 arrow-head-shaped (see below) letter pieces. The box states "Score the most points by making the most words and by swiping the opponents' words". (I didn't get to see the rules) [DUT]
      \    \
  406. 'Swoggle published by Chieftan Products (Canada).
    One of my favorite games and good to play with just two players. One problem is there's a little too much luck for my taste. On your turn, you roll one die and whatever you roll is how many letters (of your choice) you can add to the board. If you roll a one you're really screwed. The best house rule we found to fix this is to just let the player roll again and add it to the 1. [JG] The board is a cross between a giant Scrabble board and a newspaper-style crossword. You write on it with magic marker (no tiles) which wipes off at the end. [GT]
  407. SyZyGy designed by Lorraine Spiering
    See the old web site or the new website. "If you like word games and crossword puzzles, you'll love Syzygy!" For 1-12 players, ages 9 and up. From the box description: Each player draws 9 letter tiles. Players use their tiles to build individual crossword puzzles as fast as possible, then expand and rearrange their puzzle as additional tiles are drawn. The excitement builds as players constantly shout "DRAW!" and rearrange their tiles to create bigger and bigger puzzles.
    Two different box designs seen.
  408. Take A Letter published by Rainbow Games, 1985.
    The board is a 17 x 17 grid with two corners taken out, with a variety of markings on it. There is also a track going around the board featuring letters and a few other squares. Players strive to make words of certain lengths or containing specific letters, as designated by their Word Play cards. The letter track is used to garner the required letters; Word Play cards also allow letters to be stolen from other players. Listed in Games Magazine's GAMES 100 in Nov 1986. [DUT]
  409. Tell by Theodore Ulrich, 1955
    96 letter cards with scores. in the instruction book, the author says "the rules for playing are flexible... and can be made more difficult by discarding vowel cards. However, my wife and I have found the game to be most fun, by using the regualar deck of 96 cards".
  410. That's Incredible published by MPH Games.
    Actually nine games, only the first one, Zenith, is a word game. Using 81 letter cards, build a 9x9 crossword puzzle. [SOS]
  411. Throw a word Product sales associates, 1956
    Yet another
    Scribbage-like game. 12 wooden dice, no point values on the letters. Dice faces are: [G E I T B C] [S W O W L N] [I M X BLANK S L] [Q D Y I P H] [T H A S O N] [E O L S C F] [G R O T M E] [K T N O A D] [F I B C A R] [P U A R H Z] [J BLANK K V Y S] [N I U M D R]
    The font is a gothic sans-serif quite like a bold helvetica; a face that would have been popular in the Bauhaus movement of the 30's and which has held up well over the years. The game describes itself as "America's Simplest Word Game", and to that end I reproduce the rule book here in toto.
    Here's how to play it: All you do is shake, rock and roll the 12 lettered dice from your green cup. The object of the game is to form as many words as possible from the letters turned up on the dice. Any number of people can play. Only words of 3 or more letters may be used. If a player throws a dice (sic) which has a blank side showing up, it is "wild" and he may use it as a substitute for any letter he wishes.
    Here's how to score: (1) Player gets 1 point for each letter used to form words.
    (2) If either of these two words: THROW or WORD is formed, the player gets a bonus of 35 points, in addition to a point for each letter.
    (3) If a player, in one throw, used all twelve dice to form words ... he gets an additional free throw before the next player rolls.
    Winner of THROW-A-WORD Game is the first one to reach a total score of 200 points.
  412. Throw and Spell by Toycraft Corp, 1957
    Contains a jar of 15 letter cubes and one number die. The object of the game is to get the most points using the cubes to spell words.
  413. Tiles published by Ways with Words.
    Detailed review in
    The Game Report
  414. Tisby published by Frog Gone
    similar to
    Alfred's Other Game. [BS] Review by Andrew Looney Described as a cross between Boggle and Scrabble.
  415. Toss Words by Kraek Games, 1948
    Yet another
    Scribbage/Perquackey style game. An original creation of "KRAEG GAMES...4500 SHENANDOAH AVENUE...ST.LOUIS 10, MO. Copyright 1948 by Adie E. Giessow." 14 lettered dice, no points values. Make words from all letters; not in a crossword fashion. Cup is a short red cardboard cylinder; no timer; dice appear to be white painted wood with hand painted black letters. Maybe my set has been touched up by a previous owner... Dice faces are: [K J I G H L] [Q R S P T O] [C F B D A E] [R S T A N V] [T S O H U N] [T E W S A U] [M E R O S N] [I N P O L M] [E Y A W X Z] [Y I O A U E] [I R E F H O] [A B S C Y D] [T M I N K L] [H I G E D C]
    Note one die is all vowels; and there is no blank. [GT]
  416. Trapwords published by Martin Collier
    Word game on a hex board.
    See their website.
  417. Traverse published by Peterson Games, 1972
    I don't know when Boggle came out so can't tell if this is a rip-off of Boggle or vice-versa. You have a 4x4 square of wooden letter tiles and have to form words exactly like Boggle. Only difference is that it uses tiles instead of cubes.
  418. Treasure Hunt published by Cadaco Ellis, 1940
    The game's objective is to dig into the pile of alphabet letters to find those which spell a word descriptive of his card. The first person to spell five cards calls "Pieces Of Eight". If each word is spelled properly and suitably descriptive, you collect from each opponent one "Piece of Eight".
  419. Tri-Virsity by Gentertainment Inc.
    See their
    web site. 132 cards in 3 colors; letter cards (5, 10 or 15 points), wild cards (20 points) and tri-wild cards (25 points).
    Object of the Game: Each player is dealt 10 cards and tries to score the most points by spelling words of three letters or more in the same color. Game features include "challenges", "cards up for grabs", and the possibility of adding on to the beginning and/or end of other players words - or your own.
  420. Tryce published by 3M, 1970
    See the review at the
    Gamepile. Uses regular suit cards with letters added rather than actual letter-cards.
  421. Tuf-abet published by Avalon Hill, 1969
    Avalon Hill's first word game. Players roll their twenty dice and try use make a crossword using as many dice as possible.When a player thinks one has come up with a crossword configuration using as many letters as possible that person yells "Tuf." A three-minute timer is started and if anybody can use more cube in one's crossword, that person says Tuffer. A two-minute timer is started and anyone using more letters yells "Tuffest." The one-minute timer is started and players try to use even more letters if possible. [AS] [
  422. Tug of Words published by Letterguys.
    Move letters across the board to spell words on opponent's starting spaces. You can capture letters and bring them on as your pieces, as in Shogi. In the four-player version, you hand captured letters to your partner, who is facing your opponent's partner on a separate board. [SOS]
    Tug of Words is a game of word strategy for ages 12 and up and 2-4 players. Play the word game everyone will love. It's a dynamic contest of word strategy. Shift, jump and place your letters as you attempt to outspell your opponent. Be the first to spell a five-letter word on your opponent's home row. But Watch Out! Your opponent is spelling words to take your letters! You'll want to foil his plans by taking his letters. Join the battle! Join the fun! Play Tug of Words. Comes with two game boards and 64 playing pieces and instructions. [eBay]
  423. HI-Q Tumble Words published by Kohner Bros, 1973
    Red box with cellophane window; orange cup, red and black dice (12 total), instructions. Also packaged with other dice games in a box named "Tumble Games" (1960).
  424. Turn Turtle by M-K Enterprises, 1955
    "Turn Turtle" (The word Turtle is upside down). The Great Word Game for Young and Old. One or a Dozen can Play. Patented and made by M-K Enterprises, Inc. Chicago 14, Ill. The box is a little over 6" by 4". Contents: 77 tiles like Scrabble only made of an older material and each have a turtle on the back along with the letter and value on the other side along with a gray plastic rake looking stand with the name Turn Turtle on it. Includes a slate scoreboard which disintegrates easily. Instructions.
  425. Typ-Dom 1950's?
    Made in Austria. This game is a combination of dominos with Crossword Puzzles, with a "Jolly Joker" feature thrown in. Game comes with red and white (or red and black, in one version) jigsaw-style interlocking plastic letter tiles, and instructions. May also be known as "Type-dominoes".

    From an ebay ad: Ein Kreuzwort-Spiel analog dem weltbekannten Scrabble. Dies ist ein Österreichisches Produkt und heisst Typ-Dom. Bestehend aus roten und schwarzen Bakelit-Buchstaben-Steinen, die kreuzwortartig aneinandergehängt werden können. (A crossword game similar to the well-known Scrabble. This is made in Austria and is called Typ-Dom. It consists of red and black bakelite letter tiles, which can be laid down next to each other crossword-fashion.) The images on Donald Sauter's web page about this game show that it has a 1936 patent.

  426. Twordy, Package Creators, 1969
    1-4 players, no designer credited. All but four of the cards contain one letter. The others are "UN", "EX", "TH" and a "wild card." Rummy with letters. A meld must consist of at least four letters. There are rules for a solitaire game that mirrors Klondike. [AS]
  427. Unspeakable Words by Playroom Entertainment, 2007
    In this Anagrams variant, the value of the letters depends on the number of angles it contains not by its frequency of usage. After playing a word the player rolls a twenty-sided die to perform a sanity check. The power of the word could drive you mad! Cthulu miniatures are provided for score keeping. This game exists in a Deluxe Edition.
  428. Up for Grabs by Tyco Industries Inc, 1995
    Game #7080, 1995 Tyco Industries Inc. Mt Laurel NJ 08054, made in China. "The Make or Take Word Game". Make a word with your tiles, then your opponent steals the letters and uses them in his own word. Ages 10 and up. For 2 or more players. 100 Letter Tiles (new sets have sealed plastic bag), Score Pad, Sand Timer, Cloth Carrying bag for tiles and Instructions. (it was advertised heavily in Games magazine a couple of years ago.) [CS]
  429. Upon My Word by Leisure Life, 1972
    Two to four players make random draws from a pool of 111 single letter tiles and 25 tiles with two-letter combinations. The first to construct a three-letter, four-letter, five-letter and six letter word scores forty points. The other players score 3, 5, 10 and 15 points for each word only once, respectively. The first to score 150 wins. [AS]
    (This is not the same game as
    My Word)
  430. Upwords published by MB.
    Spell words, you can place tiles on top of previously placed tiles to create new words. [SOS]
    Note there are two versions of this game. One is 8x8, the other is 10x10. I believe the 10x10 is the newer but seems to be the less common on the secondhand market. It is however the one currently on sale at
    eToys [GT] The original 8-x-8 version was reviewed by Games Magazine in Sept 1983, then made the GAMES 100 in the Nov issues of 1983-1986. There's a free play-by-mail version of Upwords being given away by Hasbro at the time of writing. (Tell me if this link ever goes stale, thanks) [Rules direct from Hasbro (pdf)] I don't know if Parker in the UK has the UK rights (cf Spears/Mattel vs S&R/Hasbro for Scrabble) but Upwords on sale in Britain is by Parker, not Hasbro. May be that Parker is now owned by Hasbro? I just can't keep track any more :-(
    In France, this game is called "TopWord", by Parker. Ici sont les règles.
  431. Verbatim published by Lakeside, 1985.
    There are 26 tiles, one for each letter of the alphabet. The first player selects a letter. Each player does the same until there are at least 5 letters on the board (no score for words less than 5 letters long). Players may pass if they see no possible word...or they may bluff, risking a challenge. When a player successfully adds a letter, he has one minute to make as many words of 2 or more letters by rearranging them. Another player writes them down as he calls them out. These extra words are worth 5 points each. The main word (using all the letters) is worth 0 (for five letters), then 25 - 75 - 175 - 375 - 675 - 1175 - 2175 points. The 2175-pointer is 12 letters long! Includes timer, board, instruction sheet, 26 white plastic letter tiles, 2 black plastic tile racks and sand-timer.. [DUT]
  432. Vice Versa published by Hallmark Games.
    This is a
    Scrabble-like word game with the difference being a word played is color-coded so the letters are that player's score. Words can be stolen by adding a letter to either end and changing one letter within the word. The letters from the stolen word are thusly subtracted from the victim and added to the prepetrator.[AS] lastic board. 100 tiles (green on one side, orange on the other), instruction booklet, 1 die, Hallmark Marketing Research questionaire and a glossy 1976 Hallmark games brochure.
  433. Vie published by Victory Point Games. Author Alfonzo Smith Jr
    When scientists found a granite slab at the Malibu Archeological Dig with a single ancient alphabet character on it, they were puzzled. Soon they uncovered another slab and another and another. Some slabs were identical. Most slabs contained several characters. Fifty four slabs were found in all. Experts were stumped.

    Word of this curiosity reached the recreational laboratories at Victory Point Games. Professionals here recognized what the archeologists had found immediately: a word game. Perhaps, they had found the first crossword game ever devised. You now hold what we believe is the word game cave-people used to play, which we've come to call Vie. The original rules to this game have been lost to antiquity. This version should be more manageable than the original version of the game (after all, granite is so hard to shuffle).

    Vie by designer Alfonzo Smith is a game for 2-4 players, using a 3 x 3 grid of tiles (cards) with one to four sets of letters on them. Each turn, you place a new tile over an existing tile to try to create new words, scoring them based upon the number of letters on the tiles that you use to make those words. You can score multiple words on the same tile play, so landing the best-scoring opportunities requires some strategic planning. Play continues for a number of rounds that decreases with more players. Vie is very easy to learn, but not easy to master, and will hit the sweet spot for the word game lover in you!

  434. Vocabo published by Noris, Author Joliann Rütinger
    From the
    Spiel Des Jahres site:
    The new aspect of this game is the combination of word/lettergame with the concept of "Rummikub". In "Vokabo" you have to put down your 15 lettercards as fast as possible, according to given rules. To put down the first cards for example you have to reach a point value of 20 and the words must consist of at least three letters. If you put down cards you can continue words, already on the table, or change them to form new words. Compared to "Scrabble" which is a slowly developing game, the situation in "Vokabo" changes continuously. Therefore it is necessary to stay flexible and continuously evaluate the situation.
    [image] (Synes Ernst)
  435. Watch Word by Ideal, 1966
    "The automated word game" for 2-4 players, ages 8 and up. Plastic spinner. Cards. Score sheets.
  436. What's My Word published by Waddingtons, 1964.
    Jotto, using letter tiles to from guesses with. Similar to Word Mastermind [AM] [GT]
  437. What's Up? published by Selchow & Righter
    The first party word game by Selchow & Righter. Two teams compete for high score by guessing a mystery name or phrase set up on a playing board with individual letters. Although the letters are hidden, players can see how many words are used and how long each word is. As letters are guessed more and more of What's Up is revealed. Playing Board, Letter Tray, 144 Letter Tiles, Score Pad and Instructions. [from an
    eBay ad]
  438. Wheel of Fortune 1975
    Wheel of Fortune has had many publishers since its debut in 1975. There was Tyco; three Milton Bradley editions in the seventies; Mattel's Electronic Play-along version; Pressman's five versions, plus a Junior Version and two Deluxe versions; and there have been several versions for Apple II, Commodore, Sega, Nintendo, Game Boy and PC compatibles by GameTek. [AS] "Just like the game show without Vanna." [RI] Made Games Magazine's GAMES 100 in Nov 1986.
  439. Wheel Trouble from Bedford Hills Publishing Co.
    This was a puzzle as well as a game, consisting of four nested, concentric rings that rotated independently. They were labeled with letters and numbers for different games and puzzles. Looks like you tried to spell words along the radii. Brief review in Games Magazine, March 1986. [JB]
  440. Whirling Words made by Club Aluminum Products Company, Chicago, Ill, 1942
    Made of heavy cardbord and wood. The instructions are on the back of the board. Game board Measures 9-1/2'' square.
  441. WhizORD RivSys (http://www.rivsys.com)
    It's a word card game, and if I understand the description, it's like draw poker with 7-letter hands -- no betting, but each player may exchange some of his cards, and the one with the highest scoring word gets to add that score to his total. Letter combinations that can spell several words (hence they're anagrams of each other) score for each word spelled. [BS]
  442. Wff'n'Proof: WFF, Games for Thinkers - The Game of Modern logic. By Layman E. Allen. mid 60's
    Attractive dark-blue vinyl fold-out box, wooden letter dice (12? red and blue), manual and an hour glass. [GT] Matthew Gray informs me that "Wff'n'Proof" (which you had listed as "Wiff'n Proof") is not really a word game. The "letters" are merely symbols used to create formulas in a propositional calculus. (Wff stands for "Well Formed Formula").
  443. Win-a-word Whitman publishing Co, Racine Wisconsin, 1954
    Very similar to the turn of the century
    Anagram games, but has added a paper fold-out board and 4 tile racks - I suspect in an attempt to modify an old favorite in a way to make it more appealing to Scrabble players. Manual on my copy is Copyright 1954, and describes "CROSS WORD and 5 other Word and Letter Games"
    Letters have no scores; tile distribution on my copy is: A 18 B 7 C 10 D 14 E 41 (42?) F 9 G 8 H 14 I 26 J 3 K 6 L 16 M 9 N 19 O 24 P 6 Q 3 R 22 S 30 T 29 U 15 V 4 W 12 X 2 Y 10 Z 2.
    Since I think this added up to 359, I suspect I have a tile missing as I'm guessing that this game should have 360 tiles like Milton Bradley's Anagrams. [GT]
  444. WINNIM 1996, R-Cubed Products, Severna Park MD, 21146 (Private production?)
    Each card has both a vowel and a consonant (there's a card for all 5 X 21 combinations). It's like
    anagrams, except when stealing words you can flip any of them around and use their alternate letters. [BS]
  445. The Word by Intelligames
    The Word, Advanced Version. Recommended for ages thirteen to adult. Comes with game cards which each contain 3 definitions, game board, tokens and dice. Game board is a four piece jigsaw puzzle. This is a very advanced game, appropriate for students with excellent vocabulary skills or adults with same. Also known as "Word 2".
  446. Winning Words
    From an eBay ad: "A new word game thats fast fun and imaginative with challenges for you and your opponents. From the author of reader's digest." (I suspect this is Peter Funk - GT; I'll remove this if it turns out to be a book and not a game set)
  447. Wood Dexterity
    This is a wooden box with a glass lid, containing only *TWO* wooden dice. You shake the box to get a different combination of two letters each time. The aim is to find all 14 suggested two-letter words within 14 minutes. the words are "no on it we to be so do as is in go at an". Made in Japan - I very strongly suspect for beginner Japanese students of English. Instructions in box say "Try your skill - 14 Different Words can be spelled in 14 minutes"
  448. Word Bank by EE Fairchild Corp, 1945
    Interesting twist in the saga of ripped-off game ideas! This is a word game that's clearly a rip-off from Monopoly. Playing pieces consist of the: Playing Board, Wood Markers (1 each red, blue,green,yellow), 1 Wooden Die, Blue Money Letters (Consonants), Green Interest Letters (Vowels), Red Loan Letters.
  449. Word Crossing by Mattel/Disney
    Not really one of our games, it's like "Crosswords for Dummies" (which I haven't yet added here but should do some day, just to stop people buying it by accident...)
  450. Word Factory by ???
    (from the makers of "the brain twister", if that helps at all?)
    This is an unabashed clone of Big Boggle. 5x5 container, 25 cubes, sand timer. If this hasn't been the subject of a lawsuit I'm a Dutchman's uncle. ("Wat is zo een dingetje, Onkel Graham?" vraagt mijn Neffe)
  451. Word For Word by Family Get Together Games, 1975
    The object of the game is to accumulate points by forming words which are high in value...thus the winner! Gather up letters and form a word before your oppenent does! It is for ages 10-adult. instructions, 54 playing cards, scoring pad, travel case, pencil. [from a
    Yahoo Auctions ad]
  452. Wordforword by Educards.
    A deck of fifty-four cards; each card contains a letter and a point value. All the cards are dealt face down to the players. In turn, each player reveals the top card of their deck. To collect cards and score for them a player must use the card they have just revealed and any of the other cards on the table to make a word. The game also has rules for a solitaire version. [AS]
  453. Word Fun by Transogram, 1954
    Lists seven word games -- "a game for every day in the week": Word-Fun, Anagrams, Word Rummy, Word Dominoes, Word-Ghost, Snatch Words and Word-Fun Solitare. (106? 108?) white (or yellow in one set?) letters on black plastic tiles; 4 tile racks a la Scrabble and Transogram's other game,
    Score-a-Word. [image]
  454. Word Madness published by Perfect.
    Actually called "Webster's New World (TM) Word Madness". This game has 110 cards, each with a letter and number, and the hard ones with a bonus notation. Everyone is dealt ten cards, then must spell words of four letters or more (three for children) in a two-minute time period, all simultaneously. Then you take turns with the leftover cards, preceded by a "Go Fish" phase - asking other players for certain letters. Draw from the draw pile if you get a negative answer. Round ends when someone goes out; scoring is based on word length. Letters left in your hand count the value on the cards against you (so easy letters have high numbers in this game). [SOS]
  455. Word Making/Taking, 1877
    No info. Maybe an "anagrams" game.
  456. Word Mastermind published by Invicta.
    Plastic letters (similar to
    Jotto) [MK] Also a French/Canadian release from Parker Bros.
  457. Word Nerd from Hasbro, 1979
    An ad in Games Magazine shows a 12-sided die with four letters per face and score sheets with 4-by-4 grids printed on them. The ad in the May/June 1979 issue says, "Play what's on your mind! Word Nerd. A zany new word game. Any number can play this provocative new word game and everyone plays at the same time. Toss the Nerd Cube, pick a letter, and everyone places it where they think they can spell the most 3 and 4 letter words. Letters are worth points and words with the highest points spell victory!" [JB]
  458. Word-O published for Kalistenics. 1950's
    4 dice. Advertising medium for shoe company.
  459. Word on the Street by Out of the Box.
    The twenty one most commonly used letters of the alphabet are place on the center lane of a gameboard that resembles a five-lane highway. Everytime a team uses a word that fits the category in play, the letters of that word a positioned one lane over in the favor of the team that gave the word. The object of the game is to pull as many letters as possible to your teams side of the board. [AS]
  460. Word Out 'Fine Edition' published by Milton Bradley, 1967.
    Word solitaire at its best, or in competition with friends. An interesting game in which one tries to guess words as hidden letters are exposed one at a time. (ref from
    D'Antiques) [image]
  461. Word Play
    "Be a Wordplayer and Win! The Action-packed game of skill and chance. Roll the dice, score words, set back opponents, and have fun! Ages 8 to adult." Includes letter tiles, a board, score pads, and instructions.
  462. Word Pyramid by Abracadabra, 1986
    Funagain Games
  463. Word Rummy published by Gabriel.
    Similar to
    Bali and one must presume also Scrabble Word Rummy. [RI] Reviewed in Games Magazine, Mar/Apr 1981.
  464. Word Throwing publisher unknown. Germany.
    The German Word game ("Word-Throwing") has 10 letter dice with 6 different letters on each cube. It has a pad of paper for keeping score, a cup for throwing the dice and the complete set of rules on the underside of the cover. It is marked "KFL No. 7407" on the bottom next to the words, "Made in Germany." [from nylen@DELETETHIS.ulster.net] [
    image] There is at least one newer packaging of this game (similar picture, blue and yellow background), and possibly one quite different one (small cubic box).
  465. Word Tower, Heinz Meister, F. X. Schmid, 1988
    2-6 players. The game consists of twenty-one wooden discs; three each of seven colors. Each player receives a card showing each color represents four letters of the alphabet. One player thinks of a word and uses the appropriate discs to form the word. The other players have to think of any word that uses the discs chosen.
  466. Wordable
    Very little info I'm afraid. This may be some sort of Upwords clone, as it has stackable tiles. Limited edition. May be private press? I also found this website selling a game called
    Wordable, but I have a strong suspicion it is an entirely different game, with the same name: Five Starting Locations/Color Coded Gameboard/The patented Dual ChipTM/Internet Playable/More ways to score [AS] writes: I found a flier about a game called Wordable by Wordable Games Incorporated. The flier does not give the rules of the game but I have been able to glean this information: it is a crossword tile laying game similar to Scrabble. The game is played on a 15x15 grid. The gameboard has a symmetric pattern of red, green, yellow and blue squares that as premium squares. Gold tiles can be played to increase the value of the blue squares. Some tiles have two letters on them and the tile can be used as either letter. One tile contains all the vowels and may be used to make multiple words simultaneously. [Image]
  467. Wordarts from Rossky Co, 1978
    Very little info yet. There's a circular board - 4 concentric rings marked with '4' on the inside to '1' on the outer. There are tile holders as in Scrabble. Can't see much else from the picture. Box contents are: Instructions, rules, board, tiles, tile bag, racks, and advertising flier.
  468. Wordsaic by Maguire Game Co.
    Ad in Dec 1984 and following two issues of Games Magazine had photo of equipment and read, "Unique new word game that combines components of words in a new and unusual way to provide a mosaic of words and pictures. 15,000 clues to identify 6000 words, 5400 adult words and 600 children's words. Played by 2 to 24 players. Word buffs will love Wordsaic." [JB]
  469. Wordsearch by Pressman, 1988
    "The Game Of Finding Words!" Slide tiles together to form words. The more tiles you use, the more points you score. The gameboard is constantly changing and the strategy never stops. Start out by placing the wood letter tiles on the Wordsearch board. On your turn, slide one or more letters in a straight line - moving the tiles horizontally, vertically or diagonally, to create a word. Form your word in a straight line in any direction. Then remove the completed word from the board. The more letters you use - the more points you score. For 2 to 4 players. Ages 8 to adult. Contents: 1 black-backed gameboard, 96 round wooden letter tiles, instruction sheet. [From an
    eBay ad]
  470. Word Search by United Toys, India(?), earlier than 1997
    2-4 players. The board is 10x10, with diagonals as well as rank and file. There are 96 Scrabble-style (i.e. with individual values) round letter tiles. Place the tiles on the board randomly, leaving the central 2x2 square free. On your turn, slide as many tiles as you wish in straight lines (no skipping over other tiles) to form a word. The word can read in any orientation, rather like a hidden word puzzle (acrostiche). Harvest the letters and score. [DUT] This game looks very similar to the Pressman Wordsearch above. I wonder if it is made under license?
  471. Word Spin manufactured by Geospace
    8 side by side reels, like a wide slot machine, and each reel has 10 letters on it. This is a cute looking little toy. The 'wheels' are magnetic - they stick to their neighbor - and they don't rotate freely as you'd imagine from the pictures. Rotating the wheels relative to one another is actually a rather clunky business. There's no central axle to keep them together and you can pull the wheels apart and shuffle the order of wheels if you like. I haven't played it yet but it does look like an ideal word game for playing on a car trip.
    (This may or may not be the same game listed below as
    Wordspin Scramble)
    Note there are several versions of this game in various packagings. An image of a different one from the one I have is available at Amazon.Com - I think that one is "Word Spin Game and Deluxe Pouch". I also heard mention of a "Word Spin Jr" but I don't see it listed at the definitive Geospace site. There's also Deluxe Wordspin for two. [GT] (This German description of Lesespin may be the same game)
  472. Word Shaker by Alabe, 1974
    Game #29033 by ALABE Products inc. See how many words you can make in two minutes from the letters on the tiles that spill from the shaker, which is a large ball with a round opening on one side (think of a 'magic 8-ball' that opens). Instructions are printed on the box. Letter cubes are red with white lettering and border.
  473. Wordsters by Milton Bradley
    See the
    Games Cabinet for details. Given a trigram, find a word to match.
  474. Wordstorm by Educational Insights
    As described by Boardgame Geek: "Players simultaneously draw and play random letter tiles vertically and horizontally to build a crossword. When a player creates one or more words with all the tiles, they call out Word Storm. All players then grab 4 more tiles and continue playing until the tiles run out and one player uses up all of his or her letter tiles. Players score points based on their words and are penalized for the letters they don’t use."
  475. Words to the Wise by Mind Sets
    Funagain Games
  476. Word Trek by ???
    Basically Lewis Carroll's "Doublets", but with pre-determined pairs of words on cards. Two decks of cards, plastic travel case.
  477. Word Up by ???
    Although you might think from a title like this that it is a copy of Upwords, in fact "Word Up" is more a cross between a word game and Monopoly. Unfortunately
    the only web page I can find that describes this game is in Thai, so have fun!
  478. Worthy Words by Beatrice Henshaw, Petoskey MI
    See the home page. Pretty board. Scrabble-like variation. Privately published.
  479. Whitman's Word War from Western Publishing Company, 1983
    1 to 4 players (aged 8 to adult) use vocabulary skills and the turn of a card to compose words, letter by letter, on a wipe-off board. Players rack up points as letters merge and cross, forming completed words. The more "word power," the higher a player's score. Contents: 4 Felt Tip Pens, 54 Letter Cards, Instructions. [from an ebay ad]
  480. Word Wars from Timco Games
    It involved building word in such a way to build a bridge across the board. Opponent's words could be attacked by crossing them. [RI] Reviewed in Games Magazine, Apr 1984.
  481. Word Wheel published by Ravensburger, 1984
    "Pit your wits against the clock and your opponents!" Game is for 2-10 players, age 10 to adult. Includes playing board, 10 white letters dice, one yellow letters die and rules.
  482. Word Wild published by MB, 1967
    3 to 8 players. The object of the game is to create words by adding one letter at a time to the same word as it is passed among the players on sheets of paper as the categories are constantly changed. You score points as you create new words and at the same time try to prevent your opponents from using your word. At the end of play high score wins. And the trick is speed..... you have a timer to keep the game moving along. A real challenge for most people but a lot of fun. The game includes a deck of 54 word categories cards, sheets to create words on, a score pad, 6 pencils and a timer with 5 or 6 pegs? [From an
    Yahoo Auctions seller]
  483. Word Wise published by MB.
    Similar to
    Scrabble, but some tiles have a simple picture on them, which you can use in a word. For example, if a tile shows an ape, you can spell "SH[ape]" using just three tiles. You are allowed to use just the sound of the pictured word, ignoring its spelling. For example, you can spell SH[ape]ING or CR[ape]. [SOS] (Memo: try to remember the other rebus-based games like this and make appropriate note. I think maybe Pictionary?) I have seen two VERY different packages with this name, and do not yet know if they are just variants in packaging or different games with the same name. (The French site mentioned in the intro at the top has a French version of this game that I haven't yet catalogued, called Rebustory) Clever name, eh?
    I am in two minds as to whether these rebus games belong in this listing. I have left more of them out than I have put in, and for consistency may well decide to remove the remaining ones later.
  484. Word Yahtzee published by Lowe, 1978
    (Also Milton Bradley?) The goal here was to simply form words of certain lengths for the upper section and verious letter combos (such as all vowels) for the lower section. [RI] [Rules at the
    Games Cabinet] [Emergency replacement scoresheets at the Games Cabinet] [MB Order form for score cards] Note different boxes; 1982 box is green with green cup. 1978 box is mostly orange with a green-capped timer on the cover.
  485. Word-Whiz, a game by Hajo Bücken, published by Editrice Giocchi ("eg Spiele"), 1996.
    Three cards, each with one consonant, are placed face up. The first player to find a word which contain these three consonants moves his vowel markers one square for each vowel in the word. One of the consonant cards is then replaced. The goal is to be the first to move all your vowel markers through the board. [BF] See the writeup at the
    Spiel Des Jahres site.
  486. WordHound published by Professional Marketing Group.
    Detailed review in
    The Game Report
  487. Wordmaster published by Invicta.
    Blank black tiles are included to delimit words, as in crossword puzzles. [SOS]
  488. Words Worth published by Invicta, 1975.
    Mastermind with letters. Completely unoriginal version of "Bulls and Cows" which describes itself as "a word game for two that is really different". made in England. (c) 1975 Invicta Plastics Ltd, Leicester England. Invicta Plastics, (USA) Ltd., 200, 5th Ave., New York, USA. Re-order No. 2072. UK, USA and other patents pending.
  489. Wordsearch published by Pressman. Start with grid of letters (with a few empty spaces in the middle) on round disks and form words by sliding the letters along straight paths. Remove the letters you score, which opens up the board for future moves. [RI] [SOS]
  490. Word Shout by Patch Products.
    Ten letter cubes are rolled and the player who says any word using those letters first is the player who gets the points for it. [AS]
  491. Wordspin Scramble published by Geospace.
    Each player has a number of wheels with letters on them. He must arrange them to form as many words simultaneously as possible. [RI] (See also
    Word Spin above - GT)
  492. Word Thief published by Farley Games (Canada), designed by George Yemec, 1994
    For players aged 9+. Place letter cards to make words and score points according to the value of the letters. You can also steal other people's words if you can make word(s) from them + cards in hand - the player who lost the word loses the score for that word! [PE] (See
  493. Wordy J Pressman & Co. Inc., New York 1938
    This 1938 card game is a fairly obvious knock-off of
    Crossword Lexicon and even sports a very similar "Crown" design on the box. The 1938 date is confirmed below.
    Letter card distribution is: A 4 B 1 C 2 D 1 E 4 F 1 G 2 H 2 I 3 J 1 K 1 L 3 M 2 N 2 O 3 P 1 Q 1 R 3 S 3 T 2 U 2 V 1 W 2 X 1 Y 1 Z 1 Joker 2.
    Card scores are: A 12 B 3 C 7 D 5 E 12 F 3 G 6 H 7 I 12 J 5 K 5 L 7 M 7 N 7 O 7 P 5 Q 3 R 7 S 7 T 7 U 7 V 5 W 7 X 3 Y 3 Z 3 Joker 18
  494. Wordy by Pressman, 1953
    "The new cross word game"... At one point we thought that this game came before Scrabble, due to the 1938 copyright on the box, although there was some doubt as to the accuracy of the copyright on the box due to all the actual copies of the game we had seen appearing to be newer and in better condition than the date would suggest. Our previous comments on the subject inspired one of our readers,
    Stefan Fatsis, to track down the history of this game with the manufacturer, Pressman (still in existance) and he confirmed that the 1938 copyright referred to an earlier card game by Pressman, and that in fact the board game which resembles Scrabble was not published until 1953.

    The details of Wordy are as follows: the cardboard board is 13x13. All the squares are coloured, to match the cardboard tiles which are also coloured. Like some other early games, the set includes a couple of blank tiles which can be written on, to replace up to 3 missing tiles. The game also has 4 wild-card tiles which have "FREE" printed on them. The colours are a way to represent points - red is 1, yellow is 2, blue is 3, green is 4, orange is 5, gray is 6, purple is 7, and pink is 8. There are also black squares and white squares on the board which are triple word and double word respectively. If you play a letter on its own colour you get double letter scores. There may be somewhere between 94 and 96 letter tiles, as well as the spares and wild-cards. Play starts on the center square.

    Note: although the box has a 1938 copyright on it, my copy of this game includes a dictionary dated 1953, which confirms Stefan Fatsis' findings [GT] (Warman's Antique American Board Games 1840-1940 incorrectly lists the 1938 date on this game)

  495. Wordz published by MB.
    No information at present.
  496. Worldmaster, by the Rubbens Marketing Co., Stouffville (On), 1982
    Author: J. A. Leslie. 2-6 players, ages 9 and above.
    An odd cross between Risk and
    Scrabble: components include six sets of 191 letter tiles and a board that displays a map of the world divided into 25 regions, each one having its name spelled out. You must cover at least half of a region's name with your own colour of letter tiles to "control" the region. You must control 12 connected regions to win. [DUT]
  497. Wrdz published by WRDZ, Inc.
    Detailed review in
    The Game Report
  498. WW-III published by Genco, 1993.
    Funagain Games
    Hybrid of Chess and word games. The objective is to move markers (in a chess-like, but simpler, manner) to different squares that contain letters in order to connect letters, form words, and score points.
  499. La Zakhia by Dr Frédérick Zakhia
    French game in which you get bonus points for theme words, Proper names are allowed (as in Red Letter). Nothing original; another 'avoid the lawyers by tweaking the game' Scrabble rip-off.
  500. Zig Zag by Xanadu Leisure
    My Word [MK]
  501. Zypher by US Games Systems, 1999
    See Funagain Games [MK]

[AM] = Andrew Merritt
[AS] = Alfonzo Smith
[BB] = Brian Bankler
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[DUT] = Daniel U. Thibault
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[SOS] = Steffan O'Sullivan
[TH] = Tom Hansen
[TU] = Treesong (ucalegon@DELETETHIS.aol.com)

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A Programmer's guide to writing Word Games

by Graham Toal.
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Some years ago I wrote a Scrabble program for the Acorn Archimedes. There was one paper I found at the time to guide me, but really there was a great lack of any source material for people who wanted to write word games.

Since then, I found a few like-minded folks on an internet mailing list called wordgame-programmers@egroups.com (previously @onelist.com and before that @mit.edu. The list manager is still with MIT).

Click to subscribe to wordgame-programmers
This site is going to be a resource for the folks on that mailing list, and for anyone else about to write a word game and looking for source code to help them. I'm a firm believer that most programers learn algorithms best not from books but from looking at other programmers' code.

As well as document what has been written already and released to the public, I want this site to also document the physical word games that people play, as a resource for people wanting to try their hand at writing a new game. This is why I've teamed up with Steffan O'Sullivan to expand his excellent "Letter by letter word games" page above. Specifically I want to document things such as the frequency of letters in tile and dice games, and the rules of these games. We have to draw a fine line here because many of these games are still in production, and most are still in copyright, but for those games out of copyright I would like to also include scans of the games, boxes, rules etc.

PLEASE NOTE these sources are for academic use only, in learning more about how to solve lexical problems. These are not games you can download and play. Mostly the sources are for unix, but in any case, there are no binaries here. One of the specific research areas I'd like to see explored using this code is how to make games more enjoyable by making them play as much like a human as possible, ie by manipulation of skill level and vocabulary so that a game could convincingly imitate a human in a modified Turing test. Currently too many games just play the best possible play, and discourage the human opponent; or they are naively dumbed down so it is obvious that your computer opponent is 'throwing the match'.

I'd like to suggest that people writing new word games write them in standard portable C. Write a basic internal engine for your game as a subroutine first; write a simple testing front-end as a 'dumb terminal' program that will run on any system with a C compiler, and then write a version that runs as a web cgi program. This will let it be used on any system - Windows, Unix, Mac etc - and be much more useful than a custom version for, say, X windows or Win98.

Here now are the sources for word games (and some related utilities) I've found on the net. Some of them I've written myself. I have not included here the many word games that are commercial and shareware if they are only available as binaries. If you are just looking for games to play, check out the software libraries or find a list of word games and word play on the web.

I would like to enhance this archive with various word lists to support the games, but that opens a whole bag of copyright worms that I don't want to get into. My understanding is that it's reasonable to release sources of games like Scrabble for academic study. It's not reasonable to release binaries of copyright games for play, and that's the line I've chosen not to cross in this site.

There is a Macintosh Word Games Archive at wustl.edu. I have not fetched and unpacked all the word games there so I do not know which ones come with sources. Check for yourself in the Abstracts. Tucows also has some Macintosh word games and PC word games.

We also have a complete snapshot of the DEC Gatekeeper archive of crossword games (originally at http://ftp.digital.com/pub/micro/msdos/misc/crossword-archive/), which is the archive referred to in the Crossword FAQ.

These files are all hosted on my machine at home on a 128K ISDN line. Do me a favour please and don't do multiple fetches at once during USA central time 9am-10pm if you can avoid it. Thanks! (One day someone on a cable modem in France downloaded the entire archive and I wasn't able to get any work done that day!)


I'll start by trying to bring together the three most common programs - in the order that people tend to experiment with this stuff, and in order of increasing difficulty, we have anagrams (including Jumbles and Word Scrambles), Boggle games, and Scrabble games.

Other word games which form natural collections: generating and solving crossword puzzles, generating and solving word-search squares, generating word-squares and close variants. There is some interest in the UK TV show Countdown, with it's letters and numbers games. Related to numbers we have cryptarithms; and we also have cryptogram solvers. Don't forget letter-guessing games such as hangman, and word-mastermind (aka jotto). Hassard Dodgson would be interested in word ladders, and some new variants thereof.

80% of the directories in this archive are now properly organised under the subjects above. See the full directory list for the complete listing and the unfiled directory list for those sources which don't yet have a home in the hierarchy above.

Boggle is a trademark of Hasbro Inc. (formerly Parker Brothers).
Scrabble is a trademark of Hasbro Inc in the US (formerly Selchow and Righter) and Mattel (formerly J.W. Spears) elsewhere.