I love Scrabble. Actually, I love games of all kinds, especially board games, and Scrabble just happens to be one of my favorite board games ever. Happy National Scrabble Day!
April 13 is National Scrabble Day because the games inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts, was born on this day in 1899. Although Mr. Butts (Don’t laugh! He can’t help it!) invented the game in 1938, it didn’t really catch on until a Macy’s executive fell in love with it fourteen years later. His first game was called Lexico, but his 1938 version was reworked and renamed Criss-Crosswords. He sold the rights in 1948 to a man named James Brunot, who made a few minor changes and renamed it Scrabble.
Wouldn’t it be funny if this verse were about playing Scrabble?
So Saul said to his attendants, “Find someone who plays well and bring him to me.”
1 Samuel 16:17
I can totally imagine a depressed King Saul, furious at having beaten every one he ever played against, ordering his attendants to find him a real Scrabble challenge!
Everybody knows how to play Scrabble, but I prefer a different version known as Take 2 or Speed Scrabble. Here are the directions:
- No board is necessary. Turn the tiles upside down and mix them up. Have every player draw seven tiles.
- At the same moment, every player flips their tiles over and begins making an individual crossword with their seven tiles.
- As soon as a player uses all their tiles, that player must call out “Take 2.” Then every player will draw two more tiles.
- The goal of the game is to use all your tiles first and to get the most points.
- Points are given for each used tile, according to the number on the tile. Tiles that are used twice (as in, they connect two words) have their points counted twice. Any player that has unused tiles at the end of the game must subtract those points from his or her score.
Okay, let’s celebrate National Scrabble Day. Everybody get your tiles out, and . . . go!