TED WILSON REVIEWS THE WORLD: SCRABBLE

★★★★★

Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing Scrabble.

The second-best board game in the world is called Scrabble. (The best is called Life.) Each Scrabble player receives a group of random letters and is forced to arrange them into a word or risk looking like an idiot who can’t spell.

Created by Alfred Butts in 1936, Scrabble is essentially a do-it-yourself crossword, with the biggest difference being that the player doesn’t need to know too much. It was a real slap in the face to the New York Times crossword puzzle.

There are entire tournaments where Scrabble enthusiasts play against each other to determine who among them is the most enthusiastic. The winner is always someone with a large amount of time on their hands. That may be the key to being the Scrabble Champion: free time.

If I’m ever stranded on a desert island and can only bring one thing, it will be a Scrabble board. That way when I finally emerge from isolation years later after everyone thinks I’m long since dead, I will be the greatest Scrabble Champion anyone has ever seen. Assuming there’s no other guy who was trapped on an island with a Scrabble board longer than me.

Until that day comes, I’m content to be an unremarkable player, occasionally making words like “cats” and “rub.” The best word I almost ever made was “oxidization.” I had six of the letters needed. So close!

A lot of people whine and moan when they get stuck with a Q. I don’t mind the Q. What I do mind is the G because it’s the worst letter. Even just having to press the G key on my typewriter irks me a little.

As a fun game, I pulled out seven random letters seen below. I haven’t even looked at them. I challenge you to make a word. If you can’t, you agree to send me $50 in cash. If you can, no hard feelings. Tweet your answer to me at @iamtedwilson on the Twitter website Twitter.com.

fzm-Wooden.Scrabble.Letter.Tiles-01

BEST FEATURE: Being able to use culturally insensitive words without getting in trouble.
WORST FEATURE: There are never enough tiles. There should be one for every square on the board, and then some back-up ones just in case.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly.

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