Recessionary Scrabble

It’s no secret that we’re in the beginning, middle, end (take your pick) of a global economic recession. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t still find some way to enjoy ourselves and sharpen our minds at the same time.

Yesterday, we joined some friends for a game night and we tried out some new and old games. One set of games we remembered from our time in Honduras about 10 years ago. CAMers Harold and Carol Krause taught us “Swipe” and “Take Two” that are played with just a set of Scrabble tiles. You don’t even need a Scrabble board to play these.

Sometimes a game of Scrabble can be found at a yard sale and the board is in poor shape, so if all you want is the set of letters, you might be able to get a bargain for these two games in one.

Here’s the rules…sent to me just today from Aunt Carol:


1. Turn all letter tiles face down. They can be in one big pile two—however it’s handy for players to reach. They should be out of the way of the middle of the table.

2. The first player flips over a tile, throwing it into the center of the table.

3. The player to his left flips one, and then the next player flips one, etc.

4. As soon as someone sees a word that’s 3 letters or more (no proper nouns), he calls it out. The first one to call out the word takes it places the word in front of him. The person who takes the word is the one who throws out the next tile.

5. At any time (whether it’s his turn or not) a player can call out another word. He does this in two ways:

· He sees another word that is 3 letters or more in the center of the table.

· He wants to steal a word that someone else has or else add to his own. To do that, he must add one or more already-turned-over letters from the middle of the table to the word that he or someone else has. It must change the root word. He may not simply add an “s” or an “ed” to the word. If the word is something like “dust,” he may use an “s” to make it “studs,” but he cannot make “dusts.” It is helpful to keep adding to your own words because then they are more difficult for someone else to steal.

6. When all the tiles are used up (or else all players have agreed that they have given up trying to make a word from the last turned-over tiles), then the person with the most words wins the game. It doesn’t matter how long the words are.

Take Two

1. Turn all letter tiles face down in the center of the table. Each player takes 7 tiles but leaves them upside down.

2. When someone says “Go!” each player quickly turns over his own tiles and at the same time all players proceed to form their own crossword puzzles. All words must connect. Two-letter words are permissible. No proper nouns. A player may rearrange his own words and letters at any time.

3. When any player has fastened all his tiles together, he says, “Take two!” and all players must take two tiles from the center, whether they have connected all their own letters or not.

4. The game continues in like manner, with players calling out, “Take two!” when they have connected all their tiles and everyone grabbing two more tiles and continuing to form words and connect them to his own puzzle. If all players get stuck and can’t use up all their letters (and therefore can’t say, “Take two!”), then they may decide to just go ahead and allow everyone take two more anyway, to get out of the bind.

5. The game is over when there are no longer enough tiles for players to take more. At this point the other players look at the winner’s puzzle to see if he has spelled all the words correctly. If so, then the winner’s score is 0. Each other player adds up the value of the letters that he was unable to connect to his puzzle, and that is his score.

6. Players can decide ahead of time that they will play to 100 or whatever. (The one with the highest score is the loser.)

Thanks Harold and Carol for teaching us these games all those years ago. Now all we have to do is find someone who’ll play them with us!

Enjoy them everyone!


About alanbeth

What’s up? or rather, ¿Qué pasa? Hola, I’m Alan. I’m a missionary living in Mexico. We have a heart for MK Education and so we teach at a local Christian school with MK students as well as nationals and foreign students as well. I occasionally write or have a pic to share with you at my blog, Knowing Your ABCDs, which you can read with a click on the button above. You can read my blog with a click on the button above.
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