Saturday, 5 November 2011

Neo-scrabble

In the middle of a game of Words With Friends, I looked at some of the two-letter words that the in-game dictionary allows and realised that I don't know what they all mean. It's just a two-letter word to make up some points. So I made up a Scrabble variant.
  1. Use and receive letter tiles in the same way as normal Scrabble, and generate scores the same as in normal Scrabble.
  2. When you play a word, it must be a completely new word that doesn't exist in English (or the language of your choice). To complete the neologism, you must write in secret the definition of that word and then announce to the table a sentence with the word in it, without giving away the definition. 
  3. Everyone else at the table writes in secret a single guess as to the meaning of the word, announced only when everyone has written their guess. Anyone who correctly guesses the meaning of your new word also gets the points for the word. For each other player who correctly guesses the meaning of your new word, you also get those points again.
  4. If your turn produces more than one word, you must write a definition for each word, and each player can guess each of the new words. Repeat the guess-scoring for each word.
  5. If you explicitly state the definition in your sentence, you immediately lose the points you earned from the word.
Here's an example. I play the word NIRF without any score modifiers like Double Letter. A quick dictionary check reveals that it isn't extant in English. That scores me 2+1+1+4 (if my points memory is working correctly). I write down that nirf is "(noun), the outer edge of a feathered nest" and say to the group, "I saw a lovely nirf while bird-watching the other day." Three other people are playing, and one of them guesses something similar to my definition. That other person gets an additional 8 points for the correct guess, and so do I for making a word that can be deduced from its use, giving me 16 points in total.

Try it out sometime. Let me know how it goes, or if you come up with any other variations to the rules.
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