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Perpetual Scrabble

Tired of running out of space to put anything?
  [vote for,

This game starts like normal scrabble. You draw letters, you make words. However, along with your score, also write down what word you just made, so you can remember later.

Here's where it's different. Once 20 moves have been made (10 by each player, or 7 per player in a 3-player game), the oldest words on the board start to EXPIRE one by one.

After the 21st move, remove the very first word that was played on the board, and throw those letters back into the bag. Similarly, after the 22nd move, remove whichever word was made on the second turn, returning those letters back to the bag. And so on. This way the board is constantly opening up and you don't run out of board space to make words.

Play until someone reaches 1000 points.

Note: Only remove letter tiles that are independent. The board must contain only words at all times. For example, say move #1 was "SOLID". And then turn #2 was "HOL(D)" which linked to the "D" from move #1. In this case, when the 21st turn arises, only remove the S, O, L, and I. Leave the D there so the word HOLD remains intact.

P.S. I've never played this, but I just came up with the idea and I look forward to trying! It might be cool to see a hole opening up in the middle of the board, and then filling in again while the edges disappear, and this repeating.

phundug, Dec 02 2004

speed scrabble Speed_20Scrabble
a reaction, not echo. [sophocles, Dec 03 2004]

Quiz about scrabble words without vowels. http://www.funtrivi...games/scrabble.html
supercat's is among them (slight spoiler). [jutta, Dec 05 2004]


       Scrabble meets Conway's Game of Life!
zen_tom, Dec 02 2004

       What happens if a subsequent play modifies a word (perhaps by adding a suffix) when it comes time to remove the original word?
krelnik, Dec 02 2004

       The only real problem I see with this is one that already plagues the standard game: ever-shrinking entries. I would imagine that even if someone started with a fairly large word, max of seven letters, when a hole opened up by this original word would be connected to more than one dependent words. This would further limit possibilities for those who may already have used up all the good vowels, meaning you could get two small words in, but then (depending on what others they butt up against) resulting in even more cramped space.   

       Perhaps the electronic version could create quicker expiry for shorter words, suffixes, etc.?
JeremiahBritt, Dec 02 2004

       [krelnik] I guess if someone puts "FORM" and it later evolves into "PER(form)ER", you'll have to remove all the letters in "performer" together, as if it had been put down all at once. Thanks for pointing that out.   

       [jeremiah] Also, the Q should never expire. Bad enough we're plagued with it once per game. Once it's been used, throw it in the blender and hit "puree".
phundug, Dec 02 2004

       Spell binding.   

       Sounds like an interesting game, though there need to be some clear rules about when expired tiles will actually be deleted.   

       Suppose player 1 plays "EL". Then player 2 builds "FASHION" down from the end; player 1 then builds "STOOD" starting to the right of the "F". In this case, deleting "EL" would leave the non-word "FS". But deleting the first two turns might be acceptable (depending upon what gets played later).   

       I like the idea of this game, if rules could be created that were understandable and unambiguous. A computer implementation might be best, with the pieces changing color to indicate the expiry was imminent or had already occurred.   

       BTW, an interesting rule twist might be to allow players to place letters that would allow expired words to be deleted, and award a bonus for doing so. For example, if the word "YELPS" exists on the board, with "YEL" being expired but undeletable, adding "ST" would change the non-word "PS" to the word "PSST".   

       BTW, I agree about the "Q"; including an optional "U" on the same tile would make things much nicer.   

       Here's a puzzle for you: Your rack has TSSTS??; what two bingoes can you form on an open board?
supercat, Dec 02 2004

       This should come as a kit, with a wire-mesh board and a small mill which takes frozen bananas in the top and slices them into thin squares with the letters printed on them, using bacteria-laced ink.   

       The tiles quickly thaw and start to rot as the ink has its effect, eventually liquefying and falling through the mesh.   

       Games take longer in cool weather, but who wants to sit around playing Scrabble when it's warm outside?
ian_mackereth, Dec 03 2004

       Here's an alternate idea:   

       A large scrabble board is created, with sides of length 2n. Now overtop of the base board, a floating frame with sides of n is positioned. Letters may only be placed within the area contained inside the frame. After every x number of turns, the frame is moved one square in any direction, thus resulting in free play area. Any tiles outside the frame are deleted, and mixed into the tile bag.
Cuit_au_Four, Dec 03 2004

       Hard to say how this would play out. Thinking about it, I think JB has a point.   

       Have you ever played with wrapping sides and top/bottom? Used to do this years ago... two triple word scores side by side make "QUIZ" worth 198 points.
waugsqueke, Dec 03 2004

       Damn! I just spent $30 buying my sister Super Scrabble for Christmas. I could have just printed this out and given it to her, instead! Croissant.   

       [supercat]: "Tassets" is one...
Guncrazy, Dec 03 2004

       There is one problem phundug. You remove all the letters from the original word, and place them in the bag. As the bag is used up, there are only those letters now in the bag. Next person puts down a word and picks up the letters just removed. unless someone uses up the hole left by the time it gets round to this person's turn, then they can simply replace the letters in their original place and recreate the original word. Unless, I guess you put a rule in which says you can't do this.
goff, Dec 03 2004

DesertFox, Dec 03 2004

       Well, I just played my first game of Perpetual Scrabble, and it was cute! But as you point out, some tweaking was necessary:   

When deleting a word, the rule shall be: Remove as many letters from it as possible, provided everything left on the board is still a word.

       So, if of ELFS, FASHION, and SHOOT are played like this (similar to [supercat's] example),   


       when ELFS expires, only the S is removed. Can't remove the E because "LFS" is not a word. Can't remove the L because that leaves E and FS, no good. Can't remove the F because it leaves "ASHION", not a word. But the S can be deleted and everything left is still a word. (But note: if "ASHION" were a word, we'd remove the entire word ELFS, since the rule is "Maximize the number of letters removed.")   

       Next, when FASHION expires, all seven tiles are deleted. This works because EL and HOOT are both words. Next, SHOOT expires, and all the letters H O O T are deleted.   

       Don't worry about "islands"; they add to the fun!   

When someone plays two words at once, what counts as the "new word"? --Answer: whichever word contains the most new tiles. Example: On the board is BIN. Lisa puts down DO, making BIND at the same time. In the score log, the new word is DO, not BIND.

The word expiry "schedule" should be placed where everyone can see it, not just the scorekeeper. It's an advantage to plan ahead for when squares will open up.

This game would work better with two sets of Scrabble tiles mixed together. With only one bag, there are so few tiles left in there when words start expiring that you know exactly what you'll pick up. But, if you're among the 60% of families who own more than one Scrabble set, this shouldn't be a problem.

       [supercat]: TSETSES I guess. What a waste of s's and blanks!
phundug, Dec 03 2004

       [phundug]: That wasn't one of the ones I had in mind, and oddly my Scrabble program didn't find it even though OSPD3 lists "TSETSE" as having plural form "-s". Weird.   

       As for being a waste of S's and blanks, almost nothing that gives a bingo is a waste (the 50 point bingo bonus is pretty big, though at times forming two 2-letter words can be worth 50 points).   

       [Guncrazy]: //"Tassets" is one...//   

       Indeed, it's one of two that my Scrabble program found, though as phundog observed "TSETSES" should also qualify.   

       As for the other one, I'll give a hint: the blanks are not vowels.
supercat, Dec 03 2004

       [phundog]: Why would you remove the "S" from "SHOOT" when the word "EL" expired?
supercat, Dec 03 2004

       Why "ELFS"?
half, Dec 03 2004

       "Elfs" is an original plural. The pluralizing of “elf” to "elves" mimicking that of leaf to leaves, was a convention invented by JRR Tolkien.
JeremiahBritt, Dec 03 2004

       [sup] In my example (different from yours), ELFS was the first word made, not EL.   

       [jer] that's weird... I thought it was a standard construct in English, like self-selves and half-halves; but then it is gulf-gulfs, so maybe I will stop ta
phundug, Dec 03 2004

       I'm torn. This is a great idea, but why would you want scrabble to go LONGER!!!!   

       I'm going to go post my speed-scrabble idea to give you all a choice. (see link)
sophocles, Dec 03 2004

       [supercat]: Hrm, how about "SESTETS"? This one has vowels though.
AlliedEnvy, Dec 04 2004

       SESTETS would seem to also be good. I'm thinking that when I formulated the query I must have typed it in differently, since I do remember only getting two answers. The other word, though, has seven consonants (and is the only word I know of which has more than six consecutive).
supercat, Dec 05 2004

FarmerJohn, Dec 05 2004

       I heard BRRRRRR, HRRMMPH, and KPBBBTH (sound of someone sneezing) will all be accepted in the Scrabble Dictionary 4th edition.
phundug, Dec 06 2004


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