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9 Things you may not know about Scrabble

Are you ready for a round of "Did You Know?" Around the Scrabble world, there is always something unusual and entertaining happening. Here are the post notes of some of the high and low points.

  1. Did you know a player holds a record for the most games played simultaneously? Gandesh Asirvatham, a Malaysian, played 25 games at the same time over a period of 2-1/2 hours. There was probably a little more than 3-minutes time to make a play based on the handicap, but he did manage to win 21 of the games.
  2. Did you know Portsmouth University conducted an underwater Scrabble tournament? This event took place in December of 1995 as a way to raise money for Children in Need. The tiles were weighted to stay on the underwater boards. It isn't clear why they would have conducted water related events in the dead of winter.
  3. Did you know that the Association of British Scrabble Players was sued by a player in 1995? He claimed the association would not give him time to use the restroom between games.
  4. Did you know how adamant people in the United Kingdom are about their Scrabble? A woman in an elderly care home was given the boot when she admitted she didn't play the game.
  5. Did you know the U.S. has a town named Scrabble? Scrabble is an unincorporated village in West Virginia. Obviously they didn't get their name from the game because they don't even have a Scrabble club.
  6. Did you know players can swear in Scrabble without taking a penalty? It is one of the only organized sports that allows the use of inappropriate language, as long as the words are acceptable in the dictionary.
  7. Did you know that art, ballet, and race horses all have one thing in common? All have used the same name at some point. An Aussie artist named Jenny Watson had an exhibition in Germany in 1994 called "Scrabble and Paintings of Hessian." In the 1980s, South Africa hosted a ballet called Scrabble. An English racehorse dubbed Scrabble appeared in a few races but was pulled because of poor performance.
  8. Did you know two-dimensional characters play Scrabble? There are probably more occasions of this, but the one that comes to mind is Bart Simpson. Of course, with Bart you expect something to be underhanded, and there was. He played a collection of letters (kwyjibo) that he said was a "balding North American ape with a small chin." I wonder who he might have been alluding to with this description. Could it have been Homer?
  9. Did you know that Scrabble has a 24-hour record for the most points scored by two players? England takes the prize for this one. In 2002, Austin Shin and Chris Hawkins played for 6 hours and through 162 games to amass a total of 162,390 points. This event took place in Milton Keynes Shopping Centre, but one of the longest Scrabble contests took place while the players were trapped in Antarctica. Lance Corporal Gill and Lieutenant Commander Waghorn played the game for 5 days continuously.

These are just 9 of the astounding, magnificent, peculiar, and sometimes forgettable events in the wide world of Scrabble.

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