US 20060175756 A1
A word puzzle combines an intersecting word puzzle with scrambled word play by presenting clues for word answers as scrambled words.
1. A puzzle comprising a puzzle grid and a clue; the puzzle grid comprising intersecting rows of open spaces, each space adapted to be filled with a single letter, a selected number of contiguous spaces, when filled, thereby forming a word answer, and the clue comprising a scrambled word.
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13. A puzzle comprising a puzzle grid and a clue; the clue comprising a scrambled word, and the puzzle grid comprising intersecting rows of open spaces, each open space adapted to be filled with a single letter, a selected number of contiguous spaces, when filled, thereby forming a word answer, further wherein some of the spaces in the puzzle grid are closed spaces.
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25. In a method for playing a word puzzle game, the improvement comprising the step of unscrambling a scrambled word clue to obtain a word answer for the puzzle.
26. A method of playing a word puzzle having a puzzle grid with at least one scrambled word clue associated with a clue section label and with a clue number that corresponds to a word answer number that is in turn associated with a set of open spaces on the puzzle grid, the method comprising:
a) unscrambling the clue to obtain the word answer;
b) matching the clue number to the corresponding word answer number on the puzzle grid; and
c) placing the word answer into the set of open spaces on the puzzle grid.
27. The method of
28. The method of
a) collecting a plurality of letters for a bonus word answer from a plurality of marked spaces on the puzzle grid; and
b) unscrambling the letters of the bonus word answer.
29. The method of
The invention relates to puzzles used for entertainment or education; more particularly, it relates to word puzzles; more particularly, it relates to an intersecting word puzzle employing scrambled word clues.
Word puzzles are well known throughout the world for both education and entertainment. A known puzzle and method of play is for the puzzle player, or solver, to enter words or phrases into intersecting rows of open vertical and horizontal spaces on a prefabricated puzzle grid. Generally, these words or phases are formed by the puzzle player based upon a definition, synonym or clue which is given as part of the puzzle for each word or phrase to be entered. Typically, each word answer has an indicated or reserved set of contiguous spaces, each space to be filled with a single letter of the word answer. A number is given each clue and the same number on the puzzle grid associates the spaces reserved for the clue's word answer. Generally, the words or phases entered by the solver share a letter at the point where two word answers intersect. Consequently, only one word answer will contribute to the correct solution of the puzzle.
Also well known are puzzles, games or educational tools featuring the unscrambling of words or phrases, whose letters have been scrambled or jumbled, so as to reform or reconstitute the original word or phrase. Since the latter 20th century, both types of puzzles have been separately featured in major newspapers and special puzzle publications.
One apparent overlap of an intersecting word puzzle with scrambled word type play exists, but the scrambled word play is not an integrated part of the intersecting word puzzle. Thus, the intersecting puzzle directs players to pull certain letters from the already entered word answers and then to unscramble those letters to form one single word answer outside the intersecting pattern. This word answer is often called a “bonus” word, but is extraneous to the word answers obtained by solving the normal clues.
In addition, some word games like Scrabble®, are played in which a selection of letters are used to create an intersecting pattern of words, with that intersecting pattern completely unique to the individual instance of the game and its players. These games provide no specific solution which can be checked as the “correct” answer as no word answers are predetermined and no particular letter or letters are intended to produce any particular word. Such games do not employ clues of any sort.
Word puzzle enthusiasts and educators have long enjoyed separately both the intersecting word and scrambled word types of word puzzles; what has not previously been offered, however, is a puzzle in which the two types of puzzle solution processes are an integral part of the same puzzle.
A puzzle is disclosed, for use in education and for entertainment. Desirably, the puzzle presents and offers the players the opportunity to solve an integral combination of an intersecting word puzzle with scrambled word play.
A preferred puzzle presents the puzzle word answer clues as scrambled letters of the word answers. A word answer, when unscrambled from its corresponding clue, is placed in an intersecting pattern on the puzzle grid. Since each word or phrase is unscrambled before it is entered in the puzzle grid as a word answer, there is generally equal and co-temporal or temporaneous emphasis placed upon both intersecting word and scrambled word puzzle solution processes for the player. In other words, scrambled word play is used in, and throughout, the intersecting word puzzle play. In addition, since the puzzle uses predetermined word answers, the invention has the potential to contribute to the vocabulary and spelling capabilities of the puzzle solver.
Preferred puzzles have both a puzzle grid and a clue. The puzzle grid is generally a set of intersecting rows of open spaces, where each open space is intended to be filled with a single letter. In this way, a set of contiguous spaces, when filled with a letter, form a word answer. Preferred clues for the word answer are scrambled words, and more preferably consist only of scrambled words. Closed spaces are generally also included in the puzzle grid, with the closed spaces communicating to the solver that the space so indicated, such as by shading or crosshatching, is not to be filled with a letter to form a part of a word answer. Closed spaces also delineate a separation of word answers from one another. Open spaces are generally configured in horizontal and vertical rows with clues presented in respective sections of clues often labeled “Across” and “Down” or “Horizontal” and “Vertical”. Alternate configurations are contemplated, however, using other patterns of open spaces such as diagonal, polygonal or circular.
A scrambled word clue may be created from a single word or multi-word phrase with or without intervening spaces. Such scrambled words are created by presenting the letters of the word or phrase mixed in any order not generally known as a common spelling of the word or phase. Alternatively, it may, as explained below, be a spelling of another word.
The scrambled word may be generated either through random reordering of the letters or by design. Generation of a scrambled word by design is accomplished by such methods as forming other words, listing the letters alphabetically or in reverse alphabetical order, separating the vowels and consonants, listing the vowels and consonants separately and in alphabetical order, ordering the letters by the most common usage in the language, or the like.
Preferably, each clue has a clue number and this clue number corresponds to a word answer position number on the puzzle grid. This word answer position number is generally in the initial space on the puzzle grid of the set of contiguous spaces to be filled with the clue's corresponding word answer. In preferred embodiments, the number of letters in the clue equals the number of spaces associated with the word answer on the puzzle grid.
Optionally, a bonus word answer to unscramble may be added to the puzzle. Certain open spaces on the puzzle grid are marked by means other than a number, such as with a color, circle, star or other symbol. To obtain the letters for the bonus word answer, the puzzle solver is encouraged to solve the word answers containing the specially marked spaces. The puzzle solver then collects the letters in the specially marked spaces and uses them to unscramble the bonus word answer.
Preferably, a space is provided for the bonus word answer outside of the puzzle grid. Optimally, the space for the bonus word answer is indicated by a label, and the individual spaces for the letters of the word answer are generally provided and indicated by underscores, boxes, circles or other means. In addition, a bonus word answer clue may be provided for the bonus word answer. The bonus word answer clue is not the scrambled letters of the word answer, but another type of clue, such as a definition, synonym, illustration, question or related idea.
To those familiar with the methods of playing word puzzles and games, the outstanding improvement in the method of play of the current puzzle is the unscrambling of scrambled word clues in order to obtain the words answers for the puzzle.
Puzzle solvers generally begin play by choosing a clue to unscramble and forming a hypothetical word answer. Some scrambled word clues have the potential to form more than one word. For example, “NISK” may be unscrambled as “SKIN”, “INKS” or “SINK”. Which of the three is the actual word answer depends on the other word answers it intersects with on the puzzle grid. After creating a hypothetical word answer, the puzzle solver matches the clue number to the corresponding word answer number to determine the initial open space in which to place the letters of the word answer on the puzzle grid. The solver then uses the clue section label to determine the direction the word answer is to be placed on the puzzle grid. For example, a clue section label, “Across” indicates that the set of open spaces on the puzzle grid for this word answer is configured in a horizontal row. The puzzle solver then places the letters on the puzzle grid, placing one letter in each open space of the set. The puzzle solver may have to change a previously entered hypothetical word answer to the correct word answer as play progresses. Changes are determined by the other word answers intersecting the word answer's set of open spaces on the puzzle grid.
Optionally, the puzzle solver may solve for a bonus word answer. The puzzle solver collects letters from specially marked open spaces on the puzzle grid in which the letters have been filled in, by the puzzle solver or by design, and unscrambles these letters to solve the-bonus word answer. Advantageously, a puzzle solver may use a bonus word answer clue to aid in the unscrambling of the bonus word answer.
For the purposes of this disclosure, the following terms may have the following definitions.
Turning now to the drawings, a preferred embodiment will be described by reference to the numerals of the drawing figures wherein like numbers indicate like parts.
Two clue sections 20 and two clue section labels 23, reading “Across” and “Down” respectively, contain a plurality of clues 24. Furthermore, by comparison with
In preferred embodiments, the number of letters in a particular clue equals the number of open spaces 11 contained in the set of contiguous spaces 18 associated with the corresponding word answer. For example, in
In a first method, scrambled word clues are created by presenting the letters of the word or phrase mixed in any order not generally known as a common spelling of a word or phase with or without intervening spaces. For example, the clue “SATISSECH” corresponds to the word answer, “CHASTISES”. In an alternate method, a scrambled word clue is created by forming another generally known word or phrase, with or without intervening spaces. For example, the clue, “LIVE”, corresponds to the word answer, “EVIL”, or the clue, “LIVE WAS I”, corresponds to the word answer, “I SAW EVIL”.
Returning to the discussion of
In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific as to structural features. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the specific features shown, since the means and construction shown comprise preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims, appropriately interpreted in accordance with the doctrine of equivalents.