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Publication numberUS3396972 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 13, 1968
Filing dateJan 10, 1966
Priority dateJan 10, 1966
Publication numberUS 3396972 A, US 3396972A, US-A-3396972, US3396972 A, US3396972A
InventorsSmith James A
Original AssigneeJames A. Smith
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Word construction game apparatus having numerical scoring feature
US 3396972 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1968 J. A. SMITH 3,396,972



ATTORNEY Aug. 13, 1968 J. A. SMITH WORD CONSTRUCTION GAME APPARATUS HAVING NUMERICAL SCORING FEATURE Filed Jan. 10, 1966 Sheets-Sheet 5 FM ME 47/! i 47 CO- INVENTOR JAMES A. SMITH ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,396,972 WORD CDNSTRUCTION GAME APPARATUS HAVING NUMERICAL SCORING FEATURE James A. Smith, Casablanca, Morocco (500 N. Wilson St., Metairie, La. 70003) Filed Jan. 10, 1966, Ser. No. 519,487 6 Claims. (Cl. 273135) This invention relates to a game and more particularly to a word construction game which is both entertaining and educational.

The object of the invention is to provide a game which may be played by adults or children for entertainment, vocabulary and spelling training, and generally for improvement in ones ability to concentrate. The game has a unique system of scoring keyed to color indicia on the game board, and the scoring system rewards those players who exhibit a superior ability to concentrate and therefore superior skill in playing the game. The rules of the game, while normally directed to adult players, may be modified and simplified to accommodate players of all ages.

An important feature of the invention resides in the provision of individually colored and lettered game pieces or tiles which are employed to construct words on the game board during playing of the game. These game tiles have a constructional feature which enables them to coact in a novel manner with both printed and colored indicia on the face of the board to produce a challenging and rewarding score possibility on every move or play during the course of the game.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following detailed description.

In the accompanying drawings, forming a part of this application and in which like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same.

FIGURE 1 is a partly diagrammatic plan view of a game board employed in the invention;

FIGURE 2 is a composite view showing a sampling of lettered .and colored game tiles;

FIGURE 3 is a plan view of a spinner;

FIGURE 4 is a perspective view of a tile holder or rack;

FIGURE 5 is a plan view of a scoring sheet;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of the game board showing a sampling of the printed and colored indicia thereon; and

FIGURE 7 is a partly diagrammatic plan view corresponding to FIGURE 6 showing a number of tiles placed on the board to form words. and also indicating certain scoring.

In the drawings, wherein for the purpose of illustration is shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, the numeral 15 designates a preferably square game board formed of any convenient material. If desired, the game board may be constructed to fold in the middle in the manner of a book so as to facilitate storage during periods of non-use.

The board 15 in the embodiment shown in the drawings is divided on its playing surface into 529 equally sized square playing spaces. This particular number of spaces is not critical and could be varied under the invention. As shown, a large number of the square playing spaces in a random pattern are uncolored or white. A substantial number of the individual spaces are colored in varying patterns, to be described. In this connection, the game board 15 employs seven separate and distinct colors which have a significance in the playing and scoring of the game. These same seven colors, plus one additional color, are utilized on the game pieces or tiles which will be described.

FIGURE 6 shows a substantial corner segment of the ice game board 15 which has been enlarged sufiiciently to render visible a typical portion of the multi-color pattern. FIGURE 1 and FIGURE 7 are schematic in the sense that the actual colors are not shown. Referring to FIG- URE 6, the white or uncolored square spaces of the board are shown at 16 in a random pattern. All of the other spaces are colored in a variable manner as follows. A number of the square spaces indicated at 17 are vertically striped in the seven previously-mentioned game board colors, namely brown, green, orange, gray, yellow, red and blue, (reading from left to right in each vertically striped space 17.

Another group of the square playing spaces, FIGURE 6, has each square space divided into four equal square parts and these parts are variously colored, again utilizing the seven game board colors mentioned above. These spaces divided into four parts are indicated at 18 in the drawings and it will be observed that the color pattern varies among the spaces 18. Some of the squares 18 contain quarter parts having four separate and distinct solid colors, such as gray, blue, red and orange. Other spaces 18 have a diagonally opposed pair of their quarter parts striped vertically in the seven mentioned game colors and their other diagonally opposed quarter parts are solidly colored gray. Still others of the spaces 18 have one quarter part striped in the seven game colors and the other three quarter parts colored solid with separate and distinct colors. In this manner, a great variety of color combinations and patterns are provided on the board and this arrangement is not without purpose and becomes important in the playing of the game.

Another groups of playing spaces designated 19 has each space divided into two parts diagonally. Each half of each space 19 is colored and again the pattern varies. As shown in FIGURE 6, some spaces 19 have one half striped in the seven game board colors while the other half is solidly colored and the particular solid color varies among the several spaces 19. Other spaces 19 have their two halves in solid colors but the solid colors are specifically different. As shown best in diagrammatic FIGURE 1, all of the spaces 19 divided diagonally occur in the center vertical and horizontal rows of square spaces, as distinguished from the other vertical and horizontal rows of the game board. The two central rows are not made up exclusively of the spaces 19, however, and as shown, they also include a number of the vertically striped spaces 17 and the spaces 18 which are divided into four parts or quarters, as previously described.

Additionally, the two center rows, vertical and horizontal, include spaces 20 containing alphabet letters which spell out the word Melange. As shown in FIGURE 1, this word which is the name of the game is spelled vertically and horizontally on the game board and is read downwardly from the top of the board toward its lower edge and from left-wright. The vertical and horizontal words intersect at the center space 21 which contains the letter a common to both the vertical and horizontal Word Melange. The letters or spaces 20 containing the letters are spaced equidistantly in the rows and preferably at every third space along the rows. The spaces 20 containing the letters of Melange are also individually solid colored in the seven game colors, the word Melange having seven letters. Also, the individual letters of Melange are preferably colored in the seven game colors but contrasting to the color of the space 20. If preferred, the letters may be black.

In completing the description of the playing surface of game board 15, the extreme corner spaces 22 have a special configuration which is significant in the playing of the game. Referring to FIGURE 6, each corner space 22 is divided into four equal triangular portions. The

vertically opposed triangular portions are colored solid gray, and the horizontally opposed triangular portions are vertically striped in the seven game colors, brown, green, orange, gray, yellow, red and blue.

FIGURE 6 also shows at the corners of the various square spaces on the game board numerals which are utilized in the scoring system of the game in conjunction with the colored indicia. The white spaces 16 each bear in their four corners, reading clockwise from the top lefthand corner, the numerals 1, 3, 2 and 4; the spaces 20 which contain the letters of Melange have only one corner numeral whose placement is varied from letter-to-letter and whose numerical value varies from 2 to 4. A sampling of this arrangement is shown in FIGURE 6 for the horizontally spaced letters M and B. All of the other variously colored spaces 17, 18, 19 and 22 on the game board contain four corner numerals which are, reading clockwise from the upper left-hand corner of each space, 2, 4, 3 and 5.

The above-described game board playing surface both with respect to the coloring and the arrangement of numerals and the spacing of the various square spaces has been devised to provide the maximum variation in scoring possibilities and in the construction of words during the playing of the game, based upon superior concentration and attention on the part of players. This in turn renders the game interesting, educational and entertaining, particularly to adult players.

The game apparatus additionally comprises 150 equally sized game pieces or tiles, a sampling of which is shown in FIGURE 2. As shown, the tiles are basically square in shape, although one corner of each tile is cut away diagonally as at 23. Each square tile is of the same size as one of the square game board pieces so as to completely cover the space except for the small corner area which remains exposed beyond the cut away edge 23. This results in one of the scoring numerals at one corner of a space being always visibly uncovered when a tile is placed on the space. The particular corner 23 which is cut away on the tile varies from letter-toletter of the alphabet, as shown in FIGURE 2. In a complete set of 150 tiles, a representative number is included of each of the four cut away corners 23, namely, upper left corner, upper right, lower left and lower right.

The upper faces of the game tiles contain all of the letters of the alphabet from A to Z and a plurality of tiles for each letter is provided. Based on a study of probability of use in forming words, the numbers of tiles bearing particular letters are varied. For example, as many as 18 tiles bearing the letter E and 11 tiles bearing the letters A, I and may be provided. In contrast, two tiles each for the letters J, K, Q, V, X and Z are sufficient. The number of tiles for each letter of the alphabet may be varied somewhat as found desirable. The upper faces of the tiles are likewise variously colored in the seven game colors, brown, green, orange, gray, yellow, red and blue, as shown in FIGURE 2. Additionally, a selected number of tiles have their upper faces colored beige or some color different from the seven game colors. As will be further explained, the beige colored tiles shown as plain white in FIGURE 2 are wild tiles under the game rules and possess certain advantages in scoring. The bottom faces of all of the tiles are uncolored or may be uniformly colored in some shade which is different from all of the other game colors. For example, where the tiles are made from natural wood, their bottom faces are simply left uncolored while their top faces are suitably painted or stained in the various game colors plus beige or the like. Consequently, when the tiles are placed face downwardly their letters and colored faces are not visible to the players and all of the tiles appear to be the same.

FIGURE 3 of the drawings illustrates a spinner device utilized in the game comprising a stationary circular base plate 24 and an upper rotary disc 25 journaled upon the base plate at 25. The disc 25 has six distinctly differently colored pointer areas 27 corresponding to the maximum number of game players in the particular game embodiment herein. As will be seen, each player selects a playing color, such as red, blue, brown, green, orange or yellow. A peripheral band on the base plate 24 outwardly of the disc 25 is divided circumferentially into 56 segmental color areas 28. 48 of these areas have solid colors corresponding to the six colors on the top disc 25. In each of these 48 areas is the numeral 2, 3, "4 or 5. The remaining 8 areas 29 are unnumbered and are striped with the seven game colors indicated in the spaces 17 on the game board.

FIGURE 4 shows one of six game tile racks 30 preferably provided with the game apparatus, one for each player to conveniently support the maximum ten game tiles. As will be explained, ten tiles is the maximum number utilized by a player at any one time. For ease of illustration, a single tile only is shown in FIGURE 4.

FIGURE 5 shows a typical game score sheet 31 taken from a pad of such sheets provided with the game apparatus. Each score pad has six principal columns which in turn are divided into vertical score and bonus columns, as shown. Each player of the game is assigned one of the principal columns on the score sheet and there are spaces at the top of each principal column for the players name and color designation, these spaces being indicated at 32 and 33. The scoring columns are horizontally aligned, as shown at FIGURE 5, and the bonus columns are equally divided horizontally for effecting a double bonus scoring area adjacent to a single basic scoring area.

The playing of the game The game is played by two, three, four, five or six players. Words are constructed with tiles in crossword fashion on the game board and the constructed words are read vertically downwardly or horizontally from left-toright. Individual basic scores and bonuses are awarded after each play and recorded on the scoring sheet 31. Whenever a game tile is placed on one of the square spaces of the game board, the exposed corner numeral is the basic score for that tile. The actual score will be either the basic score, a double, double double, or triple value of the exposed corner numeral according to the rules of play.

The scoring in general is as follows. When one of the color tiles (brown, green, orange, yellow, red or blue) is placed on the board 15 so that its matching color is exposed on the scoring corner of the particular square space, then the score for that tile is double the exposed numeral.

Whenever a gray colored tile, the triple tile, is played so as to expose a gray color on the game board, then the score for that particular tile or play is triple the exposed corner number.

When the beige colored wild tile is played anywhere on the board, the score for that tile is automatically double the exposed corner score number.

The tiles which bear the letters I, H, N, O, S, X and Z are readable in two positions after turning degrees. These are known as tilting tiles and can be played with a decided advantage because the diagonal cut away corners 23 may be arranged at the top or bottom of a particular square space on the game board according to the applied skill of the player in constructing words and thereby placing the tiles to develop the highest possible score.

All tiles except the beige wild tile score singly if they do not match a color in the exposed corner area of the space where they are played. The exception to this rule arises in the case of multi-color areas to be explained below.

As described, many of the game board spaces have either a solid, triangular or quarter area of multi-color stripes. These stripe areas are known as melange colors and are automatic doubles of the exposed score numbers for all tiles played on them allowing two or more of the multi-colors to be exposed in the scoring corner. When the beige wild tile is played on one of these multi-color spaces, it is a double double score, i.e., a 3 score numeral gives a total score of 12 (3 times 2 times 2).

The uncolored or white spaces 16 on the game board have scoring numbers of lesser value than the variously colored spaces. These white spaces are scored singly according to the exposed corner numbers for all tiles except the wild tile for which the score is an automatic double.

The four extreme corner spaces 22 previously described are uniquely fashioned to allow the maximum possible score when played, that is, an automatic double for all colored tiles except gray and beige, triple the exposed score number for gray tiles and double double the exposed number for the wild beige tiles.

To begin the game, the number of players is noted and one of the colors selected from brown, green, orange, yellow, red and blue is written in the space 33 on the scoring sheet 31 at the top of a corresponding number of the main columns. There is no sequential importance to the colors per se, as all colors are equally distributed in the game apparatus.

Assuming that four players are involved, the names of four distinct colors are written in four of the spaces 33 at the tops of the four main columns on the scoring sheet. A corresponding number of tiles having colors matching the colors shown on the scoring sheet are now removed from the total number of tiles and placed apart, face down, and mixed (melanged). Each player draws one of these four tiles and notes its color. The players names are then entered in the top spaces 32 on the scoring sheet corresponding to the colors they have drawn; thus, each player has an individual color. The withdrawn tiles are returned to the main group and the entire 150 tiles are turned face down and thoroughly mixed. From these, 30 tiles are placed apart from the total number to form a Melange Mutual pot or common supply pot from which the four players may exchange their tiles from time to time according to the rules of the game. The remaining tiles are equally distributed and placed face down in groups in front of each player. Each player then places of his or her tiles in one of the racks 30 for convenience of using during the game. The remaining tiles remain face down in front of each player.

The first player (the player whose name is in the first column at the left on the scoring pad) begins the play by playing any number of tiles from the 10 in his rack 30, endeavoring to form a word or words in a horizontal or vertical manner on the game board. It is possible to form two or three words in one play. Words must read from left-to-right horizontally or top-to-bottom vertically on the board.

The first player must utilize one or more of the game board spaces which bear the letters of Melange. Such letter or letters may be used in any part of the constructed word by simply placing the correspondingly let- .tered tile or tiles on the like lettered game board space. For example, only an E tile may be placed 1011 a game board space carrying the letter"E of Melange. (Colors here on the first play have no extra significance except as described previously in normal scoring. It is further pointed out in connection with the opening play that when any tile is placed next to a lettered space 20 on the board, such lettered space must immediately be covered during the same play by a matching letter tile and a word must be formed.)

The first players score is totaled in accordance with rules already explained and entered in his respective score column on the score sheet.

The first player now spins the disc and takes from his supply of tiles the number indicated on the peripheral portion of plate 24 where his designated color pointer 27 comes to rest, FIGURE 3. If a players color pointer 27 rests in an area marked with a numeral 3, this player picks up three tiles. If the color in this area on the base plate 24 matches the particular players color pointer 27 on the spinner, he may take double the number of tiles shown or indicated by the peripheral number on the base plate 24. If the players color pointer stops in any striped multi-color area, then the player may fill up his rack to the maximum number of ten tiles, although never more than this number because a player is never permitted to have more than ten tiles in the rack at any one time during the game.

The first player may now, if he so elects, exchange one or two tiles from his rack with the same number of tiles from the Melange Mutual pot. This exchange, if made, is always effected after the player has selected the additional tiles indicated by the spinner, subject to the above limitations.

The Second game player (player in second column from left) now continues the play in the same manner as above described. In forming a word or words, he may use any tile or tiles played by the first player or any of the letters of Melange imprinted on the board 15. Words may not be formed apart from an imprinted letter on the game board or a previously played tile.

The second players score is totaled and recorded in his respective score column. The bonus (to be explained below) is then determined and entered in the winning players bonus column for that particular play. The second player then spins the spinner and replenishes his rack 30 in the described manner, and may, if he chooses, exchange one or two tiles from the Melange Mutual" pot. All other players continue in like manner.

If at any time a player is unable to make a play on the game board, he must pass to the next player and his score for that turn is marked zero. This player, even though he passes, is still allowed to exchange one or two tiles from the Melange Mutual pot.

A bonus is given to one player after each play (except the first play, as the bonus begins only after the second player has played against the first players score). This bonus is the difference of the score between players and is marked in the highest or winning players bonus column, after each play. In substance, each player is competing with the player to his left and right on the scoring sheet simultaneously. The bonus is entered in the top half of the bonus space against the player to the left and in the lower half against the player to the right.

A typical four player game could be scored as follows:

Albert, red, the first player, scores 17.

Betty, brown, the second player, scores 21. Betty receives a bonus of 4.

Charles, green, the third player, scores 24. Charles receives a bonus of 3.

Doris, blue, the fourth player, scores 20. Charles receives another bonus of 4.

Albert, the first player, then scores 15. Doris receives a bonus of 5, etc.

The first player to play all of his tiles receives a bonus of 25 points. The game continues without this player to allow all remaining players to complete their play for that particular round of play. This system allows all players to complete an equal number of plays.

The individual scores and bonuses are totaled after all players have completed the round of play, and the player having the highest combined total of basic score plus bonus is the winner of the game. Certain minor modifications may be made in the game rules if desired.

FIGURE 7 of the drawings is a diagrammatic representation of that same portion of the game board depicted in FIGURE 6, and FIGURE 7 illustrates three words successfully spelled out during the game, two of the words reading vertically and one word reading horizontally. It

is to be noted that two of the words hold and decade utilize a common color tile bearing the letter D which is proper and desirable under the game rules. The scoring resulting from the words shown in FIGURE 7 may be easily calculated by referring back to FIGURE 6 which shows the actual colors in the game board spaces. FIG- URE 7 shows the actual colors for the particular tiles which have been played.

Specifically, considering the word hold in FIGURE 7, a wild H tile has been placed on a white space in such a manner that the largest score number 4 is exposed. This gives the player an automatic double of the number 4 or an 8 for his score on this particular tile. This player has taken advantage of the fact that this H tile can be placed in two positions readably in the square space to uncover either the 3 numeral or 4 numeral. The next tile which is green is placed upon a white space and the numeral 1 is exposed at the upper left corner. The score is therefore 1 for this tile. The player has failed to take advantage of reversing the tile vertically and exposing the higher numeral 2. The next tile L, an orange tile, is placed to expose a score numeral 3 in a red colored quarter portion of a space 18, see FIGURE 6. The colors do not match and the score is therefore 3 for this tile. The next letter D is green colored and is placed on a white space as shown giving a score number of 2. The score for the word Hold is therefore 14. The other illustrated words or plays in FIGURE 7 can be similarly calculated in light of the foregoing description, and it is thought that no further explanation is necessary.

It is to be understood that the form of the invention herewith shown and described is to be taken as a preferred example of the same, and that various changes in the shape, size and arrangement of parts may be resorted to, without departing from the spirit of the invention or scope of the subjoined claims.

I claim:

1. In a game apparatus, a game board having a playing surface which is divided into a multiplicity of substantially equally sized rectangular spaces, said spaces arranged in a plurality of vertical and horizontal rows, a large number of said spaces being uncolored and having scoring numerals at the four corners thereof, said numerals being of the same value in all of said uncolored spaces and differing in value from corner-to-co'rner of each uncolored space, another large number of said spaces ibeing variously colored in a random pattern on the playing surface of the game board, said colored spaces having scoring numerals in the four corners thereof which scoring numerals are of the same value for all of said colored spaces and differing in value from corner-tocorner of each colored space, and a multiplicity of substantially rectangular game tiles having uncolored uniform bottom faces and variously solid colored top faces and being variously lettered on the top faces with all of the letters of the alphabet, each tile having a single diagonally cut away corner enabling the tile when placed upon one of said spaces to expose one only of said corner scoring numerals, different tiles having different single corners cut away, the coloring of said tiles adapted to match with the coloring of some of said colored spaces, whereby according to game rules the score represented by the exposed corner numeral may be multiplied.

2. The invention as defined by claim 1, wherein some of said colored spaces are multi-colored in a pattern such that a plurality of colors is exposed by the cut away corner of a tile, while other spaces are solidly colored and still other spaces are divided into a number of equal parts with said parts variously colored, at least one of said parts being solidly colored and arranged to expose the solid color through the cut away corner of a tile, whereby a maximum variety of score making possibilities with said colored tiles is established while words are being constructed on the game board with said tiles.

3. The invention as defined by claim 1, and wherein a relatively small number of said spaces in a single central vertical row and in a single central horizontal row have letters of the alphabet visibly marked thereon spelling out the same word on said board vertically and horizontally, said lettered spaces being solidly colored with a different individual color for each differently lettered space.

4. In a word construction game apparatus, a rectangular game board having a game playing surface divided into a multiplicity of rectangular spaces, said spaces arranged in a multiplicity of vertical and horizontal rows, some of said spaces being variously colored in a predetermined pattern on said board and the remaining spaces being uncolored and uniform in appearance, all of the spaces having differently valued scoring numerals at different corners thereof, and a multiplicity of generally rectangular tiles shaped to fit said spaces, each tile having one diagonally cut corner and three square corners whereby placement of the tile on a game board space will always expose one of said corner scoring numerals, the top faces of said tiles being differently colored in such a manner that all of the colors on the game board spaces are represented on the tiles, said tiles being lettered on their colored faces in such a manner that all of the letters of the alphabet are present in numbers according to their probabilities of use in common words, the bottom faces of the tiles all being the same in appearance and being unlettered, a number of the lettered tiles being readable in normal manner in plural positions on said spaces whereby a choice of corner numerals and matching colors of tiles with spaces is rendered possible to produce a variety of scoring opportunities.

5. The invention as defined by claim 4, and wherein a predetermined number of said tiles have a top face color distinct from those of the other tiles and from the game board colors so as to form a wild tile for increasing scoring possibilities during playing of the game.

6. The invention as defined by claim 4, and wherein some of said variously colored spaces on the game board are multi-colored in a striped pattern completely covering the space while other spaces are divided into halves or quarters with the halves and quarters differently colored and still other spaces are entirely solid colored.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,685,723 9/1928 Robins 273l35 2,050,498 8/1936 Mitchell. 2,752,158 6/1956 Brunot et al 273l35 3,116,927 1/1964 Kuhlman 273- 3,191,938 6/1965 Smith 273-135 FOREIGN PATENTS 885,340 12/1961 Great Britain.

DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.

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U.S. Classification273/272, 273/141.00R
International ClassificationA63F3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/0423
European ClassificationA63F3/04F