US 3427028 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb.11,'19s9 QABRHAMSEN 3,427,028
WORD BUILDING GAME APPARATUS WITH TWO-SIDED PLAYING BOARD Filed March 1, 196e l snee; pf 4,
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ATFQRNEYfS United States Patent O 3,427,028 WORD BUILDING GAME APPARATUS WITH TWO-SIDED PLAYING BOARD Thomas C. Abrahamsen, 34S Fal-wood Road, Haddonfield, NJ. 08033 Filed Mar. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 540,436
U.S. Cl. 273-135 11 Claims Int. Cl. A63f 3/00 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The game apparatus comprises a vertically disposed playing board consisting of a panel supported at one end by spaced bars normally disposed at right angles to the panel but rotatable into inoperative positions in the plane of the panel. In another form, a plurality of panels are supported by a base having a plurality of selectively usable slots receiving the panels in different angular relationships. The board has a multiplicity of openings of polygonal cross section extending all the way through it and arranged in rectilinear rows.
Playing pieces are employed comprising blocks of approximately the same cross-section as the openings (in order to prevent rotation) and each bearing inscribed letters upon opposite ends thereof, the letters of a given block being the same and positioned right-reading as viewed by the players from the respective opposite sides of the board.
This invention relates to game apparatus and more particularly to apparatus for playing word games of the general type exemplified by the well-known game of anagrams, or one of the word games produced under the registered trademark Scrabble The general object of this invention is to produce a word game of this character in which the lettered playing pieces are disposable in sequence to build words in one lateral direction as viewed by a player at one side of the apparatus, and in the other lateral direction by the opposing player stationed on the other side of the apparatus. As a corollary to this unique arrangement, each playing piece should be marked with identical characters upon its opposite exposed faces; and the consequences frequently arise -where the progress or completion of a word on the one side of the apparatus may frustrate the completion of a word already started in the opposite direction upon the other side of the apparatus by the opposing player. However, by the very nature of the arrangement, words spelled out in vertical directions will read the same to both players.
In its preferred embodiments, the invention contemplates the provision of a game board or equivalent structure with means to set it up in vertical position, and having multiple rows of apertures extending all the way through the structure through which the lettered game pieces may be inserted with their inscribed letters visible to the competing players who sit on opposite sides of the apparatus.
An auxiliary feature of novelty of the invention is the provision of a receptacle-framework mating with the game board and having designated recesses or sockets therein corresponding to the openings through the board,
3,427,028 Patented Feb. 11, 1969 ICC whereby the playing pieces may be neatly received sequentially; and also whereby the pieces, which are preferably longer than the thickness of the playing board, may project into the recesses in the framework while still occupying the openings in the playing board. The whole assemblage thus affords a compact package for shipping, sale, and storage of the apparatus.
Variant forms of the novel game apparatus are provided by the invention for the accommodation of two, three, or four players, articulated sections of the playing board being supported vertically and disposed at preferably equal angles with each other. In the case of such arrangements, each player will be pitted against two opponents and will be attempting to build different sets of words against each opponent.
Novel base structures are also provided for alternatively supporting such multiple playing boards for use by two, three, or four, or an even greater number of players.
Other objects and features of novelty will be apparent from the following specification when read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which certain embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a view in perspective, as viewed from the right, of one side of a game apparatus embodying the principles of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the opposite side of the same apparatus as viewed from the left;
IFIGURE 3 is a view in horizontal section taken on line 3--3 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a vertical sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of the apparatus as it appears packed for shipping or for storage between games, with the playing board and game pieces nested upon the base board or frame, the recesses in which accommodate the protruding portions of the game pieces;
FIGURE 6 is a vertical sectional view of the packed playing apparatus taken on line 6--6 of FIGURE 5;
FIGURE 7 is a view in perspective of one of the playing pieces;
FIGURE 8 is a view in rear elevation of the playing piece shown in FIGURE 7;
FIGURE 9 is a perspective view of a Variant form of game apparatus within the scope of the generic invention adapted for play by four participants;
FIGURE 10 is a top plan view of a base block for use in supporting the playing boards of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 9;
FIGURE l1 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken on line 11--11 of FIGURE l0;
FIGURE 12 is a view similar to FIGURE 9` but illustrating an arrangement of the apparatus of FIGURES 9 and l0 for use by three players;
FIGURE 13 is a plan view of the base block of FIG- URE l() inverted for use as in FIGURE 12; and
FIGURE 14 is a fragmentary plan view of a portion of a base board or frame for receiving the playing board and game pieces between games, the plan View being taken as above the lower right-hand portion of the frame in the assembly of FIGURE 5.
In the basic embodiment of the invention illustrated 3 in FIGURES 1 6 of the drawings, the playing board is not articulated but occupies a single deiinite plane which is of course a substantially Vertical plane when the board is in playing position .as illustrated in FIGURES l-4.
The playing board which is given the general reference numeral 10 comprises a rectangular frame 11 within which is disposed a honeycomb structure 12 providing rectilinear, horizontal, and vertical series of openings or passages 13 passing all the way through the board 10.
One means for supporting this board 10 in vertical position comprises two hinged plates or bars 15 which are rotatably or pivotally secured at their central portions to the bottom panel 16 of the frame 11. This connection is probably best illustrated in FIGURES 4, and 6 of the drawings where it is seen that each of the bars or plates 15 is provided with a central opening in which a pin 20 is iixedly secured as by means of the cotter 21. The pin 20 has a frictional t within au opening 22 which passes through the bottom run 16 of the frame 11, the lowermost wall 24 of the honeycomb structure 12, and preferably also into a block 25 which iills one of the openings in the bottom row of the honeycomb structure. While not necessary in some cases, the provision of this block 25 adds t0 the stability and sturdiness of the supporting structure.
It will be readily seen how the plates or bars 15 which form the feet of the playing board may be swung from idle or packed position shown in FIGURES 5 and 6 to the position shown in FIGURES l-4 in which they are spread out for use in supporting the board. When erected for play, the board is placed between the two players land they view the board from the respective opposite sides. For example, a player A Will observe the board as it is shown in FIGURE 1 of the drawings and his opponent will observe the reverse side of the board as illustrated in FIGURE 2.
As in most word games, the general object is to spell out words on the playing board by taking turns in inserting the letter blocks, and the one completing a word is awarded a score the value of which depends upon the particular rules of play.
Thus, each of the opponents in this game has .access to a predetermined set of blocks or playing pieces 30 which are illustrated best individually in FIGURES 7 and 8 of the drawings. Each of these blocks, which are preferably of the shape of a regular parallelepiped, is rather elongated from end to end and provided, upon its opposite end surfaces 31 only, with an inscribed letter or other character 32. In playing the game suggested in connection with the present invention, it is preferred that the same letter or character be inscribed at both ends of a given block or playing piece and, of course, in right-reading position with respect to the player facing it, as clearly shown in FIGURES 1 and 2. In Isome embodiments, the length of the playing pieces may be somewhat greater than the thickness of the board to permit easy insertion and removal by the players from either side of the board. This is clearly shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 of the drawings and suggested in the other iigures.
Before describing other auxiliary structural features and the illustrated variant embodiments of the invention, it would be well to suggest broadly one method of playing a game utilizing the novel apparatus. Variations in the described exemplary method can of course be introduced without departing from the scope of the invention as determined by the .claims forming a part of the present application. Thus, one method of play may be in accordance with the following suggestive set of rules and procedures.
A predetermined supply of blocks or playing pieces is arranged so as to be readily accessible to the competing players.
The object of the game is to place letter blocks in the upright board to make vertical and horizontal words using, where possible, the blocks placed from the opposite side.
It is to a players advantage to try to place letters so that they cannot be used by his opponent.
A point number to be played to is determined at the 4 start of the game, usually 100. However, the game is very challenging when played to a low number such as 25 points. The lirst player to .accumulate the agreed number of points, wins the game.
T o begin Stand the playing board upright between the two players. One person starts by placing any desired letter block in an appropriately designated centrally located aperture of the board.
To play (l) After the tirst letter has been placed, the second player places any letter block he :chooses in the same horizontal or vertical row, but from the opposite side of the board.
(2) This may Icomplete a two letter word and if so, the player announces this and records it.
(3) Play continues one letter at a time, each player adding alternately from his own side.
(4) Any letter placed must always relate as part of a correctly spelled word to at least one `other letter in the same horizontal or vertical row, but the new letter may be several spaces apart from the relating letter.
(5) It is not required that a word be completed with each play.
(6) A player scores each word he makes when it is completed. He may also make a word on the opposite side but this is not credited to either player. However, the player on the opposite side may use the letter-s as part of a word by adding a letter which makes .a new Word. In this case, the opponent may take credit for the entire word.
(7)When a player adds a letter which completes a word in both a horizontal and a vertical row, both words are scored.
(8) When a player completes a word or words he must announce the fact that he is taking credit. On his next turn, or any number of future turns, he may add to the Word another letter or other letters, one at a turn, lmaking a new word or words for which he may take full credit.
(9) Any prefix or suix may be added to an existing Word, one letter at a time to form a new word for credit.
(l0) Any words of two or more letters found in a standard dictionary are permitted except proper names, foreign words, abbreviations and words requiring apostrophes or hyphens. A dictionary may be used only when a letter is challenged. Any letter may be challenged but only immediately following its placement. The player being challenged must then show that the letter he has just placed is part of a correctly spelled word along with at least one other let-ter already in existence in a horizontal or vertical row. If the person being challenged can show this, then he is credited with l5 points. If the correctness of the letter just placed cannot be proven, then the challenger wins 15 points. In either case the board does not change as a result of a challenge.
(l1) At the time that a word is completed and credited, it must not have any letters immediately preceding it or following it in the same horizontal or vertical row that do not contribute to the correct spelling of that word.
(12) A letter block may not be moved after it is placed. A player may not pass or forego his turn.
Scoring A tally is kept for each player, adding it after each scoring. Thus, in one possible method of play, any vowel used in a word counts one point, any consonant counts three points. For scoring purposes Y is a consonant so that a Word such as FLY counts nine points.
Examples A lplayer may expand a small word on several consecutive turns and take full value for each new Word formed.
It is likely in the above example that the player on the opposite side would have attempted to turn this sequence of letters to his advantage by making a correctly spelled word on his side as shown in the following typical ten play sequence, in which the -most recently added letter is enclosed in parentheses:
It is readily understood that when the playing board 10 with its honeycomb frame 12 is placed on top of the receptacle-framework 40, the openings 13 and the pockets or recesses 41 will be in registry and the playing pieces or blocks may be placed within these openings and recesses as clearly shown in FIGURES 5 and 6. Preferably, although not necessarily, the length of each of the playing blocks 30 will be very slightly more than the combined thickness of the playing board frame 12 and the receptacle framework 40, and when the bars or plates 15 are folded away and the playing pieces disposed within the recesses, the entire apparatus presents a very compact and neat assembly for storage until the next time the game is to be played. Obviously, this sarne packing arrangement may be resorted to in the initial instance in boxing the game for transport and sale.
First Player's Side Second Players Side Word Total Turn Word Total Score Score Turn Score Score O O (I) -lst snd- (P)I 4 4 7 7 (N)I P 5rd v 4th- (S)P I N l0 14 13 2O (S)N I P S -th Gth- S PN S 4 18 8 r28 S I P S 7th 8th- S P I! S 7 25 l0 38 S N I P S 9th (T) O F T lOth- K 4 29 S P I N S An inspection of the suggestive arrangement of letters in FIGURES l and 2 shows that player A must have completed and gotten credit for the word HITCH and, in the course of forming it, possibly the words IT and HIT or IT and ITCH. From all indications he also could have gotten credit for vertical words AT and CAT and possibly the horizontal words NO and NOT; although, in order to account for the alternation of turns, player B operating on the opposite face of the board shown in FIGURE 2, more probably was the one yto have completed and gotten credit for the vertical word CAT and horizontal words TO and TON rather than player As completion of the words NO and NOT. These occurrences would have depended upon the sequence of play which resulted in these suggestive wordings.
From the above, it will be readily understood how the novel apparatus can be utilized in playing interesting word games and the rules may be varied to some extent within the scope of the present invention concept.
Now with respect to the auxiliary provisions illustrated in FIGURES 5 and 6 of the drawings for storing the game apparatus when it is not being used, a honeycomb framework which is designated by the general reference numeral 40, is provided and which includes partitions resulting in rectilinear yrows of pockets or recesses 41 corresponding exactly in size and number with the openings 13 in the playing board lattice or honeycomb frame 12. Preferably, the receptacle-framework is provided with a bottom sheet or panel 42 and this panel may be provided upon its upper surface with a series of markings indicating the letters, preferably in alphabetical order, allocated to each of the recesses 41 formed in the framework 40. This is for the purpose of storing the blocks in convenient alphabetical order as suggested in FIG- URE 5 of the drawings.
The generic principles of the present invention may also be embodied in apparatus including multiple vertical playing board surfaces to accommodate two, three or four, or possibly even more players. Such adaptations are disclosed in FIGURES 9-l3 of the drawings.
In FIGURES 9-11 of the drawings the apparatus is set up for play by at least four players and it will be seen to comprise a multiple playing board designated generally by the reference numeral 50 and which includes four panels a, b, c, and d.
For convenience, these panels may be hingedly connected together at their inner corners in any practical or convenient way as, for example, by means of the exible strips or tapes 52. Each of the playing board panels a, b, c, and d is provided with honeycomb framing 12 in the same way as described in connection with the embodiment shown in FIGURES l and 2 and the playing pieces or blocks 30 are utilized in spelling words in both horizontal and vertical directions as already described. One notable feature of this embodiment, however, resides in the fact that players who may be designated A, B, C and D, sit facing the angular position of two adjacent panels and thus each player is pitted against two adjacent players. For example, suppose that player A sits facing the viewer as in FIGURE 9 and applies his letter blocks to the rear sides of both panels a and b. Then player B sits to his left and inserts his playing pieces through the forward side of panel b and the rear side of panel c. Next, player C would sit in a position, as with his back toward the viewer of FIGURE 9, and play the forward faces of panels c and d. Finally, player D would sit to the left of FIGURE 9 and insert his blocks in the forward face of panel a and the rear face of panel d. Therefore, player A would be challenging the word building ability of player D upon panel a and of player B through panel b. Similar double opponent arangements would occur around the board, for example, with player C placing the letters through the forward faces of the panel c and d as suggested by the completed words in FIGURE 9.
An ingenious means for supporting these multiple hinged panels for play by two, three or four players is illustrated in FIGURES 9-13 and comprises a base block designated by the general reference character 60. The block is provided with grooves upon both its upper and lower surfaces and can either be made as an integral piece or constructed of two separate layers put together either permanently or temporarily as will be described in con nection with the illustrated embodiment. p
Now for purpose of supporting the four-ply arrangement described in connection with FIGURE 9, the upper lamination 62 of the block :60 is the one @which receives the panels. In FIGURE 10 of the drawings the grooving of this upper lamination 62 is clearly shown. The grooves a', b', c' and d' are cut in radial formation 90 apart and these grooves a', b', c and d are respectively arranged to receive the bottom edges of the hinged playing board panels a, b, c and d as clearly shown in FIGURE 9. -To better make room for the hinged inner connected edges of the panel sections it is preferred that a circular opening 64 be made in the block 60.
In FIGURE 11 there is shown a suggested arrangement of the block 60 wherein the upper lamination 62 and the lower lamination 65 are connected by means of the cylindrical plug 66, this plug having a forced lit within at least one of the laminations and ensuring that the parts are assembled properly. The thickness of the plug 66, of course, should be such that the intersection of the radiating grooves at the central opening 64 is not obstructed by the plug.
In FIGURES 12 and 13 of the drawings, arrangement of the same apparatus is varied for the use of three players. In this set-up, the panel a and the panel d are spaced apart through an angular distance of 120 but panel b and panel c are placed in alignment and provide a double thickness which must have a double-width groove in the base block 60 to receive it.
For this arrangement the block must be inverted so that the lamination 62 is the bottom one and the lamination 65 is superposed thereon.
Now the lamination 65 is grooved in a different fashion. The groove a receives the panel section a alone and the groove d" is adapted to receive the panel section d. However, the panel sections b and c side-by-side must have a double-width groove such as shown at bc" in FIG- URE 13. It is noted that the grooves on slots a, b"c", and d" are disposed 120 apart and this coincides with the arrangement of the panel sections as shown in FIG- URE l2.
For simplification of structure, it would appear that three grooves a, bc", and d" would be all that would be needed in the base block section 65, but in order to provide versatility in hinging the various panels together, extra grooves x, y and z are provided which can be employed for erecting the same or similar apparatus to that shown in FIGURE l2. Also, the double-width extension z`cooperates with the groove b"c" to provide structure whereby the panels may be collapsed in pairs and arrangement provided for play by two contestants as in the case of the basic embodiment illustrated in FIGURES l and 2. Also, it is conceivable that a single base block could be employed having a plurality of grooves combining those shown on the separate base blocks in the illustrated embodiment.
It is understood that various changes and modifications may be made in the embodiments illustrated and described herein without departing trom the scope of the invention as deiined by the following claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. Word game apparatus comprising a playing board, -means for supporting said board in a substantially verti- 'cal position, said supporting means attached to'the bottom edge of. said board only and beingthe vsole supporting means for said board, whereby neither face of the board is obscured from view; a multiplicity of openings extending all the way through said board and arranged in rectilinear intersecting vertical andlhorizontal rows, a multiplicity of playing pieces each bearing upon one face a letter of the alphabet, in right-reading posture with respect to a viewer of one side of said board, the opposite face of such piece bearing the same letter in right-reading posture with respect to a viewer on the opposite side of said board, the pieces when inserted in the openings in the playing board displaying the same letters in right-reading posture when viewed from either side of the board, the playing pieces Ibeing adapted to beinserted in turn by the players on opposite sides of the board whereby their physical juxtaposition serves to build up words in their normal right-hand progression but such building up being susceptible of being thwarted by the -insertion of an interrupting playing piece by an opposing player.
2. The apparatus as set fort-h in claim 1 in which said supporting means comprises a base block having slots in its upper surface to receive the lower edges of the playing board and in which the playing board comprises a plurality of hingedly connected radial panels and said slots in the base block are radially disposed to receive said panels and dispose them at angular spacing.
3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 in which the playing Iboard is constructed to provide four hingedly connected radianting panels, the surface of the base block being provided with four radial slots apart Ifor the positioning of the panels at a corresponding angular positioning, whereby four participants may play each on the adjacent angularly related faces of two adjoining panels. Y
4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 in which the playing `board is constructed to provide four hingedly connected radiating panels, three slots in the surface of said base block are radially disposed at apart, and one of said slots is :of double width to accommodate two of the adjoining radial panels when disposed face to face, whereby the two single panels and the doubled panel may be set at angles of 120 for play by three participants.
'5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 4 in which the double-width radial slot is continued diametrically of the block whereby two doubled panels may be inserted therein to align the panels in substantially planar fashion for play yby two participants.
6. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 in which said base block is provided with slots also in its lower surface and with different patterns of slots on its upper and lower surfaces tor the optional reception of playing boards of diierent angular panel arrangement, 'by the mere inversion of the block.
7. The apparatus as set forth in claim 6 in which the playing board is constructed to provide four hingedly connected radianting panels, one surface of the base blocks being provided with four radial slots 90 apart for the positioning of the panels at a corresponding angular positioning, whereby Ifour participants may play each on the adjacent angularly related faces of two adjoining panels, three slots in the other surface of said base block being radially disposed at 120 apart, and one of said slots `being of double width to accommodate two of the adjoining radial panels when disposed face to face, whereby the two single panels and the double panel may be set at angles of 120 Afor play by three participants.
8. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 in which the playing pieces are longer than the thickness of the playing board whereby they may protrude from the planes of both faces of said board for ready insertion and removal 'by both players.
9. The apparatus as set forth in claim 8 in which the openings in the playing board and the playing pieces themselves are all of square cross-section and the crosssection of the playing pieces being but slightly less than that of the openings to prevent skewing of the pieces from upright readable position.
10. The apparatus as set forth in claim 8 4in which there is provided a receptacle-framework of substantially the same area as he playing board and in which said playing board may be removably disposed; said receptacle-framework being provided with a multiplicity of recesses of the same cross -section and arrangement as the openings in the playing board, the combined thicknesses of the playing board and the receptacle-framework being equal to approximately the length of the playing pieces.
11. The apparatus as set yforth in claim 1li in which the said receptacle-framework is formed with a bottom panel whereby the playing pieces may be retained upon removal `of the playing board from juxtaposition with said framewrok, the said bottom panel being marked within each of said recesses with an identifying letter corresponding to that of the playing piece to be retained therein.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 'J DELBERT B. LOWE, Primary Examiner.
U.S. C1. XR. 35-73