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Publication numberUS3640531 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 8, 1972
Filing dateOct 10, 1969
Priority dateOct 10, 1969
Publication numberUS 3640531 A, US 3640531A, US-A-3640531, US3640531 A, US3640531A
InventorsEdward F Penders
Original AssigneeEdward F Penders
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Word forming game device
US 3640531 A
Abstract
A word forming game device includes a board having a playing surface and a rotor disposed thereover. The playing surface is marked with seven concentric circles connected by 32 radial lines to form 192 segmental spaces in 32 radially disposed groups or sectors of six each and in six circumferential groups or concentric rings of 32 each. The spaces in the outermost ring severally have numerical symbols arranged in numerical sequence to designate the corresponding radial groups therebelow, while the spaces in the remaining rings severally have specific alphabetical letter symbols or a "WILD" word symbol designating any desired letter, but normally do not form words either radially or circumferentially, and the spaces in the outermost ring severally are provided with upstanding stops along the radial lines. The rotor is in the form of a circular disc covering all but the outermost ring of spaces and provided with a sector-shaped slot rotatable to expose upon stopping all five spaces in each of the radial groups, but only four spaces in each of the five concentric circumferential groups, totaling 20 letter symbols and/or "WILD" symbols. A radial group of letter symbols is provided along each side of the slot in alinement with the exposed circumferential groups and spelling one or more words radially inwardly, such as the word "WHEEL" on one side and the words "A WORD" on the other side, to designate the preferred radially inward sequence of selecting the symbols in each of the five circumferential groups upon successive rotations and stops of the rotor, which also is provided along the side of the slot designated by the word "WHEEL" with a detent extending beyond the rotor periphery and engageable with the stops to stop the rotor between adjacent pairs of stops to positively designate the first symbols of the circumferential groups to be selected sequentially radially inwardly. As the rotor stops upon successive rotations, the four symbols in each of the five exposed circumferential groups are selected by each player until all 20 symbols are selected to form words by the use of playing pieces having corresponding symbols.
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United States Patent Penders 1451 Feb. 8, 1972 {54] WORD FORMING GAME DEVICE Edward F. Fenders, 63 Parltside Drive, West Seneca, NY, 14224 1221 Filed: Oct. 10, 1969 [21] Appl. No.: 865,437

[721 Inventor:

665.991 1/1901 Brown. 1,327,005 1/1920 Young, 1541,70? 6/1925 Hanback 1,837,194 12/1931 Baumgartcn ,.35/3S F UX 2,681.52 6/1954 Sellers ..40/70 R 2,831,691 4/1953 Vince .,35/35 FX Primary h'mminer Anton O. Oechsle Assistant limminvr- Arnold W Kramer Artorney Sommcr, Wehcr & Gastel l 5 7 ABSTRACT A word forming game device includes a board having a playing surface and a rotor disposed thcrcover. The playing slur face is marked with seven concentric circles connected by 12 radial lines to form 192 segmental spaces in 32 radially disposed groups or sectors of six each and in six circum' ferential groups or concentric rings of 32 each. The spaces in the outermost ring severally have numerical symbols arranged in numerical sequence to designate the corresponding radial groups therebelow, while the spaces in the remaining rings severally have specific alphabetical letter symbols or a WlLD" word symbol designating any desired letter, but nor mally do not form words either radially or elrcurnferentinlly, and the spaces in the outermost ring seven")! are provided with upstanding stops along the radial linel. The rotor is in the form of a circular disc covering all but the outermost ring of spaces and provided with a sectomhlped slot rotatable to err pose upon stopping all live spaces in each of the radial groups, but only four spaces in each of the five concentric circumferential groups, totaling 20 letter symbols and/or "WILD" symbols. A radial group of letter symbols is provided along each side of the slot in alinement with the exposed circumferential groups and spelling one or more words radially in wardly, such as the word WHBEIB on one side and the words A WORD on the other side, to designate the preferred radially inward sequence of selecting the symbols in each of the five circumferential groups upon successive rota tions and stops of the rotor. which also is provided along the side of the slot designated by the word "WHEEL" with a dc tent extending beyond the rotor periphery and engage-able with the stops to stop the rotor between adjacent pairs of stops to positively designate the first symhols of the circumferential groups to be selected sequentially radially inwardly As the rotor stops upon successive rotation, the four lymbols in each of the five exposed circumferential groups are lelccted by each player until all 20 symbols are selected to form words by the use of playing pieces having corresponding symbols.

4 Claims, 7 Brewing Figures PAIENIEDFEB 8 I972 3.640.531

INVENTOR. Edward F. Penders ATTORNEYS WORD ronmnvc GAME oEvicE BACKGROUND OF THE IN V ENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to improvements in word forming games, and more particularly to a new and improved device for use in playing a word forming game.

2. Description of the Prior Art While there are a wide variety of word forming games in use, such as SCRABBLE," there are none, to this inventors knowledge. employing a device for determining the random selection of a predetermined number of letters from which words are to be formed in accordance with certain rules, other than possibly the device shown and described in US. Pat. No. IS6,212 of I874. In this patented device, there is a box having compartments for playing pieces bearing the letters of the alphabet and composing sticks for holding the same, while the hinged box cover or lid is provided on its underside with a sin' gle ring dial divided into 26 segmental spaces, one for each letter of the alphabet, and pivotally mounted at the center of the ring is a spinnable pointer. The game is played by any number of persons, with the conductor of the game spinning the pointer to designate on stopping a single letter which he selects from the playing pieces and places in the composing stick. This operation is repeated until six letters are obtained and placed in successive order, whereupon the completed stick is given to a player. In a similar manner, each player is provided with a composing stick having six letters and endeavors within a set time to form a grammatical sentence of six words beginning with the letters given in the order selected.

While such game can be highly entertaining and educational, it is evident that this game device is not designed for use in determining the particular letters from which words are to be formed, but merely the initial letters of words to be formed by the players themselves in the specified sequence. Further, while the patented game device could be used to determine the letters of the words to be formed, the limited capability of the pointer to designate but one letter per spin takes excessively long to determine the letters to be used, and readily could result in loss of interest by the players. Moreover, excessive repetition of letters on successive spins could prevent the formation of words and thereby defeat the desired purpose.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved device for use in playing a word forming game, which device is so constructed and designed as to possess the advantages of SCRABBLE" wherein each player obtains the same number, but different letters, and of the patented device, while eliminating their disadvantages by facilitating the designation of the same letters to be used by each competitor in forming words from such letters for both entertaining and educational purposes, and by virtue of the operation of which device, each player starts on an equal basis, in the word forming ingenuity contest. To this end. the inventive word forming game device includes a board having a playing surface provided with a plurality of concentric circles and radial lines defining spaces between such circles and lines, and a rotor disposed over such playing surface and being rotatable to designate upon stopping radial and concentric circumferential groups of such spaces which severally have symbols therein severally indicating specific alphabetical letters or any desired alphabetical letter, whereby the designated ones of such symbols in such groups are selected to form words by the use of playing pieces having corresponding symbols.

Another object is to provide such a word forming game device wherein the symbols on the playing surface severally arc in the forms of specific alphabetical letters or a characterization indicating any desired alphabetical letter, but such symbols in any radial or circumferential group normally do not form words.

A further object is to provide such a word forming game device wherein the rotor is in the form ofa circular disc having a sector-shaped slot rotatable to expose upon stopping all of the spaces of the playing surface in a number of radial groups, which number is predetermined by the number of the spaces in the concentric circumferential groups uncovered by the slot.

Still another object is to provide such a word forming game device wherein the playing surface is provided with an additional outermost concentric circle and extensions of such radial lines to define additional spaces therebetween in an outermost ring arranged beyond the outer periphery of the rotor, such additional spaces severally having symbols therein severally indicating specific numerals arranged in numerical sequence circumferentially to designate the corresponding ones of such radial groups.

Still a further object is to provide such a word fon'ning game device wherein the rotor is provided with a radial group of symbols severally radially aligned with the symbols in the concentric circumferential groups for severally designating the radial sequence in which such latter symbols are to be selected upon successive rotations and stops of the rotor.

Another object is to provide such a word forming gamc device wherein the playing surface is provided with a plurality of stops severally arranged adjacent the radial lines beyond the periphery of the rotor, and the latter is provided with a dc tent extending beyond its periphery and engageable with the stops for positively stopping the rotor to properly designate the symbols of the groups to be so selected.

A further object is to provide such a word forming game device wherein the symbols on the playing surface are arranged in such a manner that in every designated circumferential group of symbols to be selected there is at least one symbol indicating a vowel or a characterization designating any desired letter, in order to facilitate the formation of words.

Another object is to provide such a word forming game device which is so constructed and designed as to be simple in construction, economically manufactured, easy to use, and both efficient and effective in operation.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become evident upon consideration of the following detailed description and accompanying drawing, wherein;

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is an upper plan sectional view taken on line ll of FIG. 3 through the cover of the box or container incorporating a preferred embodiment of the inventive word l'orming game device and illustrating the slotted circular rotor disc disposed in place over the indicia bearing playing surface of the configurated game board forming the base or bottom of the box;

FIG. 2 is a similar but lower plan sectional view, being taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 3 through both the cover and the game board to illustrate the complete playing surface and indicia thereon;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on line 3--3 of FIG. I and il- Iustrating in side elevation the detailed construction and configuration of the preferred embodiment;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. I and illustrating the raised upper surface portion of the rotor and the manner of attaching the detent along one side of the slot, which detent is engageable with the upstanding stops on the playing surface, as shown in FIG. 1-,

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. I to show the manner in which each stop is embedded in the game board;

FIG. 6 is a view of the group of playing pieces selected upon completion of successive rotations and stops of the rotor, and FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing the playing pieces thereof after being rearranged to form words in ac cordance with the rules of the game.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Structure Referring to the drawings, and particularly FIGS. l-S, a preferred embodiment of the invention word forming game device is generally indicated at and preferably is in the form of a two-part box or container composed of a generally rectangular lid or cover 12 removably fitting over a similarly shaped game board 14 constituting the base or bottom of the box, The various parts of the box and its contents may be made of any suitable material such as cardboard, paperboard, wood, paper, plastic, or, where needed, metal. However, it is preferred that the cover l2 be of cardboard and the base or game board [4 be of wood.

Considering first, cover 12, it preferably is of square plan formed by a flat top wall 16 terminating at its margins in outstanding sidewalls 18 and provided in its interior with an annular spacer member 20 of square outer peripheral configuration conforming and suitably secured to the insides of top and sidewalls l6, 18 along theirjunctures The interior periphery of spacer member 20 also is square, but preferably is provided with rounded corners 200.

As for game board or base [4 it likewise is of square plan configuration with its side edges [40 forming a periphery snugly fitting within cover sidewalls l8 and its upper or inner surface Mb being provided at its margin with an annular stop member 22 having an outer square plan configuration providing an outer periphery conforming to and fitting snugly within the inner periphery of cover sidewalls l8, but an inner circular plan configuration providing a circular border or outermost concentric circle or shoulder 22a forming part of the recessed actual playing surface I4h as well as shelllikc surface areas 22h. Continuing with FIGS. I-3 and Sin particular, except for the later described indicia of playing surface [4b, playing board 14 is completed by a countersunk central through opening 24 and a plurality of, preferably 32, upstanding stops, pins or pegs 26 having rounded upper ends and their lower ends embedded in board 14 and suitably secured thereto.

As shown in FIGS. l, 3 and 4, the preferred inventive em bodiment 10 includes a preferably wooden rotor 28 preferably in the form of a circular disc having a relatively large and generally sector-shaped slot 30 formed therein, and along the left inner side of which slot is arranged an elongated. flexible and resilient, preferably plastic detent 32 in the form ofa strip s$itably secured in place by screws 34. As is evident from FIG. I, detent 32 extends beyond the outer periphery of rotor 28 and is engageable with stops or pins 26 for positively stopping the rotor between an adjacent pair of such stops for proper designation ofthe symbols to be selected, as described below, The rotor 28 is completed by a raised radial shoulder portion 28a along each side of the slot 30 to assist in manually spinning the rotor, with only the left shoulder being shown in FIG. 4, and a central through hole 28b (FIG. 3) aligned with hole 24 to receive the cylindrical shaft of a countersunk bolt 36. the outer or upper end of which is externally threaded to receive internally threaded cap nut 38 which is engaged over rotor 28 for rotatably mounting the same concentrically over the circles on game board l4. To facilitate such rotation, a small washer 40 is arranged between the rotor and nut, and a larger washer 42 is arranged between the rotor and playing surface portion I4br Turning now to FIG 2 in particular, it is to be noted that playing surface I4!) is provided with indicia formed thereon or therein in any suitable manner as by printing and/or enscribing directly or indirectly on or in such surface, with such indicia including a plurality of, and preferably six, concentric circles 44 (seven including shoulder 22a) intersected by a plurality of, and preferably 32, radial lines 46 to form thcrebetwccn a multiplicity of, and preferably I60 segmental spaces 48 I92 including those outermost spaces 48a formed between shoulder 22a and radial line extensions 46a) and arranged preferably in 32 radial groups or sectors of five (six including those outermost) spaces each and five (six including those outerniost) concentric circumferential rings of 32 spaces each likewise, arranged in each space 48 or 48a is a symbol As shown in FIG, 2 symbols in the spaces 48a of the outermost ring preferably are numbers and are arranged in numerical sequence preferably reading clockwise, from the number I through the number "32, The symbols in the fivc concentric rings below the outermost ring severally are in the form of specific alphabetical letters, such as "V," directly under numeral I" in the outer word forming ring, or a characterization such as the key word WILD appearing, for example, in the outer word forming ring directly under the numeral 30, and designating any desired letter of the alphabet. While such symbols are arranged at random to normally avoid forming words, whether reading radially and/or circumferentially, they are arranged systematically as to frequency of appearance and generally in the ratio (5/2 I l of the number of vowels to the number of consonants in the English alphabet, whereby there is at least one vowel or WILD" appearing in any four letters of each circumferential group exposable by slot 30 for selection, all in order to facilitate word formation. Likewise, the frequency of the characterization or key word such as WILD" is controlled, there being preferably two such key words per concentric ring,

A preferred specific arrangement of symbols is set forth below in the following table, wherein the outer word forming ring (lying immediately within the outermost or numerical symbol bearing ring) through the inner word forming ring are referred to by the colors, black, red, blue, green and white respectively, these designations being arbitrarily selected purely for convenience of reference (although it is obvious that each ring on playing surface l4h including the outermost one) could be colored or not as desired RING FREQUENCY 'I'ABLI'I Symbol Black Red llluc (ircen Whltt total A (l 2 U 2 l 5 B 1 l l l 6 t l l J l l 7 I) l U 0 l (I 1 l: 4 J 3 I Z I] l l I] 2 I I 5 (i I Z 0 II I 4 H ll 1 ll I 0 3 l 2 I 1 3 l 9 .l U l l I .Z 5 K (I 2 l I l 5 t. l t l l I 5 M l l 2 J 3 HI N 2 1 l U l 6 f) l I l l 2 ti P 2 (I l 2 l (I (j (I (l (I I Z R 2 0 J l l 7 S 3 l l l 0 h 'l U 3 I 0 3 II N l l t Z 2 7 2 l It I I S W I 0 l J ll 7 X ll I ll 0 I 1 Y I 0 U l I 4 1. l l 1 l] I 5 "Wild" 2 1 Z 2 2 l0 Returning to FIGS. l and 2, it is to be noted that the numerical symbols l," 2" etc., in the outermost ring on playing surface 14!) are continuously exposed because they are located beyond the outer periphery of rotor 28, and are provided to designate the first, and also the second. third and fourth or last symbols in the remaining word forming rings or concentric circumferential groups thereof to be selected by the players upon successive rotations and stops of rotor 28 preferably in a radial sequence which is determined by indicia appearing on the upper surface of the rotor along each side of slot .30. As shown in FIG. l,thcse latter indicia also are in the form of symbols arranged in radial groups or sectors severally aligned with the symbols in the concentric rings or circumferential groups thereof for severally designating such radial selection sequence. Preferably, the left radial symbolic sequence group on rotor 28 forms the word "WHEEL" while that on the right of slot 30 forms the words A WORD."

Hence, as shown in FIG. 1, should the sequence be radially inwardly, which is preferred, following the first spin of rotor 28, the word forming symbols in the outer ring, such as those lying directly beneath numerals l, 2," "3" and 4 and between the letters W and A on the rotor, namely V," P, U" and W are designated for selection from a multiplicity of playing pieces 50 (FlG. 6), a plurality of which are suitably provided for each exposed space and with symbols corresponding to the symbol in that space. As is evident, the rotor 28 is successively spun or rotated five times to start and complete the selection of preferably twenty letters, such total number being obtained by virtue of the fact that while the slot 30 is rotatable to uncover or expose upon stopping all of the symbols in each radial group, the number of radial groups exposed is predetermined by the number of symbols or spaces 48 in the rings or concentric circumferential groups thereof uncovered by such slot 30, and this turns out to be four symbols for each of the five spins, to make the total of letters. This total has been found to be a convenient number to be accumulated prior to attempted formation of words therefrom, such as shown in H0. 6. While the aforesaid radial inward sequence of five successive spins is the preferred mode of sym bol selection, the radial sequence could be varied or eliminated, as desired. Moreover, since all twenty symbols of certain contiguous radial and circumferential groups are exposed per rotor spin, all the symbols could be selected following a single spin, thereby simplifying the game, such as for children.

Operation and Playing of Game A player, and any desired number may play the game, spins rotor 28, noting upon stopping thereof the numeral in the outermost ring, beyond the outer periphery the rotor, underlying the projecting portion of detcnt 32 between an adjacent pair of stops 26, which are arranged along radial line extensions 46a, such as shown in FIG. I. All players take the letter in the outer word forming ring directly below this designating numeral and the three letters to the right of the first chosen letter, as they appear between W and A" on the rotor. Thus, if the detent stops at 20," all players take playing pieces 50 bearing the letters N,G,N,E" and arrange these lettcrs, as shown in FIG. 6. This operation is repeated four more times for outermost ring numerals 8, 5, 27 and l" respcctivcly. with the symbols in each next radially inwardly located circumfe rcntial group being selected sequentially until the innermost ring is reached, whereupon this last stopped position of rotor 28 appears in FIG. I, with the selected letter bearing pieces 50 being arranged as in FIG. 6 for each player. All players now have 20 letters, and a "WILD" piece 50 is changed into any letter chosen by each player to make a word, by covering the WILD" piece 50 with another piece 50.

lncidently, these pieces 50 conveniently may be stored in any suitable manner, as in a separate compartmentalized container (not shown) or within the box, as on shelf portions 22b, ifdesired.

The object of the game is to make or spell as many words as possible in the shortest amount of time, with the longer words receiving higher points. The words formed may be crossed or independent as exemplified by the rearranged pieces 50 shown in FIG. 7, and various rules may be formulated, such as a time limit for making the words in a particular round of five spins, a game score of I00, bonuses for longest words, a range of points designated for individual letters depending upon the word length, penalties or no score for other than common ordinary words such as proper nouns, one or two letter words, misspelled words, letters left over, etc. The intriguing feature of the game is that the use of the inventive device It) determines the letters from which the words actually are to he formed, with all players quickly and conveniently being given the same letters to begin with, as a result of the operation of the device. Thus, the game is started by all the competing players on an equal basis, unlike SCRABBLE' for instance, or the game played with the aforesaid patented device, with the winner being determined solely by his or her skill and ingenuity in forming words within the rules.

It now will be seen how the invention accomplishes its vari ous objectives, and numerous advantages thereof likewise will become apparent. Further, while the invention has been shown and described herein by reference to a single preferred embodiment, this is to be taken in illustrative rather than limit ing sense, with the scope of the invention being determined by the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A word forming game device wherein the improvement comprises: a board, a rotor mounted on said board and a multiplicity of playing pieces, said board having a playing surface provided with concentric circles forming rings intersected by radial lines and defining spaces between said circles and radial lines, and pins severally arranged along said radial lines in an outermost ring beyond the periphery of said rotor, said spaces underlying said rotor bearing symbols severally indicating specific alphabetical letters or any desired alphabetical letter, said rotor being rotatable about its center which overlies the center of said circles, and having a sector-shaped slot adapted to expose upon stopping contiguous radial and circumferential groups of said underlying spaces, and a detent extending beyond the periphery of said rotor along one side of said slot and engageable with said pins to stop said rotor and designate said groups of spaces exposed by said slot, and said playing pieces including a plurality for each exposed space, with said plurality for each space bearing symbols corresponding to thc symbol in that space, whereby the designated ones of said symbols in said groups ofexposcd spaces are selected to form words by using said playing pieces bearing corresponding symbols.

2. The word forming game device of claim I wherein said symbols in said groups of exposed spaces severally arc in the forms of specific alphabetical letters or a characterization indicating any desired alphabetical letter, but said symbols in any of said groups of exposed spaces normally do not form words, while in every one of said circumferential groups of exposed spaces there is at least one space bearing a symbol indicating a vowel or any desired alphabetical letter to facilitate the formation of words.

3. The word forming game device of claim I wherein said rotor is in the form of a circular disc and said sector-shaped slot exposes all of said spaces in a number of said radial groups, which number is predetermined by the number of said circumferential groups of spaces exposed by said slot, and said rotor is provided along at least one side of said slot with a radial group of symbols severally radially aligned with said symbols in said circumferential groups of exposed spaces for severally designating the radial sequence in which said symbols in said circumferential groups ofexposed spaces are to be selected upon successive rotations and stops of said rotor.

4. The word forming game device of claim 3 wherein said symbols in said groups of exposed spaces severally are in the forms of specific alphabetical letters or a characterization in dicating any desired alphabetical letter, but said symbols in any of said groups of exposed spaces normally do not form words, while in every one of said circumferential groups of exposed spaces there is at least one space bearing a symbol in dicating a vowel or any desired alphabetical letter to facilitate the formation of words.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US156212 *Oct 27, 1874 Improvement in orthographic game apparatus
US665991 *Oct 5, 1900Jan 15, 1901Ira S BrownInstrument for teaching touch type-writing.
US1327005 *May 19, 1919Jan 6, 1920 Color-chart
US1541707 *Sep 24, 1923Jun 9, 1925Hanback Frank GGame
US1837194 *Jul 20, 1929Dec 22, 1931Baumgarten Samuel LEducational device
US2681523 *Dec 10, 1951Jun 22, 1954Sellers William HBroadcasting program selector
US2831691 *Nov 15, 1954Apr 22, 1958Vince Laurence FRotating disc game device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4219943 *Sep 28, 1978Sep 2, 1980Grimes T WayneTime teaching clock
US6623009 *Apr 22, 2002Sep 23, 2003Clement L. KraemerWord-phrase card game
US6719290Feb 11, 2002Apr 13, 2004Kristina KershnerStorytelling and idea generation game
US7021629Aug 5, 2003Apr 4, 2006Mccabe James NWord-forming game for at least two players and apparatus therefore
US7287755 *Apr 8, 2004Oct 30, 2007Kristina KershnerMethod of playing a storytelling and idea generation game
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/459, 273/142.0JA, 434/172, 273/272
International ClassificationA63F3/04, A63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2003/00271, A63F3/00643, A63F3/0421
European ClassificationA63F3/04E, A63F3/00E