US 3746342 A
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United States Patent [1 1 Fine [451 July 17, 1973 WORD FORMING GAME APPARATUS  ABSTRACT [75} Inventor: Maynard W. Fine, Birmingham, A game is provided which comprises assigning a key Mich. word having at least ten letters to one or more players, assigning serially increasing digits from 1 through 0 to  Asslgnee' Nuword Game Detroit Mich 10 letters of the key word, assigning a uniform key  Filed: Aug. 7, 1970 number to each player, as for example the player's telephone number, and having each player derive a group 1 App. 62024 of corresponding letters by substituting the digits of the key number for the letters of the lcey word correspond-  US. Cl 273/135 D, 273/130 E, 273/144 B ing to each digit and, utilizing each of the derived or [51 Int. Cl. A63f 3/00 corresponding letters only once in each word, compos-  Field of Search 273/130, 131, 134, ing either the longest word or the greatest number of 273/135, 136, 1; 35/71 words possible from the group of substituted or derived a corresponding letters. The game is played with equip  References Cited ment comprising a work sheet or score card distributed UNITED STATES PATENTS to each player having a series of key word or letter blanks, a series of digits arranged serially in ascending order from 1 to Ojuxtaposed with the key letter blanks, 3:]95:895 7/1965 KmPinSkL 273/135 D a series of key number blanks, and a series of corre- 3393914 7/1968 Hill 273/135 D p g or derived letter blanks, an a lan pa for entering the longest word and space for entering a plu- FOREIGN PATENTS B PPUCATlONS rality of smaller words. Additionally, a plurality of 775,170 5/1957 Great Britain 273/135 D cards-are provided each containing a key word or words having at least 10 letters in total to be used for Primary Examiner-Delbert 13. Lowe each game Attorney-Roy A. Plant a 1 5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures WORK SHEET lElEfllEl 2 a 4- s 7 a s o A5 /4 YOUR PNONE 1E 13] El E1 E1 E WRiTE MOST WORDS ENTRIES 1N TNlS SPACE /7 GE N E; N BY ANY GAGE AGE YEN YEGC: 6R6 AN EYE NGC: AYE ENGAGE GRY 6 ENGAGE YOUR LONGEBT WORD ENTRY HEREJ worm FORMING GAME APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many games have been developed and disclosed. Some require cards or other devices which must be purchased. Such games are not generally adaptable for use in mass media such as radio or television, or newspapers. Others are too complex or difficult to understand clearly the rules which must be followed, and still further many do not have universal appeal or are not of substantial intellectual appeal. Moreover, many games are too expensive for universal use. I
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a game which, although it can be played by the use of specially prepared cards or other devices, is also adaptable to be played in the absence of such articles by the use of simple work sheets, or even through the use merely of instructions.
It is still another object to provide a game, the outcome of which is based upon the assignment of a readily available key number to each player or contestant, as for example, his telephone number in the form of a seven digit number,'or even such number plus the area code.
It is still further anobject to provide a game which can be played through mass media su'chas radio, television or the, newspapers, withoutthe need for the distributionof cards orarticles with which to play the game, except perhaps for printed instructions or worksheets.
Itis still further an objectto provide a game which is inexpensive, yet which is appealing 'to an individuals intellect andis instructive.
Still further objects and advantages of the invention will appear as the description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, consists of a game herein fully described andfparticularly pointed out in the claims, the annexed drawing, and the following descrip- I tion setting' forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, such disclosed embodiments illustrating, however, but several of the various ways in which the principle of the invention may be used.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the annexed drawing: FIG. 1 is a work sheet which may be utilized in playing the present game.
DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIFIC EMBODIMENT The present game considered in its broad aspects comprises a series of several elements. Phonegram is a coined expression and a trademark adopted for use with the game of this invention, more particularly, where thegame is used in conjunction with telephone numbers. Thefirst element is termed the key word" and may be aword orcombination ofwordshaving at least 10 letters, and preferably with no letter repeated. If the key word has more than 10 letters, only 10 of the letters should be used. Suitable key words are the following: Torch Lamps, Towel Racks, Sour Pickle, Dirty Shame, Graciously, A Youngster, et cetera.
The second element of the game is called corresponding numbers. The corresponding numbers are a group of non-repeating digits arranged serially from 1 through 0. These numbers are placed below the key word in order to assign a digit to each letter of the key word. For example, the first letter is always assigned the digit l, the second letter 2, the ninth letter 9, and the 10th and last letter always 0."
The third element of the game is the key number. A key number is generally assigned to each player, and all the key numbers should have the same number of digits. The key number most conveniently used is a telephone number, either that of the player, or a phone number chosenat random from a phone directory .or from facsimile pages of a phone directory supplied as part of the game equipment. It is, of course,'to be understood that in those areas where the telephone numbers utilize a two letter prefix followed bytive digits, the digits corresponding to the letters to be found on the dial of a telephone can be substituted for the letters. Alternatively, the key number can be taken as the nine digits of a social security number, the eight digits of the serial numbers of United States papercurrency," or other conveniently available numbers having from about seven to about 10 digits, where each player of the particular game being played would have the same number of digits available. 3
The fourth-element of the game is termed corre- -sponding or derivedletters. These letters are obtained by substituting each digit of the key number, such as the telephone number, for the digits of the cor responding numberand to derive thereby corresponding letters from the key word. One letter is so obtained for each digit of the telephone number, seven letters being obtained bythe use of a conventional telephone number. Some of the derived or corresponding letters will, of course, be repeated if the telephone number has repeated digits.
METHOD OF PLAYING GAME The present game may be played by as few as one or two players or by asmany as thousands where this can be done through mass media. However, for convenience, the game will be described herein as it would be played in the home utilizing a set of components which could be packaged and marketed for consumer use.
In playing the presentgame by means of such packaged components, a work sheet Ill, showninFlG. I,is distributed to each playerfThe work sheet 10 comprises a series ofkey letter blanks 12, a corresponding group 13 of digitsarranged serially in ascending order from 1 to 0 correspondingto the IQ blanks 12, a series ofkey number blanks .14, a series of corresponding or derived letter blanks 15, a blank space 16 for entering the longest word, and a blank space 17 for entering a multiplicity of equal length and smaller words.
The player may write directly on the work sheet. Alternatively, because the work sheet is provided with heavily inked lines, it may be used asa'guide beneath a sheet of white bond paper. Utilized in this manner, the work sheet maybe reused many times. In a commercially packaged game, the key words may be individually placed on cards 11. A packaged set normally contains about 50 cards, each with a different key Word printed thereon. To commence the game the key word cards are shuffled and stacked face down on the table by a dealer who is selected for this purpose. Each player then writes down his personal telephone number in the blank spaces 14 provided on the work sheet 10. Alternatively, he may select a telephone number at random from the directory and must use that particular number throughout the playing of the game. As still another alternative, a phone number may be chosen from a sheet 18 of telephone numbers provided with each packaged game to make the game more versatile (FIG. 4). Assuming the telephone number 626-1599 is chosen by a player from the list of telephone numbers shown-in FIG. 4, this number is placed in the phone number blank strip or series of bank squares 14 shown in FIG 1. When all players are ready and their telephone numbers have been entered on the work sheet, the dealer turns up the top card and reveals the first word. A representative card 11 is shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the key word in this case being A Youngster. This word or group. of words then becomes the keyword for all the players in the game. The dealer then calls Time and the game has begun. The players now write the Phonegramletters in the spaces of thekey word blank 12 (.FIG. 1) provided on their work sheet for easy reference. Each digit of the phone number is individually taken in turn and substituted for the same digit of the'number series 13 to obtain corresponding or derived letters. For example, the digit 6 has a corresponding or derived letter G, the digit 2 a derived letter Y, et cetera. After each digit of the phone number shown in the blank 14 has been substituted into the corresponding numbers 13 and key word A Youngster to derive letters, the following derived letters are obtained: G, Y.,'G, A, N, E, and E as shown in the derived letter blanks lSQThe object of the game in one method of playing is to put together the longestpossible word, using the letters of the key word and the corresponding numbers in the players telephone number. The ideal longest word would be seven letters long, sixletters being excellent, and five letters good, et cetera. As each player determines what'letters he may work with, based on the matching of corresponding letters with his phone number, he writes them in the spaces 15 provided on the work sheet. A period of minutes is generally allowed and Time then called again, stopping that segment of play. During the 5-minute period, the players formulate, with their corresponding letters, the longest possible dictionary word and write it down in the blank space 16 provided. A dictionary, of course, should be used for reference. Each player may use only those seven letters that correspond to the seven numbers in his telephone number, and he may not use alette r more-times than it appears therein. With regard to the'key'word and key number shown in FIG. 1, the derived or corresponding letters shown in the blank are GYG'AN EE. Utilizing these letters, .the longest word which may be formed therefrom is ENGAGE and this word is placed at the line 16 of FIG. 1' provided therefor. Scoring for the longest word may be carried out as follows:
Seven letter word 20 points Six letter word I0 points Longest word 5 points Each letter 1 point With respect to the word ENGAGE the scoring would be as follows: ENGAGE (six letters) 10 points plus 6 points (one for each letter) plus 5 points (if longest word) equal total: 21 points. Where the game is played so that the object is to form the greatest number of words, the words may be written in the spaces 17 provided therefor (FIG. 1). Scoring for most words, one point is awarded for each word (not points for letters). The same point values are retained for seven and six letter words. Five points are awarded for most words (instead of longest word). In the event of a tie for most words, each typing player tying five points.
After play with the first key word has been exhausted, by either method, another key word card is turned up and play continued using the second key word. Additional cards are turned up as the game progresses until a game where a player has acquired one hundred points is complete.
As a variation, the method of play may be reversed from that shown and described above. For example, using this method the dealer may deal one key word card face down to each player. He then selects one telephone number at randome from thetelephone directory, announces it toall players, and the players record the number'on their work sheet. At this point, the dealer calls Time and each player turns up his card, revealing his key word. Each player will now be working with the same phone number but with adifferent key word. The object of play is the same as with the basic plan described above, and it is dealers choice whether to compete for longest word or most words. Time of play is again 5 minutes and scoring identical to that of the basic method. The only disadvantage of this method of playing is that since the number of cards is limited, the number of players is limited by the number of available cards. It can be readily seen that the basic method would be more suitable where a large number of players is involved. I
An alternative method for arbitrarily selecting a winner when two players are tied is to take their six or seven letter word which represents their largest word and transpose it back into numbers using-the corresponding number system, working back through the key word to the corresponding numbers. For example, the word ENGAGE would have the corresponding number 956169. The player with the corresponding or transposed number having the highest numerical value would then be declared the winner.
Although the present game has been described'in the form of a game suitable for playing in-the home among relatively few players, the game of Phonegram may be readily adapted for use with the mass media. For example, the key word can be announced over the radio or television, and the listening player instructed to utilize his own phonenumber. The players can then submit their winning answers by mail-and the winner selected by the radio or television station from the entries submitted. Alternatively, work sheets with the key word already printed thereon could be printed in an edition of the newspaper. The player could then utilize his own telephone number and submit his entry.
When it isdesired to play the present game on a national basis, as for example by radio or television broadcasts, in order to preclude the possibility of two or more persons utilizing the same .phone number in different areas, the players may be instructed to add the three digits representing their area code to their telephone number. It is then impossible for any two persons to have exactly the same telephone number. The use of digits instead of seven would generally enable the contestants to form longer words. However, since this would be true of each contestant, no difficulties would arise.
In order to make the packaged game more attractive to young people, the game may be packaged in a large box having seven telephone dials mounted thereon. Key word cards would be packaged with the set. However, instead of utilizing phone numbers, the players could dial numbers through the use of the seven dials.
Other methods. for deriving a randomly selected series of digits in place of the telephone number for use as a key number may be utilized. For example, one such device which would be attractive for use by youngsters comprises a simulated telephone having the dial in the form of a flat cylindrical box with slight depressions for engaging by the players fingers. Ten small balls having digits marked thereonfrom 1 through 0 are inserted into an opening at the top of the dial box. Upon rotation of the dial box the balls are randomly re leased at an opening at the bottom and caused to line up along a trough. The numbers on the balls could be viewed through an opening or transparent window, and the key number assigned in the order of the digits serially appearing on the balls. Where it is desired to use only seven digits for the key number, a baffle or mask may be applied to mask out three of the balls. Where an increasednumber of digits up to ten would be desired, the bafflecould be removed. In either case the sequential arrangement of the digits on the balls reading from left to right is taken as the key number.
The game of the present'invention has several advantages over similar games disclosed in the art. It requires very little props or paraphernalia to play the game. The game is stimulating and requires the individual to think and providessomewhat of a' training in vocabulary. The game may beinexpe nsively produced for use in the home. Alternatively, it is readily adaptable for use by the mass media. V i
While two forms of the invention have been shown and described, other forms will now be apparent to those skilled in the art. Therefore, it will be understood that the embodiments shown in the drawing and described above are merely for illustrative purposes, and are not intended to limit the spirit and scope of the invention.
Other modes of applying the principle of my invention may' be employed instead of those explained, change being made as regards the means and methods herein disclosed, provided'those stated by any of the following claims or their equivalent be employed.
. I therefore particularly point out and distinctly claim as my invention:
1. A game comprising:
a. a plurality of cards, each having a key word or expression printed thereon,
b. each key word or expression comprising one or more words and having at least 10 letters,
c. a work sheet having lines surrounding each space of a group of at least ten blank spaces provided thereon forwriting in one of said key words or expressions,
. d. a group of ten corresponding digits arranged serially from 1 through 0, one in association with each blank space for the letter of a key word,
e. a second group of lines surrounding each space of a group of blank spaces for writing in the digits of a key number consisting of digits included in the group of 10 corresponding digits, and
f. a third group of lines surrounding each space of a group of blank spaces in association with said second group of blank spaces for writing in a group of letters derived from substituting the digits of said key number for digits of said corresponding digits to derive corresponding letters.
2. A game according to claim 1, wherein said key words or expressions each contain exactly 10 letters, and said blank spaces on said work sheet for writing in said key word comprise 10 in number. i
3. A game according to claim 1,-wherein said blan spaces for writing in said key number are seven in numbet.
4. A game according to claim 1, also including a sheet containinga list of key numbersto be utilized in playing the game. i
5. A game worksheet comprising:
a. lines surrounding each space of a first group of at least ten blank spaces provided thereon for writing in a key word or expression,
b. a group of 10 digits arranged serially from 1 through 0 with each of said digits located adjacent a blank space from said first group, i r
c. a second group of lines surrounding each space of a second group of blank spaces for writing in the digits of a key number consisting of digits included in said group of 10 digits, and
cl. a third group of lines surrounding each space of a third group of blank spaces in association with said second group of blank spaces for writing adjacent each digit in said key number letters from said key word or expression which letters match each digit corresponding to said digits in said group of 10 digits, and
e. means separate from said work sheet by which the user may select a key word or expression.
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