US 3840236 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Beskrone [451 Oct. 8, 1974 1 1 WORD GAME  Inventor: Israel Beskrone, 100 S. Iroquois Ave., Margate, NJ. 08402  Filed: Oct. 3, 1972  Appl. No.: 294,555
 US. Cl 273/130 E, 273/148 R  Int. Cl. A631 3/00  Field of Search 273/130 E, 130 H, 131 G, 273/134 AB, 135 B, 135 D, 136 W, 136 E,
136 R, 136 H, 136 K, 136 Z, 148 R; 35/31 D,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 227.069 4/1880 Stein 273/136 K 783,478 2/1905 Strauss 273/148 R 1,514,270 11/1924 Thomson 35/73 2,774,598 12/1956 Strocco 273/136W 3,117,789 l/l964 Wiebe 273/130 E 3,165,318 l/l965 Lissandrello 273/136 E X 6/1971 Burns 35/35 .1 X 4/1972 Bagdasar 35/73 Primary ExaminerAnton O. Oechsle Assistant ExaminerHarry G. Strappello Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Max R. Millman, Esq.
[ 5 7] ABSTRACT A cross-word type word game having a compartmented container labeled alphabetically and including in each container a plurality of playing pieces with the appropriate letter. A playing board is provided with spaced rows of horizontal and vertical positions in which to place a chosen playing piece, the board being held at an inclination and out of view of the other players. The rules of the game are such that each player may call a letter in succession and each player must choose the letter called and place the pieces on his board in an effort to form as many words as possible. The scoring depends solely on the number and length of the words formed.
6 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEB BUT 8 W4 SBEET 3 BF 3 WORD GAME This invention relates to a word building game combining novel structural members and a unique set of rules of the game.
In the more popular types of work games today such as Scrabble, Anagrams, and the like, chance plays a very big role, for each player chooses the letters at random. While skills are used in developing a defensive or offensive game and ones perception in seeing the formation of the words which are originally in his memory bank, these skills are eventually limited by the chance selection of good or bad groups of letters.
The primary object of the present game is to develop the aforementioned skills while substantially equalizing the choice of letters andthereby minimizing the luck of the pick.
Another object of the invention is to provide a word game which has a unique but simple set of rules of the game so that old and young alike may play the game with pleasure immediately rather than having to resort to reading and interpreting complicated rules before one starts or during the play.
A further object of the invention is to provide a game in which each player, except for one choice, has the same letters to play with, yet each player has repeated, successive opportunities of designating the letter he wishes all to use. Thus the rules of the game are such that except for only one choice of letters, all the other choices required to complete the game are designated successively by each player who must choose and use only the designated letters.
A further object of the invention is to provide a game in which the score depends upon the number and length of the words formed, not on any arbitrary value assigned to each letter.
The foregoing objects are attained in a particular embodiment which comprises a container having compartments alphabetically lettered and a plurality of playing pieces or tiles in each compartment with the same letter on each tile as that which identifies the compartment, and cross-work type boards for each player with horizontal and vertical rows of positions upon which the tiles can be placed and retained in the particular position chosen with means to retain the playing board at an inclination and out of sight of the other players.
These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent as the following description proceeds in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein;
FIG. 5 is a similar view looking at the rear of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic face view of a board at the conclusion of a game illustrating the scoring system;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view from the top of another form of the invention minus the playing boards;
FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken on the line 88 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 of yet another modified form of the invention;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view looking from the top of yet another form of container for the playing pieces;
FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of a third form of container for the playing pieces;
FIG. 12 is an end view of the invention shown in FIG.
FIG. 13 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 1313 of FIG. 11; and
FIG. 14 is a view similar to FIG. 13 of a modified form of compartment closure.
Specific reference is now made to the drawings in which similar reference characters are used for corresponding elements throughout.
Essentially the game comprises a letter container, receptacle or bin, playing pieces, playing boards and rules of the game. Although many different materials may be used to fabricate the container, high impact polystyrene is especially useful since it comes in a variety of opaque colors and can be vacuum thermo formed into thin but rigid sections; Transparent containers may be suitably fabricated of the vinyl resins and the playing pieces of the acrylics.
Referring first to FIGS. 1-5, the container receptacle or bin 10 is a substantially rectangular unit having a pcripheral ,wall 12, a bottom wall 14 and intersecting transverse and longitudinal partitions 16 and 18 dividing the container or receptacle into a plurality of cubicles or compartments 20 each having imprinted, etched or otherwise formed on the bottom wall or side walls, a letter of the alphabet as at 22, there being at least twenty six such compartments.
Some portions of the transverse and longitudinal partitions 18 and 20 are depressed centrally of the receptacle as at 24, see FIGS. 1 and 3, to provide a depressed area large enough to receive a dictionary 26.
The playing pieces 28 are preferably rectangular tiles made of a suitable plastic, as mentioned hereinbefore, polished wood, or the like with the letters of the alphabet thereon, each tile containing a single letter. The letters can be imprinted on, etched in or raised on one surface of the tiles, the reverse surface being smooth. There are a plurality of As, Bs, Cs, etc. and each set of As are contained in the compartment marked A,
Each playing board 30 is substantially rectangular, molded of a suitable plastic, made of polished wood, or the like so that its front surface contains horizontal and vertical members 32 and 34 which divide the board into a plurality, preferably five, horizontal and vertical rows of tile-receiving indented spaces or squares, that is spaces, each of whose peripheral edges are raised as at 36 relative to its base as seen in FIG. 4, so that a playing piece or tile can be readily positioned in a selected space or square 38 and there retained.
The rear face 40 of the playing board is substantially smooth and planar. A U-shaped support bail or wire 42 is provided having a web 44 adapted to rest upon a sup-v port or table, a pair of leg portions 46 and 48 and intumed pintles 50 and 52 at their ends which extend into suitable apertures in the board whereby the support bail can be pivoted relative to the board towards and away therefrom to support the board in its operative position at an inclination to the support or table whereby each player can support the chosen playing pieces thereon out of view of the other players. A recess 54 is provided in the rear face 40 of the board which is substantially coextensive with the support bail and which is as deep or slightly deeper than the cross section of the bail whereby the bail can be folded into the recess and become substantially coplanar with the board. In such inoperative positions, the flat boards can be placed on top of the partitions 18 and 20 of the receptacle at the corners thereof, see FIG. 1, the thickness of the boards approximating the height of the dictionary extending above the upper edges of the partitions so that the top surface of the receptacle when containing the boards and dictionary is substantially flat. While four such boards are shown and preferred, additional boards may also be provided.
While a particular construction of playing board has been shown and described, it should be understood that various means other than the U-shaped bail and recess may be used to support the board at an inclination in its playing or operative position and be foldable into the plane of the board in its inoperative position.
The lid or cover 56 may be of any suitable construction and is adapted to fit over the receptable with its peripheral skirt 58 engaging the peripheral wall of the receptacle. It will be understood that additional compartments may be provided in the receptacle or bin for storage of pencils, scoring pads, and extra playing pieces 28.
Referring now to FIGS. 7 and 8, the receptacle or bin 60 is of the "lazy-sus an type to ease accessability of the letter-container compartments to the players. Here again, the entire construction may be molded of a suitable plastic or fabricated of other materials to contain the structural elements now to be described.
A substantially circular base member 62 with an appropriate support skirt or legs 64 is provided having a central recess 66 opening through its upper face. A substantially circular and coextensive bin member 68 is rotatably seated on the base member and comprises a bottom member 70 having a recess 72 complimentary to the recess 66 of the base member and opening through the lower surface of the bottom member 70. A ball bearing type member 74 which is substantially ovate in cross-section is seated in the recesses 66 and 72 whereby the bin member is rotatable on the base member vertical axis passing through the bearing member 74.
The bin member includes inner and outer concentric upstanding walls 76 and 78 and circumferentially spaced radially extending walls 80 upstanding from the base member. The radial and concentric walls form circumferentially spaced compartments 82, one for each letter of the alphabet, which is imprinted, etched or otherwise placed on the outer or front concentric wall 78 as at 84. The letter compartments are open at the top so that a player can reach in to take out a letter. Since the inner wall 76 is spaced radially from the center of the bin member, a space 86 is provided for the receipt of a dictionary 26. The spaces beside the dictionary may be compartmented by appropriate fillers to store a scoring pad, pencils and extra playing pieces and a lid or cover, such as 56 of FIG. 1 can be used to cover the receptacle. If desired, the rotatable receptacle can be placed in a rectangular container box and the storage compartments can be provided therein to one side of the rotatable receptacle.
FIG/9 illustrates a variation of the unit of FIGS. 7 and 8. In this invention, the base member 88 includes an upstanding rod or spindle 90 and a bearing plate 92 thereabout. The upper or bin member 94 is constructed as in FIGS. 7 and 8 of a bottom wall 96, inner and outer concentric walls 98 and 100, and radially extending diametrically opposed finger tabs 102. The inner wall has an inner diameter somewhat larger than the diameter of the base spindle 90 so that the letter bin is rotatable on the base member about the spindle. The inner and outer concentric walls are of unequal height, the outer wall being slightly higher than the inner wall, the walls being joined by circumferentially spaced radially extending walls 104 dividing the unit into compartments to retain the playing pieces.
As in the case of the unit of FIGS. 7 and 8, the unit of FIG. 9 may be placed in a carrying case or container with compartments to retain pencils, pads and extra playing pieces as well as a dictionary. To close off the open top of the letter bin and prevent spillage of the playing pieces, a removable cover 106 is provided whose diameter is substantially the same as the outer diameter of the outer concentric wall but which has a recess 108 opening through its lower face at its peripheral edge to receive and frictionally engage the upper. edge of the outer concentric wall 100, the cover also including a centrally raised portion 110 to assist in placing or removing it, the finger tabs 102 serving also as a means to ease rotation of the letter bin on the base. Four such tabs 102, equally spaced, may be provided, one for each player.
The unit shown in FIG. 10 is a modification of the units shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 and is substantially the same except for the shape and the construction required to attain the shape. The unit is substantially rectangular with the corners removed so that the outer and inner walls are not of the same shape. The outer wall 112 has four cut-off corner portions 114, whereas the inner wall 116 is substantially rectangular and the transversely extending peripherally spaced partitions 118 joining them produce substantially rectangular, top-opening letter compartments 120 except for the corner compartments122 which are triangular.
Because equal division of the unit into the lettered compartments results in only 24 of them, provision must be made for two additional compartments for the letters Y and Z and this is accomplished by providing additional transverse and longitudinal shorter partitions 124 and 126 at diagonally spaced positions to form the additional Y and Z compartments 128 and 130. In so doing, and by adding further short transverse and longitudinal partitions 132 and 134, additional compartments for storage of pencils, pads, extra playing pieces and a dictionary are formed.
It is understood that the letter bin in this unit can be rotatably mounted on the base member 136 in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 or 9 or equivalent means, with and without a cover for all the compartments containing the playing pieces.
The unit shown in FIGS. ll-14 represents a vertically rotatable letter receptacle and bin and includes a base member 138 comprised of a pair of spaced plates 140 which are held together adjacent their bottom table-engaging edges 142 by appropriate rods 144, the end edges of each plate converging upwardly and terminating in a bearing yoke having a pair of spaced parallel vertical portions 146 and 148 and a curved web portion 150.
The rotatable letter bin member 152 comprises spaced vertically extending substantially circular walls 154 and 156 which mount centrally thereof a rod or stub shaft 158 which is received in the yoke and rests upon the curved surfaces of the web portions 150 and is retained thereon by an O-ring 151. the bin member also includes a wall 160 spaced outwardly of and concentric with the rod or stub shaft 158 and forms the innermost wall of the letter compartments 162, there being cirucmferentially spaced radially extending partitions 163. Thus each compartment comprises the outer portions of the vertical walls 154 and 156, the concentric wall 160, the radial walls 163. Each compartment also includes an openable door 164 for access to the playing pieces retained in the interior of the compartments, each door having imprinted, etched or otherwise positioned thereon a letter of the alphabet, as seen in FIG. 12.
A releasable means is provided to stop the rotation of the letter bin at the desired letter, preferably the compartment slightly above eye level. Various means may be used, but an effective one has been found to comprise rounded detents 166 in the spaced vertical plates 156 and 152 beyond the concentric wall 160 and towards the center of rotation of the letter bin, there being detents on opposite sides of the center of each compartment. The inner faces of the base plates 140 include circumferentially spaced rounded recesses 168 which are in radial alignment with the detents 166. Thus when the letter bin is rotated so that a specific compartment is at the eye level desired, a slight movement up or down of the letter bin will permit the pair of the detents 166 to engage the recesses 168 and retain the letter bin releasably in the desired position until another letter is chosen.
The doors 164 can take several forms such as pivoted, slide, etc. The slide construction has been found most effective. One such construction is shown in FIG. 13. Thus the upper and lower radial walls 163 of each compartment are provided with a groove 170 spaced from the outer edges 172 of the radial walls. A vertical slit 174 coextensive with the grooves 170 and in alignment therewith is provided in one side wall portion 176 of the vertical plates 154 and 156. A door 178 is slid through the slit 174 and into the grooves 170 until it covers the entire opening of the compartment and a handle or knob 180 is then mounted on the outer face of the door towards the end thereof opposite the slit wall 176. Thus when the door is slid in the opposite direction, the compartment will be opened and the movement of the door will be limited by engagement of the knob with the edge of the wall'l76 in front of its slit 174.
In the construction of the slide door shown in FIG. 14, a step groove 182 is provided in the upper and lower radial walls 163 of each compartment spaced from their front edges, and acoextensive slit 184 is provided in each opposed side wall portion 176. A slide door 186 fits through one slit and includes vertically extending lips 188 adjacent one end thereof which fit slidably into the narrower portion 190 of the step grooves 182. The slits 184 in-the side walls 176 onen entirely therethrough only with respect to the wider portions 192 of the step grooves 182, the narrower groove portions 190 terminating inwardly adjacent the side walls 176 to provide shoulders 194. An indentation 196 in the'plane of the door can be providedso that the door can be slid by the engagement of a finger therein. Thus by sliding the door in the direction of one wall 176, the door can be opened until its lips 188 engage the shoulders 194 in the smaller groove 190 at that wall which act as stops to prevent the door from coming out of the compartment entirely.
The rules of the game are as-follows. The object is to complete as many five, four and three letter words across and down the playing board in order to achieve the highest point score. Two or four or more players can participate.
The players set up the playing boards 30 in front of each other so that the playing face thereof is out of view of the others. The player elected to start the game thinks of a word to himself and then calls out one letter. If the stationary receptacle 10 is used, he reaches into the compartment of the corresponding letter and removes a playing piece, which he places on his board in any square he desires. Every other player removes the same letter from the compartment and places it on his board in any position he desires. If the horizontally rotatable receptacles of FIGS. 7-10 are used, the players turn the same to position the desired compartment in front of them. If the vertically rotatable unit of FIGS. 11-14 is used, the first player rotates the receptacle until the selected compartment is in front of him slightly above eye level, slides the door open and reaches in for a letter, and the remaining players follow suit, choosing the same letter from the same compartment. Once a letter has been placed in a square of the board, it cannot be moved for the'remainder of the game. i
In a clockwise direction, each subsequent player repeats the letter calling, selection and placement on the board until 24 squares are filled. The remaining or 25th square is a free one and each player can pick any letter at that time to fill out the square in order to help him complete a word.
After the play is completed, the boards are exposed to all the players and each counts up his score, five letter words are worth 10 points, four letter words 5 points and three letter words 3 points. The points are 7 counted vertically and horizontally. The same word can be used across and down but no proper names are allowed and no plurals. If a plural is used to make up a five letter word, the point value is given for the four letter word only. The player with the highest score wins..
A perfect game is illustrated in FIG. 6.
All words must appear in an approved American or foreign language dictionary. Any player can challenge the validity of a word of any other player and the dictionary may be consulted for that purpose. If the challenger is correct, he receives the point value of the word in question and the person challenged receives no credit for the word and in addition is penalized five points. The challenged player can retreat before the dictionary is consulted, in which case he simply loses the value of the word with no points accruing to the challenger. If the challenger is wrong, 10 points'are deducted from his score and added to the score of the challenged player. Only one word per row is permitted even if the larger word includes a smaller one.
If desired, the players can agree on a time limit to make a call. If a player is unable to call out a letter within the time limitallotted, he loses-his turn. 7
Thus an intriguing word game is provided which can be played by the young, the middle aged, the elderly 7 and by hospital patients capable of sitting up and using their hands. Contests can be arranged in schools, community centers, homes, religious institutions, old age centers, etc. The game may be translated into other languages.
While preferred embodiments have here been shown and described, a skilled artisan may make minor variations without departing from the spirit of the invention. Thus the playing boards may be made of metallic plates with the squares imprinted, etched or otherwise provided on their front faces and the playing pieces may be magnetic.
What is claimed is:
1. A word game comprising a receptacle including a stationary base member and a unit mounted for rotation thereon, said rotatable unit having a bottom wall and inner and outer concentrically spaced walls connected by radially extending walls forming circumferentially spaced compartments equal at least to the number of letters in the alphabet, a wall of each compartment having a letter thereon identifying the compartment, playing pieces containing the letters of the alphabet thereon, each compartment containing a plurality of playing pieces conforming to the letter identifying the compartment, playing boards having horizontal and vertical rows of squares on the front face thereof, means to retain the playing pieces in the squares, means movable from a non-playing position substantially flat against the rear face of the board to a playing position at an inclination to the board to support it for receipt of the playing pieces and out of view of the other players, a recess inwardly of said inner wall adapted to store a dictionary, writing implements, pads and extra playing pieces, and rules of the game wherein each player calls a letter successively and each player takes the same letter called from the corresponding compartment of the receptacle and places it in any desired square of his playing board without subsequently altering the position chosen on the board, and at the final play each player chooses any playing piece he desires from the corresponding compartment of the receptacle to complete placement on his board in order to make the maximum number of words vertically and horizontally.
2. The word game of claim 1 wherein the rotatable unit-is substantially rectangular with cut-off corners and partitions inwardly of the inner wall at diagonally opposite positions adjacent the cut-off corners connected to form additional comparments adapted to retain additional lettered playing pieces.
3, The word game of claim 1 and at least one tab extending radially from the outer wall to assist in rotating the unit.
4. The word game of claim 1 and a lid frictionally engaging the upper edge of the outer wall and the upper edge of the rod covering the compartments to prevent the lettered playing pieces from falling out of the compartments during transportation and storage.
5. The word game of claim 1 wherein said movable playing board-supporting means includes a substantially U-shaped rod having legs joined by a web adapted to rest on a table, the free ends of the legs being pivoted to the playing board so that the rod is movable towards and away from the rear face of the board, the board including a recess in its rear face substantially coextensive with the rod and of a depth relative to the crosssection of the rod so as to receive and store the rod substantially flush with or below the surface of the rear face of the board in the non-playing position.
6. A word game comprising a receptacle including a stationary base member and a unit mounted on the base member for rotation in a horizontal plane relative thereto, said rotatable unit having a bottom wall, and inner and outer concentrically spaced walls connected by radially extending walls forming circumferentially spaced compartments equal at least tothe number of letters in the alphabet and a recess inwardly of the inner concentric wall adapted to store a dictionary, writing implements, pads and extra playing pieces, a wall of each compartment having a letter thereon identifying the compartment by alphabetic letter, playing pieces containing the letters of the alphabet thereon, each compartment containing a plurality of playing pieces conforming to the letter identifying the compartment, playing boards having horizontal and vertical rows of squares on the front face thereof, each square including raised marginal edges to receive and retain a playing piece, means movable from a non-playing position substantially flat against the rear face of the board to a playing position at an inclination to the board to support it for receipt of the playing pieces and out of view of the other players, and rules of the game wherein each player calls a letter successively and each player takes the same letter called from the corresponding compartment of the receptacle and places it in any desired square of his playing board without subsequently altering the position chosen on the board, and at the final play each player chooses any playing piece he desires from the corresponding compartment of the receptacle to complete placement on his board in order to make the maximum number of words vertically and horizontally.