|Publication number||US3891218 A|
|Publication date||Jun 24, 1975|
|Filing date||May 13, 1974|
|Priority date||May 13, 1974|
|Publication number||US 3891218 A, US 3891218A, US-A-3891218, US3891218 A, US3891218A|
|Inventors||Hilgartner Carol H, Hilgartner Stephen H|
|Original Assignee||Hilgartner Carol H, Hilgartner Stephen H|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (9), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent Hilgartner et a1.
1 1 June 24, 1975 1.650.840 1 H1927 Katz 273/130 E 2,071,014 2/1937 Akers 273/131 G 2,128,749 8/1938 Koch ct 211. 273/135 D 2.645.038 7/1953 Merrill 35/73 X 3.588.114 6/1971 VOgCl 1. 273/131 K 3,606,336 9/1971 Krausc...'. 273/135 1) Primary E.\'aminerRichard C. Pinkharn Assistant ExaminerI-1arry G. Strappello Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Joseph C. MacKenzie 5 7] ABSTRACT A decoding-crossword game designed to be intellectually stimulating and entertaining. The players use markers to form coded words in crossword fashion, and attempt to break each others codes. The markers are two-sided and have letters on both sides.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures K \e 6 Q1591) Q Q16 6 61 "@WQYA eeee 1 DECODING CROSSWORD-TYPE GAME FIELD OF INVENTION This game is a crossword type game. Crossword games are educational amusement devices, usually involving the construction of words with lettered markers on a board or table. However, no crossword game other than Zarton involves the construction of coded words.
DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART Several games have been invented heretofore which involve the construction of words by placing markers on a board marked with a grid. Among these are Scrabble and Keyword. Also, cryptogram puzzles, such as those which involve decoding words or quotations and are found in some periodicals, and even in board and marker form, are also known in the prior art.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A decoding-crossword game for two players (or two teams). Play consists of forming coded words from markers in crossword fashion and interrogating the opponent in order to crack his code. Points are awarded for decoding a word formed by the opponent. The player with the highest score wins. Each marker has a letter thereon which is concealed from view when the marker is placed on the board in a certain position, and also has a symbol which, when said marker is in said position, is visible. Each player has enough markers and his markers have said letters and symbols in sufficient variety that the letters define the alphabet of a language, and the symbols define a code for that alphabet.
From the foregoing it is evident that the object of this invention is to provide game apparatus having markers positionable in a crosswording space to form words but exposing to view encoded versions of said words. Other objects of the invention will be apparent from the description, to follow, of our invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game support having Zarton markers arranged thereon.
FIG. 2 shows the obverse sides of several sets of Zarton markers.
FIG. 3 shows the reverse sides of the Zarton markers of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows a game of Zarton in progress. A number of Zarton markers 2 have been arranged on a two dimensional grid 1 after the fashion of words in a crossword puzzle or on a Scrabble board, except that some groups of the Zarton markers spell out words of the English language, whereas other groups display apparently meaningless associations of letters of the English language.
As FIG. 1 suggests, the markers 2 are thin discs and so may be said to have obverse and reverse sides. According to the invention, we provide a plurality of sets of markers, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Thus, in FIG. 2 we see sets 3, 4, and 5 of Zarton markers, each arranged so that its obverse side is visible. On the other hand, in FIG. 3 we see the reverse sides of the Zarton markers of sets 3, 4 and 5.
The symbols inscribed on the obverse sides of the markers are evidently letters of the English alphabet.
While only eight markers are shown for each of sets 3, 4 and 5, it is to be supposed that each set will include all or nearly all of the letters of the English alphabet, and, as is clear from FIG. 2, that some letters occur at greater frequencies than do others.
The symbols on the reverse sides of the Zarton markers, however, are very nearly arbitrary assortments of numbers, letters of various alphabets, punctuations, and so forth. The only restriction on specifying the reverse side symbols is that in any given set they correspond to the symbols on the obverse, sides. For example, in set 4, markers with sigmas always have As on their obverse sides, markers with integral signs always have Es on their obverse sides, and S, F and Z always accompany B, C and D, respectively.
A Zarton game begins withthe basic step of each player acquiring a s et of markers in such fasion that the English alphabet thereon is concealed from the other players but is revealable to the view of the others should the player so chooseqThat this is easily done, using the two-sided markers shown in the drawing, is obvious. However, it is to be understood that our invention is not dependent on the physical form in which the alphabets and their corresponding sets of symbols are provided.
Another basic step next may be to have one player spell out a word on the grid 1, but beknownst to him only, perhaps, in that he lays the appropriate markers obverse side down. Thus, if BARK had been taken from set 3, what would have been visible instead of BA' would have been X;.
The next basic step may be for the next player to determine, somehow, what letter of the alphabet is on the obverse side of one or more of the markers which the first player has just placed on the grid. Once it is determined what letter is on the obverse side of a market, it is turned over so as to show its obverse side. Having gained such knowledge, and using his own markers, the player may now construct a word (the second, now) using the last-mentioned letter. Like the first player, he constructs the remainder of the second word with markers obverse side down. There are now two words on the board and they share one letter. This one letter is known and visible to both players. The remaining letters of the two words are not visible, and each player knows only the letters of his own word.
It is now the first players turn to determine a second letter, and having done so, contribute a third word using that letter or another letter known to him. With the possible exception of this second letter no other letter of the third word will be known to the player who contributed the second word. In this fashion, the game continues until its ending, which occurs when certain pre-determined conditions are met.
From the foregoing it will be evident that each player is faced with the task of solving a simple substitution code, under not too favorable conditions because the encoded text he has to work with is relatively brief, especially in the beginning of a game.
It is preferable that whatever the number of players, as few sets of markers be used as is possible. In fact it is preferable to use just two sets, that is to say, make the game two-sided. Also, it is a good idea to provide enough sets of markers differing on their reverse sides that no player is likely to learn the codes very well if at all. With a number of codes it will be desirable to mark each set of markers in such fashion to identify its code.
Also since there will be two sets per code it will also be convenient to be able to distinguish one set from the other. It is to be understood that these expedients are not critical but will contribute greatly to orderly and facile use of the elements of the game.
We do not intend to limit the scope of our invention according to particular play rules, marker design, code choice, numbers of markers, and so forth. However, we have found that our game, Zarton, is of wide appeal, when embodied and played according to specifications, rules and conditions, briefly exemplified as follows:
THE OPENING 1. Players determine who will play first. This player then combines no less than four and no more than seven letters, from the non-coded side of his markers, into a word, which he places on the grid. He then exposes any one of these coded markers revealing the non-coded letter to his opponent.
2. His opponent replies by building a codeword which incorporates the decoded letter in crossword style. He then exposes one of the letters from his word and the play begins.
THE PLAY 3. The player who began the game now interrogates hisopponent, asking whether a specific coded symbol represents a specific coded letter. If he is correct, he continues interrogating in this fashion until he guesses wrong. He then builds a word in crossword style with his markers coded-side up, on only those letters which he has previously decoded or has played himself.
4. His opponent now takes his turn, interrogating and then forming a coded word. After this the play returns to the first player and continues in this fashion until the ending.
5. In the event that a player is unable to form a word, he must pass after interrogating. He can continue interrogating, and if after decoding new letters, he is able to play a word, he must do so. If both players pass, play ends at that point.
THE ENDING 6. When one player is ready to go out (i.e. use the last of his markers), his turn takes the following form: First, he interrogates until he misses; then he plays his final codeword. The score is then calculated on the following basis: points for words decoded, points for unplayed letters left in the opponents hand. High score wins.
The foregoing is the essence of a typical set of rules, and is intended to be illustrative only.
The foregoing is a description of our invention in accordance with the requires of 35 USC 1 12.
1. A decoding crossword-type game apparatus comprising, in combination,
a. game support means having a pattern thereon for receiving marker means bearing thereon the various letters of an alphabet and for maintaining said marker means positioned on said game support means so as to define a crossword array composed of said letters;
i. said alphabet being in one to one correspondence with a first code of symbols, each symbol thereof uniquely representing a said letter of said alphabet;
ii. said alphabet also being in one to one correspondcnce with a second code of symbols, each symbol thereof also uniquely representing a letter of said alphabet;
iii. said first code being different from said second code;
b. a first plurality of marker means,
i. each of said marker means having thereon a letter of said alphabet;
ii. each of said marker means having thereon a symbol of said first code, the last said symbol thereon being said first codes symbol representing the said letter thereon;
iii. each of said marker means being positionable on said game support means by a player and being operable by said player for exposing, to the view of an observer of said game support means, only the said first codes said symbol thereon;
iv. each of said marker means also being operable by said player for exposing, to the view of said observer, the said alphabets said letter thereon;
c. A second plurality of marker means substantially equal in number to the first plurality of marker means i. each said second pluralitys marker means having thereon a letter of said alphabet which identically corresponds to the letter of said alphabet appearing on each correspondingone of the first said marker means ii. each of said second pluralitys marker means having thereon a symbol of said second code, the last said symbol thereon being said second codes symbol representing the saidalphabets said letter thereon;
iii. each of said second pluralitys marker means being positionable by a player. on said game support means and being operable by the last said player for exposing, to the view of said observer, only the said second codes said symbol thereon;
iv. each of said second pluralitys marker means also being operable by said last said player for exposing, to the view of said observer, the said alphabets said letter thereon;
d. said marker means being sufficient in number, and each of said several letters of said alphabet being represented on as many said marker means as is necessary to allow said players to compose said crossword array;
e. the symbol disposed on each of the said first pluralitys marker means being different from the symbol which is disposed on each of the said second pluralitys marker means whenever the letter of the alphabet disposed on each of the said first pluralitys marker means is identical to the corresponding letter of the alphabet disposed on each of the said second pluralitys marker means;
f. 'each of said first pluralitys marker means also having thereon a characteristic means for identifying each marker means as belonging to said first plurality of marker means, each of said second pluralitys marker means also having thereon a characteristic means different from the characteristic means on said first pluralitys marker means for identifying each marker means as belonging to said second pluralitys marker means.
2. The game apparatus of claim 1, wherein said game support means is a board.
3. The game apparatus of claim 1, wherein there are further pluralities of marker means, each of said further pluralities of marker means being identical to said first and second pluralities of marker means, except that none of said further pluralities of marker means has symbols defining a code which is the same as the code defined by the symbols of any other said plurality of marker means.
4. The game apparatus of claim 1, wherein each said marker means has an obverse side and a reverse side, each said obverse side having an alphabet letter thereon, and each said reverse side having a code symbol thereon, and each marker means being constructed 6 and arranged such that it can be positioned on said support with either of its said sides concealed from view and the other said sides exposed to view.
5. The game apparatus of claim 1, wherein each said marker means is a flat element having an obverse side and a reverse side, said obverse side having an alphabet letter thereon and said reverse side having a code symbol thereon.
6. The game apparatus of claim 5, wherein said game support means is a board and said array extends along the length and breadth of said board.
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|U.S. Classification||273/272, 273/291|
|Cooperative Classification||A63F3/0423, A63F2003/0428|