of Word Games
(cover) As a linguist by training and a gamester by profession I'm no exception. So here are some games of my invention originally published in one or more of Games & Puzzles magazine, or The Logophile, or The Penguin Book of Word Games (right), or Botticelli and Beyond, or The Guinness Book of Word Games, or its most recent incarnation as The Book of Word games. I've also added an updated version of a rather long essay on the validity of words in word games (see When is a word not a word?) first published in the Penguin Book. Its eventual conclusion is summarised in Parlett's Universal Rules for Word Games, namely: Any word is acceptable if -
- at least one opponent accepts it, or, if not,
- you can find it in a printed publication within five minutes of being challenged.
(I say "printed" because most of the stuff on the internet is written by illiterates.)
Lynx A two-player crossword game using any pre-printed grid
Nymphabet A Nim-type whip through the alphabet, for two
Phrase Maze Meaningful meanderings for two deductive geniuses
Quizl Another 2-player deductive with an on-line version for one
Silly Similes A creative caparison of comparisons for one or more punsters
Suspensions Or "Suspended Sentences" - to play when you're just hanging around
Trypo A game of poetic injustice for any number of players
Wordsworth My improvement (I hope) on an old favourite also called Letterbox (etc)
Publishing history: The Penguin Book appeared in 1982, with the same cover design for both hardback and paperback, with an American edition published by Pantheon Books under the title Botticelli and Beyond. In 1995 a revised version, now expanded to included proprietary games, was published as The Guinness Book of Word Games (by Guinness Publishing, of course). These have since been superseded by The Book of Word Games, published by Echo Point Books.