Original Word Games by David Parlett

QUIZL


Verbal Battleships

Players 2 or more   Type Constructive   Equipment Pencil & paper
QUIZL is my version of the well-known game of Battleships played with words.
Start
You draw a 5x5=25 square grid. Number the column heads in the top row from 0 to 4 and leftmost cell of each row from 5 to 9. Then write a word of five letters horizontally in any row or vertically in any column. Finally, write 20 of the unused letters of the alphabet in the empty cells, omitting whichever you like (typically, but not necessarily, Q). Try to arrange them in such a way as to suggest possible words they might belong to, but do not make another genuine five-letter word. It will be helpful to draw as many other empty grids as there are opponents, so that you an keep track of the results.
Object
Your aim is to discover everyone else's hidden word.
Play
You each in turn call out a two-digit number, the first being a row number (5, 6, 7, 8 or 9) and the second a column number (0, 1, 2, 3, 4). Suppose you say “5-1”. Then everybody else (not yourself) announces which letter occupies that grid reference, even if it has been called and answered already (as often happens when more than two are playing). The turn to call then passes to the next player.
Guessing a word
Anyone, at any time, may point to a player (the ‘Guest’) and say “Your word is… (whatever)”.If correct, the guesser scores 1 point for each unrevealed letter remaining in the guest’s tray.
If you guess wrong, the guest scores 10 points and you must miss your next turn.
Example
As you can see, the word BLIND is concealed in the illustrated example.
 
0
1
2
3
4
5
P
M
Z
J
F
6
R
O
T
A
W
7
U
V
H
C
K
8
B
L
I
N
D
9
G
Y
S
X
E
Special rules
If your word is accidentally revealed (because four of its letters have already been declared and the fifth is called) you get a score equivalent to 1 point for each of the 25 letters in your grid that have not been called.
 
If your tray happens to contain two genuine 5-letter words, you must accept as correct whichever of them is guessed first. (It is no defence to say 'I didn't know it was a real word'.)
 
If anyone’s grid is found not to contain a genuine 5-letter word, every other player scores 10 points.
 
If your word has not been correctly guessed by the time only ten of your unrevealed letters have not been called, you reveal your whole grid and score 10 (unless your word is not valid, when everybody else scores 10).
 
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