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Facts about the word game Scrabble as players compete in 25th National Scrabble Championships

Some facts about the game of Scrabble during the 25th National Scrabble Championships being played in Buffalo, New York. The winners will be crowned Wednesday.

— Architect Alfred Butts devised the game, first called Lexiko, then Criss Cross Words, during the Great Depression.

— There are 100 letter tiles in a Scrabble game, ranging in value from 1 point (A, E, I, O, U, L, N, S, T, R) and 10 points (Q, Z).

— Groups of six letters that combine with another letter for a valuable seven-letter word are called bingo stems. SATINE, SATIRE AND RETINA are considered the best bingo stems.

— “The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary,” released Monday from Merriam-Webster, was the first update in a decade and added 5,000 words including bromance, selfie and two-letter words like po, da and gi.

— Playable Scrabble words must be found in a standard dictionary, can’t require capitalization, can’t have hyphens or apostrophes and can’t be an abbreviation.

— Scrabble was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004.

— Hasbro Inc. sells 2 million copies annually in the United States.

— The North American Scrabble Players Association counts 151 active sanctioned clubs in North America.

— The highest word score recorded in a sanctioned NASPA tournament was braziers, which earned T.A. Sanders 311 points in 1997 in Tyler, Texas.

— The association has a code of conduct that prohibits audible obscenities, visible obscenities, physical abuse, intimidation, threats, cheating and suspicious behaviour.


Sources: National Toy Hall of Fame, North American Scrabble Players Association