Words speak louder than actions
First off, are you recalcitrant and cool? Competitive, social and brainy? Do you love fun that's original and clever? And where there's actually a winner? Then you'll definitely love One Up! — The Wicked/Smart Word Game. Unlike all the other dumb, same/same junk out there, One Up! makes a virtue of a vice that's also incredibly addictive: taking things that don't belong to you. Stealing is not only encouraged, it's rewarded.
One Up!'s faster and quicker (and easier and harder) than Scrabble, and we guarantee that if you're not hooked for life after the first 5 minutes... you need to give it another 5! Come on, party people — let's make the world a more literate, playful place, one word at a time.
Welcome back vocabularians! Just like last year, we'll post a One Up! 'game situation' every month so all you brainiacs out there can show everyone how brilliant and quick you are.
Here's all you need to know now to play: take one or more letters from the center and add them to an existing word to make a new word.
Since there won't be a "right" answer, we'll be looking for originality, wit and wow! The monthly winner will receive a One Up! and have his or her name put in the drawing for the Grand Prize at the end of the year.
Note: "Uppity" tile can be used as any letter, and can be changed when making new words. In this case it's an "N".
Share on Facebook | Here's my magnificent stab at it...
This month we're going back to an old "reliable":
I am starting with LIBEL, a word that is "liable" to make me your next winner. To that I add YINS, which, like "yangs", are principles from Chinese cosmology.
The result is the adjective SIBYLLINE, meaning: cosmically, cryptically, and mysteriously prophetic. Much like my prediction that I will win this month's contest!
Have a Happy Thanksgivukkah (or is it Chanksgiving?),
Jeff "One-Up-Man" Kastner
p.s. Congrats on your ONEUPMANSHIP launch.
One Up! got a great write-up in Redbook magazine's special Kidbook supplement — which hit the newsstands today. Thanks a bunch, Ashley, and your fab staff too.
One Up!® everyone on your list.
We are thrilled that Real Simple magazine selected One Up!® as a 'Snow-Day Staple', which has inundated us with new orders. Thanks to all you word snobs/nerds/lovers for all your enthusiasm and support — let it snow!
House Rules Rule.
First and foremost, follow the instructions. But creativity and a level playing field are sometimes just as important. At our house, we have our own variations that make it fairer for all of us to play together - we let the kids (ages 10, 9, 8) make any words; my wife can only make 4 letter words (which she's really good at!); and I can only make 5 letter words or longer. Piece of cake.
We've heard from 2 different people saying they subtract the first 2 letters of each word when adding up the score (instead of one), which gives even more weight to superior thinking ability. An old friend of ours who is always flying back and forth between L.A. and New York for business tells us that he has 5-minute speed games before meetings, or on the set between takes, and it really gets everyone's synapses fired up. The too-cool-for-schoolers who used to be late or were bent gaga over their Blackberrys all the time, he tells us now actually show up early and eager to sharpen their wits!
A League of Their Own.
We received this email from Bob Gillis, author of Bob's Bible (a Scrabble word reference guide) and member of the National Scrabble Association's dictionary committee, and realized what we always suspected was true is true - we're complete amateurs:
This is essentially the after hours game of choice at Scrabble tournaments.
We take two (or more) sets of Scrabble Tiles and place them face down, mix
and everyone slides some near themselves.
Typical minimum is 7 letters though intermediate players may play 5.
Our rules for "steals" has evolved a bit -- to steal a word, the new word
must not contain the old word inside it (in order) even if you hypothetically remove letters. In other words, the word cannot be stolen if it is an extension or an insertion or combination
thereof. Occasionally this eliminates a few fairly nice plays, but it makes a straightforward
enforceable no-quibble rule.
We sometimes play with blanks as well, but they must be accompanied by two non
blank letters and only used for steals of a length at least 3 longer than the word being
Our scoring is based on sum of squares... first we match like length words (since they
cancel out) and the remaining are scored as the square of the word length. However, the
winner is usually obvious and so most games are never scored.
I can remember seeing the 14 letter word
tatterdemalion (aka ragamuffin) played at the 2008 Boston Area (Scrabble) Tournament by Frank Tangredi of NY. His brief account to the national scrabble email list:
"No, I'm not tooting my horn about winning the early bird, though that
felt DAMN good. But on Saturday night, I made the best anagrams steal
of my life - even better than KINDLIEST + F*.
David Wiegand had RETALIATE....
I stole it with DMNT...
And the word was...
It's pretty unbelievable how far certain players go in playing Anagrams.
The top players are so good that it's impossible for most good scrabble
players to even hold onto any words for the duration of a game.
Kudos to you for introducing it to a new group of players...
*Distelfink n. A traditional Pennsylvania Dutch folk art motif of a bird or birds symbolizing good luck and happiness.
In the beginning was the word (game)...
There's nothing new under the sun, just rehash. But that doesn't mean rehash can't be breathtakingly original, and fresh. We'd like to think ours is. But we're also students of history, and want to know where things come from, and how they got from there to here. For a comprehensive and in-depth look at word games down through the ages and around the world, check out Steffan O'Sullivan and Graham Toal's excellent Letter-by-Letter Word Games.