Scrabble, Word Games, Puzzles and Children

Scrabble, Word Games, Puzzles

and Children

Various word games, puzzles online or offline are not just a source of entertainment, but also they serve as educational means to develop the childrens' abilities such as language skills like spelling, comprehension and vocabulary.

Word games you can play with your children may be classified as follows:

Paper and pencil games:

Acrostic puzzles
Crossword puzzles

Structured games which focus on the semantics of words and phrases:


Letter arrangement games, where the aim is to build words out of given letters:

Pick Two
Swedish puzzles

Linguistic recreations based around words and letters:



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Post: ANAGRAMS / Mar 13


This has got to be one of the cleverest I've seen in awhile.
Someone out there is deadly at Scrabble.
(Wait till you see the last one)!

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:


When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:

When you rearrange the letters:


When you rearrange the letters:

Yep! Someone with waaaaaaaaaaay
too much time on their hands! (Probably a son-in-law)

Career Choices

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Quaint Little Head
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Post: Career Choices / 14 March 2008

Career Choices

It so happens that not one but two linguistics professors are married to jazz musicians, and it so happens that they usually play together (I suppose it wouldn't do for them to compete, would it?), so when Alex suggested we go see them play last night, I went.

One of the two is her advisor's husband, and one of the two is my advisor's husband. Unfortunately, the latter was out of town, so I am hoping he won't think I snubbed him by coming to see his band the one time he wasn't there. I paid $2.25 for a Coke just so the bar would think they were getting some business out of having this band there (although I did get two free refills, so that actually wasn't too horrible). Then I sat and wondered about how exactly it works, and how much the band gets paid, and how amazing it is that regular average people in this regular average town can actually make a living playing jazz music, and reconsidering whether, given the fact that I've only made about $14,000 a year since completing my super-fancy triple-major B.A. with all sorts of honours, having stuck to music might not actually have been a more profitable occupation.

One of Alex's friends showed up and inquired as to whether our Linguistics Association "band" (also known as our linguistics association pipe dream) actually rehearses, and what kind of music we play, and why we don't actually perform somewhere (how cute, we have a fan!). It was thus established that, since two of us play recorder, we must do the progressive rock stuff (this came out of the other guy's mouth, not mine!), and lo and behold I discovered that I have met three people under 30 "in this sleepy bedroom town" who have actually heard of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, whereas, during my former life in the supposed "Live Music Capital of the World," I met not one single person of any age who had ever heard of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (although, to be fair, I did meet one 22-year-old in the music department who owned "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," although he later betrayed his progressive rock ignorance, or else a gross overestimation of my age, by asking whether I had seen Peter Gabriel perform with Genesis).

Apparently, then, by some magic unexplained stretch of the imagination, Lafayette is actually a haven for all four of the world's known progressive rock fans under 30; so, would it not be wise at this point for me to wonder whether a career in the local bars would be more profitable than the Ph.D.? Don't all the other linguists think it's much more cool that I always beat them at music trivia than that my conversational data appear to show differences between schisming patterns in English and German? Was I a fool to give up my music major when there's clearly a niche for me here?

I tried to put the thought aside as I went to bed, knowing that I would have to get up early to come to school and edit another student's dissertation. But it is very hard to put all thoughts aside at 2:00 a.m. with three glasses of Coke's worth of caffeine coursing through your veins. So my mind started wandering, Joycean style. First I thought of how funny it is that people always assume that since I'm a Christian and I don't drink, I must not drink because I'm a Christian, when really I just don't drink because I think most alcohol tastes nasty, and costs far too much to taste so nasty, when, if I wanted to taste something nasty, I could go eat White Castle for a fraction of the price.

Then I thought that I've been guilty of the same sort of thoughts, because I remember being shocked when Barbara's sister said that she used to work at a bar in Salt Lake City (they have bars in Salt Lake City? And Mormons work at them?). Then I thought about that time Barbara absolutely could not beat me in Jenga. Then I thought about how Bob said Scrabble was her absolute favourite game and how she actually plays, and wins small amounts of money, in Scrabble tournaments. And then I thought about how much I hate Scrabble.

You would think a linguist would enjoy Scrabble, but I think the reason I don't is that it's not necessarily a reflection of your linguistic ability. There's no right answer to figure out. You can know tons and tons of words, but if you pick a bunch of tiles that you can't make good words out of, you still won't get many points. I spent one summer with my brother spending hours at a time playing "Text Twist" on Yahoo, which is where you have to unscramble a word before a timer runs out. I like that, because I get points for being smart and fast. In Scrabble, neither necessarily matters.

And then I thought about that first Simpsons episode (or, probably more precisely, the first Simpsons episode to air outside the confines of the Tracey Ullman Show). Remember it? Where Bart's unfortuitous seven tiles are "kwijybo," so he puts them all down and makes up a fake definition for the supposed word "kwijybo?" So then I lay in bed and decided to see if I could think of the longest word you could make with the tiles in "kwijybo."


I wasn't doing so well. I tried really hard to think of whether there were any four-letter words I could make out of "kwijybo." I thought again that this must be why I hate Scrabble. And then I had an epiphany.

You don't have to use all your tiles at once. So, assuming there's a good chance that somewhere on that Scrabble board is a free "a" with nothing attached to it, you could use all but the "k" to spell "Ojibway." If you had to wait a turn for the free "a" to show up somewhere, you could always waste a turn by getting rid of that "k" by sticking it onto Lisa's "id" to form "kid." And then, when that "a" came around, you could get a lot of points.

Which brought me back to my original line of thinking: where did I get this fabulous word-knowledge that allowed me to think of "Ojibway?" Thank you, linguistics? No. Thank you, Shania Twain. Once again the profit appears to lie not in the career I have chosen, but in the knowledge gained from the one I abandoned. Linguistics, have you taught me nothing that I hadn't already learned from Vh-1?

Then, sadly, just before succumbing to mental exhaustion and sleep, I thought of something else. The rules of Scrabble. No proper nouns. And THAT is why I hate Scrabble so much.

Word Games (Sunday Scribblings)

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Granny Smith
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Post: Word Games (Sunday Scribblings) / March 7, 2008

Word Games (Sunday Scribblings)

I’ll admit it. I’m a word junkie. My favorite games are Scrabble and Boggle. I work and even create crossword puzzles. Beyond that, I love to play with individual words, twist them, slap them into new forms, wring them out for new meanings.

Whereas others may put themselves to sleep by counting sheep, I do so by counting the number of words that I can make from the letters of a single word chosen at random. I do mean at random. Sometimes I choose it by focusing on the spine of a book in my bookcase. Sometimes it just pops into my head. Sometimes I am frustrated, as when the word that popped into my head was Mississippi. Try as I might, I could only come up with the following words: sip, pips, pip, miss, sips, piss, pimp, pimps, imps, imp, simp (slang) and simps. When, as I sometimes do when I run out of other possibilities, I tried to compose something from these, it turned out to be indecent.

Last night the word for courting slumber was multiplications. I should explain my self-imposed rules. I only use letters to the extent that they occur in the original word. Therefore, from the word above, I could make action but not inaction, since the latter has two ns and multiplication has only one.

It put me to sleep last night, but not before the richness of its harvest imprinted itself on my mind to the extent that I expanded my word search into today. Then I tried to use the new words to compose a piece. What is it? Poem? Lecture? Diatribe? You decide.

Call up an atoll,
a tall atomic mist,
as small mutations cast a pall on millions.
Mull on impact , on implications
as an oil scion claims soil to tap for oil,
as compliant oilist toils to plant
panic imputations,
put out an illicit call-up to all,
to a son to sail into action
to implant on locals an unlocal plan,
to still complaints --
son lost at an action station
in pain to taint a soul,
slain in oil silt,
lain so still!
So still!

Oust a scamp!
Opt to call a recall poll!
A plain stipulation:
Stamp out atomic multiplication,
its toll on trust!
Cast out oil pacts!
Split past oil until
sun, not oil, can act!
Stop oil action,
its oil spill, oil spoil.

And to think that all this was found in that one word multiplications!

Yes, as you might guess from this, I have other obsessions: peace on earth, protection of the environment, world health and others. I’m sorry I couldn’t show my support of women by including a daughter as well as a son in this little piece. But she was not to be found in multiplications. Could it be that she prefers mathematics? If so, perhaps it’s because it has team items as its meat.

Yes, words can say things about themselves! I don’t know what this might mean in the case of Mississippi. I’ll skip New Orleans and the possible miss with a pimp. But I do remember a night in a motel on the Mississippi River when my husband and I bought bottled water so that, given the color of the water that flowed from our faucet, we didn’t have to sip piss from upstream!

Baby Shower Games Can Be Fun And Inexpensive

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Post: Baby Shower Games Can Be Fun And Inexpensive / March 7th, 2008

Baby Shower Games Can Be Fun And Inexpensive

Are you planning a baby shower? Are you trying to figure out what to do? If so, here are a few fun baby shower game ideas for you.

The key to great baby shower games is to be short and fun. The games will serve as ice breakers if the guests do not know each other, and the themes should always be babies. For a typical baby shower in which no full meals are served, expect to be able to play two or three games.

Icebreaker Games

These games will get your guests interacting.

Who Am I, the Baby Version - In this game, players are each given a piece of paper with the name of a famous person on it. They do not look at the name, but tape it to their forehead. They then must figure out who they are by the reactions of the other guests. In the baby version, consider using only famous celebrity mothers, or perhaps cartoon characters. Be creative!

Who Is That Baby? - Before the party, have guests send you photos of themselves as a baby. Have each guest try to match the baby picture with the correct adult. The person with the most matches wins.

Don’t Say It - When guests arrive, give them each a pacifier on a ribbon which they can wear over their neck. Instruct them that they are not allowed to say “baby” during the party. If another guest catches them at it, the can take their pacifier. At the end of the party, the guest with the most pacifiers wins.

Word Games

Baby Boggle - Come up with a fun sentence about the baby and the mother-to-be. See how many baby related words guests can make in three minutes from the letters. Everyone reads their list, crossing off duplicates, and the person with the most remaining wins. Use a phrase such as “So there’s going to be a new [parents’ last name] in the world!”

Advice Poem - Have someone write down a short piece of advice to the new mother. Then have the next person write down a line to create a poem about advice they have for the new mom. Continue with each guest adding a line, but each time, fold the paper so that the only line visible is the last one that was written. At the end, have someone read the finished poem. It is sure to contain lots of good advice in quite a funny way. This can also be done with guests writing a poem about the mother-to-be. This is especially good at a “Pamper Mommy” themed party.

Time Capsule - Have each guest write a short note to the baby. Seal the notes in a plastic bag and place them in a box for the mother-to-be, telling her she can open them with her child on his or her fifteenth birthday.

Games with Gifts

Assuming everyone is bringing a gift, you can easily create a game around them.

Baby Box - Ask every guest to bring a small item such as a rattle or a pacifier. As they arrive, place the items in a box which has a small hole cut in the side. After all the guests have arrived, give each person 20 seconds to touch as many items as they can (no peeking!), then have them write down what they felt. The person with the most correct wins.

Active Games

These games will get the guests up off the couch.

Diaper Tower - Have guests stack as many diapers as they can without the tower falling over. Of course, the mother-to-be gets to keep the diapers!

Tree Planting - Have guests help plant a tree in honor of the baby. This is especially nice if the mother-to-be recently moved into a new home. (Of course, get her input on the type of tree she would like.)

Dirty Diapers - Buy ten different chocolate candy bars (Snickers, Hershey’s, etc.). Melt the bars and put each into a separate diaper. Hang diapers along a clothesline before the guest arrive. Give each guest a piece of paper and have them smell all the diapers (take lots of pictures!). The winner is the guest who correctly identifies each candy bar.

Other Games

Are You Hungry? - Before dessert is served, bring in a tray of various baby foods, with the labels removed. Number each bottle and have the guests look at each (no tasting or smelling!) and write down what they think it contains. The winner is the person who identifies the most correct foods.

Pacifier Pass - Have everyone put a pen or pencil (or chopstick) in their mouth. Place a pacifier on the end of one of the pencils. Guests must pass the pacifier around the circle without using their hands. If a guest drops the pacifier, they are out. The winner is the last person still in the circle.

Bottle Race - Time guests drinking juice from a bottle - the fastest time wins! This is best done as a race, with white grape juice or something else that won’t stain. And once again, the mother-to-be keeps the bottles.

Gifts for the Winners

Gifts for the winners of the baby shower games can vary, but something inexpensive like shower gel or coffee will do nicely. Or guests can rack up points for each game they play (100 to the winner, 90 to second place, etc.) and at the end of the night the grand prize winner can take home something a little nicer, such as a restaurant gift certificate or bottle of wine.

While you can buy baby shower games from most party stores, the games that are the most fun are those you create with the mother-to-be specifically in mind. A new mother will also appreciate it if any of the games result in baby items she can keep, and the guests will love a door prize. One way to get something every mother needs: tell guests that there is going to be a raffle, and the cost of entry is a pack of diapers.

They can enter as many times as they would like. Then either buy or make a gift basket. For instance, the prize could be a bottle of wine, pasta, sauce, parmesan cheese, and some yummy cookies in a basket. It could also be a gift certificate to a restaurant or spa. This will keep the new mother in diapers for quite awhile!

Jennifer Barnett is a successful party planner providing valuable tips and advice on planning a baby shower that is inexpensive, fun for the guests with baby shower games, and choosing the perfect baby shower gift.

Take your broke rack home

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Post: Take your broke rack home / March 6, 2008

Take your broke rack home

I have never really liked Scrabble. But for some reason, when you put it online and give it a catchy new name, I become addicted to it. I refer of course to Scrabulous, the most excellent time-waster I have ever seen. I am really not very good at it, but I usually have at least five games going at once. (I have to draw the line at playing at work though – I would never get anything done!)

Inspired by my new addiction, I decided to finally read a book that I bought a few months ago but hadn’t gotten around to yet – “Word Freak,” by Stefan Fatsis. The author is a Wall Street Journal reporter who decided to devote a year to Scrabble to see if he could become an expert level player.

Fatsis started hanging out with several of the best Scrabble players in the U.S., a motley collection of mostly unemployed, unsocialized young men who spend all of their time memorizing word lists and quizzing each other on anagrams. At first he is somewhat disdainful of all the time they spend on Scrabble, but soon enough he becomes sucked into the crazed world of competitive Scrabble.

These people are not joking around – it’s not unusual to see words like SUQ, ZINCOID, LIAISES and ACAROID appear on the board. Players compile and study lists of the letter combinations most likely to produce bingos (which use all 7 letters on your rack), lists of two letter words, lists of words that include BOAT, etc, etc.

An aside: My most glorious Scrabulous moment so far involves making ZANY with a triple-word score, with the Y hooked onto JAUNT to form JAUNTY. That totaled about 80 points, which is nothing compared to the moves that the elite players make all the time.

Fatsis profiles many of the major players and delves into the history of Scrabble as he relates his personal quest to reach the expert level. The game was invented by architect Alfred Butts in the 1930s and eventually bought by Hasbro (Mattel owns the international rights).

Both companies have been making quite a fuss over the huge popularity of Scrabulous and are threatening to shut it down. In my opinion, that would just alienate all of the new Scrabble fans (like me!), which seems like a marketing fiasco. Hopefully they can come up with some kind of agreement… I’m optimistic that it hasn’t been shut down yet :)

Btw the title of this post comes from this fantastic song, “Scrabulous,” a parody of “Glamorous,” passed on to me by Mimi37 (who always beats me at Scrabulous! Grrrr). My favorite line: “If you ain’t got no vowels take your broke rack home.”

How to Prepare for a Psychometric Test

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Post: How to Prepare for a Psychometric Test / March 2, 2008

How to Prepare for a Psychometric Test

Designed to measure a candidate's ability, and how they respond to the situation in practical work, becoming closer to psychological tests, part of the selection process adopted. Thus, the candidate should be prepared to face the psychological test will be the same as they prepare for an interview. However, what they can do to ensure optimal performance of your day to give?
it skills will be lost seemingly resurrected the possibility to exercise specific areas of the brain.

For example, pre-verbal reasoning in the case of a psychological test, spend a lot of time playing word games and crossword puzzles will certainly pay dividends. Activities to strengthen your precious it is a different analysis and communication skills, business depth reading an article summarising their journals and important points. What seemed at first, it may soon be hard slog to come naturally.

as numerical reasoning, mental arithmetic, including basic training in addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, and the percentage ratio. In addition, a variety of ways to familiarise himself with the visual presentation of data - graphs, pie chart, histogram and psychological tests for the assessment of the ability to process information rather than direct and perform calculations Because the practice to extract data from a variety of forms concrete facts. This kind of data can be found in the financial press, as well as technical manuals, your math text math books.

if you feel is too rusty to be of any use, basic Back to practice and through simple calculations inning and running up to 12 times more familiar feel. If you wish, you participate in a basic course computation. These details about the career library available from the need to reinvigorate advisors.
once verbal and numerical skills, using sample questions to the actual practice of psychometric tests tests.

examples -- questions from www.psychometric are available. This is the actual fact Paper improve training of scores of candidates, as many examples as possible, please try can.
as but all this is the spirit ; limbering , and the skill to defeat the mark to prevent unnecessary. Most obviously, the better to make sure that before retrieving the night of sleep is a test, and get there in plenty of time to ensure relaxed and now ready to give a sense of one's best efforts, so within PHP.

When you actually sit down to take the test, and listen carefully to the instructions If you have any questions, please. One query is certainly worth if it is to be reduced to mark the wrong answer. If you do not, then all of the questions, too, it is only your best guess. Numerical experiment, the more often you can eliminate the possibility of having to answer to calculate time-consuming one at a time, creating a rough estimate. Finally, do not worry, If you do not finish all the time in question, a lot of psychological testing is intentionally designed to have a surplus of questions, but at the end if you have time, check answers.

clearly than it is here proposed that preparations can not guarantee that path, but to ensure Give it your best shot. If you are not successful in your first test is a good think of it as the next preparations!
paul Newton, webmasters to offer free downloads of psychology success, as well as all the aptitude test and expert advice necessary for success in psychological tests.


Blog Name: Nurul Syakirin
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Post: SCRABBLE ( / March 2, 2008


Scrabble is a great family game for both fun and education. It is the wildly popular classic word-making board game with the use of selection of 7 letters to form the best words that score the highest points. It slowly helps to progress up the skill levels to gradually improve your vocabulary and scoring skill.

It is very challenging and suitable for both adults and teenagers. Even those who are in their late 50’s and above also capable to play these games. It is a good games to keep their senior mind busy. You can play by yourself anytime and build up your vocabulary skills. By playing scrabble, you can measure your improvement over time because it keeps track of your scores.

You can choose to play against the spectacular Artificial Intelligence, play against another player, or even play by yourself. When playing the computer, you have the choice of 8 different skill levels which is from the beginner to advance up to genius. Besides that, there is also an official scrabble dictionary where you can find out the definitions of any word played.

This is great for anyone who is trying to improve their vocabulary, especially students. Apart from that, it is also enhances your imagination and thinking. There were also similar types of games as scrabble named jamble that are available in This one is a little challenging and quite difficult compare to scrabble. I recommend advance learner to try and play this words game.

Make It Better: Scrabulous - Can someone shoot the lawyers please

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Angry African

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Post: Make It Better: Scrabulous - Can someone shoot the lawyers please / March 2, 2008

Make It Better: Scrabulous - Can someone shoot the lawyers please

I have to confess that I went through a phase of addiction. To Scrabulous on Facebook. I played it with my friends in Australia, and with my wife sitting across me in the lounge. I now have it under control. I only have about 2 games going at the same time and only play at night. Now it seems as if this will be taken away.

By Mattel and Hasbro - the owners of Scrabble. And, surprise, surprise, the fight is being led by the corporate lawyers.

I am not surprised that the lawyers are heading this up. They’ll take any case if they can smell that they might win. I guess it comes from losing so often. And corporate lawyers are especially pathetic. Couldn’t make it in the courtroom or on their own. So decided to be the ‘fact-checker’ that cross the t’s and dot the i’s. Boy, do I have a special dislike for them.

They have been at the heart of almost every failure that I have worked on. Mind you, not failure because of our work or advice. But failure because they didn’t agree with our way or our advice. Let me give you a classic example.

I worked with a large company that was the target of a major trademark campaign by activists and an African government. Our advice? Just agree to sign the agreement they want you to sign. Yes, you might have a legal case, but most of these cases have nothing to do with whether you are legally right or wrong.

Being legally right does not equal morally right. Legal justice does not mean doing what is just. The campaigners will just argue that the system is in favor of ‘Big Business’ and that the little guys always get the short end of the stick. It’s a ‘no win’ for the company.

And, most importantly, you can’t win a popularity contest with a respectable campaigning non-profit or an African country. Everyone got this, except the lawyers. They argued that it could set a precedent. That it might (yes might) hurt the company - they were wrong. So the company continued to fight the legal case.

And we continued to argue that they need to just sign the bloody agreement - their well earned reputation was getting hammered. We eventually told them that they WILL sign an agreement. Not because we say so, but that was just the way it works out in the end in these campaigns - hey, I headed up a few campaigns while at Oxfam.

It dragged out for more than a year. The company got hammered. Their reputation was shot. The end result? They agreed to sign the agreement…

I continue to fight the corporate lawyers at every turn. We argue - just be transparent and tell people everything. The lawyers? No, can’t do that - too risky. (I bet you that the tobacco industry got the same advice from their lawyers from day one). We argue - sign an agreement with the local community that you will respect their rights.

The lawyers? No, can’t do that - too risky. We argue - be open at the board level about pay. The lawyers? No, can’t do that - too risky. At every turn we bump into them. This roadblock stopping all progress. And the end result? The lawyers are wrong, the company’s reputation is damaged, and we look like asses for being right.

Why could the lawyers not be told to shut the hell up and let the ‘money makers’ in the company run things. I have had two CEO’s tell the lawyers to stop telling him what he can’t do and rather help him make things possible. Instead of stopping things from happening, make sure that every legal angle is covered to make things happen. Be part of progress, don’t stop it. And in both cases the company benefited from the result. Better relations, more respected brands, and innovative changes.

What should Hasbro and Mattel have done? Tell the lawyers to shut the hell up. And ask the marketing people to speak to the developers about getting their name attached to Scrabulous. Imagine - 500,000 free hits every single day.

Free advertising on one of the most popular social networks available. Instead? 500,000 potential campaigners against Hasbro and Mattel. Instead of free advertising and potential clients? Free dislike and loss of clients. I for one won’t be replacing my Scrabble game soon. And won’t buy the game for my friends as I was planning on doing. And I blame the corporate lawyers for that.

Can someone just shoot the corporate lawyers so we can start making some money and enjoy a better life.

Privacy Policy

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Scrabble, Controlling Authority

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Controlling Authority

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Post: Scrabble / March 2, 2008


Hasbro and Mattel claim that on-line Scrabble is piracy. I guess a lot of people are playing it on Facebook where it is called Scrabulous but the rules and points are exactly the same. As many of you know, I play at, I just checked my stats and I have played 1,641 games over about 4 years.

Both the sites are hosted on servers outside the U.S. Scrabulous in India and ISC in Romania. This makes it more difficult/impossible for Hasbro and Mattel to shut them down.

NoObamaKoolAid is going to love my suggestion to the companies: get the domain and start making money. Make the site really fun and easy to use. Let people play free if they are willing to look at ads but allow them to buy a membership that would allow them to play without being bothered by ads.

Give one player name free and let them buy more if they want. In short, build a better website where people can play scrabble and people will come. Why don’t they even try?

I am confident about my site in Romania staying up, but they could force the hand of facebook pretty easily. Or, license it to facebook for a fee. Facebook is making plenty of dough. I’m just saying people want to play scrabble, isn’t that good for the company? They just have to figure out how to get them to play on their website versus others.

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