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Eric writes -

I recently began playing competitive Scrabble again. Years ago I played at Scrabble tournaments and got quite good at it (peaking at 47th among the thoasands of rated players in the United States). I stopped playing in late 2004, but during the run I was at the height of my LEGO building career.

Many of the players I met on the “Scrabble circuit” learned of my LEGO profession, and invariably someone would mention, “you should build a Scrabble board out of LEGO!”

Scrabble boards are a very serious thing at tournaments. You can buy “deluxe” Scrabble sets at the toy store… they spin about, but they have a major shortcoming: the rotating board is rectangular. In the heat of competitive play, most players unconsciously move their racks of seven letter tiles toward the board. Then, when their turn is over, the opponent spins the board. If the board is rectangular, the corners form a longer radius in the rotation, and wham!, the racks of tiles are often hit by the board as it spins about.

Players don’t want to worry about their letters getting knocked about, so there is a whole cottage industry of Scrabble board makers. Such boards are circular so that players never accidently move their racks of letters to close. The board is larger than the set you buy at the store. The actual playing field in which the tiles are lain is the same size, but the circular nature of the board makes it an overall larger area.

Anyway… at any given Scrabble tournament you’ll see most players with customized boards. It’s a very personal thing.

Scrabble Board made from LEGO – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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