Bananagrams true lowercase scrabble

Scrabble competitor letter tile gameSNL’s Weekend Update poked fun at a tragic development in the world of word games. SCRABBLE rescinded its famous prohibition on proper names and places, leaving SNL to suggest that JENGA should let us use glue. Was traditional Scrabble (let’s call it Scrabble Classic) becoming too difficult for today’s wordsmiths? Maybe conjuring anagrams from a modern vocabulary has became too hard a scrabble. The timing of this generous handicap would seem to take aim at viral rival BANANAGRAMS, a faster but no looser crossword game. I think the focus playgroup missed a larger no-child-left-behind incompatibility, math. To square off with Bananagrams, Scrabble needs to dumb down the arithmetic.

Maneuvering the ten-point letter unto the triple-letter square, that’s a challenge best left to our British Commonwealth cousins, our betters at math, science and now, I’m guessing, English as a Second First Language.

Although one could long, with Bananagrams, for a more complicated scoring system than simply who “peels” last. I’d like to see scores for most words formed, or long peel drives, or complexity of words formed. An interesting dilemma develops in Bananagrams between choosing entertaining words versus more interchangeable monosyllabic varieties. But Bananagrams keeps it simple and fast, which I think explains its contemporary appeal.

Which by no means means simple. Newcomers to Bananagrams, as they did for Scrabble, still find themselves well outmatched by players equipped with crossword puzzle vocabularies. Adz, Ait, Axon.. if you’re lacking for despicable examples.

Scrabble had to open the doors to proper nouns probably because today’s television vocabulary consists largely of brand names and trademarks.

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