Playing Scrabble is a very close contact activity and since the start of the first lockdown back in March 2020, we have been unable to meet for our regular weekly Friday morning games at the Indoor Bowls Clubhouse in Peterborough.
Like many groups, midway through last year, we decided to get together fortnightly on Zoom, initially to keep in touch by having a chat over a coffee.
Then Tony, our deputy leader, who has a Zoom account and kindly allows the group to use it, devised a simple Scrabble based Quiz, using his Scrabble board, the camera on his iPad and Keynote ( the Apple equivalent of PowerPoint)
One word is shown on the board, plus a rack of 7 randomly chosen tiles. Members, aided by pencil and paper, get 2 minutes to add to the word on the board using the tiles in the rack. A 2 minute timer counts down on the screen.
The game is scored as you normally would in Scrabble but with two exceptions. The value squares on the board are ignored and if they use all 7 letters in the rack they only get 10 points instead of 50. This stops anyone running too far ahead and keeps the game competitive.
There are 10 rounds, with the word and tiles changing each time, after which, the scores are totalled.
Then to finish the game there is a ‘Scrabble Scramble’ ( pinched from Countdown…… shhh)
Members get 30 seconds to unscramble a 7 letter word shown on the tile rack. 10 points are awarded if they get it right. If a player gets it wrong, they drop out and the 30 second clock is reset. This is often a game changer if the scores are close after the 10 rounds. A cryptic clue is provided.
The game, which has proved to be very popular, keeps us amused or frustrated, depending on how well we are doing.
We hope to be back to weekly face to face meetings very soon.