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Scrabbling for cover

india Updated: Apr 07, 2010 22:48 IST

Hindustan Times
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Change to set are game of the rules. Confused, are you? Well, if the owners of a much-loved pastime have their way, backwards may just be the new way forward. So, with Scrabble players soon being allowed to spell words backwards, upwards and what not, we could well be writing this editorial from the slewob of Ihled.

Mattel has angered purists who are not too sold on the idea of corrupting the chaste version of their favourite mind sport. Now, being allowed to spell out ‘capitalised’ words like Albuquerque, Jacques or even Jujube would even the playing field for the vocabularily challenged, provided the masters at Mattel are willing to throw a few extra letters into the bag. Then you could just zzzzz yourself to a cool 60 points without breaking into a sweat and, what with the popularity of numerology, Rexxxx, your doggie’s name, could be worth a two-dozen point bonus just for its auspicious emphasis.

But for those seasoned Scrabblers who have spent hours scratching their heads while vying for real estate on ‘premium’ squares, these sacrilegious suggestions — including the one where words may not necessarily have to connect with one another — might seem a tad uncouth. Besides, what fun might the scrambled version of the game be if spelling anything from Brangelina to Chumbawumba is no longer considered cheating? But, hey, here’s a comforting thought: you can still turn Malayalam upside down without selling your soul.