Scrabble-Thon for the Escondido Library is back


He is back. Scrabble-Thon, the Escondido Public Library’s tribute to many things spelled for points, returns for its 16th annual “QUARTZY,” otherwise known as the best performing word you can play, according to James Bartlett , scrabble expert.

According to Bartlett, QUARTZY, will score 164 points if played on a red three-word square with the Z on a light blue two-letter square. It will score 162 points if it is played on two pink double word squares with the Q and Y on those squares. BEZIQUE and CAZIQUE follow with 161 possible points. The three words score 50 additional points for having seven letters and therefore emptying the letter box in one go.

The Escondido Public Library and the Friends of Literacy Services are hosting the 16th Annual Scrabble-Thon and Fundraising Tournament from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, 2020. The event will take place in the community auditorium from Park Avenue. Center, located at 210 Park Ave, Escondido, CA 92025. Doors open for player registration at 8:00 am. The tournament starts at 9:00 a.m.

Players must pre-register before March 4, 2020 online at, by mail or in person at the Literacy Services office, located on the 2nd floor of the Library. The registration fee for adults is $ 25; registration for high school students is $ 15.

The Scrabble tournament consists of five 30-minute games and is open to adults and high school students. Players register to play in one of three divisions: Novice, Intermediate or Advanced.

Participants can compete individually or as part of a group affiliation. Players can participate as special groups that will be recognized for their participation during the tournament. Players compete for prizes at the end of each game as well as for final rewards for top individual and team scores.

Scrabble-thon raises money for the library’s literacy service program. Sponsored by the Friends of Literacy Services, 100 percent of the proceeds will be used to provide literacy materials and resources. There will be opportunity drawings, a Pick-a-Tile game, and silent auction items throughout Scrabble-thon. Donations are tax deductible.

The Escondido Public Library is located at 239 S. Kalmia Street, in downtown Escondido. For more information on Scrabble-Thon and library services, or contact the Senior Literacy Librarian, Dan Wood, at 760-839-4827 or [email protected]

Who can resist Scrabble-thon?

Who can resist Scrabble-thon?

By scratching it: started with an accident

There were many casualties of the American Great Depression in 1929. But in 1933, an unemployed architect named Alfred Mosher Butts invented a game that would lift the spirits of millions of people.

Hailing from Poughkeepsie, New York, Butts had taken to analyzing popular games, defining three different categories: number games, such as dice and bingo; move games, such as chess and checkers; and word games, like anagrams. He also noted, “… there is one thing that keeps word games from being as popular as card games: they don’t have a score. “

Attempting to combine the thrill of chance and skill, Butts interwoven the elements of classic anagrams and crosswords into a scarring word game first called LEXIKO. This was then refined in the early 1930s and 1940s to become CRISS CROSS WORDS.

The SCRABBLE game is born

Legend has it that Butts studied the front page of the “New York Times” to make his calculations for the distribution of letters in the game. This skilled cryptographic analysis of our language formed the basis of the original tile distribution, which has remained constant for nearly three generations and billions of games.

Nonetheless, established game makers unanimously slammed the door on Butts’ invention. It wasn’t until Butts met James Brunot, an avid gaming entrepreneur, that the concept became a commercial reality.

Together they refined the rules and the design, then, more importantly, came up with the name SCRABBLE – a word defined as ‘to grab, collect or hold onto something’; and a word that really captured the essence of this remarkable concept. This is how the crossword puzzle of the brand SCRABBLE was registered in 1948.

Words don’t always come easily …

Continuing on their way, the Brunots rented a small abandoned red school in Dodgington, Connecticut. With friends, they played 12 games an hour, stamping letters on wooden tiles, one at a time. It was only later that the planks, boxes, and tiles were made elsewhere and sent to the factory for assembly and shipping.

In fact, the first four years were a struggle. In 1949, the Brunots made 2,400 sets and lost $ 450. Nonetheless, the SCRABBLE game has grown in popularity slowly but steadily with a handful of consumers.

Then in the early 1950s, legend has it that the president of MACY’S discovered the game while on vacation and ordered some for his store. Within a year, the SCRABBLE game became a “must have” hit, to the point that SCRABBLE games were rationed in stores across the country!

In 1952, the Brunots authorized Selchow & Righter Company, a well-known game maker, to market and distribute the games in the United States and Canada. Selchow & Righter has ramped up production to meet the overwhelming demand for the SCRABBLE game. In 1972, Selchow & Righter purchased the brand from Brunot, thereby giving the company exclusive rights to all SCRABBLE branded entertainment products and services in the United States and Canada. One of the game’s first clever moves …

In 1986, Selchow & Righter was sold to COLECO Industries, which had become famous as the maker of Cabbage Patch dolls. Yet three years later, COLECO declared bankruptcy and its main assets, including SCRABBLE and PARCHEESI â„¢ games, were purchased by Hasbro, Inc., owner of Milton Bradley Company, the leading game maker in the United States.

Today, the SCRABBLE game can be found in three out of five US households, ranging from a Junior Edition to an Electronic Scoring Edition with many versions in between, including Standard, Deluxe, and Travel games.


Like chess and bridge, the competitive game SCRABBLE is extremely popular and continues to add players every year.

Each year, the North American SCRABBLE Players Association (NASPA) hosts a National SCRABBLE Championship in a major city in the United States. The tournament attracts over 500 highly skilled and competitive adult SCRABBLE players who compete in 31 rounds of individual play over a period of five days.

NASPA has thousands of players with official tournament rankings who compete in weekly competitions at sanctioned clubs in the United States and Canada. You can get involved and learn more about NASPA by visiting

The challenge continues …

Whatever the stakes, at home or in a tournament, competitive players can check and challenge their SCRABBLE words using Merriam-Webster’s “Official SCRABBLE Player Dictionary”.

The fifth edition of the dictionary was published in 2014, and has added more than 5,000 words since its last update. One notable word that was added was “GEOCACHE,” a word chosen by fans in the SCRABBLE Word Showdown that took place on Facebook in 2014.

For school-aged SCRABBLE enthusiasts, the National School SCRABBLE TOURNAMENT brings together participants from the United States and Canada, unearthing the youngest rising stars of SCRABBLE. Students who participate in the tournament are usually members of a SCRABBLE school club where they learn the rules of the game, practice their vocabulary and learn the benefits of teamwork.

Parents, teachers and coaches can come to to find out more about the event and to register students for the tournament, which is held annually in the spring.

The SCRABBLE The game has also reached a new community of gamers in the digital age with digital versions of the game from licensee Hasbro Electronic Arts. Available on Facebook, iPhone, iPad and Android devices, these digital versions are a continuing testament to Alfred Mosher Butts and his wonderful play on words.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.