Word Squares - beat those Coronavirus blues

Here's a little something to help while away those self-isolation hours.

My family have been playing this for years. It's a simple word game.

Well, what do you expect? Words are my life and many would say I'm simple!

You can play this at home but it also works using Zoom or other conferencing platforms.


Simple low-tech fun

The beauty of this game lies in its simplicity.

Play it with 2,3,4,5 players (more than that and it becomes unwieldy)

Each player needs a piece of paper and a pen … and a brain helps.

Fewer than 2? Well, that gives you a pretty good chance of winning.


The aim

 Each player draws a simple grid – 5 x 5 like this

empty grid

The aim is to end with it filled with words which read from left-to-right and from top-to-bottom (not diagonally).
No-one ever achieves the aim but, if they did, their grid might look like this -

filled grid

How to play

One player starts and says a letter. Everyone has to write it into their grid, wherever they like.

Once everyone has put their letter in, it’s the next player’s turn.

Once that player has played,  no-one can change their mind about the previous letter they’ve just inserted. This is the bit that beginners often don’t get. You can’t go back and change letters you’ve already put in.
The knack is to plan ahead – but, of course, you have to keep changing your plan, as you’re dependent on the letter choices of the others.

And that's it! I told you it was simple.
You keep taking turns until you've filled the grid.


Now it’s time to score and it goes like this.

Every 5 letter word earns 10 points

4 letter words – 5 points

3 letters – 3 points

2 letters – 2 points


Play as many rounds as you like, totting up each player’s scores as you go along.


Any points for a 1-letter word?

What words aren’t allowed?
Foreign language words
‘Proper nouns’ i.e. any word that begins with a capital letter.
Hint – if it’s allowed in Scrabble, it’s allowed in Word Squares.

How long does each round usually take?
Rarely more than 15 minutes.

Do embedded words count, e.g. BEARS - EARS within BEAR?
No - they don't count.

What about plurals?
Yes - they're fine.

Can you make word separate words on one line e.g. AT and FRY?
Yes - they're fine too.

Give it a go.
Then Email me and let me know how you get on.

Did you think this piece of nonsense was fun? Plenty more where it came from.
You'll find them all filed under Flotsam and Jetsam.

Mar 31, 2020
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