Cumbernauld’s Ken is Scottish Scrabble champion

16-05-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. CUMBERNAULD. Link Centre. Ken McGinness, newly crowned Scottish Open Scrabble Champion.
16-05-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. CUMBERNAULD. Link Centre. Ken McGinness, newly crowned Scottish Open Scrabble Champion.

Scrabble players from all over the UK and Ireland descended on Edinburgh over the weekend of May 13-14 for the Scottish Scrabble Open.

Victory this year went to Ken McGuinness from Smithstone.

It was a fairly high scoring event with Ken averaging 428 points per game over 14 games and two days.

Part of the fun of playing Scrabble is to play all your seven letters in one turn to score a bonus of an extra 50 points. In this department Ken managed 32 bonus words over the 14 games for a remarkable average of 2.3 bonus words per game.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a wordsmith, why not have a go and try and unravel some of the bonus words that Ken played from the following racks (answers at end of this article):

AIMNRST

ACDEGRS

AEGNORS

DEIINOS

Ken plays locally in the Cumbernauld Scrabble Club , which he joined about ten years ago after becoming semi-retired. With over 20 members, Cumbernauld boasts one of the largest clubs in the UK with a good mix of membership with half the members playing socially and the other half also competing in weekend tournaments against players from other clubs across the UK.

There is usually one tournament a month in Scotland with exotic locations such as Airdrie, Aberdeen, Prestwick and Motherwell all on the agenda in the coming months. Cumbernauld will also host an open tournament in St Mungo’s Church Hall in October this year, where it is also expected to attract many players from across the UK.

Invented by Alfred Mosher Butts, an unemployed architect from New York, Scrabble was designed to use both chance and skill, combining features of anagrams and crossword puzzles. The letter distribution was based on meticulous study of the frequency with which letters appeared on the front page of the New York Times.

Established manufacturers universally declined to take on this new game, but Butts met an entrepreneur, James Brunot, who loved it and together they refined this invention, coming up with the name Scrabble and launching it in 1948. The first couple of years were slow but popularity boomed after Macy’s stocked the game in the 1950s.

Anagram answers: martins (bird), cadgers (beggars), oranges (fruit) and iodines (an element).