Original Word Games by David Parlett




An eclectic collection in alphabetical ordure...

Everybody likes word games. Cover
Front cover of my
Penguin Book of
Word games
(click to enlarge)
As a linguist by training and a gamester by inclination I am no exception to the rule. Here are a few games of my invention that were first published in Games & Puzzles magazine, or The Logophile, or The Penguin Book of Word Games (right), or Botticelli and Beyond, or The Guinness Book of Word Games, or its most recent incarnation as The Book of Word games. or any combination of them all. I've also added an updated version of a rather long essay on the validity of words in word games (see When is a word not a word?) first published in the Penguin Book. Its eventual conclusion is summarised in Parlett's Universal Rules for Word Games, namely: Any word is acceptable if (a) at least one opponent accepts it, or, if not, (b) you can find it in a printed publication within five minutes of being challenged.

A two-player crossword game using any pre-printed grid
A Nim-type whip through the alphabet, for two
Phrase Maze
Meaningful meanderings for two deductive geniuses
Another 2-player deductive with an on-line version for one
Silly Similes
A creative caparison of comparisons for one or more punsters
Or "Suspended Sentences" - to play when you're just hanging around
A game of poetic injustice for any number of players
My improvement (I hope) on an old favourite also called Letterbox (etc)
cover cover cover cover

Publishing history: The Penguin Book appeared in 1982, with the same cover design for both hardback and paperback, with an American edition published by Pantheon Books under the title Botticelli and Beyond. In 1995 a revised version, now expanded to included proprietary games, was published as The Guinness Book of Word Games (by Guinness Publishing, of course), and These have since been superseded by The Book of Word Games.

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