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Sunday Scrabble

Many believe the object of the board game Scrabble, or "SCRABBLE(r) Brand Crossword Game," is not merely to outscore your opponents but to destroy them with your vast etymological and linguistic acumen.

Then there are those who play just for the fun of it.

The group that meets at 1 p.m. Sundays at The Buzz, 128 N. Sequim Ave., falls into the latter category, which is just how coordinator Janet Mullen likes it.

"It's pretty laid back. The players cover a whole range of abilities," she said.

Janet and her husband, Bob, have been playing the game at The Buzz since they moved here about three years ago.

The weekly gatherings had being going on a long time, although no one could remember exactly how long.

They were started by a woman who couldn't get anyone in her family to play the game with her. She since moved to Seattle, but the games continue.

After all the day's players arrive, they use a time-tested method of random distribution (drawing straws) to see who gets assigned to the two boards.

Luci Delesbore, of Port Angeles, armed with her Scrabble Player's Dictionary, said she has played since April 2007. The weekly gathering was a way to meet people after moving from the Bay Area of California three years ago, she said.

Rachel Van Ness, of Port Angeles, said she's been traveling to Sequim to play for about a year. "I kept seeing the notices in the paper and saying, 'I should go,'" she said.

Brenda Mosler, of Sequim, has played the game for three years, also deciding to attend after mulling over the event notice she'd seen in the newspaper.

Anita Colvin, of Sequim, has played for five years and used to drive from Brinnon to do it.

First called Lexiko, the game was later called Criss Cross Words.

The name "Scrabble," is a real word that means "to grope frantically." The game was trademarked SCRABBLE(r) Brand Crossword Game in 1948.

Then in the early 1950s, as legend has it, the president of Macy's department store discovered the game while on vacation and asked why his stores didn't carry it.

Now an estimated 1 to 2 million Scrabble sets are sold each year in North America and an estimated 100 million sets worldwide, according to the National Scrabble Association.

Brian Gawley can be reached at bgawley@sequimgazette.com.

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