Name That Game

Here are games that have been played in desert tents, medieval castles, Viking ships, and in modern clubs and homes. Do you know them?

1. What 1913 puzzle, invented by New York World journalist Arthur Wynne, is a standard feature in 90 percent of the world's newspapers today and reportedly is the most popular indoor game in America?

2. What ancient pre-battle strategy game is called the "queen of all board games" and has been subject to more analysis than all other games combined?

3. What 8,000-year-old game of capture across a checkered matrix is called dames in France and draughts in Britain?

4. What game's original "board" was a 16th-century royal Indian courtyard with live pawns, cowrie shells for dice, and a garden throne for "home"? (This 16th-century Hindu game, "pacisi," means 25, for the number of shells tossed in a roll.)

5. What No. 1 bestselling, high-stakes game of the century grew out of an unemployed engineer's recollection of a vacation to Atlantic City before the Great Depression hit?

6. This modern game of over 100 wooden tiles, each with a letter of the alphabet, was originally named Criss Cross in 1931. It took inventor Alfred Butts almost a decade to refine the rules of the game. What became the second bestselling board game in America?

7. What is one of the world's oldest card games, from an Old English game "noddy," and distinguished by pegs and an extra hand or "crib" ?

8. What game of 28 flat black tiles represents all combinations of numbers that can turn up in the cast of two dice?


(1) Crossword puzzle. Biographers claim that Wynne was inspired by a Victorian puzzle, "Magic Square." While Magic Square gave players the words to arrange in squares, Wynne challenged his readers with "clues." Within 10 years after the first puzzle was published, dictionaries sold faster than at any other time in history. (2) Chess. The name of this war game originally came from Sanskrit, meaning "four limbs," referring to the four components of an Indian army: elephants, horses, chariots, and foot soldiers. The game was used to rehearse army movements and train soldiers. Over the years, the elephants became the bishops, the horses the knights, the chariots the rooks or castles, and the foot soldiers the pawns. (3) Checkers. This battle game on a board began as early as 6000 BC in Egypt. A replica of a checker board was even found cut in a roof of a great temple on the west bank of the Nile ... placed there by playful ancient stonemasons? (4) Parcheesi. This national game of India became the third all-time top-selling board game in America. It was a favorite of Thomas Edison and Calvin Coolidge. (5) Monopoly, invented by Charles B. Darrow of Germantown, Pa., in the 1930s. (6) Scrabble. Game historians claim that Butts translated the nation's craze over crossword puzzles into a challenging board spin-off. (7) Cribbage. The game is believed to be invented by an English poet and brought to early America by English settlers. It is most popular in New England. (8) Dominoes. Historians claim that the game originated in Italy, and that its name derives from "domino," a hooded cape, black with a white lining, worn by the clergy.

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