Online Collections

Search Tips

Quotation Marks—Enclosing a multiword phrase in quotation marks tells the search engine to list only sites that contain those words in that exact order.

The following must appear in ALL CAPS and with a space on each side.

AND—Indicates that the records found must contain all the words joined by the AND operator. For example, to find objects that contain the words wizard, oz, and movie, enter wizard AND oz AND movie.

OR—Records found must contain at least one of the words joined by OR. For example, to find objects that contain the word dog or the word puppy, enter dog OR puppy.

AND NOT—Indicates that the records found cannot contain the word that follows the term AND NOT. For example, to find objects that contain the word pets but not the word dogs, enter pets AND NOT dogs.

Criss Cross

game prototype | game board

Unemployment inspires creativity--at least in the case of Alfred M. Butts, an architect made idle by the Great Depression. Butts had time on his hands and play on his mind. Observing that the most popular games fell into three categories--numbers (bingo), moves (chess, checkers), or words (crossword puzzles, anagrams)--he devised a game that deliberately combined all three variations. His game included 100 tiles each bearing a letter of the alphabet used to form words on a square grid. Each letter carried a numerical value, and a player scored points by tallying up the values of the letters in the words her or she laid on the grid. The player with the highest score after all the tiles had been used won the game. Butts was a better game creator than marketer. He first called his game Lexiko, then renamed it Criss Cross. He never offically published either prototype game. A blueprint of the Criss Cross game board may have been a prototype, or used for play testing. In 1948, Butts hooked up with James Brunot; between them, they refined the rules and design of the game and settled on yet another new name: Scrabble.

ManufacturerAlfred M. Butts
Materialprinted paper
OriginNew York, NY
Styleword
Object ID114.4668

All artifact images, interpretive information, and website text
© The Strong.