Anagrams, Pirate Scrabble, Anagram, Snatch, or Grabscrab is a board-free word game that involves rearranging letter tiles to form words.
The game pieces consist of a set of tiles with letters on them. Tiles are turned over one by one, and players form words by combining unused tiles with existing words, their own or others'. The game has never been standardized and there exist a great many varieties of sets and rules. Anagrams is now often played with tiles from another word game, such as Scrabble.
Reputed to have originated as a Victorian word game, Anagrams have appeared in many published versions in the last century.
The first modern version seems to have been the game Anagrams published in 1934 by the manufacturer Selchow and Righter, who would later publish Scrabble in 1953. Spelling and Anagrams (a set incorporating two distinct games, Spelling and Anagrams) was also published in the 1930s. In 1975, Selchow published the Scrabble Scoring Anagrams version which featured tiles with point values similar to the familiar Scrabble system. Another version was published in the 1960s by the now defunct Transogram. The Embossing Company also produced a yellow-on-black Eye-Rest set. Many other versions have been produced and used sets can still be found on internet auction and specialty sites. A variation called SWIPE was published by Leslie Scott (the creator of Jenga) in the early 1980s and since 1990, Scott's company, Oxford Games Ltd, has published Anagram, the ingenious game of juggling words. Up For Grabs was published by Tyco in 1995. Portobello Games produces a version under the name Snatch.Prodijeux has been marketing a variant called wordXchange since 2000. Many players use several Scrabble or Upwords sets together.
A version of the game seems to be popular among tournament Scrabble players. Writers John Ciardi, James Merrill, John Malcolm Brinnin, and Richard Wilbur reputedly played together regularly in Key West, Florida, with novelist John Hersey also sometimes sitting in.
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