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I’m a demon at scrabble!” – Freddie Mercury

“Innuendo is a word I often use in Scrabble – I’m a demon at scrabble!” – Freddie Mercury

13th of April is National Scrabble Day – It’s the day Scrabble inventor Alfred Mosher Butts was born.

He gave the world an iconic board game now played all over the world. Today, more than seven decades later, we live for “Triple Word Scores”! Not to mention, the strategic use of those mysterious blank tiles.

Queen played a lot of scrabble especially Freddie and Roger

Freddie and ‘Killer’ Scrabble…..

“Scrabble was a game Freddie loved, and was exceptionally good at, having played since an early age with an elderly aunt, he told me. When the Scrabble board came out, it was a magnet to him and he would hover, interfering, or advising the current players. Usually he insisted we scrap the game and start a new one to include him. Whatever work he was doing was put on hold and thousands of pounds of studio time were wasted while Fred waited for the elusive seven-letter, triple-word square. ‘Lacquers’ was one word using all seven letters that particularly astounded him as it fell into place on the triple-word square. It came from me!

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However, the initial demand from Fred to get a Scrabble set for the studio was not received at all well. A German version was purchased, and he got very frustrated trying to make English words with the umlauts, accents and quite different letter construction of the German language. There’s only supposed to be one Z tile in Scrabble – this version’s got hundreds! ‘Lost in translation’. An English edition of beloved Scrabble was sourced and no expense spared in having it delivered to Fred immediately.

He regularly did the daily word puzzle games in the English newspapers, striking one of his stage poses of raised arm and clenched fist, when he had solved the major nine-letter word from the box of letters – which never took him very long. Pumped up and excited, he would then offer to arm-wrestle all comers. Sitting at the dining table, he would take on anybody who was up for the challenge. I had to let him win – I couldn’t embarrass my boss, could I …”

Peter Hince

‘Queen Unseen’

“Fred and I used to love Scrabble. We all played, but it got a bit too serious so that the other two would drop out, Freddie was brilliant because he could score more with fewer tiles. I was pretty much his match, I think.”

(Roger Taylor)

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