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Parlor Games

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1 Parlor Games on Mon May 31, 2010 11:18 pm

Copied from Texas Civilian Yahoo list. Posted October 2007 by Annette Bethke

This was posted on the Citizens of the Civil War list, some of you may be on that list and I apologize for the duplication. But for those who aren't this sounds like an easy enough game to play at events.

A new drawing room game

A new drawing room game has been introduced, which presents some
novel and attractive features. It is called "Squaring Words", and is described below. The apparatus consists of a few scraps of writing paper and a pencil for each player. We copy from an exchange:-

The game should be played with words of three, four, five, or six
letters, more than six will be difficult. The words should be chosen either by a person who remains independent of the game, or at random from a vocabulary. The game may be played either for a small pool, to which each player contributes, or for forfeits. If for a pool, a prize may be awarded to the player who first squares the word, and another to the second.

The operation of squaring a word may be best shown by example. It
may, however, be described as follows: having written the word
horizontally and perpendicularly, you must find other letters to complete the square, which will also read in words both horizontally and perpendicularly.

Words of three letters.-Examples. -To square the words Cat, Dog,
Tea, Pig
Rap:-

CAT DOG TEA PIG RAP
APE ONE EAT ICE ALE
TEA GET ATE GET PET

Words of three letters are generally very easily squared, and should only be used for the purpose of teaching the game. Once, however, we were very much puzzled with a proper name, containing three letters. The name was Cox. The obvious difficulty was to get a word of three letters, beginning with X. After some trouble, we succeeded in accomplishing the fact by the aid of a well-known dramatic piece called "Obi; or, Three-Fingered Jack," and the name of the dwarf who attended the three gigantic warders in Mr. Harrison Ainsworth's "Tower of London." Thus then stood the word:-

COX
OBI
XIT

Words of four letters are more difficult. Examples: To square Love,
Milk, Lamp, Town :-

LOVE MILK LAMP TOWN
OBEY IDEA AREA OBOE
VETO LEAN MEAT WONT
EYOT KANT PATS NETS

Words of five letters are more difficult still. Chair may be squared with with the help of Haddo, Adieu, Ideas, and Rouse.

With six letters the difficulty increases aggressively. Here,
however, we may achieve the impossibility of Squaring the Circle

CIRCLE
ICARUS
RAREST
CREATE
LUSTRE
ESTEEM

The six words required to perform the feat, may suggest the cognate reflections: 1.We have the circle to square, which is regarded as a mathematical impossibility. 2. A man who attempted an impossibility, and [obscured by printing error] miserably [obscured by printing error]. 3. That which the accomplishment of an impossibility would be. 4. That which only the Omnipotent can accomplish. 5. The physical expression of Glory. 6. The mental expression of same.

Some times in squaring six letters we may have recourse to two, or even more words, as in the word Domino :-

DOMINO
ONEDAY
MERITS
IDIDIT
NATIVE
OYSTER

Here we have One day and I did it, for lines. The sequence of native and Oyster is curious enough; though very curious accidents of this kind are not uncommon in the game of Squaring Words.

Source: Arthur's Home Magazine, July, 1862, p. 68.

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