I didn’t make this with Father’s Day in mind, but it’s fitting because my dad is the reason I love puzzles and games. Every occasion to buy gifts was an occasion for my brothers and me to try and stump our dad. This Christmas, I got a book of logic puzzles in my stocking, and while we both enjoyed the knight’s tour game, a couple remain unsolved. (Sidenote: that Wikipedia page contains one of the best gifs ever.)
I like an open-ended game, one that doesn’t give me anxiety about getting the right answer. This is Sequoia, a word game. You can play it on graph paper or just draw a 5x5 grid and play anywhere, like tic-tac-toe. The object is to create the most words and longest words possible, using each letter only once in the 25 square grid. The trick is that you have to place the letters in alphabetical order (and choose the best letter to leave out).
Starting with A, place each letter in alphabetical order. Because there are 25 boxes in the grid and 26 letters in the alphabet, one letter is left out. The object of the game is to make as many words as possible. To score the game, count the letters in each word as one point.
- use consonant pairs to make longer words
- keep vowels away from wall for more possibilities
- cross words to use vowels twice
- eliminate least helpful letters
- don’t forget Y can be a vowel!
- increase difficulty by reversing the alphabet and starting with Z
- play with 2 by blocking your opponent’s words and claiming your own
Fun fact: “sequoia” contains all five vowels.