Board Games and Quiz Questions

There was a lovely question on “The Chase” recently about numbers and Scrabble, along these lines: if the following numbers are spelt with Scrabble tiles, which one is the same as its Scrabble score? The options were: Ten, Eleven, Twelve. You’ll probably work it out but if you want to double check, the correct answer appears at the end of this piece.

For many people of my generation a basic understanding of three board games can be considered Universal Knowledge: Scrabble, Monopoly and Cluedo. You can generate dozens, possibly hundreds, of quiz questions from them, especially from the Monopoly board. What colour is Bond Street? What do you get if you subtract the value of Old Kent Road from the value of Mayfair? What city completes the following sequence: Coventry, Oxford, Leicester? [Answers to these questions are also at the end of this piece.]

Knowing the value of all the letters in Scrabble might be a little trickier for some people. Most of us know the high values: Z and Q are worth 10, J and X are worth 8, and K is the only letter worth 5. It’s the 2s, 3s and 4s that could be a little hazy, so here they are for the record: 4 (F, H, V, W, Y), 3 (B, C, M, P), 2 (D, G). Even as I typed them I had to think twice: P, is that worth 2 or 3? I haven’t checked it, I’m just assuming that my memory is right and that P really is worth 3. Every other letter (A, E, I, L, N, O, R, S, T, U) is worth 1.

At a Quiz Night last month hosted by Paul Sinha from the Chase (which I have now mentioned three times in these posts, the other two references being here and here) the opening question was “In Scrabble [or maybe he said “In a well-known board game”] which word has the letter values 8-1-1-8?” Great question, and my wife and I spent maybe 15 seconds going through the words that could begin and end with J and X before coming up with the answer. (Again it’s at the end of this piece.)

Nothing compares to the Big Three of Scrabble, Monopoly and Cluedo for generating trivia questions. With Trivial Pursuit itself you could ask a handful of questions about the categories and their colours (pink for Entertainment, green for Science and Nature and so on) but that’s about it.


  • The word Twelve has a Scrabble score of 12 (the letter values are: 1-4-1-1-4-1)
    Bond Street is Green
  • Mayfair minus Old Kent Road is £340 (£400 minus £60)
  • The city that completes the set is Liverpool (there are four cities named on the Monopoly Board: Coventry Street, Oxford Street, Leicester Square and Liverpool Street)
  • JINX is the word with a Scrabble value of 8-1-1-8:


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